Maybe A Laugh Track And Tower Defence Are Just What Gears Of War 3 Needed

Gears of War's developers certainly didn't invent "Horde Mode". But Epic Games, creator of Gears, is lucky in that every other game developer who copies their popular multiplayer mode gives the studio credit for it when showing off their own take on Horde.

Gears of War 3 design director Cliff Bleszinski is the one that points this out in our E3 meeting, humbly pointing to Robotron: 2084 as the originator of Horde mode's mechanics.

So what does Epic Games do when attempting to reinvent how Gears of War players will facing ever stronger waves of Locust hordes in their next game? Well, they borrow a little bit too, adding some of the real-time strategy components of endless "tower defence" games and a cash-for-kills layer to the cooperative multiplayer mode.

Gears of War 3's "Horde 2.0" mode adds the usual stuff: new maps, new weapons, like that two-player Vulcan Cannon. It also adds fortifications to Horde. Players can rack up in-game money, then spend them on barriers, decoys, sentries and more.

Let's break it down. The barriers that players can build include caltrops, razor wire, electrified wire fences and laser barriers. Players will have to earn the ability to unlock the stronger stuff with Gears 3's persistent online progression. Decoys, logically, draw enemy fire with their comical COG soldier-like looks. Sentries are automated guns that players can plant and turrets are manned versions of those sentries, more powerful weapons that players can hop into and control.

Players can also deploy the new Silverback mechanised walker in Horde 2.0, the metal suit that delivers powerful fire and doubles as cover for teammates.

All this stuff can be built, repaired and upgraded with cash - with the exception of the Silverback, which is "not currently upgradeable," says Gears of War 3 design director Cliff Bleszinski. Gears bucks can also be spent to resurrect your teammates. It can also be shared, should one of your COG pals be short on cash and really want that Silverback. Weapons can also be swapped between friends.

Of course, you're still facing bigger and stronger waves and waves of foes, now a bit more diverse.

Horde 2.0 also introduces bonus objectives every few rounds, giving players a chance to earn new weapons, additional ammo and a bigger cash windfall if completed. Those challenges include objectives like clearing a wave under a time limit or using your Lancer to chainsaw a certain number of foes.

Every tenth wave is a boss wave, with Gears of War's bigger Locust strains joining the wave of beefy mutants.

Perhaps to lighten the mood, Bleszinski says that Horde 2.0 will feature new, gameplay altering Mutators. These include amusements like the option to have big heads and big feet on your characters. Squeamish players can choose to remove blood sprays, instead having enemies and allies shoot flowers out of open wounds. High-pitched squeaky voices and an optional laugh track the cues up a giggling audience may make your Gears of War 3 multiplayer even sillier.

If none of this sounds like a good idea to you, Bleszinski offers a solution for those who prefer Gears of War 2's take on Horde. Hit the eject button on your Xbox 360, insert Gears 2 disc, play Horde. (Smart ass!)

Gears of War 3 and its new hordes come to the Xbox 360 on September 20 in North America.


    >Gears of War‘s developers certainly didn’t invent “Horde Mode”
    I thought they kinda did. I don't really remember that kinda gametype anywhere before Invasion in UT2k3.

      Before that it was Invasion mode in UT2004, and before that it was Invasion mods for original Unreal Tournament.

      Like so many things the credit goes not to those who pioneered the concept, but those who monetised it via a product with far more prominent exposure and consistent distribution.

        And before that there was Marathon: Durandul's survival mode. ;)

      They didn't invent the sticky cover mechanic, either, that goes to, i think, /kill.switch or something.

        Thank you! I was discussing comparisons and origins of sticky cover systems with friends recently after some Rainbow Six Vegas and could not for the life of me remember the name of that one!

          I think you're looking for Operation Winback.

    "Players will have to earn the ability to unlock the stronger stuff with Gears 3‘s persistent online progression"

    So I have to get an XBL Gold account to be able to get the most out of this?

      You need an XBL account to play this online....

        Yeah I don't want to play online. When it comes to GoW MP I just play with mates or my brother on the one console. I have no interest in online gaming on a console.

          yeah guess you'll have to buy gold. why dont you want to play online?

            Probably because you have to "buy" gold. every other game system, pc and console, manages to provide free multiplayer gaming, with Xbox the only exception.

              It's not so much the paying but the fact that I'd never use it. When it comes to online gaming for me it's PC or bust. :S

                Actually, silver members got their stats on Horde and Bot play increased with offline game modes for GOW2 so I wouldn't rule it out.

                They'd be pretty fucked to deny the offline people a fully-featured Horde Mode; for people who don't do the online thang Horde is amazing value.

    I don't like the colours.

    Marathon: Durandul’s survival mode has had it since like 1998, and it hell wasn't the very first I'm sure, but hell it was amazing!

    They should have taken a leaf out of Uncharted's book with an extra "Next Gen Filter" so everything's even browner.

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