Hands-on with Horde 2.0 in “Gears of War 3”

06232011_Gears 3-HordeBossWave

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There’s a unique brilliance to the multiplayer Horde Mode in the “Gears of War” games. Their genius comes from distilling the component parts of the main game’s action and reshuffling them so that they appeal to players in an all-new way. You’re still crouched behind cover in the gameworld’s signature blasted-out architecture, outmaneuvering and picking off enemies with an assortment of gorily effective pitsols, shotguns and rifles. There’s still an element of exploration but you’re not being dragged from place to place along a plot thread. You make your stand for as long as you can, and for however long that lasts you’re forging a more intimate bond with your ammo, weapons, partners and environment than normally happens in the Campaign mode. Horde Mode generates a lot of fun and tension for those facing down waves of enemies, and, as Rooster Teeth showed in their recent “Immersion” episode, it’s not as easy as you’d think.

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But, with sequels comes change and developer Epic Games will be introducing some new elements that significantly change up the beloved mode. The main one, central to all the others, is in-game money. You’ll earn points every time you play “Gears 3,” no matter what mode you’re playing. In Horde 2.0, you’ll be able to purchase all-new fortifications. These will be either barriers, armaments or decoys that you can deploy at specific points in the environment. They add a strategic element to the mode, making it so you can create narrower paths for enemies to march through. Cash can also get spent on weapons and ammo, too, but you’ll still be able to grab those from the weapons of dead enemies.

Horde Mode still lasts 50 grueling waves, but in 2.0, there’ll be a boss battle every ten rounds. The structure’s also broken up a bit by Challenge waves, which offer special rewards if you meet certain requirements. Perform feats like finishing a wave under a certain time limit or getting a certain number of kills with a particular weapon and you’ll earn extra cash for resources.

The biggest change to Horde Mode comes in the form of resurrections. In the “Gears 2” version, players who bough the farm could only come back at the beginning of a new wave. You were forced to watch your friends fight on, though you could help them by telling where enemies were coming from. In the forthcoming “Gears 3,” any player can reanimate fallen comrades, provided there enough ducats on hand. While it does drain some of the tension from Horde Mode, resurrections are likely to be a pricey perk so that they don’t get abused.

As different as the updated Horde Mode will be, the core elements still look to be as entertaining as ever. You’re getting some new mechanics to play with and the combination should make “Gear of War 3” a must-visit multiplayer destination when the game hits Xbox 360 this fall.

Do the changes to Horde Mode worry you or excite you? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

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Millennial Wisdom

Charles Speaks For Us All

Get to know Charles, the social media whiz of Brockmire.

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He may be an unlikely radio producer Brockmire, but Charles is #1 when it comes to delivering quips that tie a nice little bow on the absurdity of any given situation.

Charles also perfectly captures the jaded outlook of Millennials. Or at least Millennials as mythologized by marketers and news idiots. You know who you are.

Played superbly by Tyrel Jackson Williams, Charles’s quippy nuggets target just about any subject matter, from entry-level jobs in social media (“I plan on getting some experience here, then moving to New York to finally start my life.”) to the ramifications of fictional celebrity hookups (“Drake and Taylor Swift are dating! Albums y’all!”). But where he really nails the whole Millennial POV thing is when he comments on America’s second favorite past-time after type II diabetes: baseball.

Here are a few pearls.

On Baseball’s Lasting Cultural Relevance

“Baseball’s one of those old-timey things you don’t need anymore. Like cursive. Or email.”

On The Dramatic Value Of Double-Headers

“The only thing dumber than playing two boring-ass baseball games in one day is putting a two-hour delay between the boring-ass games.”

On Sartorial Tradition

“Is dressing badly just a thing for baseball, because that would explain his jacket.”

On Baseball, In A Nutshell

“Baseball is a f-cked up sport, and I want you to know it.”

Learn more about Charles in the behind-the-scenes video below.

And if you were born before the late ’80s and want to know what the kids think about Baseball, watch Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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Crown Jules

Amanda Peet FTW on Brockmire

Amanda Peet brings it on Brockmire Wednesday at 10P on IFC.

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On Brockmire, Jules is the unexpected yin to Jim Brockmire’s yang. Which is saying a lot, because Brockmire’s yang is way out there. Played by Amanda Peet, Jules is hard-drinking, truth-spewing, baseball-loving…everything Brockmire is, and perhaps what he never expected to encounter in another human.

“We’re the same level of functional alcoholic.”

But Jules takes that commonality and transforms it into something special: a new beginning. A new beginning for failing minor league baseball team “The Frackers”, who suddenly about-face into a winning streak; and a new beginning for Brockmire, whose life gets a jumpstart when Jules lures him back to baseball. As for herself, her unexpected connection with Brockmire gives her own life a surprising and much needed goose.

“You’re a Goddamn Disaster and you’re starting To look good to me.”

This palpable dynamic adds depth and complexity to the narrative and pushes the series far beyond expected comedy. See for yourself in this behind-the-scenes video (and brace yourself for a unforgettable description of Brockmire’s genitals)…

Want more about Amanda Peet? She’s all over the place, and has even penned a recent self-reflective piece in the New York Times.

And of course you can watch the Jim-Jules relationship hysterically unfold in new episodes of Brockmire, every Wednesday at 10PM on IFC.

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Draught Pick

Sam Adams “Keeps It Brockmire”

All New Brockmire airs Wednesdays at 10P on IFC.

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From baseball to beer, Jim Brockmire calls ’em like he sees ’em.


It’s no wonder at all, then, that Sam Adams would reach out to Brockmire to be their shockingly-honest (and inevitably short-term) new spokesperson. Unscripted and unrestrained, he’ll talk straight about Sam—and we’ll take his word. Check out this new testimonial for proof:

See more Brockmire Wednesdays at 10P on IFC, presented by Samuel Adams. Good f***** beer.

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