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Gears of War 3

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Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3 event dishes up 10x XP


Brothers to the end!
Mar 01
// Brett Makedonski
If you fancy yourself some Gears of War 3, then it's time to dust off the trusty Retro Lancer and get ready to roll into some chest-high walls. According to the official Gears of War Facebook page, a multiplayer event re...
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'Gun-like' Avatar items to be banned from Xbox Live soon


Dec 23
// Jim Sterling
Epic Games has declared that the Hammerburst and Lancer Avatar props are going to be removed on January 1, 2012, as part of a new anti-gun policy. Microsoft will be barring any Avatar proper that resembles a firearm. Gotta pr...
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Gears of War 3 'Fenix Rising' map pack coming next month


Dec 21
// Dale North
Gears of War 3 gets its third add-on in the New Year with "Fenix Rising." This DLC gives players five new maps, four character skins, and a system that lets you rank up through level 100 multiple times to unlock weapon s...

Review: Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow

Dec 14 // Joseph Leray
Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow Developer: EpicPublisher: Microsoft StudiosReleased: December 13, 2011MSRP: $14.99 / 1200 Microsoft Points There's a discernible rhythm to every level of design in the the Gears series. There's the ebb and flow of intense firefighting and measured walking; the surprisingly steady tempo of shooting, taking cover, gaining ground, conceding ground, flanking, and armadillo-rolling-into-shotgunning; the delicate timing of the active reload system. High-level Gears play has a way of mesmerizing people with its locomotion.Gears' distinctive fight-or-flight characterization fits into the later games, when the stakes and circumstances are clear, but it seems incongruous so early in the war. Michael Barrick -- the bemutton-chopped protagonist of "Shadow" and Zeta Squad's point man -- lacks the necessary self-awareness to wonder what the Locust want, who they are, or where they came from. It’s not so much that Gears is violent; it’s that the series is violent a priori. I’m not arguing that Gears of War should be re-imagined as a diplomacy simulator, but it’s discordant that Barrick never stops to wonder what the fuck is going on, a question that seems particularly salient when sub-human Morlocks start pouring out of holes in the ground for the first time. The flipside is that “RAAM’s Shadow” speaks volumes through its setting and visual design. Ilima City starts off relatively intact, but as time goes on, after heavy Locust incursion and a few misplaced COG laser strikes, it starts to break down. The dead bodies start to pile up as the sky darkens, and if Michael Barrick seems mutely oblivious to the destruction around him, maybe it’s by design. An extended, relatively non-violent horror section in the middle of “Shadow” harks to earlier games, calling up memories of the mission to the New Hope research facility from Gears 2. I can’t think of a single moment in 3 that was designed to be scary, and I had forgotten the role that suspense and atmosphere had played in the first two games. I’m glad to be reminded of it, because it’s in these moments, when Barrick has lowered his rifle and doesn’t have anything to kill, that he and the player both start to reflect on the situation: Barrick with crappy, jingoistic one-liners, and the player to himself, on his own.I’m willing to believe that soldiers like Barrick have evolved past self-awareness, irony, or self-reflection: those traits might not be useful for survival in a hopeless, helpless war. I’m also willing to accept that Barrick’s machismo and chest-thumping are a protective armor in the face of trauma. This is a videogame, after all, and I’m willing to accept that -- whether or not you agree that the characters in Gears are dumb and loud -- the narrative onus is on me, the player, to see the costs of war for myself. In that sense, I think “Shadow” fulfills its promise of showing players a starkly different, almost livable, version of the Sera we come to find in the original Gears of War. For those of us with the patience to invest in the surrounding lore, it’s nice to see where Jace Stratton comes from, or to notice that Anya Stroud hasn’t yet become the disembodied voice guiding us through the series. In almost all respects besides bodycount, the humans fare better than the Locust. Playing as the titular RAAM seems like it should be fun, but it’s not.It isn’t that he’s overpowered, it’s that the RAAM sections are boring, repetitive, and break up the otherwise smooth pacing of the game. Each chapter in “Shadow” counts down toward the Locust “Kryllstorm,” when the sky is finally dark enough to unleash the ravenous kryll -- the piranha-like bat creatures that live in the Hollow -- upon Ilima. This dawn-to-dusk timeline gives the game it’s own internal structure and a sense of urgency, but the RAAM sections are more like interruptions than fun diversions.Equally problematic, though, is that the writing team at Epic didn’t seize the opportunity to expand on RAAM’s character, his relationship to Queen Myrrah, or anything about the Locust at all. The Locust appear to all be totally identical and part of a rigid, Huxley-ian caste system of drones, Boomers, Theron, and Kantus. RAAM, however, is freakishly huge and, according to a few scraps of throwaway dialog, smart enough to coordinate complex tactics with Queen Myrrah. How did this happen?Other nitpicks and inconsistencies abound, anachronistic pitfalls of setting “Shadow” as a prequel. It’s admittedly petty to harp on the question of "cannon," but details are the lifeblood of fantasy genre writing. “RAAM’s Shadow” is relatively small and being sold to an audience that -- as a rule -- is already invested enough in the saga to notice that, for example, the iconic Gears Lancer shouldn't technically exist at this point in the war -- the COG should still be using Retro Lancers. It’s more interesting to notice that “RAAM’s Shadow” feels and plays more like the first Gears of War than the third, visuals and engine aside. Gears 1 had a unity and cohesion of both level design and mission structure that, I think, went missing in 2 and 3 but returns in “Shadow,” perhaps because of the DLC’s urban landscape. While the level design of 3 feels busy and trench-like, most of the original Gears and “Shadow” feel more open, like an arena. It’s less about winning and maintaining ground than it is using cover to flank and maneuver, and the firefights never feel staid or stale.The two final skirmishes in particular feel internally consistent and well-realized and are great examples of the dynamism possible within Gears’ ostensibly rigid and heavy framework. The most telling thing about the boss fights, though, is that they don’t feel particularly triumphant. Given that “RAAM’s Shadow” is simply the first salvo in a devastating war, it’s hard to feel too good about evacuating Ilima when it just ends up being swallowed by a giant worm a few years later in Gears of War 2. Gears of War might be a power fantasy, but it’s tempered, more than any other game I’ve played, by it’s oppressive bleakness -- each victory is small and pyrrhic. There's reason for hope, though: DLC like this continues to be a low-risk, high-reward laboratory for developers to expand their fictional universes and experiment with new concepts. “RAAM’s Shadow” isn’t perfect -- the Locust sections in particular need work -- but there’s no reason not to look forward to Epic’s willingness and ability to tinker with its formula and find new mechanics. It might take a while before we see anything truly innovative in post-release Gears of War DLC, but, in the meantime, I’ll be holding the line.
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"RAAM's Shadow"'s greatest strength is its premise. A prequel set in the hours following Emergence Day, the first piece of campaign DLC for Gears of War 3 hints at what Ilima City looked like before it was destroyed, both by ...

Preview: Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow

Dec 11 // Joseph Leray
The two-chapter preview build of “Shadow” I played is about watching Sera break down, about the fear and the doubt that creep into a society in the aftermath of large-scale trauma. It’s a prequel campaign that happens “shortly after Emergence Day,” in the shadow of the most devastating event in Gears history.Giving players a look at the immediate results of E-day overwhelmingly works in the game’s favor, but it’s also the source of a few plotholes: for soldiers that saw their first Locust drone a few hours ago, Michael Barrick and Minh Young Kim have a pretty sophisticated knowledge of Locust tactics and culture.Still, framing “Shadow” as a prequel reaps generous benefits. For one, dramatic irony is at a premium here: knowing, for example, who lives and who dies in the later games gives “Shadow” a level of gravitas that far outstrips what little of the content's actual narrative I’ve seen so far. Even divorced from the larger story, “Shadow” is ominous in its own way -- each chapter counts down to some other cataclysm called the “Kryllstorm,” and the game's uncertainty slowly morphs into fatalism.  When we first saw Sera in 2006, it was already scarred, pockmarked, pitted, desolated, and barren. It was Earth-like, but utterly alien. “Shadow” takes us back to a time when the planet’s social institutions still seem in tact, when human enterprise is still recognizable.Despite its title “RAAM’s Shadow” is (so far) bright and colorful, each Gear's armor is bright, burnished and smooth, and Ilima consists of beautiful sun-stained, Haussmann-esque boulevards and stately, pillared buildings. Gears' visual design has always focused on the juxtaposition of Sera’s soaring architecture and apocalyptic devastation, but "Shadow" is tinged with the knowledge of how the before becomes the after. Gears of War: Detroit.There’s a great fight near the end of the two-chapter, hour-long preview -- Scorcher-wielding Locust burst into the vault of a bank, setting gold bars and stacks of money on fire, and Zeta squad-member Tai Kaliso mentions that “monetary wealth is fleeting.” What sounds like a mystic bullshit platitude only makes sense if you’re curb-stomping someone: money doesn’t mean very much when the world is ending before your eyes. The bank scene acts as a harbinger of what we know will happen in Sera -- governments break down, social institutions fall apart, and previously entrenched authorities will eventually fail. Emergence Day changes everything. In the same way that the death of Osama Bin Laden only makes sense to people who remember what it was like to not live in perpetual wartime, Cole’s flashback is effective now that I can more easily imagine what Ilima’s thrashball stadium might have looked like, now that I've seen a handful of Ilima residents that might have cheered for the Hanover Cougars. The early portions of “Shadow” teeter on the edge of exploring how devastating -- structurally and psychologically -- events like E-day might be. But it’s all ancillary to the shooting, the active reloading, the stabbing, the cussing. It's just on the outskirts of the Gears experience, seen in the visual design more than the dialog or writing, and just out of reach. Dom probably forgets about his dead wife and kids when there’s a sub-human monster bearing down on him with a chainsaw-gun; and we seem to have slipped into a state of casual xenophobia and despair and political idiocy since we’re all too busy trying to find jobs and pay mortgages. I only played the first two chapters of "Shadow" to write this preview, but I'm tempted to say that -- in a flash -- it illuminates the entire Gears thesis. It might be dumb and loud and brash, but I think Gears of War has always wanted to examine what a degenerative process war can be, though that desire has always been subjugated in favor of the game's mechanics. In that case, not only is "RAAM's Shadow" a natural starting point for the Gears trilogy, it might be the only one. "RAAM's Shadow" will be available on the Xbox Live Marketplace on December 13 for 1200 Microsoft Points.
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There’s a scene in the second chapter of Gears of War 3 in which Cole Train has a flashback to his time as a professional thrashball player before becoming a COG soldier. When I saw it the first time, I noticed that it ...

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Take a closer look at Bullet Marsh in Gears of War 3


Nov 18
// Jason Cabral
Admittedly, I have not played much of original Gears of War multiplayer, but I always enjoy seeing a new take on an established level. Bullet Marsh is a part of the free Versus Booster Map Pack that is set to go live on Nove...
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Gears of War 3 free Versus Booster Map Pack coming Nov 24


Nov 01
// Dale North
What are you doing this upcoming November 24? I'll be cooking and serving and baking pies and sh*t. And eating. Have you tasted my cooking? It's outstanding. Like, my baked goods are good, but my entrees and such are really n...
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Gears of War 3 Horde Command Pack is live, only 1.42mb


Nov 01
// Dale North
We told you that the Gears of War 3 Horde Command Pack was delayed a bit, but now it's good for downloading. And I'd bet the download finishes before you can finish reading this article. It's 1.42mb! Less than 2 mb? $10 isn't...
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Storm's Adventure with Gears of War 3


Oct 30
// Storm Dain
I don't think this joke will be well accepted, but I already wrote it down, so I might as well run with it. Fun Times with the Lancer 3 is the journey to save Sera, and this video is a journey into copyright infringement. I ...
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The healing power of Gears of War 3


Sep 24
// Fraser Brown
While Dominic Santiago has spent three games slaughtering the Locust, grieving over his wife and exchanging longing glances with Marcus Fenix, he's got it easy compared to his voice actor, Carlos Ferro. Kids today don't care...
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A glimpse of the Gears of War 3 Times Square launch


Sep 21
// Keith Swiader
The premiere launch event for Gears of War 3 took place at the Best Buy Theater in Times Square on Monday night where hundreds of gamers gathered to ring in the release of Epic Games' latest installment in the chainsawing sa...
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Porn stars play games topless, because why not?


Sep 19
// Jim Sterling
Professional sex ladies Alana Evans and Misti Dawn have come to the strange conclusion that the gamer demographic is predominantly male and horny. While we've yet to see any evidence of that, they have set up a brand new blog...
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Hey gang, in spite of the torrential downpour of news coming out of the Tokyo Game Show right now, the studio was closed today, so we had to shoot today's episode in advance. With the sudden realization that the great Holi...

One last look at Gears of War 3 from new eyes

Sep 14 // John Speerbrecker
Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)Developer: Epic GamesPublisher: Microsoft Game StudiosTo be released: September 20, 2011MSRP: $59.99 Team Deathmatch should be self-explanatory, but if you don't know yet, it pits five against five in a duel to the death and the last team standing wins. One aspect of this multiplayer mode that really struck a chord with me is that the team has to share lives. So if there are only 15 re-spawns available and you have someone on your team who really sucks, your chances of coming back to the game can be severely hindered. The maps themselves are small and intimate; the action can go from really fast-paced to a more strategic shoot out from opposite corners. They are all gorgeous, with an insane variety of landscapes for you to impale your opponents against. Of course, in those killing modes there are a wide variety of types to play in. King of the Hill is a territory based mode where you have to keep control of an area for the longest to win. Wingman is a two on two on two on two single-elimination deathmatch. Capture the Leader is where your team has to capture and hold the opposing team's leader until they win. Execution and Warzone are both back with their single-elimination play and killing fast and accurately is crucial to these modes. Horde Mode is for those of you who have time. There are fifty waves of enemies that you will have to strategically defend against. This mode, if you are not careful, could take a few hours so keep your bedpans nearby. It was fun to be forced to work together as a team, planning who should be in charge of building barriers and decoys in the map. Our group was wasted around the 16th round -- not too bad for having little to no communication. Beast Mode is what got me on the hook. I've never had the chance to play another type of mode like this before. I loved the fact that you had to work together as a team. You take control of one of the creatures in Gears of War 3, each with their own ability. The balancing of their abilities is crucial for your team to destroy the humans in 12 rounds. According to the developers, the quality assurance team was able to get through all the rounds within approximately 15 minutes. After playing this game as a new person to the franchise, I finally get it. "It" being why people love this game. In some ways, I feel that Gears of War might have been one of the titles that helped the Xbox 360 in its earlier days of Live to have such a robust online community. I felt compelled to actually work and talk with my teammates in the game instead of other first-person shooters where you can just log on and ignore everyone and still have a moderate amount of fun. Yes, there is still the stigma of this being a "Hey Bro Dude!" kind of game, but that is okay -- it is still kicks ass. The only questionable aspect I had seen is that, in the customization menu, you have the option to change skins, and many of those options had a little dollar symbol on them. After clicking on a icon, I was brought to the marketplace menu. I guess that is one way to get a little more buck for your bang. Of course, now I want to get the super hyped Gears of War 3 Xbox 360 and pick up the past two titles. This is going to be quite an expensive year and we haven't even hit the Christmas season yet. If you want to check out more about this game, get ready for Jim's review tomorrow!
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First off, I have never played a Gears game until recently. Not that I have anything against the franchise, its just that we were two ships passing in the night -- that, and I am without an Xbox 360. I had the opportunity to play three of the multiplayer modes -- Team Deathmatch, Beast, and Horde Mode -- ahead of the game's full release next week.

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StarCraft II, Halo: Reach and more at MLG Raleigh


Sep 02
// Alasdair Duncan
Major League Gaming hit Raleigh, North Carolina last weekend which, unfortunately, was the same week as PAX Prime. With the Penny Arcade Expo now behind us, here's some results from the weekend's action. There were four tourn...
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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of sitting down with Gears of War 3 Executive Producer, Rod Fergusson. It was also the closest I'll probably ever get to feeling like I'm a host of a Late Night show with our interview set...

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What's wrong with your face, Anya Stroud?


Aug 16
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Patricia Hernandez brought us a detailed look at some of the early bits of Gears of War 3's campaign. Along with her preview came some new screenshots and we couldn't help but notice one new screen in particular. What the hell is wrong with Anya Stroud's face?! Did Marcus just let out a big fart next to her? What do you think they're all looking out to make such a gross expression?
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Posting Gears of War 3 spoilers online? Epic will ban you


Aug 15
// Jim Sterling
Epic Games takes spoilers very seriously, so much so that your actions on Youtube could impact your gaming. According to the studio, it has the power to ban anybody from Gears of War 3 if they're caught posting spoiler videos...
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Win a car with GameStop's Gears of War 3 promotion


Aug 13
// Samuel Dillinger
GameStop are insisting that fans of the Gears of War franchise drop everything at a moment's notice! Kicking off the "Go Commando" sweepstakes as of today, GameStop are exclusively giving away more than 3,600 "commando-worthy...
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Ice-T provides song to Gears of War 3 Horde 2.0 trailer


Aug 01
// Brett Zeidler
After the recent and somewhat odd announcement that Ice-T's metal band Body Count would reunite to celebrate their excitement for Gears of War 3's refined Horde mode, people were not sure what to think. Everyone can rest eas...
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Gears of War 3 will have a casual mode


Jul 23
// Patricia Hernandez
Stepping into the multiplayer mode of any game is no laughing matter when you're a newbie to the franchise. Experienced players can and will mop the floors with novices, and this creates a tiresome, unfun environment for thos...
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Epic is happy with Gears of War 3 being rated in Germany


Jul 22
// Maurice Tan
Gears of War 3 has received an official USK 18 rating in Germany, meaning Germans won't have to go across the border and import a copy of Zahnräder des Krieges 3 this time around. Epic Games president Mike Capps told Joy...
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Gears of War 3 Anya cosplay is unreal


Jul 20
// Nick Chester
Cosplayer extraordinaire (and current Tomb Raider community manager) Meagan Marie has completed her latest creation: a meticulously reproduced costume of Anya from the upcoming Gears of War 3. "And this is why all the time, m...
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Microsoft at Comic-Con: Gears of War 3, gamer lounge


Jul 14
// Dale North
Microsoft has big plans for San Diego Comic-Con next week. There's going to be plenty of Gears of War and Halo action, and you know they're breaking out the Kinect sensors for the show. Yep, there's something for everyone.&nb...
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New Destructoid Episode: Battlefield Reefer Madness Leak!


Jul 08
// Tara Long
Happy Friday, Destructoid readers! Before you head out to your local pub or sporting event, why not take approximately 13 minutes and 27 seconds out of your day first to catch up on some video game news? First up on tonigh...
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Gears of War 3 leaked due to Microsoft's incompetence?


Jul 08
// Jim Sterling
This past weekend, we posted word that Gears of War 3 had been leaked online. According to the latest gossip, this leak was due not to a nefarious Epic mole, but to some impressive carelessness on Microsoft's part.  It i...
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Spoiler warning: non-final build of Gears of War 3 leaked


Jul 02
// Maurice Tan
It appears an early build of Gears of War 3 has leaked to the Internet, which allegedly includes the full campaign and multiplayer modes and may be an E3 build. After looking around, this turns out to be a developer build or ...
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Calibur11 reveal Gears of War vault for Xbox360


Jul 01
// Hollie Bennett
Following E3 the majority of you would have gathered that I am quite the Gears fangirl, but despite my love for the franchise I cannot justify getting rid of my new Xbox 360 Slim just for the newly skinned Gears of War versio...
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Check out Gears of War 3's 'Horde 2.0' in action


Jun 22
// Nick Chester
If you can read words, you've likely already heard all about Gears of War 3's "Horde 2.0" mode. I saw it and played it at E3, and it's kind of awesome, a perfect evolution of the game mode many of us already loved. Now Epic ...
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New Destructoid Episode: Jimmy Fallon Steals All Our News


Jun 17
// Max Scoville
Move it, football-head. It's Friday, so today's episode of The Destructoid Show was carefree and whimsical. Here's the rundown: Jimmy Fallon, that guy who was in Taxi with Queen Latifah, sometimes covers video game news on h...

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