Gear of War 3 Beta Post Mortem Thoughts

After 4 weeks full of matches, the Gears of War 3 beta comes to a close. The first thought that goes through my head after this realization is, "Holy shit, I'm going to have to play that broken game called Gears of War 2 till September?!" In short I enjoyed the hell out of it, I'm quite the Gears player. I've been into the multiplayer way longer than I should since Gears 1. Hell, I paid full price for Bulletstorm the day the beta started because I couldn't wait a week longer, and I didn't even play half of that game. Anyways, those are my initial thoughts of the beta, I'm going to go into a bit more detail about some of the content of the beta. 


The Modes

 Do it.

The beta consisted of Team Deathmatch, King of The Hill, and Capture The Leader. These modes were put into the game one by one over the length of the beta period. Team Deathmatch is quite a lot of fun. You eliminate the enemy’s pool of lives of 15 and this makes games feel like they are moving faster. Previous Gears games felt like they moved slower. King of The Hill, which will be where your longer matches will be at, is not too bad at all. It's a combination of the previous Gears game's Annex and King of The Hill modes. Great place to rack up kills. Now my favorite mode is probably Capture The Leader. Like the Gears 2's Guardian mode, you have to prevent one of your teammates, who is the "leader", from falling into enemy hands. The new twist is that the leader can use the Tac Com to identify the location of everybody, friend or foe, on the map. The reason why this is my favorite mode is that if you have a full cooperative team that effectively communicates enemy locations, this mode is a fucking blast!


The Weapons

 I managed to obliterate 4 guys at once with this monster.

There have been quite a lot of complaints about the main weapons you spawn with throughout the whole beta period. Most of the complaints seem to be aimed at the sawed-off shotgun and the retro lancer. I can see why people may be frustrated by these weapons but I think they are fine the way they are. Does it suck to get blown up by that sawed-off? Hell yeah it does, it makes me mad, but 95% of the time I shouldn’t have been trigger happy and running out there as if I was playing Gears1 or 2. The people who are still running out there like Rambo are the ones who are forgetting that they're not the bullet sponge that they used to be like in the old games. Don’t want to get dropped by that retro? Then don’t fucking run out there in the open, the game is a cover-based shooter for a reason. 

  I really think Epic managed to do a solid job with making the weapons useful. The main weapon that everyone defaulted to in the past games was the shotgun, there are still players who rolled that way in the beta because old habits die hard, but the other weapons are quite capable of getting the job done. Rifles actually matter now in this game, keep your distance and you will rip guys to shreds with one.

 Don't underestimate that Retro. Use that cover.

 






The Network

Epic took the time to create a decent infrastructure for their netcode and it shows. The netcode of past games were complete shit. Any host was basically granted god like power and precision because they were not hindered by any kind of lag. Gears 3 seems to have cut down on any major lag issues and the host advantage from the previous games is now a thing of the past. There were times that the dedicated servers were taken down for maintenance and it was then that you can easily notice some latency issues, but it was nothing on the shit level that Gears 2 was on.


Overall, the beta was fucking awesome. The game looks nice and there are plenty of diverse environments which increases my interest in what the campaign will be like. I think the big negative to the multiplayer is that it still can be a hard place for any new player to jump into. Despite the balance changes and better netcode, there are still a lot of players that will tear the new people apart. I’m able to fit in just fine because I’m aware of the strategies to help stay alive but I can easily see newcomers having a tough time getting oriented. At least now, when you shoot somebody, the bullets will go into the guy instead of the wall behind him.

 I probably only used the Lancer a couple times, but it was still fun to pull off that occasional chainsaw. 
21 Comments
22 Comments
Posted by Afroman269

After 4 weeks full of matches, the Gears of War 3 beta comes to a close. The first thought that goes through my head after this realization is, "Holy shit, I'm going to have to play that broken game called Gears of War 2 till September?!" In short I enjoyed the hell out of it, I'm quite the Gears player. I've been into the multiplayer way longer than I should since Gears 1. Hell, I paid full price for Bulletstorm the day the beta started because I couldn't wait a week longer, and I didn't even play half of that game. Anyways, those are my initial thoughts of the beta, I'm going to go into a bit more detail about some of the content of the beta. 


The Modes

 Do it.

The beta consisted of Team Deathmatch, King of The Hill, and Capture The Leader. These modes were put into the game one by one over the length of the beta period. Team Deathmatch is quite a lot of fun. You eliminate the enemy’s pool of lives of 15 and this makes games feel like they are moving faster. Previous Gears games felt like they moved slower. King of The Hill, which will be where your longer matches will be at, is not too bad at all. It's a combination of the previous Gears game's Annex and King of The Hill modes. Great place to rack up kills. Now my favorite mode is probably Capture The Leader. Like the Gears 2's Guardian mode, you have to prevent one of your teammates, who is the "leader", from falling into enemy hands. The new twist is that the leader can use the Tac Com to identify the location of everybody, friend or foe, on the map. The reason why this is my favorite mode is that if you have a full cooperative team that effectively communicates enemy locations, this mode is a fucking blast!


The Weapons

 I managed to obliterate 4 guys at once with this monster.

There have been quite a lot of complaints about the main weapons you spawn with throughout the whole beta period. Most of the complaints seem to be aimed at the sawed-off shotgun and the retro lancer. I can see why people may be frustrated by these weapons but I think they are fine the way they are. Does it suck to get blown up by that sawed-off? Hell yeah it does, it makes me mad, but 95% of the time I shouldn’t have been trigger happy and running out there as if I was playing Gears1 or 2. The people who are still running out there like Rambo are the ones who are forgetting that they're not the bullet sponge that they used to be like in the old games. Don’t want to get dropped by that retro? Then don’t fucking run out there in the open, the game is a cover-based shooter for a reason. 

  I really think Epic managed to do a solid job with making the weapons useful. The main weapon that everyone defaulted to in the past games was the shotgun, there are still players who rolled that way in the beta because old habits die hard, but the other weapons are quite capable of getting the job done. Rifles actually matter now in this game, keep your distance and you will rip guys to shreds with one.

 Don't underestimate that Retro. Use that cover.

 






The Network

Epic took the time to create a decent infrastructure for their netcode and it shows. The netcode of past games were complete shit. Any host was basically granted god like power and precision because they were not hindered by any kind of lag. Gears 3 seems to have cut down on any major lag issues and the host advantage from the previous games is now a thing of the past. There were times that the dedicated servers were taken down for maintenance and it was then that you can easily notice some latency issues, but it was nothing on the shit level that Gears 2 was on.


Overall, the beta was fucking awesome. The game looks nice and there are plenty of diverse environments which increases my interest in what the campaign will be like. I think the big negative to the multiplayer is that it still can be a hard place for any new player to jump into. Despite the balance changes and better netcode, there are still a lot of players that will tear the new people apart. I’m able to fit in just fine because I’m aware of the strategies to help stay alive but I can easily see newcomers having a tough time getting oriented. At least now, when you shoot somebody, the bullets will go into the guy instead of the wall behind him.

 I probably only used the Lancer a couple times, but it was still fun to pull off that occasional chainsaw. 
Edited by EuanDewar

I only got in during the last week of the beta but still, man this game feels good. The satisfaction you get off the impact of a well placed bayonet charge or an up close sawed off round that turns enemies into pulp is fantastic. Really looking forward to getting my hands on the final product now.

Posted by Slaker117

Got in for the last week and loved it. I normally play at a pretty competitive level in most shooters, but for whatever reason, I've always done horribly in the past Gears games. This time it was different. I managed to find my pace pretty quickly and never felt frustrated with the game like I did before. All the starting weapons felt like they where balanced and had a place. There was always a reason I died, something I could be doing better, instead of being subject to bullshit like before. And when I focused myself, I managed to pull some great games. Lots of fun, very satisfying.

Posted by BraveToaster

You're unofficially my official multiplayer teammate.

Posted by Afroman269
@EuanDewar: The overall feel and movement of the game is great. It's a combination of Gears 2's nice animation and Gears 1's fast movement, like rolling and jumping into cover. 

@Slaker117: Ya the barrier of entry for newcomers is lower than the old games. If you try, you'll get some kills. I think the reason why people bitch about the weapons is because they end being killed by them more frequently. They were used to the bullshit tactics from the second game such as wall bouncing and the hit then shoot combo to stay alive a lot. People need to adapt.

@Axxol: We gotta play some horde mode sometime, once I'm done being sucked into my PS3. I just picked up L.A. Noire and Heavy Rain.
Posted by Jesus

I loved the beta! It's great to see that Epic didn't half ass the multiplayer.

Posted by melcene

I understand that Gears 3 broke the Xbox 360 preorder record.  That's gotta speak good for it.  I don't play a whole lot of mutliplayer Gears, but I'm looking forward to the game.

Posted by Afroman269
@melcene: The beta access was probably a big incentive to preorder. Also, the great thing about the multiplayer is that the beast and horde modes will have your back if the competitive modes are not to your liking. 
Posted by Enigma777

I still don't like the Gears MP formula but it's certainly a big improvement over Gears 2. Looking forward to playing some Horde mode though.

Posted by melcene
@Afroman269: I totally forgot about Horde mode.  I did have fun with that.  I haven't played any Gears in a while though.
Posted by PrivateIronTFU

I downloaded the beta, then promptly forgot about it. I only ended up playing about a couple hours of the beta. But what I played I enjoyed. It's still kind of annoying that the shotgun is used so frequently. But oh well. I've also discovered that while I love the Gears games, I'm pretty terrible with aiming.

Posted by Ramone

I agree with you about the sawed-off but the Retro Lancer is fuuuuuuuuuuucked. It makes the other rifles obsolete and it beats shotguns, even at extremely close range. Other than that the beta was a pretty enjoyable experience and it's a major improvement over Gears 2.

Posted by Afroman269
@Jonny7892: The retro is strong for sure but the other rifles can be pretty crazy. The regular lancer can just spew bullets forever. Also, you would be surprised at how crazy people can use those hammerbursts now. I kinda get annoyed by it because I have to stick to cover. The range and high rate of fire from them can be crazy. Retro is weak at long distances. 

@PrivateIronTFU: Ya, people won't give up on those old habits. I only notice the shotguns becoming an issue when the other team is organized enough to flank you and close that gap between you and them. If you're team works together you can keep those guys at bay with rifle fire. 
Edited by Rayfield

@Afroman269

I agree the beta was 'fucking awesome'. I played probably around 50 matches and loved it. I had totally forgotten how fun Gears mutliplayer was.

In regards to the weapons, I loved the good-old Lancer. Tons of dudes still didn't realise the YES I'M NOT SHOOTING YOUR HEAD BUT YOUR KNEES BECAUSE WHEN YOU USE THE LANCER YOU SHOOT AT THE KNEES. The sawn-off was exactly as you said. Stupid powerful but I was probably being stupid to be killed by it in the first place. It sucks when you're killed by it, but awesome when you kill with it.  

Too many Gnashers.

I hate that Mortar and being killed by the Digger Launcher it sooo annoying. 

Not a single moment of lag for me. And the matchmaking seemed pretty good. Looking forward to the full game. Hit me up for a match in September!

Also, how bout that one dude who apparently reached Level 100 in the beta. DAMN.

 


 

Posted by Afroman269
@Rayfield: Ya, gnashers are pretty common in games. I tend to keep my distance so I'm not too worried. Also, that's crazy that someone hit 100. I played a couple hundred matches and only managed to break lvl 28. I'm psyched for the full game and I'm down to play. Gamertag: Big Daddy Afro
Edited by Kandycane2029

I loved the beta. As someone who didn't get into Gears mulitplayer until January this year (and sucks pretty hard on Gears 2), I found the beta to be a bit more balanced and enjoyable. Weapons worked better, and everything clicked better for me. But my biggest complaint about Gears as a whole is the community's reliance on Gnashers. Seriously, people try to cross-map with those things all the time, and it's pretty stupid. I mainly used my pistol (for long range), Retro Lancer (for mid range), and Sawed Off for close range. The Gnasher feels cheap for a close range because of it's fast firing rate.  Close range combat should be a challenge, not a rapid trigger press pray and spray. I've taken more people down with melee after a miss with a sawed off than I have with a Gnasher Vs. Gnasher.

Tl;dr I guess: Shotguns aren't the only weapon in the game, damnit.

Posted by Afroman269
@Kandycane2029: There are quite a lot players in the Gears 3 beta who are hardcore Gears players like myself. Most of them can't/refuse to put their shotgun habits to rest, it's why people are bitching about the overpowered retro and other rifles. They don't like being able to die more easily when using old tactics. As for the Gnasher issue, people are just really good with that gun. I can blind fire that thing like it's nothing because I'm used to using that gun for so long and now that their isn't any lag, I will destroy fools. You just have to keep your distance if you don't want to tango with dudes wielding shotguns. 
Edited by Kandycane2029
@Afroman269: It's not that I can't keep my distance, it's just that I think it's kinda weak that most people only rely on a single gun. I'm lethal with a Retro and a Sawed Off. I just think it's stupid that most people don't try to develop tactics and only rely on a single gun. I snipe when the situation calls for it, and I do what I can at close range. But the Gnasher has been a problem since the first game, based on what I've heard about it. It's almost like the problem in Halo with the Shotgun and Rocket Launcher.

Edit: Also, I suck as Gears, no about doubt it. But I was playing relatively well during the beta. But take that at face value if you will. I won't/refuse to claim I'm good at it.  Also, thanks for accepting my friend request on XBL, look forward to playing with you soon.
Posted by redbliss

I have never been a huge fan of the competitive multiplayer in GOW, but I am still pretty excited for the game because I love the campaign. I might be the only person who buys GOW solely for the campaign. The second game was a huge improvement over the first, and even though that same kind of leap in quality will be tough to accomplish in this game I am sure GOW3 will be at least as amazing as the second game. Cliffy B and Epic dont really mess up when it comes to providing a quality game.
Posted by Afroman269
@redbliss: Personally I think Gears 2 was 2 steps forwards 1 step back. They did well in bumping up graphical fidelity and smoothing out the cover mechanics and animations, but they still fucked up on the multiplayer. Only focusing on the single player, Gears 2 is pretty awesome. Elsewhere.....not so much in my opinion. They did right in Gears 3.

@Kandycane2029: You probably wouldn't have noticed but the shotguns have gotten a pretty nice downgrade compared to past games. You can practically put a scope on your shotgun in Gears 2 because of the stupid long range. I still think they can take back the Gnasher's range just a tad but it's a lot better. Like I said before, people don't like getting rid of their shotgun habits and for some, they never will. 
Posted by Slaker117
@Afroman269: Yeah, the barrier is lower, but I don't think managed to still make it rewarding for smart players. I started off going like 1:5 or 1:6, but by the end of the week I understood the balance of the guns, and how to mix them up with your tactics and could constantly keep my K/D just under 2:1. I could see some saying that me catching on so quick is a sign simple beginner strategies are too effective, but I was forcing myself to adapt, playing different roles with different guns depending on the flow of the match. Great stuff, plenty of depth, but still simply fun at it's core.
Posted by Afroman269
@Slaker117: Ya, I always found myself switching up strategies based on the situation, I would go with a gnasher for KoTH mode because groups of people hanged around the zone. I probably stuck with the Retro the most because I'm more of a medium to short range kind of guy. The game really caters to each type of playing style......it's why people are mad that the focus isn't on the short range combat anymore.