The Gears of War movie is still trundling forward and it's even secured a screenwriter.
You'll be amazed how much better the new game looks.
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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.
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.
Microsoft is offering Hand of Fate and Styx: Master of Shadows as its Xbox One freebies for Gold subscribers in February as part of its Game with Gold promotion.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition comes with all the Gears of War games, Microsoft has announced.
Whatever your stance on the humble moustache, mutton chops, beard or goatee, facial hair can be found growing with reckless abandon on a number of gaming's most memorable protagonists (and a few forgettable ones to boot). Once you delve a bit deeper, however, a pattern starts to emerge from among the bristles; facial hair is, basically, game developer shorthand for emotional development.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
You'll be amazed how much better the new game looks.
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' Jim Brown has revealed that not many people bothered to access the free downloadable content given away with Gears of War 2 at 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.
Both Gears of War 2 and Blur are celebrating Halloween by offering all gamers extra multiplayer XP this weekend.
Cliff Bleszinksi has explained that the Gears of War screenplay needed rethinking because it was too expensive, rated R and "contained no love story".
Epic Games is running a 6x XP week for Gears of War 2 during E3.
Epic Games has rolled out Title Update 6 for Gears of War 2.
Social Xbox Live Matches are the big new addition. These are available to those of you who downloaded all Gears of War 2 DLC maps. Epic promises to "dramatically reduce" the price of the All Fronts Collection to assist with this.
Social Matches can be joined mid-game and quit without penalty (although extra XP will not be earned). If there are no games available your party will start a new map and fill unused player slots with bots.
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.
Epic Games doesn't have anything to release this year, but may have something exciting to tell us all about at E3.
Mark Rein has said that Epic Games is free to do what it likes with Gears of War.
Epic Games' Mark Rein has explained that Unreal Engine 4 simply would not work on the current flock of machines.
Epic plans to reward the Gears of War 2 community for its loyalty with a special Valentine's Day event that increases bonuses for friends who work together in-game.
A couple of familiar faces from the Gears of War series are set to star in the next Lost Planet game.
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."
Microsoft is releasing special editions of two hit Xbox 360 exclusives.
Epic is celebrating the launch of the Dark Corners expansion for Gears of War 2 by running a double XP week.
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.
Gears of War 2 designer Cliff Bleszinski has shed some light on the single-player/co-op campaign element of the upcoming Dark Corners expansion, revealing that it's a 90-minute section that sees Marcus and Dom play dress-up.
Gears of War's dad, Cliff Bleszinski, has thrown some light onto one of the most intriguing questions of this generation: why are all our modern videogame heroes bald space marines running around in rubble-strewn post-apocalyptic cities?
Epic Games is planning a double XP weekend for Gears of War 2 to celebrate America's independence from the tyrannical British (guilty).
Microsoft and Epic have cut the price of Gears of War 2 expansion Dark Corners to 1200 Microsoft Points (GBP 10.20 / EUR 14.40).
Furthermore, the pair have decided to offer the All Fronts Collection - which bundles Dark Corners plus Flashback, Combustible and Snowblind map packs for GBP 14.99 / EUR 19.99 - as a digital download from Xbox Live Marketplace as well as in shops.
That's according to Epic's Rod Fergusson, who told IGN that lowering the price because of community feedback "felt like the right thing to do".
Mark Rein has told Eurogamer that Epic Games has "something new to announce at E3".
"Yes we will have something new to announce at E3," said Rein, before apologising that he couldn't say anything more until the event. "And I'm looking forward to seeing the show back to its former glory."
Epic Games is currently working on Gears of War 2 expansion Dark Corners, which will be released worldwide on 28th July.
Epic's Tim Sweeney reckons games achieving graphical realism is not only "inevitable", but will happen in the next 10 to 15 years.
Epic's giving the Gears of War 2 multiplayer scene a fillip with a double XP event this weekend.
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.
Microsoft and Epic have announced the Gears of War 2 "Dark Corners" expansion pack, which will be sold through Xbox Live and as part of a new DLC bundle-in-a-box called the All Fronts Collection.
Gears of War screenwriter Chris Morgan reckons the big-screen adaptation is "looking incredibly good".
Microsoft has wiped the Gamerscores of people cheating at Gears of War 2.
Microsoft has officially confirmed release dates for the Xbox 360 Left 4 Dead Survival Pack (21st April), Halo 3 Mythic Map Pack (9th April) and Gears of War 2 Snowblind Map Pack (31st March), even though we knew at least one of those already. The L4D pack is also due out for PC, presumably around the same time.
Epic has announced that it will release an expansive free patch for Gears of War 2 on 24th March, introducing a new experience system and associated Achievements.
This will then be followed by a new premium map pack, called Snowblind, on 31st March, introducing three new maps and a remake of Fuel Depot from Gears 1.
The patch - sorry, Title Update 3 - implements an experience-based ranking system and rebalances gameplay modes in order to give players a better sense of progression, rather than relying on Microsoft's TrueSkill system (although TS will still be used behind the scenes to some extent).
Title Update 3 and the Snowblind Map Pack. Good name for a band, that.
Epic power-dresser Mark Rein has politely rubbished suggestions that the company has a "ten-year plan" for the Gears of War series.
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 will be adding experience levels to Gears of War 2 multiplayer in the next title update, due to arrive sometime in the "near future".
Die Hard 4.0 director Len Wiseman plans to turn Gears of War into a film trilogy.
Epic has unleashed a beefy patch for Gears of War 2 that should make online multiplayer much more enjoyable.
All manner of exploits from turning invisible to shooting while Roadie Running are no longer possible, and an chunky pile of stability bugs have been stamped out.
On top of that are balancing tweaks to bring back the idea of fair play, plus a host of improvements including those seven new map pack-related Achievements we told you about earlier.
Microsoft has published details of seven new Achievements arriving with the Gears of War 2 update this month.
Microsoft and Epic have made the Gears of War 2 Flashback Multiplayer Map Pack available to everyone on Xbox Live Marketplace.
Epic boss Mark Rein has posted on the Gears of War forums detailing the next patch for Gears of War 2, which we can expect this month.
"We don’t have an exact date for it but all indicators are it will go live within January," Rein said.
Most of the update is focused on bug and exploit fixes for the online multiplayer. Invisible shields, meleeing through walls, infinite Lancer ammo and other exploits will be things of the past, and the shotgun will be more reliable in high-latency matches.
Epic has released three new multiplayer maps for Gears of War 2.
Gears of War 2 has topped the November software sales chart for the US, in what was a strong month for Xbox 360 games.
Epic's Mark Rein has dismissed suggestions the studio is already working on a third instalment in the Gears of War series.
More than 3 million copies of Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 2 have now been sold.
That's according to Mark Rein, the vice president of Epic Games. He told Eurogamer, "Microsoft confirmed to me this afternoon that Gears of War 2 sell-through surpassed 3 million units as of last week."
The original Gears, released in November 2006, was also a huge hit - but it was 10 weeks before sales reached the 3 million mark.
Epic has released an update for its 360 blockbuster Gears of War 2, intended to help with the long waits some players were experiencing in multiplayer matchmaking.
The skill-based Public matchmaking system was the one struggling to cope with demand, especially for single-player and four-player parties.
In a thread on the official forums, senior producer Rod Fergusson detailed the steps Epic has taken to speed things along: reducing the number of matchmaking servers to increase the number of possible matches, mostly. The effect of some adjustments will be felt immediately but, Fergusson warned, some may take a few days to "play out".
Epic has made fixing Gears of War 2's skill-based matchmaking its top priority, and hopes to have a solution soon.
Microsoft has boasted selling over 2 million copies of Gears of War 2 during its opening weekend.
Furthermore, more than 1.5 million Xbox Live account holders played the game, according to Major Nelson - clocking up a record 15 million gameplay hours between them.
During that thumb-twiddling period, more than 19 million Gears of War 2 Achievements were unlocked.
Cliff Bleszinski has admitted that tugging on our heart-strings in his new chart-topping game, Gears of War 2, was "f**ing hard to do".
Gears of War 2 has blasted its way to the top of the UK chart while LittleBigPlanet managed fourth behind FIFA 09 and Fallout 3.
The Xbox 360 is winning the online battle by "adding cool stuff", according to Epic Games president Dr. Michael Capps.
Let it be known that the Rockworm is our friend. Sure, he's large and unfriendly. And he's a family-sized centipede covered in stone cladding, so he's never going to be prime romance material. And he looks like just another thing to shoot at - and Gears of War 2 already has no problems on that front whatsoever. But for his twenty or so minutes of screen time, he's actually there to serve a more interesting purpose. His slow crawl and bulletproof hide mean he's a perfect piece of movable cover, and his hunger for the glowing fruit that hangs from cavern ceilings means you can steer him around by shooting down chunks of bait. Before you know it, you're using him to glide past enemy gun emplacements for easy headshots. So who cares if he's got sticky mandibles where his face should be? Yay for the Rockworm.
As well as all that, as you're beginning to suspect, he's also a handy tell. Because rather than reinventing an experience that was already ticking over fairly nicely, Gears 2 builds on the first game's framework at every opportunity. The game's opening teaser - an exhilaratingly familiar fifteen minutes in a Locust-infested hospital - could have been sliced out of the original title, but from that point on Epic's designers head for ground less beaten, switching pace, scrambling objectives, and mixing up the scenery. There are new vehicles, including the mutant offspring of an Advance Wars tank and a white-trash monster truck, a handful of weighty additions to the arsenal, and a few fresh enemies. There are even new moves - including a range of charmingly brutal finishers, the option to use downed Locusts as shields, and the frantic chainsaw duels.
And yet, while all of these elements are entertaining additions, it's ultimately the careful staging rather than the new toys that defines the experience. Our friend the Rockworm may resemble Iron Maiden cover art, but there's an undeniable touch of mirror-world Miyamoto to him; a willingness to explore the slightly outlandish potential of creatures and environment. It reminds you, once again, that beneath the grunting dialogue, the Tabasco-strength attitude, and the David Icke narrative of mankind hassling nasty lizard types, Gears of War has more going on upstairs than it gets credit for.
As you may have heard, Microsoft is set to lift the embargo on Gears of War 2 reviews today at 2pm GMT, and we'll be ready with ours.
Developer Epic's second instalment in the third-person cover-based shooter series is due out this Friday, 7th November, and did well enough last week to make it into your Eurogamer Expo Top 10 at 8.
"8" has some significance for Gears, of course, as it was the score that Kristan gave it in our Gears of War review almost exactly two years ago.
Microsoft has unveiled plans to host a Gears of War 2 midnight launch bonanza at the GAME store on London's Clarence Street.
At 12.01 am on 7th November, swarms of fans will be let in to accost special guest Liam Sharp, who does the Gears of War comic book.
Microsoft Game Studios staff will also be there handing out merchandise, including limited edition Xbox 360 consoles, Zunes, comics, books, posters and more.
First things first, apologies if you were disappointed, having read our Eurogamer Expo preview on Monday, to discover that the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift vehicle outside the Expo entrance was a monster truck instead of a Humvee. We are also sorry that so many of you missed the chance to touch Bertie's moustache, which endures even now atop the sweater-clad granite torso and arms of news-typing sultriness.
Eurogamer is running out of ways to describe its pleasure at announcing things to announce that Gears of War 2 and Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts will both be playable at the Eurogamer Expo on 28th and 29th October.
UK retailer GameStation has begun taking pre-orders for a Gears of War 2 bundle featuring a replica Gold Lancer Assault Rifle. And it could be yours for a meagre GBP 129.99. Peanuts.
Gears of War 2 lead designer Cliff Bleszinski has said that developers shouldn't be intimidated by the success of mainstream games and the audience they attract.
Epic plans to offer five multiplayer maps from Gears of War 1 as downloadable content for Gears of War 2.
Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinski has no plans to emulate Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack and tackle his critics in "Internet flame wars", insisting: "If you do a good enough job, your fans will come to your aid and defend you."
See Act 1 of Cliff's badass sequel.
Gears of War is what people who don't play videogames probably think all videogames look like. Meaty, rubble-strewn and dribbling splatter, its soldiers-versus-lizards storyline suggests entertainment of the direct-to-DVD kind, where characters are little more than a means to an explosion and the only brains are smeared across a wall.
Rod Fergusson, manager of the Gears of War franchise at Epic Games, believes developers will soon be at the upper end of what the Xbox 360 can technically achieve.
Cliff Bleszinski has saved us months of tedious speculation by ruling out a PC version of Gears of War 2.
The BBFC has published a list of what will be included on the bonus disc that comes with Gears of War 2.
Epic Games has confirmed that the replica Lancer gun from Gears of War, which was prematurely revealed at the end of last week, is official and has been selling like "hot cakes".
Gears of War 2 will allow you to unlock content by earning Achievements in Gears of War 1.
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.
It might not be the party line, but Gears of War 2 design director Cliff Bleszinski said what everyone was thinking at E3 yesterday when he told us Microsoft's new avatars are basically just Miis for Xbox 360.
If it's any consolation to Cliff Bleszinski, we're forever picking on developers at E3, so he shouldn't feel bad that our first question is whether he was actually playing Gears of War 2 at Microsoft's conference. For those who missed it, the demo began and Marcus advanced towards a smoke-drowned Jacinto skyline before the video feed stopped and reloaded, giving the impression we were actually watching a recording.
Epic Games has no plans to release a demo of Gears of War 2.
Epic has popped a cryptic clue on its Gears of War 2 website which may hint at the game's release date.
Evidence comes from the splash image showing the hand of protagonist Marcus Fenix (we think) clutching at COG tags with a series of numbers on them. Well spotted, Kotaku.
Clever people who can read ASCII octal values claim these translate to "ESC-N-O-V-9", or "escape November 9".
Mark Rein has said asking Epic to make games for Wii is like asking a sculptor to paint a picture.
Epic has revealed four multiplayer modes from Gears of War 2, including novel twists on traditional team deathmatch and capture the flag.
You can also check out loads of new screenshots including graphical comparison shots between the same locations in Gears 1 and 2.
Gears 2 will eventually include 12 maps when it goes on sale, and through those you'll be able to play the likes of War Zone, Meat Flag, Wingman and Guardian.
Silky-haired game designer Cliff Bleszinski promises there will be no online host advantage problems in Gears of War 2 multiplayer.
Until January this year, Kudo Tsunoda was best known for producing the Def Jam and Fight Night series. Well, that and sporting ridiculous sunglasses at all times, and wearing the kind of clothes and jewellery more usually seen on rap stars than people who make videogames for a living.
Die Hard 4.0 director Len Wiseman is going to be at the helm of the upcoming Gears of War film.
Microsoft plans to give us a look at Halo Wars during the upcoming July E3 event, as well as reveal more about headline-grabber Gears of War 2.
Had you been on Play.com this morning, looking to purchase a copy of Unreal Tournament III for Xbox 360, you might have spotted something interesting.
The actor behind Gears of War character Cole Train has hinted that the upcoming sequel will be out on 16th November.
American gaming mag (of the "dead trees" variety) EGM has a treat for fans of Gears of War this month - a pretty extensive cover feature going into some depth about the sequel's multiplayer modes, as well as an interview with the game's creator, CliffyB.
Gears of War 2 will feature online battles for two teams of five, with plenty of fresh modes, weapons, moves and more fancy additions to mix things up.
You'll even be able to respawn this time around, although the focus will still be on the old-once you're-dead-you're-out way of the world, according to a preview in X360 magazine.
Guardian is the first of the new modes. Each team gets a leader appointed and once they're killed, it's game over and victory for the murderers. All other regular team members can come back to life as many times as they like, and Guardians will be marked on the HUD to cut to the chase.
By now we all know that Gears of War 2 will be "bigger, better and more badass", but what it won't have is the original game's system for issuing orders to squad-mates, according to design director Cliff Bleszinski.
Microsoft's Shane Kim believes that Gears of War 2 will be the biggest game of the year and points to the first game's performance against Resistance: Fall of Man on PS3 as evidence of this.
Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda has admitted that Gears of War 1's story "wasn't necessarily as robust as it could have been" but expects the second game to change all that.
Gears of War 2 has "the best cover system ever seen in the videogame industry", lead designer Cliff Bleszinski said in an interview with Eurogamer this week.
Epic never confirmed Gears of War as a trilogy, Cliff Bleszinski told Eurogamer this week, but a third game in the series certainly isn't out of the question.
"We never announced a trilogy, I don't know why everybody's cramming those words into my mouth. They're like, 'You said Gears would be a trilogy.' I'm like, 'I didn't say sh**! That wasn't me! You're putting words in my mouth, journalists!'" he explained with mock-exasperation in an interview following our first look at the single-player campaign.
"But I love this universe, and if Gears 2 has a wonderful ship-in, if gamers buy it, then we'll consider a sequel."
Gears of War 2 lead designer Cliff Bleszinski is relaxed, but animated. He's relaxed because he thinks Gears of War 2 is going to be "hands down" the best game out this Christmas, never mind just on Xbox 360, and because he reckons the Internet reaction to the first trailer was 85 percent positive. He's animated because he's Cliff Bleszinski, and he gets excited - no more so than when he's talking about his game. Remember the GDC unveiling? All he had to do was introduce a trailer and he turned up with a chainsaw.
For many visitors to Microsoft's Spring Showcase, the highlight of the day will be Gears of War 2. But then for many of those who own an Xbox 360, Gears of War 2 will be the highlight of the year - at least that's what Cliff Bleszinski reckons, as you'll know when you read our interview with him later today. He's standing before us and a dozen or so other journalists to show off the game, or as he puts it, to "share the love and share the magic".
From the Microsoft E3 conference demo.
As we all sit around rubbing hoof-shaped marks out of our foreheads, Microsoft has whipped open the stable doors and explained what's going on at its event in San Francisco - confirming names and details for Banjo-Kazooie and Viva Piñata sequels among other things.
Big news first: Cliff Bleszinski will be on hand in San Francisco to show off "dramatic new gameplay elements" in Gears of War 2 using a "campaign sequence from early in the game - where Marcus Fenix and COG forces engage in pulse-pounding firefights between two Derrick transports, fend off vicious Reaver fly-by attacks and rabid Brumaks" ahead of the game's November release on 360. Ellie is currently checking her pencil batteries and sharpening her dictaphone, so expect her report on all that very soon.
What's more, Too Human developer Silicon Knights has announced that the game will be out in the US on 19th August and in Europe on 29th August, giving us the chance to stab futuristic vikings in the face with inadequately researched contextual comments [very post-modern - Ed].
The first gameplay footage of Gears of War 2 will be released on Xbox Live Video Store tomorrow at 7am BST, Microsoft's just announced.
Featuring a "personal introduction by Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski", it will showcase "chainsaw duels, large scale fire fights with Locust Horde and stunning new visuals" all from within the game.
Gears of War 2 is due out in November exclusively on Xbox 360.
Epic boss Michael Capps will be giving a Gears of War 2 keynote at this year's Games Convention in Leipzig, Germany.
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.
Gears of War 2 will have drop-in co-operative play and a more expansive campaign mode where you take the fight to the Locust.
That's according to a seemingly hefty preview in US magazine Game Informer, ripped apart by the watchful Kryll at NeoGAF, which also reveals that it has monsters that will "make the Brumak look like a baby panda bear", in the words of Cliff Bleszinski. Although he presumably differs from everyone else's view that it already looked like a giant hunchback chicken.
Set six months after the end of Gears of War, the new campaign will see Marcus and Dom teaming up with new characters Tai Kaliso and Dizzy, with Baird and Cole likely to return later in the story. Tai's a "spiritual and meditative warrior" in NeoGAF's phrase, while Dizzy is a former Stranded chap who joined the COG forces in return for his family's safety.
Epic boss Mark Rein has suggested that those going to the New York Comic Con later this month will not see Gears of War 2 after all.
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.
Gears of War 2 designer Cliff Bleszinski has changed his tune about PC gaming, having previously said it was disarray.
Actor John DiMaggio, who voices Marcus Fenix in Gears of War 2, has dropped hints about the game's contents, mentioning a Brumak fight, new weapons, enemies and characters.
DiMaggio told IGN Australia that he's doing GoW2 "right now" and reprising Marcus Fenix and one of his other characters, Franklin - the chap who owned the Junker, as you may remember.
On the Brumak, DiMaggio says "they fight him now", going on to mention "new weapons, new beasts" and "a couple of new characters". He also says that the story bits explaining what's going on are "a lot deeper".
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.
When we booked our GDC interview slot with Mark Rein, Gears of War 2 was just an inevitability. By the time we sat down with him on the Thursday, Cliff Bleszinski had carved up the stage with a Lancer chainsaw bayonet and we knew it would be "more badass". With that in mind, we tried to prise some more details out of Mark and also talked about the new technology Tim Sweeney demonstrated for Unreal Engine 3 on 360, Unreal Tournament III's reception and Epic's future plans, and what exactly the PC Gaming Alliance - of which Epic is a member - is going to do for PC gamers.
Sony expects Resistance 2 to go "toe-to-toe against Gears of War 2" in the battle for your money this Christmas, according to US VP of product marketing Scott Steinberg.
Epic Games pin-up Cliff Bleszinski has promised us an "even more interesting narrative" in Gears of War 2.
Epic Games vice president Mark Rein has said that the Unreal Engine tech demos shown off during Wednesday's Microsoft keynote speech at GDC were not from Gears of War 2.
Epic Games has officially unveiled Gears of War 2 and says it will be released exclusively on Xbox 360 in November 2008.
Epic's Cliff Bleszinski has said that the studio is focusing on producing console titles for the time being, claiming PC gaming is currently in "disarray".
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."
Epic Games vice president Mark Rein has rubbished suggestions that GamePro magazine is about to unveil Gears of War 2.
US magazine GamePro has unveiled the cover for its latest issue, which includes references to "Gears of War 2" despite Rainbow Six Vegas 2 taking the headline spot.
Retailer Amazon has finally blown the whistle on what the first Gears of War novel will be called and when it will be out.
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.