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E3 2011: Gears of War 3 Impressions

Feature; Jun. 10, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Ryan Goodman
Subtypes: Opinion, Preview
Gears of War 3, Microsoft's booth at E3, Horde mode... and a hands-on!
Los Angeles, CA, USA

The biggest Xbox 360 exclusive of the year is Gears of War 3. While some lucky few have already gotten the chance to play it in beta, thousands of others will have to wait for its release in September. But those lucky enough to be at E3 also got a hands-on look at the new game.

Gears of War 3

The demo shown on the floor is that of the wildly popular Horde mode, but this time, Epic has kicked it up a notch, adding a currency system. You begin the match with about $5,000, which you use to buy new weapons, upgrade them, and also build barricades, such as barbed wire fences, to keep the horde out. These barricades can be upgraded for a price. You can also buy stand-alone turrets to keep the horde at bay. You earn more money as you kill the horde, which you can then use before the start of the next wave. Character select has also been revamped quite a bit, offering more customization of your weapons, such as different skins for each of them.

Horde in Gear 3 plays pretty much the same is it did in Gears 2, aside from utilizing currency. You can still grab weapons that enemies drop, but as far as I could tell, there were no hidden weapons scattered throughout the level. They've also added a boss wave after every 10 waves. The wave in the demo featured a Brumak as the main boss. After we finished that fight, the demo ended.

I was blown away with the game, even though I only got to play for about 10 minutes. The graphics looked even cleaner than they did in Gears 2, and the game play is as smooth as ever. There were also no lag issues whatsoever. Overall, Gears of War 3 is shaping up to be the game to own this year on the 360. It releases on Sept. 20.

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