Gears of War 3 Multiplayer is still a blast 13 years later

In September 2011, I was a college student who was dying to waste the first few days of my fall semester playing Epic Games’ new third-person shooter. Gears of War 3. I pre-ordered the highly-anticipated title so I could guarantee I’d get the Retro Lancer gold skin for my multiplayer battles, and that same year I entered the beta with more energy than I had in my entire bachelor’s degree.

The following year, my interest in Gear 3 It grew and absorbed the place it had once reserved in my heart halo Franchise after disappointment of Halo 4.

But, like all resource-constrained multiplayer games trying to hold the attention of fickle fans, Gear 3 Eventually it faded and I focused more on it call of duty It is published, then finally it continues Overwatch 2 And the battle royals that appeared like lanterns on the vegetation of New York City in early autumn.

Read more: PS3 version of Gears of War 3 Available now

Sometimes my mind goes in this direction Gears of War 3 And its unique and somewhat misleading camera angle, the satisfying grit and weight of its gameplay, and all those gleefully violent performances. Nothing remotely resembled anything Gear 3Even the sequels (which left Epic Games after long-time helmer Cliff Belzincsi left Epic Games) that followed. Recently those occasional dreams of Epic’s 3rd person shooter got bigger and I ended up downloading it via Xbox Game Pass and booted it up again.

screen shot: Microsoft / Kotaku

Gears of War 3 Online is a 2011 time capsule

Several things shock me within seconds of launch Gears of War 3. First, the Xbox 360 online interface greets me like I applied a retro theme to my Xbox Series S in fog mode. I do when the old pop-up lets me know I’m actually online Leonardo DiCaprio meme with pointing Only in my living room is my old profile pic (my xbox avatar with my Optimus Prime helmet) as well as all the info on the 360 ​​era games I played. It’s a lovely little detail that creeps me out gears Gameplay, because I get lost in the old menu for a long time.

Then, as Gear 3 The bars rise and the familiar horns of the opening theme fade in, I’m shocked by the memory the music evokes in me. Suddenly, I’m 21 and so stoned, I’m probably wearing a pair of leggings and a t-shirt with the sleeves cut off to make a muscle tank—maybe even. I Gear 3 one—and I’m waiting for my friends to meet me online so we can run a five-stack in Team Deathmatch. Time flattens into a circle, just like One of the roasters warned usAnd I am, in short, blissfully ignorant of how the rent on my Brooklyn apartment is going to go up because I’m in upstate New York living on my student loans.

The last thing that shocks me is that I can actually play Gear 3 online The menu says “0 players worldwide online,” but it’s lying—I load into a Team Deathmatch game in seconds and populate a Locust bot (skinny, scaly bad guys gears Jahan) after his death. Stepping into the big shoes of this subterranean (and bipedal for some reason) beast, I find myself needing a moment to get my sea legs.

Read more: Gears of War The creator thinks the series needs a “bit of a reboot.”

Gears of War It doesn’t feel anything like the games I play now – except when I pick one of the heavier ones and the tankers Overwatch 2 Characters, most of the time I play the role of a light and flashy person. Compared to modern games like Apex Legends Or Modern War III, Gear 3 It’s sticky and clumsy, like someone who mixed a shooter with Ambien and a glass of wine until it all got a little choppy. It takes several gruesome deaths.Gears of War 3 It’s probably best known for its violent multiplayer executions (which involve swinging a gun like a golf club and taking someone’s head off with a brain spray) before I remembered how the controls worked.

Once I got my active reload down (the mechanic by which your weapon damage or fire rate increases if you time your reloads correctly), I really hit my stride. I slice a muzzleloader in half with a Gnasher shotgun, pop Brother Carmini’s onlooker head off the middle of the map with a Boltok pistol, impale Marcus Fenix ​​on the end of a Retro Lancer. I remember that the cover-based shooter has a lot of movement tricks and hacks, and soon I’m running around the map like my character isn’t wearing heavy armor and boots that look like they’re made of steel.

Gear 3 The visceral sound of multiplayer brings the same intense wave of nostalgia as the soft beep of the start menu. There’s the thrilling, subtle sounds of shotgun bullets sinking into flesh, the nerve-wracking spin of the Torque Bow as it fires, followed by the loud thud you hear when one of its arrows sinks. your foot The horrifying, wet grunts that erupt from the Locust characters kicking the map and the metallic clangs of the menu sounds transport me back to a simpler time. For as long as I play Gears of War 3I am in 2011.

But alas, it’s 2024 and other people are still playing Gears of War 3 There are either newbies who can’t tell their incendiary grenades from their boomshots, or seasoned veterans who are a nightmare to play with. The races are over quickly and there is little room for the underdog. Despite quickly remembering how to make the most of the game’s movement and weapon mechanics, I’m still frequently at the mercy of players who have no problem picking up my fallen body and mimicking me wall-hunching.

In this way and in many others, Gears of War 3 It’s a perfect time capsule of 2011, full of blood and guts and bad boys, and of course, Phrases cool train.

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