‘Gears of War’ demo amps up excitement

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By Laith Salama / Special to Viewpoints

By Laith Salama / Special to Viewpoints

Ever since the words “Gears of War 3” began popping up in gaming circles, with teaser phrases like “dedicated servers” and “sawed-off shotgun,” it’s been difficult to get a decent night’s sleep.


Unfortunately it does not hit stores until September; however “Gears of War” creator Cliff Blezinski released a multiplayer beta on April 18 to tide fans over until then.


A beta is a demo of just the multiplayer mode, so the creators can watch fans play and see what needs fixing before the game actually comes out.


The beta is amazing.


Fans of “Gears of War 2” are going to notice right off the bat that the game was cleaned it up and smoothed out.


Before the game starts players can choose what shot gun and what machine gun they want.


A lot has changed. The lancer, though the weakest machine gun, has an unbelievable ammo capacity, the hammer burst is now less strong but very accurate and the new retro lancer is ridiculously powerful, with little to no range whatsoever.


And speaking of little to no range, the new sawed-off shotgun will kill anybody who’s in front of it, provided the player is standing on top of them.


There was the possibility that the new weapons wouldn’t have a point, because the gnasher shot gun from “Gears of War 2” was plenty shotgun to go around and the two machine guns were different enough from one another, that neither was made obsolete.


Now where can they possibly fit all these new weapons in “Gears of War 3?”


Well they fit in just perfectly. The sawed-off, though over powering, only fires one shot at a time and then takes forever to reload.


The retro lancer is significantly different from the lancer and the hammer burst, so they all fit to preference.


Also “Gears of War 3” introduces the incendiary grenade, which sets enemies on fire.


“Gears of War 2” had a standard frag grenade and the smoke grenade was useless.


In “Gears of War 3” the smoke grenade blinds enemies, the ink grenade explodes on impact, the incendiary grenade kills enemies instantly and the frag grenade is still the same in all of its glory.


The game is all together very well balanced out.


In “Gears of War 2” it was so hard to get a kill and so easy to die and likely deterred a lot of people from playing it.


In “Gears of War 3,” anyone can get a kill, though maybe not as many as others, but they aren’t worthless anymore.


People who hate “Gears of War 2” are going to want to give the third installment a chance.


The beta demonstrates an excellent direction this franchise has taken, but fans will have to wait until September to get their hands on the real thing.


“Gears of War 3” is scheduled for release on Sept. 20.

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