E3 '07: Gears of War Impressions

Microsoft announces that it's bringing Gears of War to the PC, and Epic's Cliffy B shows off an exclusive boss encounter with the mighty Brumak.


Gears of War

Though there were rumors and rumblings of Epic's top-selling Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War coming to the PC, Microsoft made it official during its E3 2007 press conference. While Microsoft's Shane Kim started things off by announcing that the game would ship with a game editor and some original content, it wasn't until Epic lead Cliff Bleszinski took the stage to provide a live demo of Gears of War in action on the PC that things really started to heat up.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

His first order of business was to showcase the Windows Live support in Gears of War, which he did by inviting his buddy Rod for a little co-op action. While waiting to sync up, Bleszinski touched on a few of the specifics of what will set the PC version of Gears apart from its Xbox 360 counterpart, citing five new single-player chapters, a new multiplayer mode, and several new multiplayer arenas. Once Rod got connected, taking the role of Gears second-banana Dominic Santiago, Bleszinski went on to show a boss fight with the massive Brumak, an enemy that many a Gears fan had lamented never getting to fight head-on in the original Xbox 360 release of the game.

As you'd expect from a Gears of War boss fight--especially against a towering monster equipped with two massive arm-mounted weapons, as well as an even more intimidating piece of firepower on its head--the action was fast-paced and brutal. The main tactics included circle-strafing the vicious Brumak and taking cover whenever possible, though Dom did have to be revived on one occasion. It's worth noting that Bleszinski played the brief demo with an Xbox 360 controller and thus employed techniques that should be familiar to veterans of the original game. (No comment on mouse-and-keyboard support was made.) Both fighters focused their fire on each of the Brumak's arm-mounted weapons, eventually taking them out of commission before focusing on its head. Just when it seemed like Marcus and Dom had this brute up against the ropes, Bleszinski ended the demo, explaining that he didn't want to ruin the end of the fight, and encouraging people to see it for themselves when Gears of War comes to Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Click to enlarge!
Click to enlarge!

From this short demo, we definitely got the impression that Gears on the PC will look better than its Xbox 360 counterpart, given its noticeably smoother frame rate and seemingly higher texture detail. However, Cliffy mentioned that the game would run on Windows XP as well as Windows Vista, which made us wonder if the game will support DirectX 10. Either way, we look forward to seeing more of Gears of War on the PC.

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