The Gears of War movie is still trundling forward and it's even secured a screenwriter.
That frame-rate makes a heck of a difference.
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Remember when Epic Games flew the Xbox 360 flag with Gears of War? Those were the days. Now we get Paragon (open beta), a not-bad MOBA; Fortnite (alpha), a base-building survival game in development for six years now; and a new, somewhat openly developed Unreal Tournament (pre-alpha).
Oh, and one other game, just announced: Battle Breakers. A turn-based tactical role-playing game for mobiles and PC, with cross-platform play.
Battle Breakers looks like typical mobile fare, with your team's heroes stood on hex grids on your side, facing off against enemies standing on hex grids on their side. There's an anime style and tone to the whole thing, with loud noises and flashy abilities. Do I sound old yet?
Former American football player and wrestler Lenwood "Hard Rock" Hamilton is suing the devs behind Gears of War, claiming that his likeness was stolen in the creation of the character Augustus Cole, aka the Cole Train.
The Gears of War movie is back from the gutter, this time with Universal Studios producing.
Gears of War, as a series, has just never appealed to me. Nothing personal Marcus Fenix, but although I can totally get behind a gun that can also be used to fell a tree, I just always thought those games looked kind of...grey. But hey, different strokes for different folks and all, and I do recognise and respect that the first Gears of War game was, for its time, a highly-polished cover-based shooter.
Without sounding too much like a street magician: think of a video game helicopter. Any video game helicopter. Don't tell me what it is for now, just keep it in your mind. If it didn't crash, then the chances are it was used to spoon-feed you a few plot points before the action started.
One of the first and most spurious misuses of my university student loan was a Halo 3 Master Chief edition Xbox 360. It was a disgusting olive green with hideous decals and a questionable shiny gold disc tray and I absolutely adored it. But, even though I played Halo 3 multiplayer and Assassin's Creed to death, my first memories of the 360 are actually somewhat hazy.
Given how frequently video game characters take damage, you'd think most developers would be medical experts by now. Sadly, that couldn't be farther from the truth; you only need glance at some of the healing methods in video games to know that something is rotten in the hospitals of Denmark.
It was 2006's most eye-catching video game trailer: footage of Epic's gritty Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War spliced with Gary Jules' tear-jerker Mad World.
Microsoft's promo set a trend for other video game marketers, who took the idea of combining tracks that didn't quite fit the gameplay they were overlaying for many a last-generation trailer.
Now, nearly nine years after the launch of Gears of War, Microsoft's created an homage to the 2006 Mad World trailer with its launch trailer for Ultimate Edition, due out on Xbox One later this month.
When Lethal Weapon 3 got its cinematic release in 1992, my parents dutifully went along to the cinema to watch it. At the end of the credits, they were delighted to discover, there was one last scene - an easter egg to reward those who watched all those names scroll past on the screen. So began an excruciating family tradition.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition comes with all the Gears of War games, Microsoft has announced.
The original Gears of War came out in 2006. Now it's being remastered for release on Xbox One and PC in an Ultimate Edition due 25th August.
Microsoft has taken action against those who leaked the Gears of War Xbox One remaster.
There's no end in sight to the current climate of remakes.
UPDATE 25/04/2015 2.15am: Gears of War test build recipients have confirmed to Kotaku that this is indeed a remastering of the first Gears of War.
Apparently this pre-release code is multiplayer only and includes the following game modes: Team Deathmatch; King of the Hill; One Life 1v1; Shotgun Team Deathmatch; 1v1 Sudden Death Gnashers Only; 4v4 Team Deathmatch Single Round; and 4v4 King of the Hill Single Round.
ORIGINAL STORY 24/04/2015 11.11pm: Gears of War appears to be getting a remastered treatment on Xbox One, according to various sources.
Microsoft studio Black Tusk is hard at work on the next Gears of War game for Xbox One - but don't expect it to release any time soon.
Ex-Epic design chief Cliff Bleszinski has had it with disc-based games.
UPDATE: Gears of War creator Clifford Bleszinski has confirmed that he will not be working on the next Gears game in any capacity.
"I'm not going to move to Vancouver and work on it," Bleszinski said on his Clifford Unchained blog. "I'm not going to consult on it."
This isn't so say that he's bitter about the change. In fact, he's looking forward to this new take on the series given how well Microsoft handled the Halo property after giving it to newcomers 343. "343 knocked it out of the park with Halo and I think Black Tusk will do a fantastic job with Gears," Bleszinski stated.
The next Xbox Live Games with Gold title is Gears of War 1, Microsoft has announced.
With the Xbox One on the horizon, what next for Gears of War, the Microsoft exclusive series that helped define HD gaming on Xbox 360?
Sci-fi author and former writer and story consultant for Microsoft Game Studios, Eric Nylund, has joined up with Amazon Game Studios as its new director of narrative design.
The Gears of War movie adaptation is moving ahead with Battleship and Ted producer Scott Stuber helming the long-delayed project.
Doors open in the video games industry for someone like Cliff Bleszinski. He's famous in these parts. He left Epic Games in October and got away from it all, put some trunks on, went on holiday and spent time with his wife. Now he's had his break, what does he plan to do?
New copies of Gears of War: Judgement will include a download code for the original Gears of War, publisher Microsoft has announced.
Epic Games president Mike Capps has retired.
There is renewed interest in the thought dead Gears of War movie, according to a new report.
Cliff Bleszinski came across very well in an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit at the weekend.
UPDATE: Epic executive Mark Rein has tweeted to clarify that Infinity Blade is Epic's most profitable game "in terms of man years invested versus revenue only, not total profit".
Epic Games producer Rod Fergusson sought storytelling advice from Pixar for the upcoming Gears of War: Judgment.
Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly is working on the new Gears of War title teased last night.
Too Human developer Silicon Knights will only be eligible for $1 in damages if it wins its ongoing court case with Unreal Engine creator Epic Games.
Gear of War creator Cliff Bleszinski has spoken out against Japanese game developers for ignoring multiplayer options.
Outspoken Dead Space story producer Chuck Beaver has defended his critique of Gears of War, claiming his remarks were taken out of context.
Epic Games founder Tim Sweeney is to be the newest member of the notable AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences) Hall of Fame.
Epic-owned Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly will develop the next Gears of War trilogy, according to a rumour in the latest US Offical Xbox Magazine.
Gears of War 3 will expand again on 13th December with Raam's Shadow, Epic has announced.
Xbox 360 exclusive shooter Gears of War 3 has sold over three million copies worldwide during its first week on sale,
http://majornelson.com/2011/09/29/gears-of-war-3-sells-three-million-copies-in-first-week-sales/">Microsoft has announced.
Microsoft said today the Epic-developed title is the biggest game of 2011 so far.
Deals on Bulletstorm DLC, an XBLA release for Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike and new content for Dragon Age 2 head up the latest Xbox Live content schedule.
The chances of Gears of War continuing past trilogy-ending instalment number three are high, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski has revealed.
Epic Games, creator of the Gears of War series and the Unreal Engine, will never become a publisher, despite some believing it is the next natural step for the company.
Achievements earned in old Gears of War games unlock new things like skins in Gears of War 3, Epic has revealed.
What are the chances of Gears of War coming to PS3? It's a round number, according to creative director Cliff Bleszinski.
Gamers take Gears of War 3's graphics "for granted".
Epic Games is in theory up for following in BioWare and Ubisoft's footsteps with the release of a Facebook game designed to tie-in with a triple-A game.
Epic Games has unveiled its vision of what the next-generation will look like using Unreal Engine 3.
Gears of War 3 has a new and final global release date: 20th September 2011.
Microsoft community man Graeme Boyd tweeted the date moments ago. Japan, incidentally, will get Gears of War 3 two days later on 22nd September.
Gears of War 3 suffered a delay from April to autumn 2011 back in October 2010. This happened to coincide wonderfully with the Eurogamer Expo 2010, where the inventive Gears of War 3 Beast multiplayer mode was playable.
Epic's Gears of War Kinect game is an on-rails shooter, according to a new report.
UPDATE: Epic Games has confirmed that the Gears of War Triple Pack is currently a US-only release.
Epic Games poster boy Cliffy B has promised Gears of War fans an unexpected Gears of War reveal at the Spike Video Game Awards next month.
Some form of Gears of War-related Kinect game will be revealed during next month's Video Game Awards show, according to a report.
Epic believes that it could be possible to put a game the size of Gears of War on the iPhone in as little as two years time.
Cliff Bleszinksi has explained that the Gears of War screenplay needed rethinking because it was too expensive, rated R and "contained no love story".
The game may not have been officially announced yet, but the first details of Gears of War 3 appeared to have popped up on the internet.
Edge Online quotes a "US publishing source" as saying the cover system is getting an overhaul for the third instalment. Expect to face new enemies with tentacles which can reach you even when taking cover.
Good job you'll have explosives which can be sent underground to attack enemy cover spots, then. Mech suits which provide serious protection and increased firepower are also promised. Word is all these elements will feature in both single-player and multiplayer modes.
The Gears of War movie adaptation may not turn out to be the big blockbuster that was planned, according to the LA Times.
Mark Rein has said that Epic Games is free to do what it likes with Gears of War.
A couple of familiar faces from the Gears of War series are set to star in the next Lost Planet game.
Microsoft has released classic Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War as a Games on Demand title.
Gears of War film producer Wyck Godfrey wants to be like JJ Abrams and create a Cloverfield-like story about survival in the immediate aftermath of a catastrophic event. He could even use big dinosaur monsters if he wanted: they're canon.
Update: Epic Games president Michael Capps claims he misspoke during a Q&A session at the Tokyo Game Show today when he said, "If there were a next Gears of War, that will be for the next console generation, whenever that is."
Cliff Bleszinski may be the face of Epic Games but Mark Rein is the voice. No tight jeans, diamond earrings or chainsaw-waving japes for him - just a wardrobe full of polo shirts and a great big bundle of opinions.
Epic's Tim Sweeney reckons games achieving graphical realism is not only "inevitable", but will happen in the next 10 to 15 years.
Gears of War film writer Chris Morgan thinks beefy ex-wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson would make a great Marcus Fenix because he can be tough and show his emotions.
Gears of War screenwriter Chris Morgan reckons the big-screen adaptation is "looking incredibly good".
Gears of War writer Joshua Ortega has said the series will be "long-term" and may even stretch to a prequel covering the events of Emergence Day.
Epic Games is working to fix a bug that has suddenly made Gears of War PC unplayable.
Die Hard 4.0 director Len Wiseman plans to turn Gears of War into a film trilogy.
The Xbox 360 is winning the online battle by "adding cool stuff", according to Epic Games president Dr. Michael Capps.
Cliff Bleszinski has saved us months of tedious speculation by ruling out a PC version of Gears of War 2.
Legendary Pictures, responsible for Batman Begins and co-financing The Dark Knight, has agreed to put up half the money for the upcoming Gears of War film.
Epic Games has hired British author Karen Traviss to write three Gears of War novels.
Die Hard 4.0 director Len Wiseman is going to be at the helm of the upcoming Gears of War film.
The actor behind Gears of War character Cole Train has hinted that the upcoming sequel will be out on 16th November.
US retailer GameStop continues to scatter information around about an upcoming Special Edition release for Gears of War - revealing last week that it exists, and this week, telling us what's in it.
Actually, what's in it isn't necessarily all that exciting. According to a full list published by TeamXbox, the new edition will come with new content for both Gears of War and its upcoming sequel, Gears of War 2, but only two elements of that are actually playable - the two multiplayer map packs for Gears of War, now included on the game disc.
The rest is just a smorgasbord of trailers, gamer pictures and themes - some from the first game, some from the sequel - including Cliffy B's "Emergence Day Message" video and a selection of teaser and gameplay trailers from Gears of War 2.
Epic Games has confirmed there will be no demo ahead of the Gears of War 2 launch this November.
DC Comics has teamed up with Epic to create a comic book based on the sweaty muscles of Gears of War.
Mark Rein has told Eurogamer the Xbox 360 version of Unreal Tournament 3 could feature a special treat for Gears of Wars fans.
Morgan Gray, senior producer at Crystal Dynamics, has said he's fed up with all the stereotypical black characters appearing in games - singling out Gears of Wars' Cole Train as a prime example.
Epic Games has told Eurogamer it plans to release Unreal Engine 4 alongside the next generation of hardware.
The New York Comic Con will include a special gamer summit opened by Epic Games, offering "a glimpse into" Gears of War 2.
The film based on hit Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War is due to hit cinemas in just over two years' time.
Epic co-founder and technology brain Tim Sweeney has said consoles have outpaced PCs when it comes to gaming.
Epic Games is asking for feedback from fans of its hit Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War. A new survey about the game has popped up on the official website.
Mark Rein says that former EA Chicago man Kudo Tsunoda's installation as general manager for Gears of War "is a normal reorganisation at Microsoft" and that he's looking forward to working with him.
Microsoft Game Studios' Shane Kim has confirmed that former EA Chicago man Kudo Tsunoda is now in charge of the 'Gears of War business' (to quote reports).
GameTap had reported in January that Tsunoda - who is best known for producing Fight Night Round 3 and for never taking his sunglasses off - had moved to Microsoft.
"I'm really excited about it," Kim told IGN at the DICE Summit. "We wanted to put more focus behind [Gears], and it's great to get a creative lead like Kudo."
Retailer Amazon has finally blown the whistle on what the first Gears of War novel will be called and when it will be out.
Microsoft and Epic have released a minor update for Gears of War on the PC which fixes an ealrier issue relating to Games for Windows Live.
The patch, which will automatically apply itself thanks to Microsoft's Xbox Live for PC wizardry, also introduces fixes for "various performance issues".
Alternatively, you can download it from Gears of War's website, where there is also advice for people who experience problems with lost settings and custom maps.
Stop clowning around; it really is bastardly cold out there. Still, it's good for one thing: keeping my PC from overheating. All I have to do is wrap up warm and open my window, then pop in one of these festively fantastic frolics and laugh away merrily - probably with a vat of mulled wine close-by to ensure I am well and truly smashed. I'm only giving it serious consideration because there are some games worth seriously considering.
What with Gears of War launching on PC today (read our review or they won't pay me), we thought it would be a good idea to ask Mark Rein for the umpteenth time whether the five new chapters are ever going to come out on Xbox 360.
The excellent new PC version of Gears of War introduces five new Chapters to help bulk out Act 5, Desperation. As one of Microsoft's "Games for Windows - LIVE" titles, it also offers unlockable Achievements which go towards a Gamerscore - you know, that thing your Xbox 360 chums have been claiming they're not bothered about despite having played a suspicious amount of "Open Season".
We love Gears of War like a child. A child with a face like a horse covered in the blood of underground aliens who look like extras from Dusk Till Dawn. Which is why we thought we'd capture some footage from the brand new PC version and let you gawp at it on Eurogamer TV.
First up on the English language crumpets afternoon tea wot wot version of Eurogamer TV is a tightly woven tale of stomping around the new bits towards the end of the game doing chainsaw bayonet murder, with lots of footage from sections Xbox 360 fans will recognise thrown in to give PC gamers something else to admire.
You'll see whichever handsome man it was who was playing hiding behind things, active-reloading, rolling down stairs, and saying things with a voice that loves tobacco like a child. A child covered in ash. So that's on Eurogamer TV now.
Those of you picking up Gears of War for the PC on Friday might want to take notice of a brief posting on Gamerscoreblog about a quirk in the Games For Windows Live update process that takes place before you first play the game.
Billed by its creator as a game that would "place gamers directly in the shadows of a ravaged world, surrounded by the beautiful remnants of a destroyed city and the horrific dangers that hide in the rubble", Gears of War is designed to be a crowd-pleasing blockbuster. From the chainsaw bayonet to the exploding crossbow bolts, from the giant spider clawing at your helicopter to the elusive, sibilant stirrings of cloaked monsters buried deep below the earth in an ocean of golden death. It's an almost ceaseless chain of brutal skirmishes and firefights fought by tank-like muscle men who eat gravel for breakfast and sound as though they chew on wasps when they polish their armour, which isn't very often, because they're too busy washing their hands in blood. But despite its ludicrous, comical violence, its likeably primitive caveman cast and its brilliant graphics, the reasons it works are almost entirely distinct from the qualities of the action films to which its impact is often compared.
The story is so basic that it would barely cover a pamphlet, let alone a screenplay: the world is at the mercy of ground-dwelling Locust warriors, and you have to stop them. So they come out of the ground, and you kill them, which gets you closer to your objective. That's it. The triumph here is understatement, rather than execution: dialogue sequences and cut-scenes are cheesy and largely installed to break up the pace, but the fact it leaves a lot of questions unanswered gives it the closest thing it has to mystique. A lot of the clashes you face have their own timbre and recognisable characteristics, but they all follow the same script. This would make a good ride at Universal Studios, but it won't make a good film unless they have a big old think about it.
And yet it is good, because Epic has streamlined the traditional third-person combat mechanism, given you an adhesive bum and concentrated on the world you inhabit. If Halo is Combat Evolved, this is combat by intelligent design. Every battlefield is engineered to support the game's delightful central mechanic: locking yourself to the backside of a cover point with the spacebar and then pressing mouse2 to lean over the top and fire. From your first encounter on a bridge between opposing wings of a desolate prison to the final boss fight, it's all about gluing yourself to cover points and making every second of exposure count.
The judge in the middle of the squabble between Epic Games and Silicon Knights has refused to dismiss the lawsuit.
Rare has questioned owner Microsoft and its decision to pour more money into marketing Gears of War rather than Viva Piñata, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
Microsoft has said that version 1.2 of its Games for Windows Live service will be spouted out across the Internet in November, GamesIndustry.biz reports.
It will let you obtain Achievements while playing offline and give you the ability to see if you can join friends in their games, along with some other user interface bits and pieces yet to be specified.
So far five games have been announced as supporting the updated service, including The Club and Universe at War from SEGA; Kane & Lynch from Eidos; and Gears of War and Viva Piñata from Microsoft.
The Gears of War film may be going too far over budget for studio New Line Cinema to stick with it.
The latest Microsoft release date listings show that Gears of War will be out here on 9th November.
A while back, Microsoft readily admitted that its torrid new relationship with the Xbox had lead to the company neglecting the PC as a gaming platform. It went on to say that it would fix this, and it got pretty worked up telling us about DirectX10, the Games for Windows brand and the Games for Windows Live online multiplayer service.
Microsoft has taken the price tag off the Hidden Fronts Gears of War map pack, making it available to download for free from Live Marketplace.
They might spend a lot of time wailing about it on Internet forums, but Epic Games VP Mark Rein reckons that PlayStation 3 owners are better off because of Xbox 360 mega-exclusive Gears of War.
Last year was "quite big" for Epic. Gears of War is, as Mark Rein gleefully tells us, the number one game of the generation so far. Unreal became the engine of choice for next-gen developers. There's no Gears sequel this year, but 2007 will still be big - if not bigger - for the little developer from North Carolina. Unreal Tournament 3 is set to launch in November on PS3 and PC. Gears of War is coming to PC with new content. The games that Unreal powers are starting to arrive in droves - headlined by the likes of BioShock. So Mark Rein, Epic's vice president and chief evangelist, is as giddy as ever. When we run into him in Leipzig, it takes us 15 minutes to drag him into the interview room - he just wants to shoot the breeze. Fortunately he saved some good bits for the tape. Read on for the latest on UT3, Gears PC, the Gears film and Unreal Engine 3.
Epic Games president Michael Capps has said that big budget marketing was key to the success of Gears of War - warning that many good games are ignored because they don't have the same level of support.
Mark Rein says that if Unreal Engine 3 games look alike then it's probably just because the art directors share similar ideals.
Epic Games boss Mark Rein has expressed his appreciation for the extra storage space Blu-ray discs offer over standard DVDs, GamesIndustry.biz is reporting.
Epic Games' Mark Rein has clarified the length of the additional single-player content going into the PC version of Gears of War.
Microsoft has confirmed that while Gears of War will not support cross-platform play between the 360 and recently announced PC versions, anybody buying the latter will be able to play it on Windows XP as well as Vista.
Microsoft has finally stamped confirmation on Gears of War for PC.
The announcement was coupled with an on-stage demonstration at this morning's E3 conference, lead by game designer Cliff Bleszinksi.
Gears of War for PC will feature five new campaign chapters, a new multiplayer mode, and a new game editor. It will also take advantage of new DirectX 10 technology.
A compilation of the music from Gears of War will be going on sale across the US on 31st July.
Epic Games has said that a sequel to Gears of War will not be unveiled at E3.
The latest free patch for Gears of War is set to go live after 9am GMT (10am BST) today, Microsoft has said, and we've also had some more Kryll-dodging light shed on the nature of the eight additional Achievements provided for multiplayer fans to unlock.
Gears of War's next patch is set to go live tomorrow, 14th June, and introduce eight new Achievements for the "Annex" game-type and "Hidden Fronts" multiplayer map pack, along with adjustments to the "Roadie Run" controls that stop players snagging on walls. According to Microsoft's PRs, "The title update will also help squash multiplayer exploits and provide general housekeeping."
All of which breathless single-paragraph cramming leaves us with little to add other than that the news came to us not via the usual channel of Epic's Mark Rein posting on the official forum, but through a brief press release issued by Microsoft UK's external PR chums, who would also want us to add that while Annex is free, the Hidden Fronts pack currently goes for 800 Microsoft points (GBP 6.80 / EUR 9.30), and will be made available for free to people put off by that on 3rd September.
So there. For more on the Roadie Run tweak, check out Epic's Rod Fergusson explaining things, and for more - oh so much more - on Gears of War, check out our Gears of War Xbox 360 gamepage. Funny it's only on Xbox 360. I wonder if they'll do a PC one? Someone should look into that.
Marcus and Dom are peeking over the wall dividing games and books, according to an online retailer dug up by VH1's games blogger Harold Goldberg.
Gears of War's next Title-Update-not-patch is also going to have new achievements relating to Annex and the Hidden Fronts downloadable content, Epic Games' Mark Rein said on their forum a couple of days ago. "We're also going to have new achievements relating to Annex and the Hidden Fronts downloadable content," he wrote (see). "Some of the achievements are tied to things relating to playing the maps in the Hidden Fronts map pack which currently costs money but will be made free in a few months," he later clarified.
Revolution Software's Charles Cecil reckons games should move away from the one-size-fits-all approach because it's getting in the way of sales.
As promised, the Gears of War "Hidden Fronts" multiplayer map pack has pitched up on Xbox Live Marketplace.
The "Hidden Fronts" map pack for Gears of War will be released on Live Marketplace this Thursday.
A treatment for New Line Cinema's Gears of War film has made its way onto the Internet.
Those of you hoping to stomp your way to glory in Microsoft's Gears of War Global Xbox Live Tournament - announced this month - will want to keep those rifles slung for a bit, as technical issues have delayed the leaderboard reset previously scheduled for 9th April.
Epic Games' Mark Rein says that a new Gears of War map pack featuring four battlegrounds will be coming soon, and you'll be expected to pay for it.
The promised Gears of War patch introducing the Annex multiplayer mode has been set loose, and can be had now by starting the game while connected to Xbox Live. It took us less than a minute to download.
Epic Games has revealed details of the "Annex" multiplayer mode set to be introduced to Gears of War in a forthcoming patch.
Epic Games will unveil a new Gears of War multiplayer mode this week, due to launch as part of a forthcoming Xbox Live patch. Oh, and it will be free. Those guys.
Whether you like to curb- or kerb-stomp your adversaries, the newly announced Gears of War 2007 Global Xbox Live Tournament ought to appeal. Thanks to a collaboration between Microsoft and the World Cyber Games, it could see you jetting off to Prague to do some all-expenses-paid stomping of the grand final variety, too.
Insomniac Games has responded to complaints that its PlayStation 3 launch title Resistance: Fall of Man doesn't look as good as Gears of War, the Xbox 360's current poster-child.
Homoerotic shooter on steroids Gears of War has been snaffled up by Hollywood bigwig New Line Cinema, for a possible summer 2009 release.
Epic Games has poured cold water on reports that Gears of War 2 was quietly confirmed at the Game Developers Conference last week.
Epic Games' Gears of War has won three awards at the annual Game Developers Choice Awards, including Best Game - with Capcom's Okami and Nintendo's Wii Sports also picking up multiple honours.
Epic Games will be online this Saturday playing punters at Gears of War, and for some reason they're publicising this fact rather than wearing ski masks and generally hiding from the crazy Internet weirdoes.
It seems it's not just us blood-thirsty westerners that enjoy the homoerotic adventures of Marcus Fenix, as Gears of War penetrates the Japanese charts at number seven this week.
Like wretches descending out of a ceiling vent on a train, there's no conceivable end or variety to Microsoft's Gears of War press releases - but they're all good news, with this one highlighting the game's three-millionth sale.
Assuming that the company has sold the majority of the 10.4 million consoles it's flogged to retail, that means that nearly a third of Xbox 360 owners have signed up to fight the Locust Horde - an impressive statistic, to say the least.
And a huge number are playing it online, too. The game remains top of the Xbox Live most-played list according to figures released by director of programming Larry Hryb at the weekend, and Microsoft says there have been 1.5 million total downloads of Gears content (including themes and walkthroughs), with 750,000 downloads of the free multiplayer maps Old Bones and Raven Down alone.
In case it wasn't clear from the Discovery Channel's bizarro sponsorship of this week's Gears of War map releases, it's all for free. All you'll have to pay for is the equipment you're using to take possession of Old Bones and Raven Down on the morrow.
Epic Games has confirmed that this week will see the release of a Gears of War patch and two new downloadable maps, as well as an "introductory video" starring lead designer Cliff Bleszinski.
Epic's Gears of War has out-gunned Call of Duty 2, GRAW, and Oblivion for the title of most played game in 2006, Major Nelson's blog-site reports.
Epic Games President Mike Capps has said that Gears of War will be supported by free downloadable content.
Epic Games' Mark Rein hopes we'll see a little "housekeeping" patch for Gears of War before the end of the year.
"The first update we do will be some housekeeping to take care of a few things we need to adjust. We hope to have that in the pipeline before too long," he told Planet Gears of War.
"Unfortunately the certification group at Microsoft shuts down relatively early in December so we're racing against the clock to try to get it finished and certified for release through the Xbox Live update system."
Some people who count Internets have reported that Xbox Live usage went up 80 per cent in the US after the release of Viva Piñata.
We have a full walkthrough to Gears of War sitting here, but it's so deathly dull and boring we figured most of you would nod off if we posted it. So we've ripped out the useful bits and binned the rest. First up, tips on beating all the baddies in the game, and over the page, the whereabouts of all 30 COG tags.
Following suggestions that Gears of War is to end up a trilogy, Mark Rein has gone one further and suggested it could go on for as long as Mario or even Final Fantasy.
With Xbox 360's Gears of War already leaving a trail of bloody competitors in its wake at the top of the UK chart, Microsoft has announced a console-and-game bundle will go on sale this Friday to try and tempt some more newcomers.
The Microsoft blogging corps has comprehensively dismantled rumours that Gears of War is on its way to the PC.
A Microsoft ad-man looks to have inadvertently confirmed Epic Games' plan for further Gears of War titles.
Xbox Live's director of programming Larry Hryb says that Gears of War has finally overtaken Halo 2 and become the most popular game on Microsoft's multiplayer service.
You can read what we made of the single-player campaign elsewhere on the site.
Gears of War's multiplayer could and should be one of the best online multiplayer gaming experiences around. Right now - when all the stars are aligned - it can be one of the most unique and entertaining, but also one of the most infuriating.
The raw material for you to go online and have a lot of fun is there in abundance. Key to this is the fact that the 10 multiplayer maps are so well designed and pleasantly varied. Based around various key environments that you'll be familiar with from the main campaign, there's genuinely not a bad one among them. Even if you're well versed with the story mode, the first time you play each one gives you that same feeling of wide-eyed awe that reminds us about that next generation we keep hearing so much about (but seeing so little of). But it's not just impressive in terms of stand-out graphical opulence (which is a given), it's the realisation of how well balanced most (if not all) the map are too, without ever resorting to lazy symmetrical designs.
Microsoft is predicting that Gears of War, which goes on sale in Europe today, will accumulate sales of more than one million copies worldwide this Christmas, and become the fastest-selling original game for Xbox 360 in the process.
Gears of War is now the most popular Xbox 360 game played on Xbox Live, but there are still more people playing Halo 2 overall.
The US release of Gears of War is indeed region free as reported.
Internet terrorists report that the US version of Gears of War actually works on PAL Xbox 360 consoles, which is good news for anybody who can't be bothered to wait until next Friday's European release.
What do you expect from Gears of War? Does your fevered imagination place you in the white heat of mankind's very survival amidst the shattered remains of a once-proud city and a vicious, uncompromising alien threat? Do you picture a true next generation audio-visual feast so incredible that every scene looks like the most improbable rendered cut-scene where every monster you face looks like some of the grisly abominations that Capcom used as boss monsters in Resident Evil games? Do you fully expect to be left slack-jawed and powerless to resist maxing out your credit card to buy that high-definition TV and surround sound set-up that you've been hankering after? Could it be the perfect splicing of Halo and Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter that you've been looking for? Could it be the 360's big system seller this Christmas?
Or are your expectations so stupidly high that even a game as gloriously polished and relentlessly entertaining as this can leave you somehow let down? Maybe you're just so sick of the barrage of hype over the past 18 months that the endless pre-release coverage has had precisely the reverse effect. Could it be that the steroid-pumped character design of the COG war machine inspires nothing but bile-fuelled apathy every time you see Marcus Fenix's improbable jaw line? It's possible that you've played way too many shooters down the years to get excited about one that's got a prettier skyline than all the others. Or could it be you're impossible to please?
Me? I've lived through both sides of the argument several times over. I've drooled over the pre-release teaser videos - the ones that made it look more like a tense horror shooter than this year's Brute Force. I've sat through CliffyB's excellent presentations and wondered how it could possibly go wrong. I've marvelled at the technical feats that allow Epic to render glorious scenes of shattered majestic architecture and realised that spending silly money on that giant TV was worth every penny. I've also been fearing the worst - that Epic would ruin it with bullet-headed characters, grunting dialogue and a woo-hah save-the-world premise. Worse still, my early X06-based impressions suggested that Gears of War could end up being merely a template shooter with more emphasis on taking cover. An unsophisticated but riotously entertaining duck and gun, if you will.
Cliff Bleszinski and Mike Capps from Epic Games have dropped a few hints about a sequel to Gears of War.
"We've spent time developing a rich universe for Gears, and the story is absolutely larger than the one told in the game," company president Capps told CVG.
"One could even argue that the ending cinematic leaves room for a sequel". Although obviously there are no specific plans yet.
Glistening water laps at the harbour wall. A cool, clear light bathes a flight of dusty steps, picking out the baroque details of a portico above. A chainsaw passes through your abdomen and you explode in a shower of offal.
The new Gears of War trailer available to Xbox Live Gold customers this week may be a sign of things to come, according to Xbox Live director of programming Larry Hryb - one of Microsoft's more visible next-gen bloggers.
Epic's Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War is finished and should ship to US retailers on 7th November. "Waaaait-a-second," you say, "wasn't it down for the 12th?"
Gears of War may have cost ten million dollars to develop, but Epic Games VP Mark Rein has been heard joking that it cost Microsoft around one billion.
Gears of War will not be released in Germany after USK, the German ratings board, declined to rate the game.
Gears of War will ship with ten multiplayer maps, Cliff Blezsinski has revealed, as rumours spread that a demo might turn up within the next 48 hours. Very shaky rumours, mind you.
By accident or design, Microsoft's triumphant X06 event last week managed to neatly bookend the two historical extremes of the modern run and gun shooter. First the audience had the rather unexpected news of Doom's welcome arrival into the Live Arcade fold, and was then treated to a typically bombastic hands-on demo from Cliffy B for Gears of War. The contrast couldn't be more incredible.
Epic Games' Mark Rein has said not to expect a demo of Gears of War prior to the game's release in November.
Halo 3 might not be there waiting to ambush PlayStation 3 this November, but Gears of War will - Microsoft's just announced it's due out in the UK on November 17th.
Gears of War developer Epic Games is planning to make a big announcement next week, according to a post made by Mark Rein on the game's official forum.
Gears of War may be out by the end of the year - that's the plan anyway - but there were strong suggestions this weekend that it might turn up sooner than expected.
Cliff Bleszinski reckons the only way Gears of War would become a film would be if "the absolute right people were attached who understood not only the game and its universe but also the (hopefully!) rabid fanbase that we'd like to acquire".
Not content with hinting that Epic could be producing games for the Wii and PS3, lead designer Cliff Bleszinski has revealed that Gears of War will be heading to Xbox 360 this autumn.
A high-definition video of the Xbox 360 game that everybody remembers from this year's E3, Gears of War, has been circulating the internet in the last few days, and now everyone can get hold of it.
So go ahead and download it. As well you know already, GoW is set on a planet ravaged by... well, not by knitting, basically. Originally quite a happy and prosperous place, it descended into anarchy when the populous ran out of fuel and realised that impressive reserves of a new substance called "imulsion" were located under just a few cities. Cue lots of in-fighting. 79 years of that later, it got even worse when a race called The Locusts swarmed up through the surface and wiped out a quarter of the remaining population.
At which point you come in - with a big gun and your fellow "Gears". And what you see in the demo happens. Rather spectacularly. It looks stunning, of course - indeed, it's little surprise that developer Epic Games' Unreal Engine 3 toolset is highly coveted by both sides in the next-generation console war. It's a taste of the future, and it tastes like WAR.
Epic boss Mark Rein has countered Xbox 360 front man J Allard's assertion in a recent Eurogamer interview that Gears of War will be released on both the Microsoft console and the PC platform, however he has not ruled out the possibility of a Halo-style PC port further down the road.
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.