Gears of War 3 Campaign Preview

We gear up and chainsaw our way through act one of Gears of War 3.

The final chapter in the Gears trilogy will soon draw to a close, and we're pretty sure that this isn't the last time that we'll visit the Gears universe, though the current story arc will come to an end in Gears of War 3. Karen Traviss, the author of the Gears novels will be penning the story and design director Cliff Bleszinski has stated that it is a much more personal story this time around, with many of the unanswered questions being addressed. You've already seen and may have possibly played the multiplayer modes during the beta, so by now, you should know all the details of Horde mode and Beast mode. At this year's Electronic Entertainment Expo, Epic Games gave us a glimpse of what the campaign would be like from a different perspective, more specifically from the eyes of Cole and Baird. At a recent press event, we played a sizeable chunk of the campaign--all of act one--to get a feel for just how big Epic is going with the final game.

Without giving away too much of the story, the game is set a year and a half after the events of Gears of War 2 and the fall of Jacinto. At the end of the last game, it was revealed that Marcus Fenix's father may still be alive, which is where things kick off in Gears of War 3. The Gears are now living aboard an aircraft carrier, and judging from the E3 demo, they don't stand much of a chance against a leviathan attack. It didn't take us long to reach the part that was shown in the demo, but we were finally able to take those silverbacks (mechanical suits) for a spin. It's tough to be graceful in one of these outfits, but having a never-ending stream of bullets and rocket launchers to hide behind helps. Movement is tricky, and you can only access your more powerful rocket when you plant the silverback on the ground and take cover. Because the leviathan wasn't exactly a small target, this was not much of a problem until the glowing lambent started to board the ship. Due to its explosive nature, we kept a distance and stayed behind cover as often as possible.

Before starting the game, we were advised to play on the hardcore setting because we've played the previous games before. This was good advice because we found the difficulty to be challenging yet still manageable. We swapped it to normal and casual later on, which are designed for players who are new to the game, but it allowed us to be a lot more aggressive and enemies went down much faster. Ammo can be an issue if you're not conservative, but walking into corners and around large objects in the environment will generally yield some extra grenades or an ammo clip.

We were dealing with a lot of lambent in the first part of act one, so the new retro lancer didn't make an appearance until the regular locust showed up (not much fun stabbing an explosive lambent in the back). There were new enemies to deal with, though, like lambent stalks that would spawn enemies from pods. There were also drudges, which had tentacle arms and would throw emulsion fireballs at us. They have a weak spot in their chests, but you have to keep an eye on their heads, which can still come after you when severed. Things can easily get out of hand if you don't take down the pods on the stalk to prevent more lambent from spawning, but with the right approach, encounters shouldn't be too bad.

Hanover stadium has seen better days.

It was clear from the beginning that the set pieces are going to be huge and elaborate. That isn't because this game is the grand finale but because these level designs have to accommodate four players that need a bit of elbow room. For the most part, we had enough room to maneuver and take cover when needed, and when the situation called for it, the team would split up to get through tighter quarters.

For the first time, we also stepped into the shoes of Cole Train while he, Baird, Sam, and Clayton Carmine headed for his hometown of Hanover for supplies. Amid lambent slaughtering, we learned more about these characters through their playful banter and their sarcastic one-liners. We won't know Carmine's fate until the game ships, but judging from the way things were progressing, there won't be a shortage of close calls for this Carmine brother.

Four-player online cooperative play is one of the game's biggest new features. There's an arcade cooperative mode as well, where players will earn points for their actions. In addition to bragging rights, this will give you an idea of who's pulling his or her weight and who isn't. The Gears of War series has always shined when it comes to cooperative play, and by adding a couple of extra players to the mix (the more the merrier!), it looks like it'll be an even better experience than the last.

Cole and Baird having a 'moment.'

After playing the campaign and spending time with the changes and additions to the multiplayer modes (which now have dedicated servers), it's no surprise that Gears of War 3 is one of our most anticipated games of the year. It's not long now until the game ships, so be sure to check back when our review hits in a little more than a month. Gears of War 3 is scheduled to be released worldwide for the Xbox 360 on September 20.

Written By

Want the latest news about Gears of War 3?

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3

Discussion

141 comments
Hernilious
Hernilious

I would get this game is my XBOX didn't take a dump on me every 6 months. Thanks a lot, Bill.

varunvikram1
varunvikram1

i have been seeing all these gears 3 previews for like 3 years now. there is a limit on how much you can actually hype a title.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Syk0_k03r: ""New" lighting system... on a 5 year old game engine." Please, really, inform yourself first. This version of unreal engine is a different one, appart from the lighting gives better phisics, hair movement and less texture poping (appart other things that I'm not checking now, check it yourself if you wish)

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Syk0_k03r I surprised you failed to point the evolution of the story and the re-make of the horde mode... coming from someone who gave the previous Gears a 9.0 and 8.0. That and the 1.0 you gave to MW2, you may be missing the difference between "This game is bad" and "I don't like this game"

CEMETARY_GATESx
CEMETARY_GATESx

@syk0_k03r Horde was the most played game mode in Gears 2 and with some friends it's a good time and with the new additions it looks like a lot of fun. While Gears 2 has problems, it's far from unplayable. The retro-lancer is a huge game changer and allows the shotty to be challenged at short and mid range. I think you simply don't like gears.

Syk0_k03r
Syk0_k03r

@CEMETARY_GATESx 1. Horde mode is and always will be a generic and boring gamemode. Adding gimmicks isn't going to make it better 2. Adding new weapons and attacks changes nothing about the gameplay, as the shotgun and lancer still outpower everything else. So the only viable ways to play gears 3 are to spray and pray with a lancer, or mash the A button and keep firing your shotgun praying for a kill. Nothing new for gears or shooters in general 3. "New" lighting system... on a 5 year old game engine. Would have been impressive... in 2008 So it looks like the only thing worthy that gears 3 is allegedly getting is lag-free servers. LOL! Now epic is hyping it's dedicated servers and claiming how their online will be "the best evar!" Exactly what they were doing in 2008... and gears 2 is still unplayable

Jim60360
Jim60360

@Warlord_Irochi Good shout, eat that gears haters!

CEMETARY_GATESx
CEMETARY_GATESx

@skyk0_k03r Um, you gave modern warfare a 1. That's just indefensible, even if you didn't like it. It's one thing to not like the style of a game, but to say Gears 3 adds nothing new to the series is just silly blind reaction to not getting changes you might have wanted. Here are the changes so you can see you are being closed minded: 1. Horde features tower defense elements and a currency system 2. Horde features a boss wave every 10 rounds 3. 4 player co op campaign that is longer than both previous games 4. New weapons and enemy attacks that force players to move from cover and change combat dynamically (lambent stalks and digger grenades for example) 5. Beast mode - huge addition 6. Dedicated servers - I was actually booted from the Gears forums forever for saying it was ridiculous for them to sell us new maps when matchmaking wasn't dedicated. Sure it would have been nice to be in from the beginning, but we are talking about upgrades here, not rehashing our wishlist for Gears 2. 7. New lighting system, it looks awesome, way better than Gears 2. Saying Gears 3 only offers new maps is pretty ridiculous.

Syk0_k03r
Syk0_k03r

@lordxephon All Gears 3 adds is weapons and maps to a 2006 game. So much for immensely improved LMAO! Oh yeah, and dedicated servers, something they ought to have put in 3 years ago. @CEMETARY_GATESx Gears 3 beta is just as silly and shotgun infested as the rest of the series. If you actually played the beta, you wouldn't be spewing out nonsense that epic feeds you. If you actually played gears of war 2, you would know that horde was SO EASY that if you didn't get Hoard the Horde achievement on the second try, you should just return the game cause you're hopelessly terrible at it. LMAO! You're the one who should stick to COD. After all, you have the shame to rate MW2 a 9/10! LOL!

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@HYDROtheDON Cause the third one comes in 1 month and were playing the 3rd one's beta?

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Seto_Akari Wrong dude; only by checking multiplayer you see a small part the evolution within the game. Don't talk without checking the game first, please.

Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@Tokhmekhar The detailed environment, the background story, Horde Mode, well leveled difficulty, machine-gun chainsaws and all the other creative weapons, deep characters, high replay value, continuous improving multyplayer, high production values. How about playing the game before posting a statement like that?. If you played already you should re-check the game, I think you missed 1 or 20 good details...

CEMETARY_GATESx
CEMETARY_GATESx

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

lordxephon
lordxephon

@Syk0_k03r you obviously dont know anything about Gears of War. Anyone that actually played Gears of war 2 likes Gear of War 3 10x more because they actually improved it immensely unlike the call of duty sequels where they just change the weapons and maps.

Syk0_k03r
Syk0_k03r

@FISHXMARKET NONE of that has anything to do with actual improvement. Oh look! We take a 2006 game, slightly update the graphics, add generic gamemodes everyone has played, and there is gears 3! LMAO! Horde 1.0 was very easy and repetitive. Adding more traps and slapping on a 2.0 will not make it better. Even if the online doesn't result in a broken state (which I doubt) it will be the same "roll around, cross your fingers, and keep firing your shotgun" gameplay that is not fun nor original. Gears of war 3 will be as generic as most shooters

paranormalnut
paranormalnut

Loved 1 and 2. Getting the gears epic pack day one..

grim0187
grim0187

Cant wait for this. One of the best reasons to be an Xbox owner

santinegrete
santinegrete

I don't know if this third game can outsell other higher expected third (or not) games of this year... but I know I'm gonna get it! still hope the Firmware update doesn't screw my old xbox from dec 2006.

rain05
rain05

@HydrotheDon Maybe you need to change your internet options on your xbox from automatic to Manual. Manual settings improve your connection which lets you find more players then you could with an automatic connection Worked wonders for me on RDR

AiGeeEn1
AiGeeEn1

skayj2 :: why do you even bother bringing up your Precious MoronWarfare games in a Gears of War Article. I'm mean really if this was a Battlefield Article then yeah thats fine you can preach and brag like giddy' fanboy. But its Gears of War.. a Totally Different game. Gahd. lol you and your CODependence issues.

Hellknight13
Hellknight13

@HYDROtheDON Do you even have the Xbox connected to the Internet?

rain05
rain05

The first GEARS I absolutely loved. It's one of my top 5 games on the 360. The second Gears really turned me off. To me gears 2 felt rushed. The weapons just never felt as killer as Gears 1. Also the cover system and movemnt of the characters felt awkward from Gears 1. They lost that heaviness of carrying that heavy armor to a more simplified feeling.. Hopefully Gears 3 will bring me back.

Jim60360
Jim60360

it's funny how people are saying this looks trash. If that's true then why does this game have more pre-orders than Battlefield 3 and MW3 combined?

skayj2
skayj2

Lol you guys are idiots, just because the designers decided to keep the game fundamentals the same doesn't mean it's just a re-hash... There are many improvements, such as the graphical improvements, the dynamism, the increased depth of story (which is a massive improvement because in my opinion a good story is what separates good games from great games) and the new environments/multiplayer and weapons. This is totally different from MW2 - MW3 where the latter looks literally identical in gameplay, appearance and environment to the former... And is also made by a corporation who takes advantage of the generic fps addicts who just like to shoot at sh!t and don't give a toss about the story (which i actually like in the MW series)...

jazzdmwlover
jazzdmwlover

@HYDROtheDON hey its funny man but the world record for most people playing a game online at the same time is held by GOW2, and almost three years after it was released people still play it online. Get your facts straight and get off the video comments if you don't like the game.

RonTorque
RonTorque

Was that Cole wearing a Cap?! Awesome!

advanracer
advanracer

Syk0_k03r We Understand Your Frustration. Really. We do. yeah right.

FISHXMARKET
FISHXMARKET

Syk0_k03rSo-"alot of people buy COD because it says Call of Duty on the box... That reminds me of another series, called GEARS OF WAR. Here we have a game that offers little improvement over gears 2" Gears of War is an amazing series due to its incredible gameplay. Call of Duty is a silly point and shoot game that never really grabbed my attention as well as many others. Gears of War takes a different kind of player to master the movement, (that has now been redone) the strategy (which never seems to get old) and the beautiful symphony of brutality which makes Gears of War come to life. The graphics are better than ever as well as the controls. Not only will Gears of War 3 feature their longest campaign yet, but now Horde has been revamped to add traps and more strategy. Next in line is Beast Mode. Now you can take Locust control in your own hands and try to eliminate the COG Team before time runs out. If all of this wasn't enough, the new multiplayer seems to be nothing below excellent. It's faster, bloodier, and offers a variety of new executions and game modes. Gears of War 3 will be Godlike compared to all other shooters.

dono14
dono14

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Syk0_k03r
Syk0_k03r

@xboxfanonly So alot of people buy COD because it says Call of Duty on the box... That reminds me of another series, called GEARS OF WAR. Here we have a game that offers little improvement over gears 2 (a game that could use ALOT of improvement) and outhypes games that are actually worthy of it. Such as dark souls, skyrim, and deus ex hr. Just like MW2 was before release!

ThAdEa82
ThAdEa82

@Lazerith91 - I agree, but horde is what shines for multi in the series. imo

advanracer
advanracer

gamer155555555 :: 2 DAYS IN A ROW. SAME COMMENT HUH? Thumb Junkie.

AiGeeEn1
AiGeeEn1

dcmoney20 LMAo. Nice Try.

blueguykisame
blueguykisame

never appreciated the multiplayer; takes far too long to kill somebody and is just too slow and clunky for my tastes, but i'll surely still put a few hours into it there. Particularly, I'm hoping Horde 2.0 is an amazing experience, and expect the same fun from the campaign as i had in 1 and 2. Plus more co-op. :) Can't wait!!

gamer155555555
gamer155555555

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Seto_Akari
Seto_Akari

Everything is the same over and over again. There's nothing new to these games.

Lazerith91
Lazerith91

@HYDROtheDON You know there is more to a game besides it's online play...

HYDROtheDON
HYDROtheDON

if gears is such a hot series, why is there nobody online on part 2??

Ares360
Ares360

I really wish more studios would do what epic does, its about time a game studio develops a game around co-op thats more than just 2 players and is engrossing and difficult all the while. Hard to find a great co op game, and with 4 players campaign, 5 players Horde 2.0, and a kick ass multiplayer, Gears 3 will be all that and more.

Tokhmekhar
Tokhmekhar

this is normal game . what is different between 3 version this game. just behind on stone & fire & go forward ! nothing make big this game ! sux

Ridgeblader
Ridgeblader

Um yes...................indeed.........indeed.

kenthuss
kenthuss

This Would Be The Game Of The Year

CTR360
CTR360

i cant wait any more GEARS OF WARS 3 rules