Gears of War

Gears of War is a third-person tactical action/horror game under development by Epic Games using Unreal Engine 3 and is exclusive to the Xbox 360. It will be released for the Xbox 360 on November 7, 2006 in the United States and on November 17, 2006 in Europe (except Germany where the rating board refused to rate the game), and will be available in a limited edition as well as a standard release. The game focuses on the protagonist Marcus Fenix, and the conflict between the human inhabitants of planet Sera fighting a subterranean enemy known as the Locust Horde.

Sera is a planet like Earth, similar in climate, geography and size. For the humans on Sera, Imulsion – the golden, viscous liquid that runs underground – is their primary fuel source, essential to survival.

But Imulsion isn’t the only thing beneath the surface. The core of the planet is a porous, open place. Called "the Hollow" by humans, it is home for dark and dangerous creatures – and the source of the ensuing nightmare. Emergence Day (E-Day) marked the end of an era, and the beginning of a new kind of war. In the dark of night, a new enemy – the Locust – crawled out from underground and launched a full-scale attack. Millions of humans were slaughtered in a matter of hours. Military leaders had to stop the genocide. They made a brutal decision. They ordered their soldiers to scorch the planet.

The plan worked, but at a terrible price. The attack stopped the enemy – and it also killed thousands of innocent civilians. Survivors made a final stand on Jacinto Plateau. The Locust will not stop. They continue to wage war against the humans. They dig tunnels beneath the Plateau, searching for their prey. With every passing day, mankind loses more ground. Their situation is desperate.

Emerging into the chaos, Marcus Fenix is rescued from a deserted military prison by his friend and comrade Dominic Santiago. A disgraced former war hero and the son of a legendary scientist, Marcus dons arms seeking personal redemption as he leads his ragtag fire team into the fray. Once looked upon as a disgrace of a soldier and harbouring the skeletons of his past, he may now be humanity’s last hope…

Son of the famed military scientist Adam Fenix, Marcus established a reputation as a brilliant soldier during the Pendulum Wars, earning numerous field promotions and decorations. He was on a fast track to an outstanding military career until the war with the Locust Horde.

When the Horde breached Jacinto Plateau’s defences, Marcus defied orders, opting instead to try save his father, who was under siege at East Barricade Academy. He was too late. Marcus was charged with dereliction of duty and was sentenced to 40 years in Jacinto Maximum Security Penitentiary.

Four years into his sentence, the Horde overtook the penitentiary but Marcus was rescued by his best friend Dominic Santiago, so that he could rejoin the fight against the unstoppable Locust Horde.

Dom is a vocal, colourful and yet practical soldier. He’s loyal to a fault, especially with his friends, and has no patience for those that think of themselves first. Dominic has always believed in his country and his leaders, but his faith has been slipping in the face of this endless war. Dom lost his wife in the Emergence Day cataclysm. For him, the fight against the Horde is deeply personal. By testifying in Marcus’ defence, Dom prevented an execution, but was forced to accept the heavy judgment the military tribunal handed down to his childhood friend. Never forgetting, Dom seized his first opportunity to save Marcus’ life, and convinced Lieutenant Minh Young Kim to enlist Marcus into his squad.

Lieutenant Kim is a proud, dedicated and ambitious soldier, a by-the-books believer in all things COG. To Kim, the Coalition of Organized Governments is humanity’s only hope for survival and feels that it is an honour and privilege to serve as a Gear.

Kim moved quickly through the ranks, but after a run of bad luck he was left leading the misfits of Delta Squad. Feeling undervalued and overlooked, Kim has something to prove.

Only the strength of Dom’s faith – and the scarcity of experienced soldiers – convinced Kim to consider bringing former prisoner Fenix into his squad.

Cole, aka “The Cole Train”, is an adrenaline junkie and former professional thrashball player. He craves action, and prefers to take the most direct path to the Locust Horde in any situation. What he lacks in finesse, he makes up for in raw energy.

Along with his child-like enthusiasm and charm, Cole is supremely confident in his own abilities to overcome anything, regardless of the odds – and he hasn’t been proven wrong yet.

Cole and Damon Baird have served together for years, and he treats Baird as he would an older brother – with a younger brother’s license to torment.

Despite being a reluctant and cynical soldier, Baird excels at the military life. Baird is perfectly capable of being a successful officer, but has never been promoted due to his poor attitude, short temper and his unwillingness to take on any responsibility.

Baird’s greatest strength is his intelligence. He not only fights the Locust, but he studies and observes them as well. He’s the closest the COG have to an expert, and when Baird tells his comrades to be quiet and listen, they know it is in their best interest to do exactly that.

Baird’s only motivation is self preservation. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to get through the war alive – even march along side a troublemaker like Fenix.

Cliff Bleszinski cited Resident Evil 4's quick pacing and emphasis on "memorable moments" as a major influence on Gears of War in an interview with Game Informer, and promised the game would have set-pieces and a variety of enemies comparable to its inspiration. Additionally, the game bears a similar camera scheme, in which the player's viewpoint hovers over the protagonist's shoulder, and includes Dragon's Lair- and Shenmue-style "Quick Time Events". When running in "no man's land," the camera will pull back as if the camera were being carried by a second person running behind Fenix, in an effect dubbed the "roadie cam."

Bleszinksi also has mentioned that Fenix would be granted limited control over a squad of fellow soldiers (Delta Squad). The game also features teammates but does not allow the player to select with whom to fight each mission, instead deciding on the squad's make-up automatically. The developers have placed great emphasis on cover in a similar fashion to games like Full Spectrum Warrior or Kill.Switch. Unlike other notable games by Epic, Gears of War is a slower-paced shooter, focusing on sound tactics rather than brute force. As such, the player will be able to carry only two primary weapons, a sidearm, and a limited supply of grenades. The multiplayer in Gears of War will allow up to 8 players. Epic developer Cliff Bleszinski has stated that the presentation of this game will be cinematic in scope, and chaotic, destructible environments will be an important aspect of gameplay.

Co-op in Gears of War will let up to two players play through the game from start to end. One of the more interesting aspects of co-op in Gears of War is the ability to invite players on the users’ friends list and have them instantly pop in the player’s game to help them out.

Cooperative Play will also differ from the single-player game in some ways. Cliffy B has stated that there will be different paths throughout every level which will allow the players to decide on which path they want to take, and they will also be able to support their teammate on their side. It has also been said that Player One will be Marcus, and Player Two will be his buddy, Dom.

In Gears of War, multiplayer mode will allow up to eight players (four COGs vs four Locust Horde) to engage in battle throughout several maps. Three modes have been shown to the media, War Zone, Assassination, and Execution, and more modes may have been developed. War Zone is similar to a Deathmatch in other games, except that each player gets one life. This limit changes the focus of the game from large-scale gunbattles to more tactical search and destroy gameplay. Bleszinski noted that he "doesn't really want the game to devolve into a deathmatch...if you have no fear of death, then you just run at each other." In Assassination, teams win by killing the other team's designated leader while protecting their own. In Execution, you need to kill an opponent with an up-close-and-personal move, such as the chainsaw or a close-range headshot. Cover, like the single-player game, will be necessary for this mode if the player wishes to survive. Each team starts out with their standard weapons, but there will be more powerful weapons laid out across the level such as sniper rifles and rocket launchers.

Player weapons include a shotgun, and an assault rifle with an attached chainsaw bayonett. There are also unique or emplaced weapons in some levels such as turrets, "torquebows" and a weapon called the Hammer of Dawn Other weapons have been revealed, such as the Boomshot and Long shot.

At E3 2006, the game won the following Game Critics Awards: Best Console Game, Best Action Game.

A limited collector's edition will be released alongside the standard edition. The collector's edition will include an art book titled "Destroyed Beauty" and a bonus DVD that includes the MTV Special "The Race to E3" which aired this summer, as well as an hour plus long "Making Of" documentary. It will be shipped in a metal case and is expected to retail for $69.99 USD.Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, with no Front-Cover Texts, and with no Back-Cover Texts.
Virtual Magic is a human knowledge database blog. Text Based On Information From Wikipedia, Under The GNU Free Documentation License. Copyright (c) 2007 Virtual Magic. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.1 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

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