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Gears of War 3 - Xbox 360

  • Publisher: Microsoft
  • Genre:Action, Shooter
  • Developer: Epic Games
  • Release Date:Sep 20, 2011
  • # of Players:1 player
  • ESRB:M - Mature (Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language)
  • Platforms:
Game Description: Gears of War 3 is the final chapter in Epic's gritty shooter. Gears plunges players into a harrowing tale of hope, survival, and brotherhood. With the last human city destroyed and the remaining survivors stranded, time is running out for Marcus and his comrades as they fight to save the human race from the jaws of extinction.
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    4.6 / 5
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Gears of War 3 Campaign Hands-On Preview -- Act 1 Cuts Deep
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Article_75233

Gears of War 3 Campaign Hands-On Preview -- Act 1 Cuts Deep

By Miguel Concepcion - Posted Aug 15, 2011

It's rare to see a franchise achieve its third installment on the same console it began from. When they do happen, they're often quite memorable, if the likes of Super Mario Brothers 3, Dragon Quest III, and Devil May Cry 3 are any indication. Thanks to the current prolonged console cycle, we're gonna see what talented studios are going to pull off with over half a decade of exposure to the same dev tools. To complement the survivalist tone of Resistance 3 and the epic adventure of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, this fall brings us the amped and aggro return of Delta Squad and Gears of War 3.


Epic Games' third-person shooter series has come along way since the boxy, right angle-intensive designs of Act 1 from the first Gears Of War. In the initial portion of GoW3’s single-player campaign, which we recently had a chance to go hands-on with, monotonous graytones have given way to a wider eye-catching color palette and antiquated old world architecture is replaced with an Ark-like Raven’s Nest. It’s one of the biggest, most fleshed out naval vessels I’ve ever playthrough in a videogame. It does help that the Raven’s Nest consists of three ships and an Imulsion rig.

This also makes it an unsurprisingly prime battlefield for the Lambent Locust as well as Delta Squad. This comes with the usual GoW abundance of exploding barrels, attack options beyond the Lancer, and of course, spots to duck and cover. And you’ll need all the cover you can find, because the Lambent Stalks are all over the place, dropping other Lambent.

This opportunity to play GoW3’s first act also showed us the full version of the dual perspective narrative that we all saw in its abbreviated form at E3, where we saw how Cole Train's foursome aids Fenix's team in taking out the the Lambent Leviathan. While this takedown only took 10 minutes at E3, the true length of Act I is a much more drawn out affair that will take many players over two hours.


With Epic's Bulletstorm still fresh in our minds, it a nice change and contrast to return to more grounded yet equally sensational weapons with Gears. The "old pair of shoes" appeal of both Lancers doesn't get old, and it's addicting to get in those gruesome melee kills. This hands-on time also gave us the opportunity to operate both the exo-suit industrial forklift loader and its militarized suped-up version, the Silverback. As we saw at E3, this mini walking tank packs a punch and makes for a good shield for your buddies at the cost of swift mobility for the Silverback pilot

The gameflow is much more engaging too, aided by the fact that many of Delta Squad’s first few goals are focused on damage control as the Lambent cause havoc on the ship. If it's not a helipad that needs to be raised, it's a literal fire that needs to be put out. Moreover, backtracking is kept to a minimum, focusing more on exploration of newer areas of this vast amalgam of ships.

If there's one aspect to Gears of War 3's story that makes it stand out over the last two games, it's a greater emphasis on sentimentality. The subplot concerning Marcus' relationship with his dad actually starts off the game as a poignant prologue dream sequence. It's a light bloom-drenched playable scene that provides a brief refresher on the controls before the game starts proper. The fact that the scene involves Marcus defending his dad’s home from a siege of Locusts also makes for a finely blunt metaphor. Elian Fenix also factors into the narrative near the end of Marcus' Act I story arc where he hints at a discovery of the true importance of the Imulsion.

Gears of War 3

Any Gears fan can make an educated guess on how sentimentality would fit in with Cole Train. A return to Hanover also meant a visit to the Cougars' thrashball stadium. Seeing Cole fantasize about the past is a touching moment and adds perspective to all the past scenes in the series where The Stranded revere Cole as a celebrity. The continual presence of Lambent Locust quickly bring Cole back to the present, though, and he's happy to do so.

It was also during this portion that I played around with the more heavy duty weapons of the game, including the tandem-operated vulcan cannon. At one point I also had to operate a mortar in order to take down--believe it or not--a living Locust airship.

The aforementioned gameflow is even more impressive in this section of Act I. The way the levels transition from the Stranded outposts in Hanover to the stadium to the bridge at the end of Act I felt incredibly seamless (the presence of a zipline almost always helps with these kinds of transitions too).

Gears of War 3

The most important thing this first act achieved is in setting the tone for the rest of the game. If these first couple hours were any indication, it's quite a challenge imagining what's going to come next. Perhaps we'll also see and play through moments of introspection with Dominic and Anya. If Epic Games knows how to maintain momentum, then we're pretty sure this grand Leviathan takedown won't be the game's only highlight.

Comments are Closed

  • claytonm20

    I can't wait for gears of war 3 i have waited a long time for this game. it looks so epic

    Posted: September 15, 2011 6:47 PM
    claytonm20
  • Arm3g3don

    "Carmine, look out!" *huge block of debris hurtles his way* Haha. Too bad.

    Posted: August 16, 2011 6:37 AM
    Arm3g3don
  • Cathartic Denoument

    Yeahhh..It was utterly PAINFUL to watch this newb demo the campaign for us.
    If you're trying to get as much gameplay footage as you can within 20 min., you'll definitely need a more adept Gears player. And if the player is actually skilled but was just messing around, then you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Also, yes..this DEFINITELY needed a "SPOILER ALERT" Warning above the first video.
    I thought the hands-on preview was only in the written format & not in one of the videos; I thought the videos were only trailers we've already seen.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:26 PM
    Cathartic+Denoument
  • donteatsoap7

    Drop the controller and hand over your copy of Gears 3.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 9:43 PM
    donteatsoap7
  • Mateo_Grandezo

    the player sucks the game is excellent.... preordered since April, will be worth the wait

    Posted: August 15, 2011 7:23 PM
    Mateo_Grandezo
  • stickeicky

    A shotgun from that far way... whoever is playing this deserves to die three times.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 5:23 PM
    stickeicky
  • stickeicky

    A shotgun from that far way... whoever is playing this deserves to die three times.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 5:22 PM
    stickeicky
  • lowkevmic

    Am I the only one who's excited about the fact that you can actually play sections in campaign mode as someone other than Marcus or Dom for a change?? I mean don't get me wrong I love their story, but each character have equally interesting storylines. So it's long overdue to finally get to play as them in the campaign.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 2:14 PM
    lowkevmic
  • Lacking_Fractal

    I'd be a helluva lot more interested in this preview if the video quality didn't suck so much.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 2:09 PM
    Lacking_Fractal
  • permanent_nirvana

    Effffing sweet! September can't get here fast enough.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 12:40 PM
    permanent_nirvana
  • thekillerislive

    while the game looks awesome and I am definitely looking forward to playing the whole game, why is it that when you see someone play like the first 15 min or more in a video game preview, the person playing the game is just absolutely terrible, I mean this person works at a video game based job why are they so bad, this had to be on casual right and get down 3 TIMES are you serious, it just makes me mad that this has probably the worst person I have ever seen play gears of war I have seen little kids that play better then that. still looking forward to the game but please next time you do a video preview for a game make sure the person knows how to play the actual game.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 12:06 PM
    thekillerislive
  • WindyWillie

    It's funny how people believe the player's skil is what people do on preview of the game itself. How can people realistically say, I the person playing was trash and I can do much better... and not admire immersion that took 20 minutes of one's life? GoW looks promising and I will be getting it in Emergence Day for sure.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 11:15 AM
  • TrueCarey

    I'm pretty sure that the person this has never played Gears of War in their lives.. no active reloads, didn't use the cover mechanic, got downed so many times, That's just unimpressive...

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:45 AM
  • zagnut36

    OK IM SO THRILLED TO SEE THIS BUT I WISH I HADENT BECOUSE THE SUSPENCE IS KILLING ME I WANT THIS GAME ALREADDY PS On a side note Morgen you look hot !!!!!! Ok Im done lol

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:35 AM
  • jrvolta

    Man who ever is playing as Cole really needs to practice a little more, but badass preview. Just making me want to play the game even more

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:34 AM
  • xxdegfxx

    why does the player suck? and he's playing on a difficulty below casual? -__-

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:19 AM
    xxdegfxx
  • ddf

    that is the girl from farscape

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:10 AM
    ddf
  • TopFire

    Why can't they ever get someone who knows how to play a game to star in these videos?

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:07 AM
  • BrenLeahey

    I'm sorry whoever was playing this, but did you know about the cover mechanic this series is kind of famous for.

    Posted: August 15, 2011 10:07 AM
    BrenLeahey
  • ninenightmares

    Yeah it should have..... and the video cuts off half way........ thanx g4

    Posted: August 15, 2011 9:07 AM
    ninenightmares
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