By Afroman269 21 Comments
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 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!
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.
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.