Play as the Locust. Even as a Ticker. Eff yeah!
June 15, 2010
Gears of War 3 has a very exciting new online mode, revealed for the first time at E3 2010. Building on the success of Horde mode, Beast mode is an arena-style battle where you try and kill off waves of enemies. The catch? You play as the Locust, killing COGs. Epic is going all out with this--it's not just you playing as wretches. You're going to be playing as a lot of different Locust, from Tickers to Cantus Priest's to Berserkers. It's going to be insane.
Beast Mode offers the mirror side of Horde mode. You and up to three friends play as Locusts, wiping out the entrenched Gears on the various multiplayer maps. The map layout can greatly change your strategy, since the Gears will have a strong advantage if they start with the high ground or, say, a bunker to take sniper shots.
Unlike Horde mode, you have more than one life. After all, playing as a Ticker, your goal is to get close to a Gear and explode. Wouldn't be very fun if that was the end of the round for you. Killing COGs earns you tokens, which can be spent to respawn into different characters. This rewards you for your successes in a match, but avoids punishing you for dying at the hands of a Gear. After all, that's what Locusts do, right?
When you pick up a copy of Gears of War 3 in April 2011, you won't be playing as a Berserker in Beast mode right off the bat. The different playable locusts are earned through a leveling up system. Epic Games promises that this won't be too prohibitive. You'll be able to unlock the Locusts you want quickly enough, but you'll appreciate the Berserker a touch more if you've earned it with superior Beast mode play.
The different Locusts are essentially like multiplayer classes. The Berserkers are your brute class, the Cantus are your healer class, etc. Playing as the different Locust looks like an absolutely blast.
The Ticker is kind of like a little bumper car, steering around the environment, bumping into walls and such in search of a some Gear. And when the Ticker finds victims? Hit the B button to explode. The Cantus is the healer and can even raise the dead. Of course, he also is a fine long-ranged combatant, so don't think of him as some kind of wuss who hangs in the back of the battlefield looking for Locust to heal. The Berserker is a hulk. She has myopic vision, meaning you'll see a little bit less of the field. She's a tank, basically, slowly turning and then plowing forward. She has a charge move that is devastating as well as a powerful ground slam. I saw a Berserker crush a Gear in an exo-suit. It's something else.
We'll have a chance to dive full on into Beast mode later this week. From the looks of it, this will be even better than Horde mode.
You can see the first video of Gears of War 3 on IGN's Live Show Tuesday at 2pm PST.