October began with news that Epic Games' Gears of War 3 would not be hitting its previously scheduled April 5 deployment date. Instead, Epic and publisher Microsoft opted to push the game into late 2011, effectively turning it into the Xbox 360's tent pole release for the important end-of-the-year shopping season.
Gears fans can take heart, though, because many won't need to wait until the end of the year to try out the latest installment in Epic's 12 million-unit-selling sci-fi shooter franchise. Today, Epic Games confirmed for GameSpot that a multiplayer beta-testing phase will be available prior to Gears of War 3's fall launch. Specific details on how gamers can gain access to the beta test have not yet been revealed.
News of the beta-testing phase will likely be taken well by those who recall Gears of War 2's problematic multiplayer experience. More than two months after the game's November 2008 release, Epic put out a sizable title update that sought to rectify dozens of player exploits and bugs, ranging from invisibility to unlimited ammo.
Gears of War 3 will offer an apocalyptic finale to the series, which began in November 2006. According to Microsoft, the last human city has been obliterated, with Marcus Fenix trying to protect the remaining humans from the Locust horde and from newer, deadlier foes, the mutating Lambeth.
For more on Gears of War 3's multiplayer, including word on new modes, weapons, and dedicated servers, check out GameSpot's brand-new preview and the latest interview below.