Gears of War 3 Preview (Xbox360)

There's a fair amount of time to wait until Gears of War 3 hits the shelves (and inevitably our Xbox 360s), with a release set for late 2011. Of course, that won't stop us getting excited about the new features we can expect to see in the next installment - including the brand new Beast multiplayer mode, which puts you in control of the Locust.

We had a bash with this new mode recently, and came away with all the facts you'll need, ripe for picking through and salivating over. There are a huge variety of Locust characters to play as, and grinding the humans into the ground is as much fun as you'd hope it to be.

Epic confrontations will be the norm in Beast mode

In the preview build we played, there were several waves in which to cause death and destruction. Each wave allowed for different beasts to be selected and controlled, although it should be noted that we were all provided with unlimited tokens - in the final game, you'll need to kill humans to grab tokens, and use these tokens to upgrade to the stronger beast classes.

First off, we had a gander at the Ticker. This guy is available during all rounds, and costs a relatively low number of tokens. He doesn't have a weapon, but instead charges at the opposition before denotating and causing death by explosion. However, he doesn't have much health, so getting your team-mates to distract the enemy while you scoot around the back and catch them unaware is the key.

The Wretch is going to become a favourite for veteran players early on in a match, as he's just so difficult to use - and therefore, master. He's extremely weak, but can roll in and out of cover, and dish out a fair few swipes before biting the dust. The Wretch can only be selected in the first round, hence it'll be interesting to see how these guys are tactically used.

The Kantus is your medic and medium range support. He can revive fallen allies, while also dealing out impressive damage to nearby opposition. Reviving your friends is a tricky business, however, as you're not able to defend yourself while doing so. Still, having at least one of these guys on your team will definitely be useful. Later on in the game, you'll be able to unlock an armoured version of the Kantus, so this should help matters.

Not the most delightful fellow we've ever laid eyes on

The Grenadier does exactly what he says on the tin. He felt a little awkward to use, with cover and rolling not so hot, but this is sure to be tweaked to within an inch of its life over the coming year. Same with the Butcher - he feels very slow to move and this may irritate some people, but the sheer power that can be inflicted on the humans if you manage to get close enough is staggering. You'll need plenty of tokens to access this bad boy though!

The beasts for round three are all extremely good fun to dissect humans with. The Locus Mauler moves in a similiar fashion to the previously-mentioned Butcher, but also has a handy shield for keeping himself alive. The Grinder is also very similar to these two, although he has no means of moving quickly to catch his prey. With these guys, it's the feeling of awesome power that really gets your adrenaline pumping - very much in the same way you'd gain plenty of enjoyment from catching a survivor off-guard in zombie-em-up Left 4 Dead.

It's the stronger beasts, however, that really turn up the heat for your opposition. The Berserker is incredibly overpowered, with oodles of health and fist-power. Charging into a human and beating him senseless is very good fun indeed, and you can feel the terror in the humans' eyes as you appear in their line of sight.

The Serapede is something a little bit different, but still as deadly. You control this guy in a sort of race-car fashion - that is, you push forward to move, then use the right-stick to rotate as if he were a bumper car. It's pretty easy to ride your way into the fray and shred plenty of humans into little pieces, although getting used to the controls takes some time.

When a beast gets this close, your chances of survival aren't very high

This is Gears of War 3's Beast mode in a nutshell - well, from the view of the nasties anyhow. The final game will of course allow 5 on 5 action, with player-controlled beasts and humans pitting it off against each other. Horde mode from Gears of War 2 will also be available, so you'll have plenty of multiplayer action to be getting your teeth around.

If you're a big Gears of War multiplayer fanatic, early indications show that Beast mode will not disappoint, with plenty of characters to mess around with and maps to fight over. Gears of War 3 is planned for a Fall release in 2011.

Most Anticipated Feature: Riding in as the Serapede and cutting down every human in your path.

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By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Oct 07, 2010
Lambent. nice xD
By Kres (SI Elite) on Oct 07, 2010
Lambent? What kind of a word is that? :p

Game is looking better then ever.