E3 07: Gears of War - hands-on

According to Chris Isaki, lead design director at Microsoft Games for Windows, there will be at least three new maps shipping with the upcoming PC version: Sanctuary, Courtyard, and Gold Rush. A game editor will also ship with the PC version giving users the same tools that the Gears of War team has, allowingyou to create anything from a tweaked map to a totally new and original game ofyour own.

Although you can plug in a 360 controller, PC purists should be pleased to know that the mouse and keyboard felt fine. Although moving about with the WASD keys and double tapping the W key to run and take cover took some getting used to, we felt comfortable with the new control scheme after getting accustomed to it. We found that aiming with the mouse also felt slightly smoother and more accurate. Still, we can't help but feel that Gears of War played much better with the 360 USB controllers.

There will be no cross platform play between PC and 360 players, and fans hoping to see the new maps, King of the Hill, and the new story chapters will need to wait indefinitely. "We're definitely thinking about it, but nothing definite as of yet," continued Isaki when asked about plans to port the new PC content back to the 360. Still, we'd be surprised if the new PC content isn't eventually made available to 360 owners via LIVE. According to Isaki, Microsoft is going to wait to see how players respond to the new content before making any official plans. In the meantime, hit up the Images tab above for a sneak peak at the new stuff that's in store for the PC version of Gears of War.