Even though the game is done, Gears of War 3 is continuing to make a good impression, especially at the Microsoft press conference at the Electronic Entertainment Expo. Epic Games had more to share, however, since the demo was focused on the squad led by Marcus and Dom as they helped take down the massive Leviathan. In the press conference demo, Marcus led the team to a pair of silverbacks, which were mechanical suits that you could jump into and control. Although the demo showed Marcus operating only one silverback, in the cooperative campaign there will be two to play with. You can run and fire rockets from these suits, and while the segment wasn't that long, we're hoping that there will be some opportunities to get some more silverback time.
We were given a quick runthrough of the conference demo again to refresh our memory, and then they switched over to Baird and Cole, who were leading the charge up on the rapidly deteriorating bridge. The goal of this mission was to drop a box of explosive tickers onto the Leviathan while Marcus and Dom kept the Leviathan at bay, or at least occupied long enough to not eat everyone onboard the sinking cargo ship. Baird and Cole were supported by Sam and Carmine, supposedly the toughest of the unfortunate Carmine brothers. His fate is still undetermined, but he's much less of a wimp compared to his siblings. Locusts were coming in as the team made their way around the debris and avoided the massive sections that were missing on the bridge. By panning to the right, we could see the incredible view of the mountains in the distance, which were a bit hazy from all the smoke and debris that's clearly filling the air from the war. It was also amazing to see how the Leviathan looked from this higher vantage point, as it thrashed its tentacles onto the ship. Up close it was ferocious and ugly looking to be sure, but from up here it was quite a sight to see.
The large set pieces in this game are also more destructible this time around. Whether it's the cargo ship being torn to pieces by the sea monster or the overpass crumbling from the activity below, there's definitely a lot more going on in the environments in Gears of War 3. We were introduced to a new weapon called the "Vulcan," which is a heavy-duty automatic weapon that can fire a continuous stream of bullets if you have a partner tethered by your side. If you're playing alone, you'll have to reload on your own, but when playing cooperatively, the second player is next to you with the ammo box and can continuously crank to provide you with a steady stream of ammunition.
Another weapon that was highlighted was the one-shot, and if you've messed with it in the beta, you'll know that it's a powerful weapon if you can line up your shot. This was demonstrated by disintegrating two locusts with one shot (hence the name), and another bullet was reserved for an enemy that had a shield. All disappeared in a cloud of pink mist.
After the squad completed its mission by pushing over an entire crate full of tickers, we know that Marcus and Dom made a dramatic leap off the ship, but it wasn't so easy for the team on the bridge. The overpass had finally had enough of a beating and was breaking apart, sending Baird, Cole, Sam, and Carmine sliding downward (the bridge is quite high, we might add). Here we catch some of the interaction between the team, where Baird is hanging on for dear life, and Sam's the one keeping him from falling. Baird looks at Sam and starts talking about how now is probably the time to confess his love for her, but he ends up saying, "But I don't. I really, really don't." Whether Sam wanted to drop him at that moment we may never know, but they go sliding off the edge, and the demo ended. Due to spoiler content, we probably don't want to know too much of what happens in the campaign, but there are still several months before we can play it for ourselves. At this point, the game is finished, and it looks incredibly fun, so we're just eagerly waiting.
There will be more Gears of War 3 content coming from E3--we will be taking a look at Horde 2.0 later this evening--so stay tuned to GameSpot.com for more updates. Beast mode is once again playable at the show and is the same as last year with the exception that there is a timer now as you take down waves of humans. Gears of War 3 will be released on September 20 for the Xbox 360.