I often wonder how much worse Gears of War 2's release might have been had Epic not implemented the fantastic Horde mode. Without it, all we'd have had instead was a so-so campaign that posed for questions than it answered, and a broken multiplayer that took over half an hour just to find matches. Good thing they didn't ditch the idea! And now we've all laid eyes on the campaign and sampled the multiplayer beta last month, Epic have finally revealed their plans for Horde mode in Gears of War 3. And it sounds amazing!
First off, Epic is adding an economy to Horde mode. For each kill - be it drone, ticker or hulking brumak - you'll earn capital, which can be spent on a variety of tasty treats. Ammo caches to resupply your team, barriers to block off key entry points, and even automated turrets. Your first purchase, however, is a command post determining where your team spawns. But don't splash the cash just yet; one round might net you 2,000 points; a Silverback mech costs 12, 500.
Fancy stuff, and the prospect of setting up a battery of turrets to guard a certain point while walling off another area with barriers is mouthwatering stuff. But don't expect it to be easy; Epic isn't letting up on Horde's notorious scaling difficulty, and instead of simple waves to contend with, you'll have to complete certain random objectives, too.
The randomly generated objectives range from demanding no team-member dies to pulling off eight executions in a row. It's sure to delight sadists in the Gears' fanbase, while providing a healthy challenge to those of us who breeze through the early rounds.
Last, but by no means least, Epic is adding 'Boss Waves'. That's right; at the end of a certain number of rounds, you'll have to contend with the biggest members of Sera's bestiary. From battling Reavers swooping down from the sky, to luring the blind but nigh-invincible Beserker to its blind doom. You'll even come face to toe with the enormous Brumak, the Locust's most feared unit.
I said Epic was on to a winner with their multiplayer in Gears of War 3. And in their conference showing on Monday, I knew the campaign was going to be a rip-roaring, explosive finale to the story. And along with the tasty sounding Beast mode, not to mention the new and much improved Horde, I can't wait to sink my teeth into it when September rolls around. [IGN]