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Gaming Friday: Gears of War 3

Gears of War is one of the biggest franchises to be created during the current (7th) console generation. The first Gears of War launched back in 2006, the second in 2008, and the third in 2011. What started off as a simple war between humans and locusts, has spawned a trilogy of intense third person cover based gameplay.

The third installment of the Gears of War series picks up quite some time after the second. Epic has included a video to fill in the time gap between the two games, while also getting any completely new players caught up to speed. While that is all fun and gravy, the question is, how does Gears of War 3 differ from its predecessors?

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All three games are pretty closely related. You take cover, shoot, dodge, run, and repeat this process in any order. However, the presentation, speed and overall feel of each game in the series is vastly different. First, the color palette in Gears of War 3 is much brighter than any of its older brothers. The gameplay is a bit altered too. There’s some new weapons such as the sawed-off shotgun, and ‘one shot’ which change the strategy and pacing of the game. While roadie running is a bit faster than the second, and more similar to the first. Although, the overall feel is the war you fought in Gears of War 1 & 2 is definitely over. The war you’re fighting now is something entirely new. You’re going to encounter new enemies, weapons, plot twists, and different strategies to handle these new experiences. To simply sum it up, Gears of War 3 is everything that’s great about Gears of War 1 & 2, with some new sauce and a fancy new label.

Epic has introduced a new game mode, Team Deathmatch (TDM). Team Deathmatch is similar to Warzone from Gears of War 1 & 2, but, TDM gives each team 20 lives. It’s much more fast paced than Warzone, and is paced a lot more like Annex. However, each death or kill is just as important as they are in Warzone. You don’t want to die, and you don’t want to leave anyone alive that you down. That one death or kill can really change the outcome of the game.

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Epic has also added tons on tons on tons of unlockables. You can unlock weapon skins, characters, ribbons, and medals. All of the unlockables are related in some way. For instance, you could achieve a medal or ribbon to unlock a character or weapon skin. Or, obtaining a medal or ribbon could unlock an achievement, which then unlocks a character or weapon skin. If you’re into collecting everything a game has to offer, you’re definitely going to be putting in a lot of hours to Gears of War 3. Not only that, obtaining all of the medals and ribbons is the sole requirement for the Seriously 3.0 achievement.

Horde 2.0 & Beast Mode
Horde was originally introduced in Gears of War 2 to much valor. Horde was a way you could hang out with your friends, kill some locusts, show off tricks, and rank up. Horde 2.0 is all of those same things with new features. Horde 2.0 is all about money, in fact, it kind of has an arcade feel to it. For every kill, you get money. Then you use the money to buy defenses such as spiked fences, turrets, and big weapons. How you and your team budget your money will determine whether you survive or end up as a few COG tags on the battlefield. In the old Horde, the biggest enemies you faced were Boomers, Grinders, Maulers, and Butchers. Horde 2.0 steps up the insanity just a bit by introducing Brumaks, Beserkers, Drudges, and some flying things.

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Marcus, Dom, Cole, and Baird are back, along with some new faces. Among the new faces are two ladies, Anya and Sam, and a guy named Jace. Epic has designed the Gears of War 3 story to allow for four player co-op throughout all parts of the campaign. You play different parts of the story with different characters, which I feel is an awesome way to really tell a story. The campaign’s gameplay is still linear but, the story telling can jump around in time. While this seem like it’d create confusion, it doesn’t. The story is written so well that you’re easily able to keep up with what’s going on.

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Gears of War 3 is by far the best entry in the franchise. While Gears of War 3 marks the last game in the trilogy, I’m sure there’ll be more Gears of War games in the future. For instance, Epic could create a prologue or a game from the locusts’ point of view. Whatever future Gears titles may exist, the one thing you should know now is, Gears of War 3 is here, and if you aren’t playing it, then go, just go right now, start playing, and never stop!