In December, Epic Games announced it would bundle access to the Gears of War 3 beta in Epic Edition copies of People Can Fly's Bulletstorm. Later, it was revealed the start date for the trial would be sometime in April. Now, gamers have a definitive date to circle on their calendars.
Owners of the Epic Edition of the warmly received Bulletstorm can enter the multiplayer beta for Gears of War 3 beginning on April 18. They will have access to the game's Team Deathmatch mode playable on four maps: Thrashball, Checkout, Trenches, and Old Town.
The beta will become available to the rest of the community beginning April 25 via preorder at specialty retailer GameStop. Gamers who reserve online will be e-mailed a download key redeemable via Xbox Live, and those who preorder in-store will be handed the token.
Over the course of the beta, two additional game modes--Capture the Leader and King of the Hill--will be added. The Gears of War 3 multiplayer trial will last three weeks and will be curb-stomped on May 15.
Gamers who play the Gears of War 3 beta will earn exclusive content that will be transferred to retail copies when the game launches this fall. These items include the Flaming Gnasher Shotgun, a Gold-Plated Retro Lancer, a Thrashball Cole character variant, and others. For the full list of beta unlockables, check out the Gears of War 3 beta breakdown.
In addition to announcing a firm schedule for the Gears of War 3 beta, Microsoft also announced that Gears of War 3 will arrive in three distinct editions when it is released on September 20 worldwide. The third-person shooter will arrive in Standard ($60), Limited ($80), and Epic ($150) editions.
For more on the upcoming shooter's beta, check out GameSpot's most recent hands-on preview of the Gears of War 3 beta.