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Gears Of War 3 will shake up the franchise's acclaimed cover system and feature underwater missions for the first time, Edge can reveal.
Developer Epic Games is set to evolve the combat by introducing new Locust foes with tentacle-like appendages which are capable of extending to player cover spots.
Meanwhile, the COG members of Delta Squad will be equipped with explosives that can travel beneath the ground to take out enemy cover positions, our US publishing source told us.
While the first two Gears games offered mobile cover in the form of objects like burnt out cars that could be pushed around, Gears Of War 3 will feature a heavy duty mech suit the COGs can utilise both for protection and to wreak havoc.
All of these new features will be present in the singleplayer campaign and multiplayer modes, Edge understands.
We were also informed that the game will be set during the summer and introduce a number of new environments to the series, including underwater locations. The end of the last title saw the COGs sink mankind’s last city, Jacinto, and flood the Hollow in order to take out the Locust Horde beneath the surface.
Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 demo at GDC in March showed off jungle or foliage-heavy areas, which could also make an appearance in Gears Of War 3 - Epic previously used GDC 2008 to debut Unreal Engine upgrades that went on to show up in Gears 2.
Gears Of War: Jacinto's Remnant, a novel written in conjunction with Epic, continues the Gears story from the conclusion of the second game. One story strand focuses on the island of Vectes, a former COG naval base sporting fertile lowlands, forests and a river. This setting could be ideal to show off the developer’s new Unreal Engine features were it to show up in Gears Of War 3.
Gears Of War 3 has yet to be officially announced. However, Epic design director Cliff Bleszinski is set to reveal a new game on Monday’s episode of US talk show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and it could be on the agenda. He was originally set to appear on tonight’s show - the same day we predicted Gears Of War 3 would officially be unveiled – but said that the change in schedule would allow Epic “to take a couple more days to polish” its game.
We've contacted Microsoft for comment on this report.