Who Was There: Executive producer Rod Fergusson and creative director Cliff Bleszinski make up the panel, with a guest appearance by Paul Jr. from the show American Chopper.
What They Talked About: Fergusson and Bleszinski began the panel by talking about how Gears of War 3 is a more personal story this time around, not only for the characters but also for them, as both developers lost their fathers at a young age. In the final installment of the trilogy, we'll find out about how the war against the Locust will end, as well as learn more about Marcus Fenix and the relationship with his father. It will be Epic's biggest campaign yet, with four-player cooperative play on top of several multiplayer modes, Horde mode, and Beast mode.
Epic Games has a close connection with its community by being active on Twitter and visiting the forums, taking in feedback, and analyzing how players play. Fergusson stressed how much he wanted to make this the most accessible and approachable game in the series for anyone to jump in and play. Each player can choose his or her own difficulty level when playing through the campaign so that no one should feel overwhelmed. He announced that there will be a casual area in the online multiplayer for those who do not have any achievements from the previous two games. Only players who do not have any prior Gears experience can enter this area to get a feel for the game, and they will also have aim assist. Bleszinski described it as "reverse VIP."
Next, the panel announced that Isaiah Mustafa--known for his manly man Old Spice commercials--will be joining the cast, voicing one of the COG Gears. Bringing on even more talent, Epic approached renowned graffiti artist OG Slick to make his mark in certain parts of the game.
They also talked about how Epic now has control as to what weapons players can spawn with, so torque bow tag is an option for special events.
At the end of the panel, Paul Jr. from the reality TV show American Chopper made an appearance to announce that he has designed a Gears of War bike and will build another one for a lucky winner. The contest is part of a Gears of War Best Buy online sweepstakes.
Quote: "The cast just keeps getting sexier and sexier."--Cliff Bleszinski commenting on the Isaiah Mustafa announcement.
Takeaway: It shouldn't be a total surprise by now, but Gears of War 3 definitely looks to be the biggest Gears yet.