|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: Epic Games|
|Pub: Microsoft Game Studios|
|Release: Q4 2011|
|Players: 1 - (2+ Online)|
|Screen Resolution: N/A|
Since 2006 the Gears of War franchise showed us a bloodier side of war and introduced us to new and exciting ways to expel the malicious alien threat known as the Locusts. The chainsaw-equipped Lancer machine gun, intuitive cover system, gorgeous environments, and big, manly space marines are just a few of the things this series has brought its many fans. Sadly, Gears of War 3 has been pushed back to the end of the year, but that only gives Epic Games more time to bring us an even better third installment, one that will live up to the hype and possibly set a new bar for the third-person shooter genre.
There's nothing quite as satisfying as running up behind an unsuspecting Locust soldier, digging the tip of your Lancer into the alien's back, and watching as the screen goes red as the creature's squishy insides cover the screen. To the uninitiated this might seem barbaric, perhaps even a little deranged. But anyone who's experienced this, with the possible exception of those who found themselves at the receiving end of it in a multiplayer match, knows how good it feels to tear your enemy apart in a way other juggernaut shooters Halo and Call of Duty can't offer. It feels good, and if the trend continues (and I'm sure it will), then we can look forward to a myriad of new ways to take out our foes.
Continuing the series' love for up close and personal combat, the double barrel shotgun will make its debut in the third game, so you can really mess your enemies up when they enter your personal bubble. Or you could always use the Pendulum War era Lancer that comes with its very own bayonet and get all medieval on them. There's also a crazy new weapon called the Digger Launcher that fires diggers that burrow under the ground for that little thing we call the element of surprise. Then we also have the One Shot that kills enemies with, you guessed it, one shot, a new turret and upgraded Gorgon Pistol.
Not enough? Maybe you have a bit of a hidden pyromaniac side and want to use the game's new incendiary grenades? In my humble opinion, the Gears series has had some of the best grenades (particularly how you use them) so a new way to set my enemies ablaze sounds mighty good. What about the mech suits you can drive that will bestow upon you a great power (that comes with great responsibility), though only during certain parts of the game (here's hoping no driving sections return). Those are just the announced additions, I'm sure we'll be seeing more as we draw ever close to the game's unannounced release date.
Easily the biggest addition to the game, and one fans of the series have been asking for since the original game, is the inclusion of four-player cooperative play throughout the entire single-player campaign as well as a handful of new playable characters. And guess what? Now you can choose from three females, and we can only hope their presence will help water down the game's excess of testosterone.