We got to play on six different maps, four of which will be available in the Beta. More on that later, but here are some specifics on the maps, with an overhead shot of each, another appreciated addition to Gears multiplayer. In GoW3, before and during a match you can bring up said map to give you a better idea of your teammates’ locations, where the weapon drops are, and where the Hill may be in King of the Hill modes, just to name a few examples.
This was one of the dev team’s favorites, as it was a really tight space that has a lot of personality. An abandoned market, battles happened fast and loose in Checkout. There was barely any time to appreciate the little touches, like placement of mannequins and searching for the secret fire alarm.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is Thrashball, a stadium where the sport of the same name was played in happier times. Though it looks open there are plenty of places to hide, and according to Bleszinski that Jumbo-Tron in the background can be cut loose from its cables for an especially well timed and surprising kill if you’re good enough to pull it off.
Overpass is all about the highs and lows of the field, but lows keep getting lower as the game continues, as the stage is sinking, with water slowly rising in the lower levels as you play.
One of the few times we’ve seen green and clear skies in the Gears mythology, don’t get too distracted by the flora, as the open center area can be incredibly dangerous if you aren’t careful in a firefight.
Trenches is as dusty as Mercy is lush. Another map with multiple vantage points for the smart sniper, several inclined roads, and a sandstorm that blows through the stage, Trenches was fun, even if it wasn’t the gorgeous.
A personal favorite of ours, Old Town has a lot going for it. Not only are there a multitude of great spots for shootouts, but there’s shootable produce to be found, and even chickens running about. You better believe our opening move on that map was kill the first chicken we saw.
Like we wrote earlier, not all those maps will be available in the Beta. Checkout and Thrashball are definitely included, but only two of the other four will be incorporated. Those will be decided by voting on the Gears Facebook page. And please, vote for Old Town, if for no other reason than to kill virtual chickens.
After begrudgingly giving up the controller to the next player, we can’t wait for the Beta to start so we can get really in-depth with the Gears of War 3. Stay tuned for more concrete details on the how and when of the Beta.
Feb 24, 2011