Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Blogger IDiivil Blows the Lid Off Gears 3 Multiplayer

Standing in line for the midnight release of Gears of War 3, I couldn't help but ask those around me what mode they were first going to be playing. Would they be unable to help themselves and jump directly into campaign, in desperate need to find out what happens to the war-torn world of Sera and the remains of the COG, or would they shun it entirely for all the new and updated features of Horde, Beast, and multiplayer madness?

In spite of the game being the last of its series, it seemed everyone was pretty excited about schooling some noobs over following any story, and when I loaded up multiplayer for the first time, I could see why.

The final installment in the Gears of War series brings several changes, and with it, some neat little tricks to help kick some player behind. Epic not only introduced Team Deathmatch - a multiplayer mode similar to Warzone, only with 15 lives for the team rather than one each - but also added in some unique cover mechanics. You can now vault over whatever you are hiding behind and kick away enemies hunkering down before you, giving you a few extra seconds while your opponent recovers to blow him away with your trusty shotgun.

Weapon changes have made your shotgun a little less trusty than before, though. While a gnasher or a sawed off is indispensable in close quarters combat, the lancer, retro lancer, and hammerburst have been given a few upgrades to make anyone with a hand for it a considerable foe. Snapping off a few shots of the lancer at a charging target, for example, now offers a push-back feature, so good luck to all you shotty players out there in getting close if your enemy catches you first!

If player versus player isn't your thing, there are also the Beast and Horde modes. The latter is similar to the previous Gears Hordes, but now includes a sort of tower defense mechanic. Unlike before, you now select a base before beginning the game and use the money made throughout in killing enemies to fortify yourself from the very same. Because Epic has since limited ammo and special weapons, no longer giving you an unlimited supply to heft up and kill with, you'll want those defenses!

 Beast mode, on the other hand, is entirely new. It is similar to Horde with its COGs and its defenses, but as the name suggests, you are no longer a human being, but one of the Locust. You have twelve waves with about a minute timer each to destroy the humans, and with every person downed or fortification destroyed, a few precious extra seconds are awarded. As you progress farther into the waves and earn more cash and kills, more locusts unlock, all the way to the bottom tier where you can choose to be a mighty berserker (oh, and how mighty she is). The humans are backed up by heroes, though, such as Jace, Dizzy, and Marcus Fenix, and the game has acknowledged their power by only allowing executions to fully kill them. This isn't too problematic in the easier difficulties, but once you start choosing hardcore and insane, getting to heroes to properly finish them becomes very trying.

With all these new modes, it's hard to keep track of one's kill/death ratio or how much butt you really are kicking, so Epic decided to make it a little easier for players who love to know just how good they are. By adding an updated Stats & Awards page, players can see their statistics in every mode of the game, and the medals and ribbons pages show one's progress and boasts of any difficult tricks one has managed to pull off.

Of course, that just means I get to stare at my less than remarkable score and wonder why I'm so freakin' awful.

Overall, a ten out of ten from the IDiivil. Gears of War 3, in this gal's opinion, is certainly the most polished and thought out game of the series.

Now, I'm going to pick up my controller and go back to filling someone with bullets.

This week's esteemed guest blogger, IDiivil

IDiivil is a gamerchick model who spends her free time chasing herself some Auburok tail. With a penchant for achievement hunting and laughing manically while dominating some poor player, it's otherwise rare to ever find IDiivil away from a television screen and her ever loved Xbox 360.

You can find IDiivil on Facebook here.

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