The final battle for Sera is about to kick off. Marcus and Dom are going to have use every fibre of their bulging manly muscles to saw down lambents and drones, and whatever else the Locust queen throws at them.
I've always been a bit fascinated by the Gears of War universe. It's such an obvious critique of how we live our lives, yet the story we experience in the games could be written down on a sheet of paper with room left over. There are concepts and ideas there worth pondering, but it doesn't impose on the player at all, and we are left to focus on the next bunch of Locust around the corner.
As time is winding down towards what's been described as the conclusion of the conflict on Sera and Marcus Fenix's story, Epic have given us a glimpse at what we can expect to see next April. The most exciting thing they showed off at E3, was no doubt, Beast mode, a reversed version of Horde where you join a band of Locust as they try and take out COG soldiers. It works slightly differently from Horde as the round isn't over when you die, instead there is a timer running down, and if any soldiers are left alive when time is up, the horde has lost. You gain tokens as you play and these can be spent on buying a specific member of the horde, a ticker for instance costs one token, while a massive Berserker will set you back 40 tokens. A total of 20 different members of the horde will be playable in Beast mode and you can be joined by up to four other players.
- Basically it's a class based system. In horde you play five different humans that all have the same abilities. Where as in beast mode you play as locust monsters that all have different abilities. Everything from the small little ticker that can skittle around and blow up, all the way up the berserker that will be able to destroy fortifications and hulk smash the enemy, says executive producer Rod Ferguson.
The humans you face in beast mode will range from the stranded (easy prey), to "redshirt" COG soldiers (medium), and hero types like Marcus, Dom and Cole Train (tough as nails). The latter will for instance bring down the Hammer of Dawn if need be to halt the progress of the horde, and they will use cover and their surroundings to their advantage.
- What's really cool is that it becomes this meta game, if you will, of trying to find combinations of monsters that work really well together. Like the Boomer butcher with his cleaver walks around and gets all the attention, all the aggro, and they're shooting at him while the four other little tickers sneak up behind the people and take them out, Ferguson explains.
Beast mode will no doubt be one of the more popular new additions to the Gears of War concept, but the fact that the whole campaign will be playable with three friends is no doubt also extremely welcome among Gears fans. There will be several new playable characters including three female COG's - a first for the series. A bunch of new weapons have also been revealed including the Pendulum Wars era Lancer, that features a normal bayonet, incendiary grenades, and a heavy weapon called Digger Launcher, that shoots out creatures that dig through the ground.
While beast mode is certainly nice, we're still getting more horde mode, and although Epic didn't reveal anything about it at E3, Cliff Bleszinski did promise that it will have new features this time around. And don't forget, Gears of War 3 will feature the one and only Ice-T lending his voice to the new character Griffin, who we can only assume is even more of a badass than the rest of the crew.