X06: Gears of War Co-Op Hands-On

We play through 20 minutes of Gears of War's campaign alongside another X06 attendee.

BARCELONA, Spain--At last night's X06 postconference "party," we had an opportunity to spend some quality time with Gears of War's warzone (team deathmatch meets last man standing) multiplayer mode. We've since learned--following a meeting with Epic Games' lead designer, Cliff Bleszinski--that the game will ship with a total of three different multiplayer modes, although the specifics of execution mode and resurrection mode aren't being discussed at this time. We can also report that Gears of War will ship with eight multiplayer maps and that (surprise!) postrelease downloadable content is already planned. The aforementioned "Cliffy B" certainly does a good job when it comes to talking about his latest game, but Gears of War is a game that's more than capable of speaking for itself, which is why, as soon as our meeting was over, we headed down to the main floor of the X06 event to get our hands on its campaign mode for the first time.

Both solo and cooperative play was available for Gears of War, and--partly because the lines were shorter and the TVs were bigger--we opted for the latter. On this occasion, we started playing through the demo at the same time as our partner, but in the finished game, you'll be able to jump in (via spectator mode) and out of co-operative games at any point, replacing or being replaced by a CPU-controlled character accordingly. You'll even be able to earn cheap achievement points in this way if you really want to, though in doing so you'll miss out not only on what promises to be a great gameplay experience, but also on other achievements that are only possible to unlock through your continued presence--collecting "COG tags" from fallen soldiers, for example. Co-operative play will be available on a single system using a horizontal split-screen, online via Xbox Live, or using two linked systems, as we were playing on this occasion.

The sequence that we played through was taken from the start of the game, when Dom Santiago rescues main character Marcus Fenix from a prison. We fought our way out of there without too much trouble (we later learned that we were on the easiest difficulty setting) and, just a few minutes later, we were boarding a helicopter at the start of the same sequence that we were shown at the Tokyo Game Show just last week. We were at the controls this time, though, so when the action got underway again, we were able try our hand at tossing frag grenades into Locust emergence holes, moving between areas of cover, and, of course, putting the chainsaw bayonet to good use. We didn't talk to the guy we were playing alongside at any time, but between us we instinctively did a good job of having one guy provide cover fire while the other flanked the enemies. At one point, we heard one of our CPU squadmates order us to "flank left" (you won't get to give orders until later in the game), and when we followed that order, we were pleased to find that it was most definitely the right course of action.

Other memorable moments during our time with Gears of War's campaign mode include reviving our colleague when he got killed, making an awful mess of an enemy by scoring a direct hit with a grenade (if you melee attack with a grenade equipped you can actually shove it up inside the enemy's body), and unlocking one of the game's many achievements--we think this was rewarded for getting a number of "perfect reloads" of our gun consecutively. The finished campaign mode, which it's estimated will take around 10 hours to play through, will tell a story that lasts for approximately 36 in-game hours. Although everything that we've seen of Gears of War in recent months has taken place in the daytime, it seems reasonable to assume that the first footage we ever saw (of the squad desperately trying to stay in lit areas at the dead of night) was taken from somewhere in the middle of the game in between the two days over which the story takes place.

That about wraps up our coverage of Gears of War from X06, save for us letting you know that even grenades that miss their targets will often make your enemies wince for a second, and although the chainsaw bayonet seems overpowered at times, getting hit by a single bullet when wielding it will make you stumble and lower your weapon briefly. We thoroughly enjoyed every minute that we spent with Gears of War in Barcelona this week, and we hope to bring you more coverage of the game in the not-too-distant future.

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Discussion

150 comments
Gerber_Baby
Gerber_Baby

So This Game is Co-Operative and you dont have to hook up to online.. Sweet :D

mikeyg756
mikeyg756

ugh i wish i had my 360 i got this game and the 360 in the house but obviously..its a christmas present...just when i got enough money to buy the both of them aswell :(

Maxer9
Maxer9

Ryan-06: You can, but in a firefight the person who takes cover is probably going to win.

capitancahonas
capitancahonas

The end of circle straffing is nigh!! I can't wait for this baby, **** the hype machine, if any of you 360 owners out there don't eat this mama up then I'm gonna tell Cliffy!!

Ryan-06
Ryan-06

wait, can you fire ur weapon if you're not behind any cover? cuz if u can't then that's just dumb.

ICMonkeys
ICMonkeys

This game os gonna rock, a Sci-Fi GRAW me thinks (Better features of course) Anyone who complains about the games 'Cover and Shoot' system then just continue playing Halo 2 where everyone runs around shooting and hoping they hit something. I don't know about everyone else but the only two games i've played thus far on the 360 that really emply tactics are GRAW and Chromehounds. So GoW is definitely a welcome addition.

kkuanloung
kkuanloung

X06 jus ended on 29 oct here in singapore.. not as many games as the barcelona version.. but at least they brought in gears and viva and lots of EA titles

adamsilverwood
adamsilverwood

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

Tungsten88
Tungsten88

head stomping is going to be awesome

mark_unix
mark_unix

it looks OK but nowhere near to the pre-rendered video's online. and mass effect uses the same engine "unreal3".

4X6X9
4X6X9

megaman....and techmaster its not Comedyco that saying the game looks stupid. its usedboyi who is saying the game looks stupid. and i dont know why he is saying this. i think this game will be bad @ss. it didn't win E3 awards for nothing. DUH!!!

megaman143
megaman143

hey comedyco how the hell could you even say that this game looks like crap the game has graphics almost as good if not as good as bioware's mass effect. whoever say that the graphics in this game suck is obviously on some form of drug or just doesent appreciate extremely good graphics.

keinuveye
keinuveye

wishing i had a wiimote that could blast me forward in time....

Kaintae1134
Kaintae1134

This game is going to OWN. God, I can't wait for this to come out.

techmaster05
techmaster05

Comedyco I dont know what your talking about but this game is going to be sick as hell. If you were at war with locusts (however you spell it) would you just go out in the open and start running around while shooting them ??? no I dont think so because you'd be dead before you could say anything. If your in a real war your not going to run out into the open and start shooting anything that moves, your going to take cover and try to protect yourself from dieing or getting shot and try to kill the other guy at the same time. Yes this game has 10 hours of story mode gameplay but its not like ,your not going to play the multiplayer. See 10 hours would last me a whole week if not longer cause i dont sit at home all day playing video games for about 5 hours straight. All im saying is that this game is going to be badass, even though the story mode is 10 hours, Multiplayer is what really counts and you guys know it to, for instance when G.R.A.W and BF2: Modern Combat came out people were playing the story mode a lot but than after a couple weeks of release people didnt even care about the story mode, they just played the mulitplayer and they still do, Do I make a point ???

Maquis_UK
Maquis_UK

can't believe how homoerotic the characters are. oooh duckie.

Reelhero1
Reelhero1

this game is goin to be great, i've already reserved mines. Also the game is goin to Come Out November 7 06, November 12 06, its just part of the campaign in this game.

Comedyco
Comedyco

Game looks fun. I'll rent it first and if I like it, I'll wait for a price drop.

Comedyco
Comedyco

pXxJoSexXp usedboyi Well this game looks like crap! I don't see what people are talking about. It looks like you go into cover every 2 seconds and put your gun of the top and shoot. Wow this is going to be great for multiplayer. No one is ever going to die. How boring! ------------------------------------------------------ why do you have GeoW icon? if you say is crap.. --------------------------------------------------------------------- He was being sarcastic, I think....

JaHi
JaHi

Along with Pro Evo 6 this is gonna be a must-have this Xmas! A Halo beater perhaps?

oweesdad
oweesdad

10 hours for 50 quid, are they serious?

pXxJoSexXp
pXxJoSexXp

usedboyi Well this game looks like crap! I don't see what people are talking about. It looks like you go into cover every 2 seconds and put your gun of the top and shoot. Wow this is going to be great for multiplayer. No one is ever going to die. How boring! ------------------------------------------------------ why do you have GeoW icon? if you say is crap..

CH4RL3Z
CH4RL3Z

this game looks like wow.

koudik1
koudik1

this looks like an amazing game, although the same expectations were held when fable first came out and fable was good and everything but it was WAY to short for an rpg like that. i hop gears or war isnt anything too short, or at least i hope it holds up to its expectarions.

zemognavi
zemognavi

I have a feeling gears of war is going to work the 360 to hard......

dukerav
dukerav

"(if you melee attack with a grenade equipped you can actually shove it up inside the enemy's body)" MUST TRY THIS AGHHH !!! Ok, enought of my ranting :P

Deadlocked4Life
Deadlocked4Life

sure, this game looks amazing, but why does every other site and magazine I check say the game isn't releasing until the 12th? I'm thinkin' Gamespot messed up on this release date. Anybody else know anything?

usedboyi
usedboyi

Well this game looks like crap! I don't see what people are talking about. It looks like you go into cover every 2 seconds and put your gun of the top and shoot. Wow this is going to be great for multiplayer. No one is ever going to die. How boring!

thekey
thekey

JimmyChalice Exscuse me. Haven't you seen any of the gameplay footage? This my friend isn't Killzone CGI 2, this is the real deal. ZosoFan I know I was shocked that EGM game this 360 game props. They almost always trash everything 360, the fact that they all had positive feed back about this game says alot. I actually went out and brought the issue, because of that. I can't wait for the game!!!!

MrMaddess
MrMaddess

WOW BOY DONT HALO HAVE COMPETION Gears of War look awesome i cant wait

Kjekk
Kjekk

im so exited about this game...and i want to see the achievement list! anyone now where i can find?

natemanxxx
natemanxxx

Gears was what made me want a 360 in the first place, I didn't care if that's the only game I got, and it STILL looks amazing. But now, Splinter Cell 4, Rainbow Six 5, Call of Duty 3 and BioShock have taken a stand, and I WANT EM TOO. Hopefully Epic decides to make UT07 for 360 after-all...

WFitzsi577
WFitzsi577

gears of war looks like its going to rock iv been wait since the 360 come out i cant wait

ryanthegamer
ryanthegamer

im getting a 360 soon and hopefully i get this 2

JimmyChalice
JimmyChalice

I only hope the game live up to all the hype it has created over the past since its debut trailer in E3 2005, i can't wait to get my hands on it and give it my own personal review. So far the game looks great, and has received positive feedback from the experts... but remmember this is only the demo its not the full version of the game.

ZosoFan
ZosoFan

game of the year imo. My god, even EGM said its the best looking game coming out visually and that it lives up to the hype. That should say ALOT

eljono
eljono

More games need online coop. pffff all games need online coop, gawd that made my day when i heard that. that is gonna add mad replay value. after you get tired of multiplayer deathmatch you can go play some coop for a change of pace. Woot!!!!! this game gets a 9.5 imho but thats without playing it and only going by game details. i have watched all the gameplay trailers so i have a good idea but I wont know for sure till i play it. splintercell will hold me over till this comes out.

Piaras007
Piaras007

I predict this game to be like every other 3rd person shooter - repetitive. It'll get between 8.0 - 8.5 IMO

august_king
august_king

Gears of War looks awesome! 2006 game of the year!!

ALLIAMOS
ALLIAMOS

break all your pc games after buying this game and before you buying it....

Cardigan1
Cardigan1

i preodered the collectors and already have it payed off this game is gonna kick ass.

AdMordem
AdMordem

The multi-player better be spectacular as while awesome single player is great, 10 hrs will make the memory pass much quicker... aww what am i saying.. i KNOW i will buy this game. I have the pre-order receipt to prove it!

Grubzic
Grubzic

Woot! IT looks great! I gotta get it!

Vektron11
Vektron11

One of two scenarios are going to take place: 1) They don't release a demo because its going to suck and they know they'll make tons of money the first day if they keep it under wraps OR 2) They dont release a demo because they want to keep the game a secret or they dont have enough time to. I hope it's the second, but it still seems kind of odd that we can't have a demo when people played one at the gaming expo this year. My prediction: 9.2

lithus
lithus

Looks solid but I hope there isn't that one little thing that ruins the whole. It's usually something cheesey, something simple that should have either been left out or put in or even toned up or down a notch. For Battlefield 2:MC it was the give-away HUD targeting system, Doom 3 was too dark, Halo 2 was too unrealistic (even for a sci-fi shooter ) and Half Life 2 on XBox had no multiplayer. I just hope this will be something like Splinter Cell: CT, Socom 2 or even Counter Strike/Day of Defeat (PC). I hope this last the test of time because its so good.