The Gears of War 3 Beast Mode guide becomes required reading if you're looking for success. GoW3 takes the game into foreign territory by letting you play as all kinds of different Locusts, and not just Drones anymore. Now you'll get to play as everything from a Ticker to a Berserker, and there are plenty of Locust types that are brand new to Gears this time around, and you'll get to play as them too.
But, in order to experience life inside the skin of a Locust, you'll need to figure out how each of them operate. That's where our Guide comes in. Here, you'll learn all about how to drive the Locust, what their special moves are, and when you'll want to use them.
What Is It?
First of all, Gears 3's Beast Mode has one simple goal: kill all of the humans. You have a limited amount of time to do that, but you'll gain more time by killing humans and destroying their fortifications. These are all the same fortifications that you can purchase as a human when you play Horde 2.0: barbed wire fences, turrets, and everything right on up to the Silverback.
While you're killing and destroying, you're also earning all-important cash (what do the Locust use as currency, exactly?) that you'll use to purchase different types of Locust species. These will be made available through four different tiers, and you'll unlock the higher tiers as you play, with higher tiers containing more powerful creatures. Survive through 12 waves, and you'll win the mode. It's more bragging rights and an XP chase than anything else, but boy is it fun.
Also, beware the COG Heroes that will appear from time to time. These foes have to be executed and not just killed. That's a problem when you down them far behind fortifications that will take you awhile to chew or pound your way through. Just listen for the execution bell and be prepared to haul ass to that heroes location, or else they'll be back up on their feet soon enough slinging more lead at you. If your time runs out while you're playing, the Hammer of Dawn will smash down no matter what map you're on and will kill your entire team, so keep a close eye on those precious seconds.
What To Do?
Until you unlock all of the different tiers of Locust creatures, you're going to need to be a lot more strategic in your choices. Eventually, you'll just start Berserkering your way through everything. But before you can do that, you need to earn your stripes. You do that by destroying fortifications and killing humans. Starting off, there are two great ways to do that: Tickers and Wild Tickers. Tickers can explode and do great damage to fortifications, earning you much needed bucks. Early in each wave, clear out the fortifications near your starting point. But note: you'll start each wave with only one minute on the play clock, so you'll need to earn additional time with kills and destruction.
If you're looking to get quick kills immediately, start with the Wretch who can leap over obstacles, and then stun enemies with his scream and lay into them with your melee attack. If you're looking for a pure Locust-fest, the Savage Drone offers the closest experience you'll get while playing the main campaign. These are the ground fodder you're frequently going up against, and they play just like the normal Gears do: roadie run, cover, fire, etc. Because you're probably experienced with that playing style, this is your best bet for racking up points. Just remember to clear out fortifications first.
As you progress through waves, the fortifications will get tougher as well. You'll have turrets firing at you. You'll be fooled by decoys. You'll fight Gears in Silverbacks. So yes, it does get a lot tougher. But luckily, you'll unlock bigger and badder Locusts the more you play. And the good news is that you'll carry those over into your next match as well. Personally, I like upgrading to the Boomer and playing as him, but that's just because I'm addicted to the Boomshot. When I'm not Booming, I'll play as the Kantus to help revive and heal team members (you'll get a "Press X" icon on the bottom of the screen when you can do that) to keep things moving quickly. Even better when you're the Armored Kantus.
By the time you unlock the Berserker, you'll want to play as her over and over, but she's very expensive at $5625, and you'll run out of cash quickly. She's also somewhat blind, so you won't see much of the map at once, and you'll be very vulnerable to long-range fire. Drones, Maulers, Boomers, Grenadiers: these are the units that get the job done once the Tickers have cleared out defenses. But also consider using some of the stranger units like the Savage Corpser and the Giant Serapede, just for the pure fun factor. Burrowing into the ground as the Corpser can be a lot of fun. Especially when you pop out and kill Gears or Stranded from behind.
What's Wrong With It?
I won't deny that Beast Mode is tons of fun, but there are a couple of things wrong with it. One is that when you're taking damage, a Locust Horde symbol appears and starts filling up with red, letting you know you're taking damage. But unlike the Gears in the game, your damage won't heal over time. Whatever you have is whatever you've got, which will force you to make some strategic decisions in the game. It's a bit distracting right in the middle of the screen, and I would have just preferred the old "Screen Gets Red" option, or an icon in a different spot.
Also, you can't play Humans vs. Locust in this match, which is a real shame. Wouldn't you want to go up against your buddies playing as the Gears, while you throw Locust fury at them? Instead, you're only taking part on the Locust side of things. This was the same problem in Wizards of the Coast's recent Magic the Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012, when you couldn't play as the Archenemy in that game mode, although they've now fixed that via DLC. Hopefully, Epic plans on letting you have a true head to head Best Mode sometime down the line.
No Brumak. For some reason, there's no option to reach an fifth tier and play as a Brumak. Or what about as Queen Myrrah? There's a tantalizing empty square in Tier Four, which makes me think something special will be coming down the line, but right now those bigger (or more beautiful) baddies just aren't in the mix.
Still, the Mode remains very addicting, and you're going to have a blast playing it. Here's a guide to the different Locust types, and how they control. Start picking out your favorites now, and dive in.
Wild Ticker ($75): Wild Tickers are quick but frail. Their melee attack is fantastic for destroying enemy fortifications, and automated fortifications cannot damage them. Controls: B: Attack Fortification, RT: Attack Fortification, X: Eat Grenade.
Ticker ($75): Tickers are walking bombs. Their only attack is self-destruction. Controls: A: Run, B: Explode, RT: Explode.
Wretch ($225): Wretches are melee attackers that can scream to stun nearby enemies. They can also jump over barriers using their jump attack. Controls: B: Melee Attack, A: Use Cover, X: Stun Scream.
Savage Drone: ($450): Drones are standard Locust troops. These Savage variants are equipped with Retro Lancers. All standard controls apply. Controls: RT: Shoot, A: Use Cover.
Butcher ($300): Butchers are large but slow melee creatures. Controls: A: Run/Mantle, RT: Swing Cleaver, B: Melee attack.
Kantus ($975): Kantus cannot take cover, but they can revive fallen allies from a distance and heal nearby allies. They are also equipped with ink grenades. Controls: X: Heal/Revive Scream, RT: Shoot, A: Evade
Bloodmount ($750): Bloodmounts are primarily melee but have an AI-controlled gunner that can be directed using spotting, allowing them to attack two targets at once. Controls: A: Run/Mantle, B: Melee Attack, Left Stick Click: Spot For Rider
Mauler ($1350): Maulers are walking siege creatures. They can close by protecting themselves with their shield, and then attack at close range with their powerful explosive flair. Controls: LT: Raise Shield, RT: Flail Attack, A: Run/Mantle
Giant Serapede ($1350): Serapedes are vulnerable at the tip of their tail, but are very tough otherwise. They attack by biting their enemies. Controls: RT: Bite Attack, B: Bite Attack
Savage Corpser ($900): The Savage Corpser is a large, armored creature that gets in close to crush enemies. It can also burrow underground to hide and heal itself. Controls: X: Burrow/Emerge, RT: Leg Stomp, B: Leg Stomp
Savage Grenadier ($1050): Grenadiers are powerful Locust shock troops. They wield shotguns and frag grenades. Controls: RT: Shoot/Throw, A: Use Cover
Boomer ($1500): Boomers are slow, lumbering creatures who can lob explosive rounds from range. Controls: A: Run/Mantle, RT: Shoot, B: Melee/Attack
Berserker ($5625): Berserkers are nearly blind, but also nearly indestructible. Fortifications and humans can be crushed with ease. Controls: A: Charge, B: Fist Smash
Armored Kantus ($3375): Armored Kantus are virtually immune to bullet damage, can revive or heal nearby allies, fire dual Gorgon pistols, and can roll into enemies to damage them. Controls: A: Roll, X: Heal/Revive Scream, RT: Shoot
Savage Boomer ($1650): Savage Boomers launch powerful underground digging projectiles. Controls: A: Run/Mantle, RT: Shoot, B: Melee Attack