A Lancer to my Heart: Often viewed as “the most anticipated game of 2011”, Gears of War 3 is set to burst from its emergence hole on September 20th of 2011. I don’t drive a pickup truck, don’t chug beer out of a football helmet, and can spell my own name (on occasion) and guess what haters … I’m a huge Gears fan.. The Gears of War series gets a bad rap for being “another space marine game”, or “digital testosterone”, but I disagree. I’ve played the games, read the novels, and truly believe the Gears of War franchise is a rich and adult science fiction universe. But how does Gears 3 play you ask?
My Experience: Hats off to the folks at Microsoft and Epic for their fast moving line. I was in and out in under an hour and the line was filled with a helpful and knowledgeable staff. The line bosses and myself had a long discussion about Bernie, Sam, and the rest of the new supporting cast of Gears 3, and the guys from Microsoft were as excited as I was that Karen Traviss, author of the ultra-gritty Gears books, was now also the lead writer onGears 3. It’s interesting that people scoff at books that are based on games, a shame really.
The Game: Sitting down on small cubes, we were issued a 360 controller, and a head-set. Our group of 8 was split in half, Locust on one side, and COG on the other. I ended up controlling the gravel voiced protagonist Marcus Phoenix. On my team was Cole (In his thrashball uniform), Dom (sporting his now famous “widow beard”), and the female gear Anya Stroud. Who was I playing against? Well my team was made up of both fans and press, but everyone there was a fan and knew their way around a lancer.
Big Guns: You begin by selecting your weapon set. Your primary weapon can now be the Standard Lancer (Medium range, rapid fire, chainsaw attachment), the Retro-Lancer (Short Range, attached bayonet ), or the Hammerburst (long range -w- iron sites). You can also select your shotgun, Gnasher or double barrel. As soon as my team picked their load-out, we were ready to go… The game-play was both fast and brutal, close range combat still seemed a bit awkward, like when two people are both saying “excuse me” and trying to get out of each-others way only to bump into each-other over and over….yeah like that. I had one goal, and one goal only, to use that new bayonet. I wanted to “roadie run” myself into those Locust and impale more grubs than “Vlad”.
Stabbing: Throwing a smoke grenade into a crowded group of enemies I lowered my bayonet and sprinted blindly into the thick mist. Seconds later I collided with a locust who was facing the opposite direction. Not breaking stride I stabbed him through the mid-section and tossed him over my shoulder like a piece of trash. The Retro lancer was glorious… I had to do it again.. okay.. one more time... again… soon I realized that all six of my kills were due to Retro-Lancer evisceration. I didn’t kill a single enemy by gunfire. Sadly the match was soon over and I was left wanting more… The good news is, Gears 3 beta begins next month and Gears 3 is fully polished and ready to go. It’s a beautiful game, and the graphical updates are very noticeable. This is not a re-skin of Gears 2.
Verdict: An amazing multi player experience that will be incredibly addicting and rewarding. Thanks PAX East for giving me the chance to play!
PRESS RELEASE “Gears of War 3” is the spectacular conclusion to one of the most memorable and celebrated sagas in video games. Developed by Epic Games exclusively for Xbox 360, “Gears of War 3” plunges players into a harrowing tale of hope, survival and brotherhood. In “Gears of War 3,” players fight on as Marcus Fenix, the grizzled war hero and leader of Delta Squad. Eighteen months after the fall of the last human city in “Gears of War 2,” the war against the Locust rages on, but a new enemy has emerged. Deep beneath the surface, a fearsome new threat, the Lambent, is infecting the planet from within. With survivors scattered and civilization in ruins, time is running out for Marcus and his comrades as they take up their Lancers to make one last push that will ultimately decide the fate of humanity. The “Gears of War” series is one of the most popular franchises in Xbox history, having sold more than 12 million games worldwide, and spawning New York Times best-selling novels, an upcoming film and more.