Remember when I said I called the Gears of War 3 release date getting pushed back? Well there’s one thing I didn’t see coming, a GoW3 beta, and it’s got me excited. And you should know something, I really haven’t cared about the Gears Series ever since the train wreck that was Gears 2 multiplayer (more on that later).
For those not in the know, a beta is (usually) a multiplayer preview for fans of the game before it is released. It’s like a demo, fans can download the beta and experience the multiplayer months before release, and the developers can test their multiplayer, seeing how the game is balanced and how the network can handle the game.
It’s been done to great success with both Halo 3 and Halo: Reach and more recently with Medal of Honor. The one downside, as one of the Epic games developers has said is that these days people see betas as a preview of the finished product, (which it isn’t) and judge the game on that. However for the most part, it’s a chance for new comers to try the game for free and hardcore fans to get a taste of the new action.
And like I said, I am excited but not just about a free multiplayer beta, but about the news that the multiplayer has been fixed. If you’ve played Gears 2, then you know that it was horribly, horribly broken. The games lagged, cheating was rampant, people were often dropped, leaving one team disadvantaged, and who ever was hosting the match from their internet connection had a big advantage over the other, lagging players. So I wasn’t all that excited about Gears 3 so far, until I hear those two magical words, Dedicated Servers.
Beyond all of the wonderful player features talked about in that IGN article up there, dedicated servers should fix just about every problem the multiplayer had. Having one player host the game led to a host’s advantage, as well as all the lag and drop out problems. So putting the burden on a server, run by Epic games dedicated to game will be a hard thing to screw up.
And if all that doesn’t have you excited, take a look at this video from Kotaku
You can now stab your opponents with the flame thrower and burn them from the inside out with fire spewing from their mouths. If that doesn’t get you going, there’s not much I can tell you.