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E3 First Impressions: Gears of War 3 - Horde 2.0

Posted on Friday, June 17 @ 18:19:28 PST by Kuulei_N
You jump into a public match with a seemingly good bunch of teammates and all of you are determined to reach wave 50. Many hours and sore thumbs later, you're at wave 49. Eyes dry and heavy, it’s 5 a.m. and you have only a little ways more to go. Suddenly, the screen jumps to the main menu and in fine print, the game informs you that the host has ended the session. Expletives naturally ensue while you type out the most unfathomable hate messages that if seen by the wrong eyes. would most surely get you banned.

This is the life of a gamer. We love spending hours upon hours playing and completing objectives. But we hate, hate, absolutely hate, when a game (or person) abruptly interrupts our mission.

Horde mode was introduced in Gears of War 2, and while it was a great addition, fans complained about it being poorly executed, lacking variety and simple features like host migration. Epic Games took your bitching feedback into consideration, because Horde 2.0 in Gears of War 3 is making a bold statement.

Not only will you have locusts to kill, you will have other objectives to accomplish. The first is to build a command post, which in turn unlocks different areas of the map where you can further build defenses, like auto-turrets, fences, and stand-ins that act as decoys, attracting enemy fire.

As you become more proficient in building, you’re given access to better defense systems. At the start of the round, for instance, you can build spike barriers, but eventually you have the option to build barbed wire fences or laser fences. The more you kill, the more money you earn and can then use to spend on fortifications. There are also bonus objectives, such as executing all opponents, to fill up your virtual wallet if completed.

Money is also used to buy your way back in if killed, so you're no longer are forced to watch your teammates play without you. Don’t have enough money to buy back? No problem. Enable ghost camera mode, float around, locate enemies for your teammates, and earn cash for it. Or ask your friend nicely to spot you, since you’re able to trade money.

But money goes fast, considering that enemies destroy everything you build, so upgrading and repairing your defense is a constant pressure. To add to that, a boss appears every ten waves and at random, as well. You fight against enemies like a mini-corpser, a brumak, or a lambent berserker, which even Gears Lead Producer Chris Wynn calls a “crazy hard” fight. Wynn elaborates: “… We tried to set a time limit for five minutes and we never once beat her in five minutes. It was kind of embarrassing.” Fantastic. If the production team cannot beat their own creation within a certain amount of time, gamers are in for quite the challenge.

Horde 2.0 looks to be more substantial and consistently keep players on their toes: you have fortifications to build, repair, upgrade and defend, on top of killing locusts and bosses to survive and earn cash at the same time; all without worrying about the host ending the game. The long desired host migration has finally been added in Horde 2.0. If the host decides to quit, the game will transition over to the next suitable player and you can invite someone else in to continue the onslaught.

Horde 2.0 will be available (along with the rest of Gears of War 3, of course) this year on September 20.
Related Games:   Gears of War 3
Tags:   Gears of War 3, e3

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