Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Map Preview

Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Map Preview

By - Posted Feb 24, 2011

Gears of War 3

Gears of War is known for having a gripping campaign, but the multiplayer is what sucks you in and keeps you coming back for more. In Gears of War 3, there will be six maps available in the final game, four of which will be available in the beta. The two confirmed beta maps are Trashball and Checkout. The other two will be decided by fans via the Gears 3 Facebook page. During the preview event, I was able to check out the maps: Checkout, Trenches, Mercy, Old Town, Overpass and Thrashball, and just one game mode, Team Deathmatch. 

What’s nice about TDM in Gears 3 is that instead of it being about which team can rack up the most kills in a set time, each side has 15 respawns, and the team that runs out first loses. This round-based system adds an extra level of intensity because it leads to a lot of last man standing scenarios, which are always thrilling. For more on the other modes, once again check out our previous multiplayer preview.

Gears of War 3


Checkout is set in an old supermarket, with tipped over shelves and freezer cases providing cover positions, and a circular layout that pushes teams to constantly be rotating around the too-cluttered-to-pass interior space. A lot of the fights on this map came down to bum rushing around corners in large numbers.


There are a few spaces where you can peek through and pick guys off from a distance, but there are so many pillars and other objects obstructing your view that close quarters is really your best bet. What’s also great here is that along one side of the map are display cases that can be shot through, spraying glass and debris everywhere. Blind firing into these cases, and trying to snag enemies entering this area is just delightful to watch. Also, if you have someone who likes providing cover fire (like me) on your team, the staggered pillars that stretch the length of the map is a great place to use them, since mobility can be tight here if you don’t have cover.

Gears of War 3


Trenches is a visually stunning map that incorporates a pronounced wood theme, as you’d expect from…well, trenches. The map is set in late afternoon, giving it a crisp, orangey glow, which accentuates the sandy, wooden surroundings. On this map, it was very easy for teams to get bottlenecked in one particular section just ahead of a respawn point, causing quite a few massacres to unfold in the span of just a few seconds.


Once you’re able to push ahead though, you’re able to spot enemies approaching from the lower, more open portion of the map, leading to some great shooting gallery moments. But thanks to the One Shot placement that overlooks this position, it was rare to see anyone hold this area for very long. Although, this tide turning also had something to do with the random sandstorm that would blow into the map at various times through the matches, and make it impossible to see anything beyond four feet in front of you.

Gears of War 3


Mercy is a wide open map set in a bombed out monestary courtyard. Most of the action takes place on the periphery of the no man’s land in the center, which is extremely exposed, and doesn't offer much in the way of cover.


A mortar launcher can be found on a balcony that sits against one side of the map, directly in the center, giving the user a clear view of the entire battlefield, and making it easy to rain down explosive hell on all parts of the map. There are also two staircases on either end of the map that can be an ambusher’s dream, since it’s easy to spot enemies approaching and by the time they are able to see over the top of the stairs, you already have them in your sights. Because visibility is pretty high on this map, ranged weapons are preferred, but the edges of the central area can get claustrophobic fast, so stay on your toes.

Gears of War 3


Old Town is multi-district layout, with lots of alleyways and courtyards to maneuver through. The European-style village is laid out perfectly for ambushes as there are always side shoots to get you around the main flow of the lower and upper portions of the village.

Old Town

Taking cover is still crucial to your success in multiplayer, but it’s particularly true on this map as there are a lot of street corners and blind turns, so definitely proceed with caution. But be sure to capitalize on this when you have the high ground, since it’s easy to spot approaching enemies as they move through the central plaza and make their way to the left and right alleyways. Waiting around the top of these alleys is a great way to catch enemies completely by surprise.

Gears of War 3


The last map I played through was Overpass, which is set in a bombed out portion of a city. While it was my least favorite gameplay wise, it was my favorite from a visual perspective because it has a wonderful aesthetic composition thanks to the destroyed freeway backdrop and the dark, imposing cave on the far side of the map that serves as a constant reminder that the map is actually collapsing into the earth.


In fact, as matches progress, the map rumbles underneath you and water floods the streets. The environmental destruction has no impact on the gameplay, but it’s a great visual touch that gives the map a life all its own.

Gears of War 3


I didn’t have a chance to play Thrashball, a map set inside a dilapidated sports arena that finally gives us a view of what the Cole Train did for a living before killing Locusts became his main job.


What I can tell you though is that there’s a giant scoreboard hanging over the center of the arena, and not only does it actually keep score during matches, it can also be shot down and used to crush unsuspecting foes. Which is nice.

Gears of War 3

Comments are Closed

  • o_WOOKIEE_o

    This information is wrong. These 6 maps were used in the BETA to decide what the people like. I know this for a fact. Because in several interviews with Rod Ferguson he said they were bringing back Jacinto only it sinks as the match goes on. This article needs to do a little more research. The video is on YouTube, it was one of the first gameplay videos of GOW 3.

    There also adding Clock Tower, Gridlock, and Blood Drive in the final game. Why? They are Fan Favorites..

    These 6 maps were basically chosen because they all have a different style, they were testing what the people like, don't like, whats bad in a map, and what they need to change in the maps to make all their maps equally enjoyable. These are indeed facts. Go to Gearsofwar.com and stop going by a third party for your information, and maybe you'll see that this information isn't a 100% accurate.

    Posted: July 17, 2011 12:39 PM
  • o_WOOKIEE_o

    The information here is def wrong. There is more than 6 maps. A lot of maps are older maps also.. Like Jacinto, only it sinks and falls a part as the match goes on, they are also bringing back Blood Drive, Clock Tower and Gridlock. So there is 4 more. Trust me this information is wrong. These are indeed the 6 maps they were showing off, all these maps have different styles because they wanted to test the reactions of people in the beta to see what style people like the best so they can make all their maps fun and enjoyable.

    Posted: July 17, 2011 12:29 PM
  • rightchea

    20 maps that alot of any game that I have ever played. This will be the first Gears of War that I will pay even though I have beat the other two. I gonna have to work on my online play.

    Posted: February 28, 2011 4:25 PM
  • Mc1v3r

    WOW the whole 6 maps in the retail game is a TYPO there will be 20 maps in the full game if you search for all mp maps on youtube you'll find them. So stop hating guys ! 20 maps is more than most games come out with at the start and i'm sure they'll bring out even more !!

    Posted: February 28, 2011 3:40 AM
  • Korrupt

    Maps are looking balanced, nice.

    Posted: February 26, 2011 10:50 PM
  • reagenyouth125

    Love gears but 6 MP maps is WEAK.......don't you still have time to build more Epic?

    Posted: February 25, 2011 8:19 PM
  • BigPoppaChunk

    i am very sure that epic will give a free map pack of previous maps in a new copy as a pre order bonus as they did with gears 2 flashback and you will get another 5 or so maps plus within a month geta dlc of new maps say 3 with some more old ones thrown in. don't be a fool epics dlc is always good and worth the price unlike other games.

    Posted: February 25, 2011 7:57 AM
  • greeknerd

    Me wants

    Posted: February 24, 2011 6:11 PM
  • hailme786

    Please don't let there be only 6 six maps in the game. Quote from the article for those you go straight to comments. lookin @ you Rapture. "there will be six maps available in the final game"

    Posted: February 24, 2011 5:22 PM
  • x_nightwalker_x21

    I agree, it kinda sucks that there are only 6 maps, but I know that there will be more maps coming with map packs, and all of the balancing issues they addressed and dedicated servers that create a much better experience that won't suck like gears 2 more than makes up for the small amount of maps

    Posted: February 24, 2011 4:33 PM
  • mgmagr

    No YOU get Your facts straight, it says "there will be six maps available in the final game" meaning retail game, hes not talking about the beta, hes talking about how there will be only 6 maps at launch for the game.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 3:02 PM
  • superruffles

    They always come out with map packs too!

    Posted: February 24, 2011 2:34 PM
  • Rapture117

    ^ Dude, what the hell are you talking about? These journalists got to play these maps at the Microsoft event. There will be 4 maps total in the beta, in which two of them are up to the fans based on their decisions. There will obviously be more maps in the full retail version, so get your facts straight next time..

    Posted: February 24, 2011 1:39 PM
  • OneEyedJohnny

    Just 6 maps in the final game? That is pretty weak considering all the extra time they have been given.

    Posted: February 24, 2011 1:10 PM