The Gears of War 3 beta is awash with new stuff, from the viscera-splattering awesomeness of the Sawn Off to the dozens of executions available to enact bloody humiliation. And along with the newfangled Team Deatmatch - which is fantastic, by the way - Epic have added another brand spanking new mode for us to muck around in; Capture the Leader.
Death and Duty
The objective is simple in Capture the Leader; two teams of six, with one member of each team designated as the titular 'Leader', either Chairman Prescott for the CoG, or Queen Myrrah for the Locust. You must protect your leader whilst attempting to capture her oppositional counterpart. If you successfully capture their Leader for the set duration of time - either 30 of 15 seconds depending on the time - you'll win the round.
As the Leader, you're not stronger or better equipped than your brethren. Sure, you're sporting a fancy new outfit - Myrrah, in particular - but you're still leaping into cover and rattling away with the same old weapons. However, the normally useless Tac-Com feature is now, well, pretty useful, as it allows you to glimpse friend and foe alike across the map. While it's of great help, it can also be incredibly terrifying when you watch your enemies converge on your position and can only spot your allies as little dots slowly growing as they rush futilely to your aid.
Capture the Leader is a decidedly team-based affair. While you can rush off to you heart's content in the likes of Team Deathmatch and - yes - even King of the Hill, leaving your Leader exposed and alone will simply lose you the match. Their location is pinpointed on the map, so its wise to designate a few runners to capture the opposition while the remaining others gather around your own and fend off attackers.
How you set out to succeed in Capture the Leader is entirely dependent upon what map the game has thrown out. Each location has its own chokepoints and strangled niches to hide in or drag an enemy Leader to, so as Joe Wright's Hanna enforces, adapt or die. For example, on Trenches - my favorite map - each team spawns beside a raised platform on wooden legs. Nearby, you can grab a Boomshield, and hightailing it to the wooden platform and planting one at the ramp ensures a makeshift blockade against any would-be heroes.
Not every map is as suited to Capture the Leader as Trenches, though. For instance, Checkout is a pretty small, pretty open map. It has a few hideaways, like the stalls where the Boltok or Gorgon spawn, but otherwise its quite exposed. As the Leader, you can't simply hide and hope for the best. You have to be affirmative and lead by example, rushing into the fray with a few badass wingmen.
Communication is vital, too; if you're the Leader, calling out enemy locations can swing the tide in your favor, whereas orders amongst the team can ensure your Leader is adequately protected while your attack force is deployed. A variant on Submission and Guardian, fans of those early Gears of War modes will find a lot to like in Capture the Leader.
What do you think of Capture the Leader? As always, sign off in the comments section below!