Gears Of War 3 Beta Hands On Impressions
Gears Of War 3 is probably the most anticipated game of this year, and anyone who calls themselves a gamer will want this game in their lives. So when Epic Games announced that they would be releasing a beta for the multiplayer aspect of the title, everyone jumped for joy and was prepared to run through brick walls to get a precious code (as proved when we at GodisaGeek had fifteen codes to give away in our recent competition).
Fans who purchased BulletStorm Epic Edition were able to play from the 18th, with the people who pre-ordered allowed access as of the 25th, but a privileged few of us were granted early access to experience the beta before even that! So, we’re going to tell those of you who are desperate to know, if it’s chainsaw-tasic or just plain dire!
For those of you who have recently got access to the beta, you will be playing Team Deathmatch. Epic have gone in a different direction from previous releases of the franchise, and instead of just one life per round, your team now has a total of 15 respawns which allows you to be a bit more brave when attacking the enemy and makes for a more exciting match. Apart from this difference, Team Deathmatch is the same exciting mode where you get to show off your mad killing skills.
For those of us lucky enough to have early access, there are two other modes that have since been removed. The next mode that was available was called Capture The Leader. In this mode, one of each team member is designated as the leader at the beginning of the round, and the rest of the team have to defend their leader whilst attempting to capture the opposition head honcho, and use him as a meat shield as a bit of added protection. After keeping hold of the opposing leader for a certain amount of time, you will win the round. Should both leaders be captured however, the timer will not count down, forcing you to take risks to win the match. This mode can make for some pretty long and intense battles, but it is brilliant fun as well. If you are playing as the leader, you can hold the left bumper for your tac-com which, instead of just showing your allies, shows the enemy squad as well, allowing you to run and hide if need be.
The other mode is called King Of The Hill, which is essentially Annex from previous Gears games. You have to control certain ever-changing areas for a set period of time, racking up the points in the process, and the team who reaches the time (and thus points) required to hold these areas, wins the round. This mode is an all out brawl for supremacy and a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
There is a new levelling system in place for Gears of War 3 as well. There are still accomplishments just like in Gears of War 2, but they are now in the form of medals, which you receive for the long-term things you do, like amount of matches played. There are also ribbons which you receive for your actions during matches, like killing 3 or more enemies with a grenade. This new system gives you a nice feeling when you get the medals and ribbons, and could definitely become a bit of an obsession for players, as they allow you to unlock new characters in the process. Another set of accomplishments are available for your weapons, and when you fulfill what is required of you, you will receive new skins for them, some of these being urban camouflage or flames, adding a nice bit of bling to your shooter.
The weapons themselves have the odd change with regards to power, and there are some new additions to mention as well. These new weapons are; Sawed-Off Shotgun, which are VERY powerful but can only be used at very close range and takes an age to reload, the Digger Launcher, which fires an explosive mole like creature that can home in on your enemy and will explode, which is handy for getting people hiding behind cover, and the Retro Lancer, which is like the weapon we all know and love, but is less accurate and instead of a chainsaw, has a fixed bayonet. You hold down the melee button and this makes your chosen Cog or Locust charge at the enemy you target, and stab the shit out of them, which is strangely satisfying. Another new addition is the One Shot, which is a very high powered sniper rifle that only holds three rounds, but will vaporize should you hit your target. As previously mentioned, the old weapons are pretty much the same, but the shotgun does seem to be a little over powered, with its ability to down you at some crazy distances. The incendiary grenades are also new, and are simply great fun; blind throwing them is a fine method of quick and easy crowd control!
The people who didn’t get a chance to play this beta will be wanting to know how it is in general, and I’m happy to report that it is absolutely brilliant fun and a welcome return to what made Gears of War so much fun online in the first place. Everything feels quicker, tighter and more slick, and the graphics are beautiful. The gameplay is as fantastic as always and combines the previous Gears of War title’s multiplayer aspects nicely. Overall, if the final multiplayer is anything like this, then it will be an absolutely brilliant mode for all to enjoy, and will probably have people playing on it for years to come.
Gears of War 3 will be released on the 20th of September, exclusively for Xbox 360.