Gears of War - Epic's Xbox 2 project unmasked?

Epic's first Xbox 360 project is a third-person game called Gears of War according to a well-placed source. Could be at E3.

Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 title for Xbox 2, hinted at in a Eurogamer interview last July, will be called "Gears of War" and will launch exclusively on the Microsoft platform.

A usually reliable industry source informed Eurogamer that Gears of War is a third-person action game where you will be able to ride around on beastly creatures and kill things, which admittedly isn't too specific but is still more than we knew.

The same source also speculated that Gears of War would be shown at E3 this May following the Unreal Engine 3's tour of the world last year, which included in a behind closed doors presentation at the last Game Developer's Conference.

Microsoft is expected to officially unveil the Xbox 2 platform between now and E3 and reportedly ship it within the year, and the suggestion is the Gears of War could be one of the console's big early titles.

Speaking to Eurogamer last July, Tim Sweeney said "Epic's next major Unreal Engine 3-based game is going to ship on a next generation console." Colleague Mark Rein then joked, "Wait! Is it Microsoft?" before Sweeney added, "No points for guessing which platform we're going to ship on!" with a laugh. The conversation then moved on to Microsoft's XNA cross-platform technology.

A quick check of the US trademark database reveals that Epic does indeed own the "Gears of War" name, although due to time differences it was impossible to confirm whether or not it's connected to the developer's next-generation console project at the time of going to press. The company also registered "Hollow Point" as a trademark around a month beforehand.

We hope to hear back from Epic over the weekend and will be sure to bring you anything further we hear about Gears of War just as soon as we have it. To read more about the capabilities of the awesome Unreal Engine 3, check out our two-part interview with Epic's Tim Sweeney and Mark Rein - here and here.

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