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Hip hop artist Drake in Gears of War 3

Voicing new playable character.

Microsoft and Epic have announced that hip hop musician Drake will voice a new playable character in Gears of War 3.

Drake (no idea - try Wikipedia) will play Jace Stratton, described as a "central character in the comic books" by Gears exec producer Rod Fergusson.

Stratton will be playable as part of Gears 3's new four-player co-operative campaign mode.

"When we began casting for the role, [Drake's album] 'So Far Gone' had just released and Drake's combination of heart and grit was just what we were looking for," Fergusson explained.

"Rather than search for somebody who sounded like him, it was clear that we should approach him directly... fortunately he turned out to be a huge fan."

Drake said he "couldn't pass it up". "I'm looking forward to my tour in Delta Squad," he added.

Gears of War 3 is due out for Xbox 360 on 8th April 2011.

We're expecting to get our hands on it at E3 in mid-week, so check back for impressions.