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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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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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