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Gears of War 3 Brings Back Horde Mode In A Big Way

Previews - Xbox 360

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We've known for a while that Horde Mode would be making a return to Gears of War 3. However, Epic Games has remained mum about what enhancements they would bring to the table. This all changed last night, when they announced Horde 2.0 at their Gears E3 Party. Today I was able to sit in on a demonstration of Horde 2.0, lead by Gear of War 3 executive producer Rod Fergusson.

The biggest change to Horde is the focus on strategy. Each map now has multiple bases that you can choose to set up at. Once you and your team have chosen your ideal spot, you can start laying out your defenses in pre-designated areas. While it may sound like they are straying too far from the mold they cast with Horde in Gears 2, they aren't. The main focus is still on killing waves of Locust. What it seems like they're doing is taking the strategy of creating and defending a base, which most players adapted in Gears 2 anywayinto an official game mechanic. Once a defensive structure is in place, they can be upgraded. This is all done with in-game currency that is earned from kills and team actions. There are really two types of defense structures: barriers and turrets. Barriers start off as simple spike strips but can be upgraded to razor wire, electrified wire, and laser barriers. Turrets simply get more powerful as they upgrade, however they can be manned or automated. In-game currency can also be used to purchase extra ammo, weapons, or even bring you back into the game if you died. Another quick note to add is that the Mauler's butcher cleaver is now a useable weapon once he drops it.

Last, but certainly not least, are the boss battles. Every ten waves, you will fight a randomly selected boss in addition to regular Locusts. This can include Brumaks, Corpsers and Berserkers in both normal and lambent flavors. In the demo, the Gears dev team was on wave 10 with hardcore difficulty, when they were lucky enough to get the Lambent Berserker which Rod pointed out was the hardest boss in the game. It wasn't long before we saw why. The Lambent Berserker is a three stage boss that is immune to gun fire. The only why to kill it is to shoot a weakness on her chest that is only vulnerable when she it charging you. Even with all of their experience and knowledge, the Gears dev team was no match for this tank. However, this is not a bad thing, if Horde taught us anything in Gears 2, its that having the odds against us is incredibly fun and rewarding. This is still the case with Horde 2.0.  Everyone watching the demo was enjoying the carnage. 

Horde 2.0 really looks like it will complete the package for Gears 3 and offer some of the most diverse multiplayer of this year. You can look forward to playing Horde 2.0 and the rest of Gears of War 3 when it is released on September 20th this year.

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