Gears of War


Key events

Gears of War creator Epic Games announces a new game

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?

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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.

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.

Microsoft gives Gears of War Ultimate Edition the 2006 Mad World trailer treatment

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.

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VideoVideo: The best end songs ever

Sing when you're winning (at video games).

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 remaster set for Xbox One - report

Gears of War remaster set for Xbox One - report

UPDATE: Test build recipients confirm it's a remake of Gears One.

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.

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Epic sells Gears of War to Microsoft

Epic sells Gears of War to Microsoft

UPDATE: CliffyB won't be working on the next Gears... at all.

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.

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Gears of War 3 sells over 3m in a week

Xbox 360 exclusive shooter Gears of War 3 has sold over three million copies worldwide during its first week on sale,">Microsoft has announced.

Microsoft said today the Epic-developed title is the biggest game of 2011 so far.

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Upcoming Xbox Live schedule detailed

Bulletstorm, Gears of War deals incoming.

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.

Bleszinski signals more Gears of War

"Dumb not to do another" if sales are high.

The chances of Gears of War continuing past trilogy-ending instalment number three are high, Epic Games design director Cliff Bleszinski has revealed.

Epic: "we will never be a publisher"

Will make games "for the foreseeable".

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.

Final Gears of War 3 release date

Final Gears of War 3 release date

Marcus in the diary.

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.

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First Gears of War 3 details emerge?

First Gears of War 3 details emerge?

Underwater levels! Mech suits! Explosives!

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.

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Gears movie to be like Cloverfield

That's the plan, says producer.

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.

Next Gears may be on next-gen consoles

Mike Capps clarifies TGS comments.

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."

FeatureEpic's Mark Rein

On Unreal Engine 3, Natal, Cliff Bleszinski and more.

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.

The Rock to play Fenix in Gears film?

"There's a genuine actor," says screenwriter.

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.

Epic reveals 10-year plan for Gears

Series will go on and on and on and Ariston.

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.

Gears film gets Legendary boost

Hollywood studios splitting the bill.

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.

Gears of War special edition details

Gears of War special edition details

Includes map packs and GoW2 trailers.

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.

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Gears criticised for stereotyping

Cole said to "reinforce casual racism".

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 wants Gears of War feedback

Who's your favourite Delta squaddie?

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.

Gears getting GM is "normal" - Rein

Tsunoda just replacing the old one.

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.

MS confirms Gears manager appointment

MS confirms Gears manager appointment

Tsunoda in charge of game's business.

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."

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Gears book gets name

Pendulum Wars. Or Jim.

Retailer Amazon has finally blown the whistle on what the first Gears of War novel will be called and when it will be out.

Gears of War PC patched

Gears of War PC patched

Reports of less stuttering.

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.

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FeaturePC: 12 Games of Christmas

Oh look, mistletoe!

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.

360 unlikely to see Gears PC bits

No plans, but never say never.

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".

EGTV: Exclusive Gears videos

EGTV: Exclusive Gears videos

See some of the new content.

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.

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Gears of War PC quirk

GFW Live update confusion.

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.

Gears of War

Gears of War

Fenix the fight!

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.

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Rare questions Piñata marketing

Says MS favoured Gears of War.

Rare has questioned owner Microsoft and its decision to pour more money into marketing Gears of War rather than Viva Piñata, reports.

Games for Windows Live update

Games for Windows Live update

New features for upcoming games.

Microsoft has said that version 1.2 of its Games for Windows Live service will be spouted out across the Internet in November, 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.

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Gears of War

Fenix from the flames.

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.

Gears maps free

Locust Monday continues.

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.

GC: PS3 "benefiting from Gears"

Rein says it helped UE3 hugely.

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.

FeatureGC: Epic Games' Mark Rein

On UT, Gears PC, the Gears film and Unreal Engine 3.

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.

GC: Marketing was key for Gears

Epic boss on success, Lohan.

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 backs Blu-ray

Epic boss likes "legroom".

Epic Games boss Mark Rein has expressed his appreciation for the extra storage space Blu-ray discs offer over standard DVDs, is reporting.

Gears PC: XP yes, cross-play no

Extras unlikely to appear on 360.

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.

E3: Gears confirmed for PC

E3: Gears confirmed for PC

"Surprise." Laughter.

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.

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Gears' new Achievements in full

Patch to go live after 10am BST.

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 patch tomorrow

Gears of War patch tomorrow

New Achievements and tweaks.

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.

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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.

New Achievements for Gears

Coming in future patch.

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.

New Gears maps go live

230MB, 800 points.

As promised, the Gears of War "Hidden Fronts" multiplayer map pack has pitched up on Xbox Live Marketplace.

Gears tournament delayed

Locusts in the system.

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.

Gears maps to cost in future

Mark Rein defends decision.

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.

Gears Annex mode goes Live

Various weapon tweaks too.

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.

Gears' Annex mode detailed

Fighting over common ground.

Epic Games has revealed details of the "Annex" multiplayer mode set to be introduced to Gears of War in a forthcoming patch.

Free new Gears multiplayer mode

More details due this week.

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.

New Line plans Gears film

Epic on board to help.

Homoerotic shooter on steroids Gears of War has been snaffled up by Hollywood bigwig New Line Cinema, for a possible summer 2009 release.

Epic denies Gears 2 report

Says it wasn't confirmed at GDC.

Epic Games has poured cold water on reports that Gears of War 2 was quietly confirmed at the Game Developers Conference last week.

GDC: Gears bags more awards

Followed by Okami, Wii Sports.

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 wants to shoot you

In Gears. At the weekend.

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.

Gears carves into Japan

Chainsaws into top ten.

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.

Gears sells three million

Gears sells three million

750k map downloads, too.

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.

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Gears maps are defo free

Plus, full patch changelog.

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.

Gears of War content on Weds

Two new maps, says Epic.

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.

Most-played 360 games of 2006

Gears numero UNO.

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.

Gears DLC to be free?

Epic boss thinks so.

Epic Games President Mike Capps has said that Gears of War will be supported by free downloadable content.

Gears patch before Christmas

Gears patch before Christmas

They're racing to get it done.

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."

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Gears made Live more popular

Says insightful research firm.

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.

FeatureGears of War tips and tricks

Crunching Gears on your behalf.

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.

Gears can rival Mario - Rein

Why stop with three, he says.

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.

MS reveals multiple 360 bundles

300 bob for 360, 30 days' Live, and Gears, CoD3 or Smackdown.

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.

More on Gears PC rumours

MS bloggers kick off about it.

The Microsoft blogging corps has comprehensively dismantled rumours that Gears of War is on its way to the PC.

Gears tops Live charts

More popular than Halo 2.

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.

Gears of War

Gears of War

And now the bit about multiplayer.

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.

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Gears of War to do a million?

S'what Microsoft reckons.

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.

Halo 2 beats off Gears

Still number one on Live.

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.

Gears of War region-free?

Importer reckons so.

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.

Gears of War

Gears of War

Expectations are the curse of modern videogames.

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.

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Gears of War getting sequel?

Gears of War getting sequel?

Epic makes some noises.

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.

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Gears of War

Hands-on with the three multiplayer modes.

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.

MS favours Live Gold for content

Gears ad the start of a trend.

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.

Gears of War shipping early?

MS explains US launch drama.

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 cost MS a billion dollars

They just had to have the RAM.

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.

No Gears of War in Germany

Same deal as Dead Rising.

Gears of War will not be released in Germany after USK, the German ratings board, declined to rate the game.

10 MP maps in Gears of War

CliffyB confirms. Meanwhile, some new video pops up.

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.

Gears of War

Automatic. For the people.

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.

No Gears demo pre-release

According to Mark Rein.

Epic Games' Mark Rein has said not to expect a demo of Gears of War prior to the game's release in November.

Gears of War gets in PS3's face

Emergence day: November 17th.

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.

'Big' Epic news next week

Possibly not Gears' date.

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 in October?

Seems to be wishful thinking.

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.

CliffyB on Gears' film prospects

Plus: characters, multiplayer, downloadables and achievements.

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".

Gears of War due in autumn

Bill Gates is counting on it.

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.

Gears of War high-def trailer

Gears of War high-def trailer


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.

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No PC Gears of War yet

X360 only for now, but Allard wasn't talking rubbish.

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.

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.