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Entries in Gears of War 3 (5)


Left 4 Dead Fan Film Is So Much More

Take nine minutes and thirteen seconds to watch this awesome fan film of Left 4 Dead. Sure, I'll watch almost anything with zombies, but promise me you'll hang in there until 5:30 or so. Trust me.

As bitterkenny said, "So epic."


Five Gears of War 3 Horde Mode Tips From Horde Junkies

The Gentlemen and I played Horde on the new Gears of War 3 two nights ago for the first time, and believe me when I tell you, it's intense. It took us a few levels on "Normal" to get the hang of it, but after playing we quickly figured out a few key things that you'll want to do the first time you and your friends fire it up.

1. Pay attention to where you can build bases.
Figuring out where to defend against the Horde is probably the most important decision your team will make. Fortunately the game now gives you suggestions by showing places where you can build COG bases. Even if you don't spend your money immediately to buy a base (which you absolutely shouldn't), you should still use one of these areas as a fall back position when things get rough. And trust me, things will get rough.

2. Save your money and scrounge.
The first few rounds are the easiest, and although buying that sweet sniper rifle may seem like a good idea - it isn't. Try not to spend any cash in the first nine rounds and scrounge all the weapons and ammo you can off of the dead grubs. Even if you need to buy back into the game to get through round ten, it's better than wasting your money on a Gorgon pistol you could have scrounged in the first place. And later on you're going to need the money more.

3. Spot your enemies
A new feature of GoW3 is the ability to spot your enemies (a la Battlefield) so you can point out who it is you're shooting at. All you have to do is aim down your sights and press-in the left stick. Not only will you get points, but you'll be helping your teammates who probably don't have your line-of-sight. Communication is the key to any multiplayer game, and spotting only helps that.

4. Build fortifications and decoys in line of fire.
Building out fortifications at your base is an obvious thing to do, and in the later rounds it's absolutely necessary. But don't forget to build out stuff that is going to slow down the horde and give you more time to kill. On the map we played I built barriers and a decoy that were directly between the horde spawn point and the turret I built. The horde would spawn, come toward our base, and slow down just enough for me to rack up the kills. Eventually they'll break down the barriers, but slowing them down is key.

5. Keep your distance from bosses and try to ignore them until the end.
The "bosses" in the last round (of each set of ten) are difficult to bring down, and even on "Normal" mode they present a real challenge. If you've got your base set up and your game plan in place, then do your best to try to avoid and ignore them. Take out all the other horde first, because while you're distracted by that giant Brumak that Mauler inching towards you is guaranteed to take you out.

5.5 One last thing - don't forget the old lessons from GoW2 Horde.
There are a lot of cool new things in Gears of War 3 Horde, but don't forget the stuff that got you through GoW2 Horde. Play with friends and use the buddy system to revive each other if one gets taken out. Scrounge for the good weapons, plant those shields in defensive positions and get the high ground if at all possible. And, as always, Boltok-Headshot=Bragging.


99 Problems But Battlefield 3 Ain't One

Did anyone else see this ad on TV during NFL games this weekend? I remember enjoying the TV ads for Gears of War 2 (the GoW3 ads were a disappointment to me), but this is awesome. EA, if you're trying to get me excited for Battlefield 3, then well done.

Oh, and don't forget the multiplayer beta is open to the public this Thursday.

Battlefield 3 / Jay-Z -- "99 Problems" Full-Length Gameplay TV Ad []


Dear Dead Island, Your Sewers Sent Me Straight To Gears of War 3

Dear Dead Island,

At first I wasn't sure if I liked you or not. But I loved the game you completely ripped off (Borderlands) and I love zombie stuff, so I started to really like you too. I didn't mind running all over the island opening up suitcases for $37 or looking everywhere for "Oleander." Taking a zombie's head off with my modified baseball bat or curb stomping his face was extremely fun, especially when I was playing with friends. But then you sent me into the sewers.

Every zombie game has a sewer level I guess. I get it. But Jesus, did you have to make me go through endless tunnels and rooms that basically all look the same? You added one new zombie to kill, but did he have to be such a rip off of the puking guy from Left 4 Dead? And then, after I finally got out of the sewers, did you really have to send me all the way back through them?

Dead Island, you went from a game where it felt like I could explore the "world" around me, to sending me on a rail so you could get the plot further along. A plot that, by the way, once I got to the cut scenes made no sense.

I only have so much time to play video games, and sad to say for you there are a lot of new games out now. I put in Gears of War 3 instead last night, and although it's not fundamentally that different from the GoW2 campaign (at least in game play), it's proving to be pretty fun so far. And I haven't even touched Horde mode yet.


Frustrating Release Dates, or Too Much of a Good Thing in Fall 2011

In the movie industry, studios plan the releases of their big titles carefully.  The Harry Potters of the world are never released on the same, or even the adjoining, weekend as the Transformers, the Batmans, the other tentpole hits.  Studios want their movies to have exclusivity to a weekend, to generate the buzz, to pull in the big opening weekend numbers. 

One would expect similar behavior in the release dates of video games, that having an exclusive window around your AAA release would guarantee greater buzz, better initial weekend sales, and higher sustained sales as people buy the game, love it, and tell their friends. 

Looking back over the last six (eight? ten?) months of video game releases, it’s been slim pickings for “games I want to buy” – and granted that’s a very subjective list.  There was Portal 2, which I bought and loved.    I considered LA Noire, but after hearing a poor review from a colleague, I passed on for now.  Not a lot else.  Sure, there were lots of “version 2.5s” – sequels which appear to be slightly enhanced versions of the original game rushed to market to make money (Left for Dead 2 is an excellent example of what I mean) – but no games which left me tracking their release date or going to GameStop to preorder. 

So the Gentlemen have been playing Battlefield 2 over the summer of 2011.  Great game, we enjoyed the multiplayer with its rewards for team play, different soldier classes and vehicles.  This game was released in 2009, and yet almost two years later it’s the best one we could agree on for our online entertainment.

This brings us to the fall of 2011.  Between early September and the end of the year, we have Dead Island, Gears of War 3, Battlefield 3, Dead Rising 2, Batman Arkham City, Halo Combat Evolved. Modern Warfare 3, and of course Minute to Win It.  Lots of great games that I’d definitely consider dropping $60 on (I do realize they’re almost all sequels and one is a release), but I’m simply not going to buy them all.    There’s not enough time.  So, GoW3, and BF3, you get my preorder money.  Dead Island got my $60, but that’s likely going on the shelf Tuesday (GoW3 day).  Looking at the number of bugs in Dead Island, Deep Silver was trying to beat the other titles into the market – judging by their sales, a smart move.

I realize there are a lot of factors that go into a release date. I work in the software industry (albeit on the B2B side), so I understand the amount of work - design, development and testing  - that goes into a software release. Holiday shopping is starting soon (if not already).  Perhaps I’m being naïve, it just seems to me that if the studios planned their releases a bit better, they could get some more exclusivity, and therefore higher sales.