Gears of War 3 hits April 5, 2011, more details

After revealing the trailer for the upcoming Gears of War 3 on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski teased even more details on the upcoming shooter.

“In the new game, there’s an even greater threat called The Lambent,” said Bleszinski, “and it’s these kind of crazy tentacle monsters that can mutate while you’re fighting them.”

The game won’t be the first time The Lambent appear — the upcoming novel, Gears of War: Anvil Gate, will see the creatures emerge from the planet. Note in the trailer that the tentacle creature attacks one of the Locust drones… apparently, these things are so terrifying that even the Horde fears them.

Unsurprisingly, new weapons like a double-barreled shotgun have been added to the game, along with female soldiers. Yup, that blonde in the trailer was a female, not a character from Final Fantasy VII.

Bleszinski also narrows down a release date, saying it’ll “probably” be available on April 8, 2011.

[Update: Apparently, Bleszinski was only partially right — Microsoft has issued an official announcement, stating that Gears of War 3 will hit North America on April 5, Japan on April 7, and Europe on April 8.

The press release also makes mention of the upcoming film, and notes that new Gears of War Avatar items (including new COG armor that will appear in Gears of War 3) will hit the Avatar Marketplace on April 20. The full release is after the jump.]

“Gears of War 3” Ignites Anticipation as the Biggest Blockbuster Game of 2011

Explosive finale to the landmark “Gears of War” trilogy available exclusively on Xbox 360 in April 2011
The spectacular conclusion to one of the games industry’s most memorable and celebrated sagas, “Gears of War 3,” is poised to take the world by storm next spring. At this time next year, fans around the world will experience the epic story finale to the “Gears of War” trilogy when the third installment in one of the biggest franchises in Xbox history arrives in stores worldwide: April 5, 2011 in North America and Asia, April 7 in Japan, and April 8 in Europe and the rest of the world.

“When we released ‘Gears of War’ more than three years ago, we set out to tell the world an unforgettable story of bravery and sacrifice in the face of insurmountable odds, and a year from now, players will get the chance to experience the final chapter in the story of Marcus Fenix and his companions in Delta Squad,” said Cliff Bleszinski, design director at Epic Games. “This is definitely the biggest and most dramatic chapter yet in the ‘Gears of War’ saga, and we can’t wait to deliver it.”

Developed by acclaimed studio Epic Games and available only on Xbox 360, “Gears of War 3” plunges players into a harrowing tale of hope, survival, and brotherhood that will conclude the current story arc for “Gears of War.” With the last human city destroyed and the remaining survivors stranded, time is running out for Marcus and his comrades as they fight to save the human race from the jaws of extinction.

“Gears of War” is a blockbuster entertainment franchise that has inspired a full line of toys and collectibles, apparel, an upcoming film, graphic novels and a book series by New York Times best-selling author Karen Traviss. The award-winning video games have sold more than 12 million units worldwide, and due to their riveting multiplayer action, are some of the most popular games ever played on Xbox LIVE.

To accompany today’s announcement, Microsoft and Epic Games unveiled “Ashes to Ashes,” the first trailer for “Gears of War 3.” Created in Unreal Engine 3 by the same team behind the iconic “Gears of War” video spots (“Mad World,” “Rendezvous,” and “Last Day”), the video captures a desperate three-way battle between Delta Squad, the Locust Horde, and the fearsome new Lambent.

Additionally, fans who want to share their excitement on Xbox LIVE will be able to choose from new Avatar items, available on Avatar Marketplace starting April 20, including the new COG armor introduced in “Gears of War 3.”

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