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Gears 3 Beta Report: Volume 3

We’re at the halfway point so far in the Gears 3 beta and hopefully tomorrow will see the release of some new stuff. In the mean time, it’s time to discuss the maps currently available and how best to play them to avoid as many brutal deaths as possible. Let’s get to it.


By far the most teamwork-orientated map in the beta, there is an insane amount of cover and corners to hide behind to take advantage of the chainsaw and sawed off. Don’t get too camp happy though because the digger launcher and sniper are on this map and they can easily break a camp heavy setup. There are also two sets of grenades on this map, which is something you should really take note of, and nade plants don’t seem to be anywhere as common as they are in Gears 2. That’s something you can take advantage of; people aren’t anywhere near as cautious as they used to be regarding these. The golden rule of this map is teamwork and if you’re communicating and working well with your team you’re going to do well on this map. Rifles are pretty dominant for anyone with a sharp eye, too.

Old Town

Another teamwork heavy map, the sniper rifle is very dangerous on this map. People tend to group up on power weapon locations and rely on rifles, which makes for pretty easy pickings if you’re a decent shot. The sniper swaps out with the Torque and the digger with the boomshot. There’s plenty of grenades lying around, too, with one at each spawn and in the middle are frag and flame grenades. I found nade tags to be pretty useful on this map as well due to the size of it; people are often in too much of a hurry to sprint around carelessly. King of the Hill on this map can be pretty annoying due to the fact that breaking a setup without a coordinated team is damn near impossible.


This is easily my favorite map in the beta because it’s great for everything. All three game modes seem balanced for this map and you’re free to run and gun to a certain extent. Power weapons are light on this map however, but it seems like a map that is intended to encourage the start out weapons. The central power weapon is located under the dangling scoreboard, which can be shot down on unsuspecting enemies. However, this seems rather pointless unless done at the end of a round as it will take away the only real power weapon spawn. Generally speaking, the torque and digger launcher are far more valuable for killing dudes.


This map introduces one new weapon to the mix: the one shot. Imagine if the hammer of dawn and sniper rifle had a baby, this gun would be the result. This map plays pretty slowly in comparison to the others, while there’s no real definitive camping setups (yet) and the layout creates branching paths to the usual conflict areas. What this means is that you really need to watch your flanks when playing this map, as it is heaven for those sawed off shotty fans. The digger launcher will swap for the scorcher, which is a pretty daft choice as they are not equal on this map by a long shot. There is also a mortar located in the middle structure. If you’re going to go after this, it’s always good to have a wingman. Getting flanked is super easy due to the layout of the area. Trenches also has a timed sandstorm that will severely reduce your vision. Using your tac-com will reduce the effect of this -- however, I have no idea whether this is intentional or just an oversight but it’s very useful to counter the intended effect.

Going by the maps that are available so far, the main difference in Gears 3 is that the maps are not completely controlled by the weapons that are already on it. It seems Epic is trying to encourage players to become very good with their starting weapons and using them in order to maximize the potential of the power weapons. There’s no confirmation of any maps that are due to be added or removed, so for now these four are it. If these are anything to go by, then the maps are shaping up to be a huge improvement over Gears 2. There will be a final report towards the end of the beta as a general round up, but until then, have fun in the beta!


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