Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Beta Impressions

Gears of War is one of the most popular franchises on the Xbox and in a few months the third installment of the game will be released. While Epic is hard at work testing the single player and putting on the finishing touches, they are poised to release the multiplayer beta onto the world starting next week for those who bought Bulletstorm for the 360. So what can people look forward to during this beta?

Well, if you’ve played Gears of War you can expect more of the same and then some. Team Deathmatch is still intact and will have you splitting off into teams of five to kill each other till your set number of reinforcements are depleted. King of the Hill also makes a returns to the series. The first of the new modes has been released though in Capture the Leader mode. Combining some aspects of previous modes, these matches start with a team leader being assigned at the beginning of round. The object is simply to knock down the other team’s leader and then use them as a “meatshield” till a timer runs out. Once the timer reaches zero, the hostage taking team wins. The mode is simple enough and can be quite fun as long as the teams are at least close to being evenly matched. If teams are slightly unbalanced, you might be looking at a sixty second or less round that will leave you cursing.

Speaking of teams, the maps that have been released into the beta so far are smartly designed to give teams that co-operate and communicate the upper hand. Choke points for ambushing, narrow hallways and plenty of waist high rubble will ensure that you will often be rewarded for not running blindly into a situation by yourself. With a little bit of teamwork you will able to setup some really fun traps and flanking maneuvers that will leave your enemies destroyed. My personal favorite map is Thrashball which has a little bit of height on one side of the arean and some fun places to get trenched in to provide covering fire while your teammates advance or mop up wounded enemies.

Killing will be easy with some of the new weapons that have been launched. So far the retro-lancer and the sawed off shotgun have made their way into the beta. The sawed off shotgun is already raising complaints of being over powering, but that is the nature of the gun. It has almost no range, a single shot clip capacity, and a rather lengthy reload time. The range of the gun almost makes this weapon into a glorified melee weapon, so make sure you make that single shot count.

The retro-lancer is a very interesting gun as well. It has higher damage output when compared to the standard issue lancer, but loses almost all accuracy with sustained fire which forces you to use quick burst firing techniques. The most visible difference is the lack of a chainsaw bayonet. The retro-lancer favors a more traditional blade bayonet which now can be used to perform a charging melee attack. Simply point yourself towards a target, hold down the b button and soon your enemy will be dangling off the end of your rifle waiting for you to proudly display it to your buddies. This charging attack is great for sneaking up on unsuspecting enemies and can really speed up the pace of a fight.

So far from my experiences, the gameplay doesn’t stray far from the previous Gears of War titles. That is to say, if you enjoyed the fundimental gameplay in the past, you will enjoy this. For beta it really feels polished and I have yet to encounter any glitches. Of course there have only been a couple of maps and gameplay modes released so far, so this could change soon. In the end this beta makes Gears of War 3 look like it’s a game for Gears of War fans. I highly doubt it will do much to convert the uninitiated, but frankly there’s not many of those left these days.

2 Comments

  1. AlexNo Gravatar
    Posted April 16, 2011 at 4:06 am | Permalink | Reply

    Team Deathmatch is a new game mode. It is not “returning”.

    • Carl WatkinsNo Gravatar
      Posted April 16, 2011 at 5:46 am | Permalink | Reply

      Frankly, Execution and Warzone have always been team deathmatch modes. This time around they just called it as much and put respawn in with it, but you are correct in that it is technically a new mode. I should have been more clear in that regards.

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