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Massive first look at Gears of War 3

Meat feast


Once up on deck, the Gears are attacked by a freakish mutant closely resembling the Bandersnatch B.O.W. from Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Officially known as Drudges, these guys are described by Bleszinski as the ‘glowy’ equivalent of the Locust drone – though they’re packing more than a few surprises up their rotting, lanky sleeves.

 

Able to evolve in all kinds of sick ways, the Drudges start off as lumbering Imulsion-spewing hulks. As they take hits, they begin to mutate. It’s a chance to show off the new (or, rather, old) bayonet-equipped Pendulum Lancer – a forerunner to the chainsaw edition we all know and love. The Pendulum doesn’t quite have the gibbing ability of its successor, but it’s super-powerful and kicks like a mule. We’re also impressed by the spacey feel of the environments; a return to the more sandboxy missions of the original Gears, rather than the linear, funnelled feeling of the set-piece loving sequel.


Drudge dread


The Lambent Drudges are hardy SOBs. One mutation sees their bodies stretch until they’re hugely tall and able to retch out chunks of Imulsion gob over cover. Their arms also stretch, flailing about and scattering COGs if they stray too close. Another mutation makes their legs morph into a trunk that spawns Polyp beasts. The final form detaches its head from its body, becoming a repulsive snake-like creature that flits around the floor, breathing fiery Imulsion flames.


Above: Drudges are the shock troops of the Lambent army. Imulsion-imbued brutes with a host of horrid mutations up their icky sleeves. Make sure you kill ’em quick before they begin to metamorphose

The Drudge even go kamikaze. When they’re about to reach critical mass, they’ll rush players and attempt to blow them to kingdom come. “It’s all about unpredictability,” reckons Bleszinski, “plus the ability to engage multiple players at the same time.” The Lambent are certainly a massive shift from the mostly humanoid Locust variants. They feel far more alien, unpredictable... and scary. They’re a great addition.

Once the first wave of foes has been nailed, Prescott himself appears and hands Marcus an optical disk. Battling his way through the ship’s garden to the control deck, Marcus is flabbergasted to learn that [SPOILER] his pop, Adam, is still alive. Forced to work for the scheming Locust Queen, Adam Fenix has stumbled upon a solution to destroy the Lambent and save Sera. (“It was always the Imulsion,” Adam mysteriously teases). Now he needs his son to come save him and the entire planet [/SPOILER]. As all this sinks in, the Lambent renew their attack, destroying Prescott’s chopper with a gigantic tentacle and flooding Raven’s Nest with legions of Drudges. A narked-off Dom roars out: “You f****d up my tomatoes, you a**eholes!”, charging into the fray.


Scorched earth


Despite the game’s grim and desperate tone, planet Sera itself looks sunny and lush. The game is set during the scorching summertime, and Epic have taken the chance to make the environments more colourful. It’s definitely a change for the better, although the familiar grey palette and destroyed beauty motifs of the series are still in evidence. 

As the demo neared its conclusion, we were introduced to the COG’s kickass new weapon in the fight against the Locust and Lambent. Dubbed the Silverback, it’s a heavily-armed exo-skeleton ("Not a mech!" emphasises Bleszinski). The Silverback’s special move is a defensive mode that transforms it into an immobile lump of steel cover.



Above: Like humanity, the sinking of Jacinto has left the Locust on the verge of extinction. This chap has lost it and turned savage – making him the most dangerous, aggressive Locust grunt ever

Teammates can then hunker down behind it, without fear of getting shot up. This brute is pretty tasty on offense too. The manufacturer’s spec is rocket launcher and chaingun, but you can choose your own combos too. Best of all, players can still pull off COG specialities like roadie runs and curb stomps when strapped inside the beast. Though watch out for the Silverback’s rear-end weak spot: there’s no armour plating there in offensive mode.

The demo sadly fades to black at that point... that’s all Epic are prepared to show for the moment. It’s massively encouraging stuff, and despite Bleszinski and Fergusson’s repeated stressing that this was an early, unpolished build, it’s fair to say that Gears 3 will definitely be right up there with Crysis 2 as packing the most gob-smacking visuals on 360.


Spew on this


That’s not the end of the show though, as the reveals keep on coming. Before we know it, we’re treated to a range of inventive and hilarious execution moves. The flamethrower finisher is one of the best. When a Locust is down, Marcus jabs the weapon inside his victim's body and lights his foe up from within. Flames spew out of the victim’s mouth, cooking him from the inside. “We were mulling over flames coming out of other body cavities too,” laughs Bleszinski. “Nothing’s final yet, though.”

The sawn-off Gnasher has a more poetic execution. Snapping the weapon open to reload, Marcus instead hooks it around a downed enemy’s throat and uses the hinge to snap their neck – reloading his gun in the process!

The Pendulum Lancer has an appropriately old-school, get-the-job-done flourish – a jab to the side with the bayonet. Stricken, the Locust grunt falls to his knees – before Marcus swoops behind him and slashes his throat clean open. Gurgling gore, the Locust quickly buys the farm.


Above: Wooden crates will obviously splinter under sustained gunfire, so Marcus is going to have to move to avoid being pulped

Heavy weapons haven’t been left out of the execution fun either. Marcus uses the mortar to splat the skull of a fallen Locust. In a classy touch, the poor SOB’s foot still twitches spasmodically, even without his head. “We’re actually thinking of having Marcus blast the severed head outta the Mortar with his next shot," muses Cliff Bleszinski. We’re giving that idea two thumbs up. 

Gears 2’s meat shield was one of its undoubted gameplay highlights, but this new version – the bag ’n’ tag – will blow your mind. Players are now able to tuck a grenade in the nape of a captured Locust’s neck, and send them flying back to their squad mates with a hefty boot to the backside. The entire lot then explodes in one humongous fireball. "You want your buddy back? Take em!" shouts Bleszinski.

All that Locust-slapping pretty obviously reveals that the old foe is hanging in there somewhere. So odds are that we’ll be in for some three-way battles, with the ultra-hostile Lambent taking on all-comers at some stage.

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81 comments

  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 25, 2010 8:48 p.m.

    NO JUMPING=SHITTY NON VERTICAL LEVEL DESIGN..U CANT CLIMB WITHOUT A JUMP THAT'S FUCKIN LAME.
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 25, 2010 8:47 p.m.

    LOLOL ANYONE'S WHO'S PLAYED OLD SOCOM'S VS GHOST RECON...knows ghost recon is more noobish. NO JUMPING=SHITTY I JUST PROVED WHY NO JUMPING SUCKS http://i49.tinypic.com/14ikeh0.jpg AHHA^ CANT FALL OFF SIDE OF STAIRCASE WITHOUT RAILING WHAT A JOKE http://i47.tinypic.com/2vkce8l.jpg AHAH CANT JUMP OVER SIDE OF BRIDGE LAME
  • avantguardian - May 25, 2010 12:27 p.m.

    @killa451 % combatwombat: i'm sorry you guys had to deal with that troll's raving lunacy...just don't write him back...seriously guy, take that sh*t to ign or somewhere where cussing people out for no good reason and writing in all caps(WHAT I HAVE TO SAY IS IMPORTANT!!!DUURRR!) is acceptable behavior...people like him feed on your disbelief that someone could actually be that big of a douche... to sum up his level of articulation: "no jump is for noobs" your obviously dealing with some unparalleled brilliance here... oh, and @ addjumpgoddamnit: please don't feel the need to respond to this if you should read it...you're dead to me...
  • CH3BURASHKA - May 24, 2010 8:12 a.m.

    "We never intended for GOW to be a trilogy."B BULLSHIT. "Gamers don't like trilogies." BULLSHIT. So far, it's looking good. It also led me to discover Sun Kil Moon.
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:19 a.m.

    FLANKING=FOR NOOBS...REAL OUTSMARTING IS TAKING SHORTSCUTS IN THE LEVEL THE OTHER PLAYER DOESNT EXPECT U TO TAKE..DUMBASS NO JUMPING=BORING LEVEL DESIGN. I GUESS IM BUYING UNCHARTED 3 AND NOT GEARS 3 SINCE THEY ARE LISTENING TO FUCKIN NEWBIES I TOLD U TO SHUT THE FUCK UP NOOB U DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT GAMEPLAY SO WHY U COMMENTING? U DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN IF U DID EVEN U WOULD WANT JUMP IF I SHOWED U IN PERSON HOW NO JUMP EFFECTS GAMEPLAY MAKE IT SHITTIER U WOULD REALLY UNDERSTAND AND WANT IT. KILLZONE1=NO JUMPING GEARS OF WAR KILLZONE2=JUMPING WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO SHOOT. KILLZONE2 DEV'S REALIZED NO JUMPING HURTS THE GAMEPLAY. EPICGAMES SHOULD KNOW THIS AND STOP LISTENING TO DUMBASS LITTLE NOOB KIDS LIKE KILLA451
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:17 a.m.

    IM TIRED OF FUCKIN LITTLE KIDS GOING AROUND COMPLAINING EVERY GAME WITH JUMPING HAS BUNNYHOPPERS..U CAN PREVENT PEOPLE JUMPING AND SHOOTING JUST DONT LET U SHOOT AND JUMP AT THE SAMETIME LIKE UNCHARTED OR KILLZONE U FUCKIN MORONS. PLUS IF UR GONNA COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE JUMPING IM GONNA COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE RANDOMLY CANNONBALL ROLLING ALL OVER THE FUCKIN LEVEL. U FUCKIN HYPOCRITES NEED UR FACES SMASHED IN. A JUMP IS ONE OF THE WAY U CAN IMPROVE AND EVOLVE FUCKIN GEARS OF WAR INTO BETTER MORE COMPLEX GAMEPLAY GAME U FUCKIN DUMBSHITS
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:16 a.m.

    IM TIRED OF FUCKIN LITTLE KIDS GOING AROUND COMPLAINING EVERY GAME WITH JUMPING HAS BUNNYHOPPERS..U CAN PREVENT PEOPLE JUMPING AND SHOOT JUST DONT LET U SHOOT AND JUMP AT THE SAMETIME LIKE UNCHARTED OR KILLZONE 2 U FUCKIN MORONS. PLUS IF UR GONNA COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE JUMPING IM GONNA COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE RANDOMLY CANNONBALL ROLLING ALL OVER THE FUCKIN LEVEL. U FUCKIN HYPOCRITES NEED UR FACES SMASHED IN. A JUMP IS ONE OF THE WAY U CAN IMPROVE AND EVOLVE FUCKIN GEARS OF WAR INTO BETTER MORE COMPLEX GAMEPLAY GAME U FUCKIN DUMBSHITS
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:15 a.m.

    IM TIRED OF FUCKIN LITTLE KIDS GOING AROUND COMPLAINING EVERY GAME WITH JUMPING HAS BUNNYHOPPERS..U CAN PREVENT PEOPLE JUMPING AND SHOOT JUST DONT LIKE U SHOOT AND JUMP AT THE SAMETIME LIKE UNCHARTED OR KILLZONE U FUCKIN MORONS. PLUS IF UR GONNA COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE JUMPING IM GONNA COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE RANDOMLY CANNONBALL ROLLING ALL OVER THE FUCKIN LEVEL. U FUCKIN HYPOCRITES NEED UR FACES SMASHED IN. A JUMP IS ONE OF THE WAY U CAN IMPROVE AND EVOLVE FUCKIN GEARS OF WAR INTO BETTER MORE COMPLEX GAMEPLAY GAME U FUCKIN DUMBSHITS
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:13 a.m.

    I SWEAR TO GOD GEARS OF WAR 1 I GOT OUTSIDE THE LEVEL ROLLING INTO A WALL SOMEHOW I ROLLED OVER THE WALL AND I COULDNT GET BACK INTO THE LEVEL. IF I HAD A JUMP I COULD OF GOT BACK INTO LEVEL WITHOUT RESTARTING MISSION JUST PROOF NO JUMP SUCKS
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:12 a.m.

    I SWEAR TO GOD GEARS OF WAR 1 I GOT OUTSIDE THE LEVEL ROLLING INTO A WALL SOMEHOW I ROLLED OVER THE WALL AND I COULDNT GET BACK INTO THE LEVEL. IF I HAD A JUMP I COULD OF GOT BACK INTO LEVEL DESIGN RESTARTING MISSION JUST PROOF NO JUMP SUCKS
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 2:10 a.m.

    FLANKING=FOR NOOBS...REAL OUTSMARTING IS TAKING SHORTS IN THE LEVEL THE OTHER PLAYER DOESNT EXPECT U TO TAKE..DUMBASS NO JUMPING=BORING LEVEL DESIGN. I GUESS IM BUYING UNCHARTED 3 AND NOT GEARS 3 SINCE THEY ARE LISTENING TO FUCKIN NEWBIES I TOLD U TO SHUT THE FUCK UP NOOB U DONT KNOW SHIT ABOUT GAMEPLAY SO WHY U COMMENTING? U DONT EVEN UNDERSTAND WHAT I MEAN IF U DID EVEN U WOULD WANT JUMP IF I SHOWED U IN PERSON HOW NO JUMP EFFECTS GAMEPLAY MAKE IT SHITTIER U WOULD REALLY UNDERSTAND AND WANT IT. KILLZONE1=NO JUMPING GEARS OF WAR KILLZONE2=JUMPING WITHOUT THE ABILITY TO SHOOT. KILLZONE2 DEV'S REALIZED NO JUMPING HURTS THE GAMEPLAY. EPICGAMES SHOULD KNOW THIS AND STOP LISTENING TO DUMBASS LITTLE NOOB KIDS LIKE KILLA451
  • killa451 - May 24, 2010 2:01 a.m.

    funny how you didnt actually adress anything i said and instead turned a GLITCH (means its a MISTAKE dipshit) into a reason why they shoul,d overhaul the gameplay. and have you EVER played multyplaer? lol u can outsmart people plenty (i think they call it FLANKING, or is that 2 much skill?). O i get it. u just wanna run aorund jumping on reandom shit and finding every exploit u possibly can in a level (cuz thats skill right?) . Cuz that OBVIUOUSLY takes MORE skill then actually 1v1ing someone in a true battle where its u vs them and theres no gay ass jumnping over random shit to get an advantage. thats called skill. and u dont have any. lol u just want jumping cuz u SUCK AT GEARS . its not HALO . gosh dude seriously stop ruinging the forum for a good game and go have fun jumping all over the fuckin place in halo or some shit.
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 24, 2010 1:14 a.m.

    LOLOL I ACCIDENTALLY WENT OVER A WALL IN GEARS OF WAR LOL I WENT OUTSIDE OF LEVEL AND I COULDNT GET BACK OVER WALL BECAUSE WALL WASNT PROGRAMMED TO JUMP OVER BUT GAME GLITCHED AND MOVED ME OVER WALL LOLOL. I COULD OF GOT BACK OVER WALL WITH A JUMP BUTTON..BUT I HAD TO RESTART WHOLE MISSION STUCK OUTSIDE MAP LOL. no jump is for noobs EVERYONE ON SAME FLAT GROUND=NOOB GAMEPLAY U CANT DO CRAZY TACTICS WITHOUT A JUMP BUTTON LIKE USING THE LEVEL DESIGN TO OUTSMART PEOPLE
  • killa451 - May 24, 2010 1:06 a.m.

    and i play gears cuz its good. and not cuz its made by fucking epic. and im good at it. dont call me a noob cuz i havcent played EVERY EPIC GAMRE EVERRRR just cuz u have been a nerd longer then me doesnt make u pro and me shitty. lol i bet i could ru8in u at gears cuz u dont kno how to play a game with out jumping hahahahahahahahaha
  • killa451 - May 24, 2010 1:05 a.m.

    u realize the whole point of gears is to get up close, wall bounce, move around and shotty, to try to get up close with the person. getting on top of shit goes COMPLETLEY against the gameplay. if u dont like the gameplay, then fine. but dont U FUCKING DARE try to change gears. gears wont ever have jumping. it wont work. it goes against the idea of the game. it will always have a cover sytstem. u dont like that? go play ur stupid ps1 nukem what ever but dont ruin a good game with ur caps lock bullshit.
  • itkonlyyou77 - May 24, 2010 1:03 a.m.

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  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 23, 2010 10:57 p.m.

    HERE'S ALL THE PROOF U NEED NO JUMPING SUCKS LOOK AT PICS NO JUMPING=I CANT STAND ON ANYWHERE I WANT AND SHOOT FROM THERE..ONLY CRAPPY PLACES WHERE DEV SET. http://i49.tinypic.com/14ikeh0.jpg AHHA^ CANT FALL OFF SIDE OF STAIRCASE WITHOUT RAILING WHAT A JOKE http://i47.tinypic.com/2vkce8l.jpg AHAH CANT JUMP OVER SIDE OF BRIDGE LAME
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 23, 2010 10:54 p.m.

    I JUST PROVED WHY NO JUMPING SUCKS KILL10451=A FUCKIN NEWBIE DOESNT BELONG PLAYING EPICGAMES'S GAMES HE HASNT PLAYED UNREAL SINCE 1998 LIKE ME WHY ARE YOU COMMENTING UR JUST HOLDING BACK EVOLUTION OF GEARS OF WAR AND MAKING IT A BORING NO SKILL FUCKIN NOOB GAME LIKE IT CURRENTLY IS FUCKIN BORING SLOW PACED SHIT HERE'S ALL THE PROOF U NEED NO JUMPING SUCKS LOOK AT PICS http://i49.tinypic.com/14ikeh0.jpg AHHA^ CANT FALL OFF SIDE OF STAIRCASE WITHOUT FALLING WHAT A JOKE http://i47.tinypic.com/2vkce8l.jpg AHAH CANT JUMP OVER SIDE OF BRIDGE LAME
  • Addjumpgoddamnit - May 23, 2010 10:51 p.m.

    NO JUMPING=CRAPPY NON VERTICAL LEVEL DESIGN. GEARS OF WAR 2 LEVEL DESIGN SO FUCKIN BORING WITHOUT JUMP I NEVER FINISHED GAME I STOPPED ON HORNETS NEST I SWEAR TO GOD I WAS BORED AS FUCK WHOLE GAME. NO JUMPING=I CANT STAND ON ANYTHING I WANT AND SHOOT FROM THERE..ONLY CRAPPY PLAYERS WHERE DEV SET. ADD KILLZONE2 JUMPING WHERE U CANT SHOOT SO THE KIDS DONT COMPLAIN ABOUT PEOPLE JUMPING AND SHOOTING THEIR GUN THE SAMETIME. I WANT A MANUAL JUMP SO I CAN GET AROUND THE LEVELS FASTER. HERE'S ALL THE PROOF U NEED NO JUMPING SUCKS LOOK AT PICS http://i49.tinypic.com/14ikeh0.jpg AHHA^ CANT FALL OFF SIDE OF STAIRCASE WITHOUT FALLING WHAT A JOKE http://i47.tinypic.com/2vkce8l.jpg AHAH CANT JUMP OVER SIDE OF BRIDGE LAME ADD KILLZONE2 JUMPING SO U CANT SHOOT UR GUN AND JUMP AT THE SAMETIME THEN FAGGOTS WONT COMPLAIN ABOUT BUNNYHOPPING/SHOOTING. I WANT A JUMP TO GET AROUND LEVELS MOTHER FUCKERS PLUS IT HURTS LEVEL DESIGN I PLAYED EPICGAMES'S GAMES SINCE FUCKIN UNREAL 1998 ON PC SHUT THE FUCK UP NOOBS I KNOW MORE ABOUT GAMEPLAY

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