Friday, 29 April 2011

On the Gears of War 3 Beta...

    "Beta". A word we've grown accustomed to during the past few years. The market's shift towards more centralized, controlled and net-related services saw to an increase in amateur game testing and customer participation regarding the pre-release process of de-bugging and finalization. "Going gold" - the technical term used in the industry when a title is ready for shipping - with the help of gamers everywhere is faster, more thorough and above all cheaper for the developer. Why spend a load of cash on extra beta testers when you can have thousands of people playing you pre-release code, reporting bugs and populating your fora (yes, this is plural for "forum") at the meager expense of giving them a piece of avatar clothing, a gamerpicture, or just an in-game badge? Or maybe there is more on the "give" side in certain cases...?

    Entertainment. This is what EPIC gave to the GoW players around the world who had the pleasure of owning Bulletstorm's disappointingly, well, empty "Epic Edition" or pre-ordered the game at specific retailers. More important than bragging rights and surely more important than the obsolete unlockables is the realization of how much these developers have improved their game. Gears of War 3 is the product of  the ip's distillation: The best the franchise has to offer so far. This "little piece of the pie" beta is more stable, pretty and bad-ass than the whole GoW 2 experience ever was. After a ton of patches, much experimenting and lots of missteps they finally got it right. And when I say "right" I mean "drop-dead-awesomely right".

This time there are female gears as well in the mix. About damn time.

    The small review I wrote on pretty much nails my view and feelings on the beta: "When I was about to get into the beta I expected a game in its pre-release form, playable but broken to a certain extend, with the occasional hang looming over my gaming hours and lots of delay in pre-game lobbies. What I was treated to was a rock-solid client, filled with content and improved over its predecessor in every possible way. GoW 2 was a great title but, as anyone who's ever played it can testify, it was bugged beyond belief, its net code heavy and ineffective and with a matchmaking system as slow and slimmy as a slug. GoW 3, even in its beta form is a testament to just how much EPIC has learned over the last three years. If this is just a taste of thing to come then we are in for a wild ride. Cliff once promised a bigger, more bad-ass, better Gears of War and delivered the second installment. Now, with less bragging and more work, they are finally ready to deliver the sequel the original GoW deserves".

    In 2006 EPIC gave us something worth remembering. For what it offered, for how refined and high-tech it was and for the simple fact that back in the day there wasn't anything quite like it. It's impossible for a sequel to live up to the "wow" factor of its original forebearer. But this game has the potential to come at breathing distance of this expectation. And that is saying a lot about the dedication of the people behind it. 

After the release of GoW 2 and the realization that I would not be able to enjoy the online component of the game I was left cold in the sight of the Cog of Ill Omen. Once again I am so looking forward to it occupying my monitor...

    So, once again after three long years, I have again faith in the GoW franchise. To be honest, I am looking forward to the epic conclusion of the events taking place in its universe more than I was to the original's release. The only "bad" thing I can say about this test run is that EPIC reserved it for the "paying costumer". Apart from that all I can do is give kudos to the team until the game comes out. 

    That, and turn as many people into fertilizer with my sawd-off shotgun before the beta expires... 



  1. Well said Mr FiOth, at last EPIC made the miracle which all of us wanted so much to happen after the failure of the multiplayer in GOW 2.

  2. Indeed my friend. Considering how much we play the best now I can't imagine the collateral damage when the actual game comes out. ;)