I've never enjoyed writing a bio. It's equivalent to trying to sell yourself to a potential employer, but with a higher chance of not having anything to offer that will benefit the current community you're interested in joining. In an online community you throw your arms up in the air and yell "Here I am!", and then sit back hoping someone takes notice in the good you do, while on the same note, you hope you don't get ridiculed for a stupid action. I suppose at least there's the anonymity of being on the web, so with that I'll throw my arms up and attempt an introduction blog.
Lost Kitty by Adam Hughes
I am a collector of fantasy, video game, and comic book art. In fact, if you were to walk into my office you'd probably believe you stepped into a game shop of some sort. You know the little shops where you can go to get miniatures, dice, game cards, and comics. They closed ours down not long ago. Sad days. I love the work of the artists that have done pieces for Dungeons & Dragons, such as William O'Connor, Larry Elmore, and Todd Lockwood. Adam Hughes, Melanie Delon, Brian Froud, and Luis Royo are a few other artists that I enjoy. I could probably list 20 more names here, but I won't.
Tonight at midnight our local GameStop will be packed with a crowd of hyped and impatient gamers who can't wait to get their hands on Gears of War 3. I will be one of those hyped and impatient people. Unfortunately, I'll be picking up my daughter's Epic Edition of the game that I promised her for an early Christmas gift. I'll have to wait until Thursday for mine....when I get paid again. Yes, she's spoiled - that's not the point! There are a lot of female gamers who enjoy Gears of War, so it saddens me that the majority of people that will be out tonight in my area will be guys. It also bums me out knowing that even with all the female players, I'll only run into a handful of them in multiplayer matches. And that's a shame because Gears of War is fun, fast paced, and it's SO easy to learn.
Maybe you've been waiting to give the game a try, but you've heard it's brutal and hard core so you've passed it by for something less intimidating. Perhaps you feel it's too late to join the fun. Nonsense. It's never to late, and like I've stated - it's easy to learn. There are 6 simple things you need to know before jumping into a multiplayer match.
#1 - Don't Go In Blind
If you've never played Gears of War then jumping straight into a multiplayer match is NOT the way to go. Getting into a game of team deathmatch without a clue of what you're doing is a sure set up for failure. I know. It's how I learned to play the game. It wasn't pretty. Play through Act 1 of the campaign to learn the basics of switching weapons, reloading, taking cover, etc. Usually everything's covered there so you don't have to worry about playing through the entire campaign before jumping into multiplayer games.
[b]#2 - The Shotgun Is Your Friend]/b]
Maybe, maybe not. Honestly, don't listen to other people. Just like any other game, what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for everyone. Some people love using the shotgun. Others enjoy the Lancer. I happen to like the Retro Lancer. And keep in mind, the Shotgun isn't going to do you any good unless your opponent's in your face - something you may not want if you're a new player! With a Retro Lancer you can do a charge attack. I happen to suck using the charge attack. I also suck at using the Torque Bow. The point I'm trying to make is it doesn't matter how good a weapon is if you're not good at using it, so DON'T be afraid to play around with all of them.
There are also weapons you can pick up in certain locations of each map, such as the Torque Bow I mentioned previously. Give each one a try when you come across them to see what they can do. Some are pretty wicked. Just keep in mind that other players will be making a dash for them at the start of the game, so you may have to fight for first possession.
#3 - One Grenade O, Two Grenade O
There are 4 types of grenades in Gears of War. Incendiary, Frag, Smoke, and Ink. The Frag Grenade and the Smoke Grenade are the two most used in multiplayer matches. The Smoke Grenade can be used as cover or as a distraction from your opponents. Use the Frag Grenade when you want to get someone else out of their cover point. I've run across numerous players who never use grenades, which is silly IMO. It's a basic weapon that can be used for offense or defense. Practice using them and then move on to planting doorways and tagging other people.
#4 - Be Quick With The Reload
Gears of War features a mini game called Active Reload. Instead of running out of ammo and finding yourself in a nasty situation, simply hit the right bumper on your controller to trigger it. You'll notice a bar on your screen which has a black area, white area, gray area, and then back to black. If you're fast enough to hit the bumper a second time while the line moves into the white area, you'll succeed in a perfect reload. This not only gives you a quicker reload, but it gives you an increase in damage per shot. Hitting the bumper in the gray area also results in a quicker reload, but if you hit it at any time the line is moving through the black area then you'll have to wait a short period of time to use your weapon, which puts you at a disadvantage in game. It's really not hard to pick up on after a few attempts, but it should be one of the things you practice at if you're having trouble hitting that white area.
#5 - That's How You Roll
Practice, practice, practice learning how to roll out of danger by tapping the A button. It's not going to save you all the time, but it could buy you some time to make it to cover. There's also a new weapon in Gears of War 3 called the Digger Launcher. It has a projectile that travels along a straight path and then pops out of the ground like a Bouncing Betty, and cover won't save you - it goes under it. Knowing how to dodge and roll out of it's path is vital because in the beta it was used a LOT.
Taking cover is something you should have learned in Act 1 of the campaign, and doing a Roadie Run is as simple as holding down the A button. (Another thing that should have been covered) Very useful in getting to those weapons I mentioned early on the maps.
#6 - Revive Me!
Please revive your teammates if you have the chance. It's a simple matter of tapping the X button while standing next to them. I know they cover it in Act 1 of the campaign, yet so many people ignore their teammates. You won't bleed out and die in most of the multiplayer matches now, you'll slowly recover, but there's nothing more annoying then being downed, vulnerable and unable to to do anything to defend yourself, while a teammate is close by doing his or her own thing. If you want to piss your teammates off then ignore them while they're downed and beside you.
Those are the basics of getting started in Gears of War 3 multiplayer. The game modes are pretty straight up and similar to other multiplayer matches. I'd suggest starting off with something simple like King of the Hill because your capture points spawn in various locations, and it gives you a chance to learn the map layout. Nobody jumps into a multiplayer match, having never played the game, without dying multiple times, so don't let that discourage you from having fun learning your way around.
I hope to see some of the more hesitant players giving Gears of War 3 a chance. In the meantime, I'll be trying to pry my daughter's copy of the game from her clenched hands while she's sleeping ,and praying that Thursday comes around quick.