A slur of Gears Of War 3 information got dumped onto the internet today as, with only one month until release, EPIC is beginning to slowly ramp up the hype. For me, that hype was maxxed out quite some time ago, so this new footage was fantastic to watch. I'm really pleased that the game is taking more time to flesh out the backstory of some of the characters. You can see the footage here:
However between Gears 2 and Gears 3, a lot of stuff happens. Two whole books worth of stuff, in fact. I read those books, the most recent of which was only released two weeks ago, and I have that knowledge. I wouldn't recommend you read them unless you love the Gears Universe stupid amounts, but they are great for general backstory and go into a lot of detail about Marcus and Dom growing up, for example. Anyways, I appreciate most of you aren't going to read those books, so for anyone who is interested, here's the important stuff:
If you plan on reading this book then SPOILERS.
EDIT: To clarify, all this information is taken from the official Gears Of War books by Karen Traviss. I did not illegally download the game -____-
As Jeff mentioned in the video, the COG has been disbanded. After Jacinto was sunk the COG island-hopped until they landed on Vectes, an old naval base. Vectes contained two settlements, civilian and stranded towns that, due to a deep sea trench, had never seen a locust before. The COG quickly took care of the stranded problem and integrated into the town of Pelruan - those of you might remember it as "Old Town" from the Gears 3 Beta - where they prospered for a short while, assuming that the locust had been defeated and and straglers couldn't tunnel beneath the abyssal-trench. However the lambent eventually turn up in the form of several lambent Leviathans (That Giant underwater Boss from Gears 2) and spray polyps everywhere. Polyps are the smallest form of lambent, effectively replacing tickers in Gears 3. You can see them scuttling about in the new footage.
Pretty soon ships start disappearing and "stalks" start cropping up all over the island. These stalks, as shown in the video, drop various lambent dudes everywhere. They also kill all surrounding wildlife. As they start spreading across the island, the COG realise they can't hope to defend themselves. Chairman Prescott calls a vote and despite only 25% of the remaining population wanting to leave, orders the evacuation of Vectes. Hoffman tells him to go fuck himself and steals an encrypted data disk from Prescott's desk. Prescott refuses to tell him what's on it, and denies any involvement in the creation of the lambent, despite Hoffman accusing him of keeping information withheld. You may remember the sires in during Gears 2 as the cause of this. After Hoffman takes control of the COG, Prescott leaves with his two private protection Gears, and a stack of lambent corpse samples. Hoffman orders the last remaining navy submarine to follow Prescott's boat but despite keeping a close eye on it, Prescott disappears and the boat is found floating empty in a patch of sea.
With Vectes slowly being corrupted by stalks, the COG disbands. Hoffman takes the largest amount of civilians and the most vulnerable members of the group (the untrained population of Pelruan) to Anvil Gate, a mountain-top fort which he defended during the Pendulum wars, earning him an Embry Star. The fort is considered impenetrable and has a working hydro-electric power supply. However those of you who remember the Gears 3 demo at E3 earlier this year will remember that level is called "Anvil Gate" and it was getting pretty badly fucked up. Dizzy and Bernie Mataki (who is now Hoffman's girlfriend) also go with him, as well as a platoon of Gears led by Sargent Rossi.
Delta Squad remain with the Navy as the roaming strike force, to be flown out to any of the new settlements that need help. The navy is led by Quentin Michaelson, though Delta Squad is (I assume) being led by Anya as she holds the highest rank as Lieutenant. Delta consists of: Marcus, Dom, Baird, Cole, Anya, Sam, Jace, Carmine.
Here's some basic info that you may or may not find interesting:
- Marcus and Anya are a thing.
- Dom and Sam are almost a thing.
But despite Sam's advances, Dom refuses to get close to anyone ever again, because he's all emo now. As Jeff mentioned, these guys are on their last legs. Dom has decided that the only reason he is staying alive is to protect Marcus, as he has nothing else worth living for.
- Jack, the robot, is fucked.
All the little robot things are broken except for Jack, which Baird is trying to fix. In the fourth book (yes, there are 4 fucking Gears books) Baird mentions that he's trying to figure out how the cloaking device works and see if he can make it work on anything that isn't a robot. As the last remaining smart-person in the COG, Baird is routinely tasked with fixing/operating complicated machinery, and as mentioned in the new video, Jack is broken. No more Jack :(
- The COG have no fuel or supplies.
When the stalks started tearing up Vectes the farmland was slowly killed. The remaining cattle, sheep, pigs, were either taken aboard the ships or hacked up and put on ice - though there weren't many of them so I guess they worked through that stuff pretty quick.
- Oh yeah, Clayton Carmine may have an obsession with Bacon.
In the book he is seen standing outside a farm and talking to the pigs, telling them they are going to be bacon soon. And then in the new video when the Stranded guy offers them bacon he goes "mmm, bacon" - so this might be a recurring thing. Which would be awesome.
- When Hoffman arrives at Anvil Gate, a bunch of Pesengas show up.
Pesengas are COG troops and are basically ninja mercenaries. I would love them to be in Gears 3 - that would be amazing. They fight with giant swords (www.GiantSwords.com - it's a website, about... swords?) instead of guns, can move silently, and are generally badass. They are all members of a hill tribe from the mountains up by Anvil Gate and signed up to fight for money during the Pendulum Wars, not any political reason. The grandson of a Pesenga who fought with Hoffman duing the Pendulum Wars offers, with his family, to help Hoffman defend Anvil Gate from the Lambent. Padrick Salton also shows up, another sniper from the pendulum wars who was in the same squad as Marcus and Carlos (Dom's brother) during the Pendulum Wars.
- Pressing the Left Stick to put a target on enemies.
As Jeff mentions, this isn't especially useful when playing solo, but when you are in a multiplayer match and trying to show your team-mates where enemies are, this is really useful. This is probably more of a co-op tool than an effective way of getting your AI buddies to target certain enemies.
"Who?" - yeah, you can't be blamed for not knowing who these guys are. Gorasnaya are a bunch of guys who showed up out of nowhere and joined the COG on Vectes, but were actually their enemies during the Pendulum Wars. There are still many remaining grudges but by the end of the book they are all chummy again. When the COG disbands they return to their home island, so I don't know how much play they will get in the third game. I tend to think of these guys as the Russians of the COG universe.
The "stranded" model is the one the COG chose to adapt, opting for lots of small settlements instead of one large group. As the COG has finally been disbanded the stranded are no longer seen as full enemies, rather as another stranded group themselves - so as shown in the video, there are frequent trade negotiations with the other stranded groups.
That's all I can think of off the top of my head, though if you have any questions then I shall do my best to answer them. Hopefully that fills in the blanks left by Jeff during the preview.
Thanks For Reading