Gears of War 3: Spawn ’em? I hardly know ’em!

, | Game diaries

My first command, this expedition, has gone downhill rapidly. The enemy leader is fighting against my grasp, so I tighten my stranglehold and she quiets down for the time being. I can’t tell if it’s the loaded snub so close to her head or the idea of what will happen to her if we get an evac, but her muscles are coiled and trembling. I’m backing up against the wall, watching the corner. Anya and Marcus are watching the one entrance while Baird and Dom grab some grenades from the bunker. I can hear them, grunting in that language of theirs, preparing to come in here, kill my men. All I pray is for my men to die quick, honorably. It won’t be so easy for me.

After the jump, here they come.

The silence is shattered by Hammerburst fire from our forward position. Three giant, grey Lokust leap into the trench and charge, Gnashers in hand, while a fourth spews hot projectiles from behind a dividing wall. Dom appears from around a corner and is immediately shot down by the two big bastards in front. In their bloodlust, they miss Marcus and Anya leveling their weapons and only realize what’s happening when it’s way too late. The flash of their muzzles illuminates the beasts shocked and pain-filled faces and I almost feel a tinge of pity. Almost.

After killing his two friends, Marcus and Anya turn on the final Lokust and blow him apart in tandem. Mr. Hammerburst grows very quiet, assumedly losing his nerve.

I think we’re going to make it.

That’s when I feel the shotgun tear into my back. Before I can turn, the bastard fires again and I’m down. I see my men being cut down before me as the beast constricts my throat. The worst, though, is her. Her eyes.

The last thing I see, as I feel my neck break, are those cold eyes.

Filled with rage.

Filled with glee.

Over the weekend, Epic released the Capture the Leader game mode for the Gears of War 3 Beta. In this mode, you down the other team’s leader and take them hostage. After 30 seconds of holding the leader, you win the round. If during this time, they grab your leader, the timers stop until one is released.

Overall, this is one of my favorite game modes, but there are a few issues. For one, anti-camping measures should probably be turned off. If you need to protect a player from a different group of players, “wandering around aimlessly until they pick you off” probably isn’t number one on the list of strategies. However, you better like that idea, because you can’t just hole up.

You see, the spawn points change, and it’s never at a good time. I first witnessed this in Team Death Match, where it makes more sense, though it’s still infuriating. The map Thrashball is a war ravaged Thrashball stadium complete with broken down stands and a shaky scoreboard that can be shot down for environmental kills. The teams spawn in either locker room, and it flips on occasion. Usually, this works out OK, but sometimes the matchmaking ain’t so grand. The first time the spawn changes screwed me was in a bad fight from an even worse match.

The Lokust are outside, waiting for us to peep out so they can ventilate our faces. Smoke grenades come flying in like they’re going out of style and we’re…a style…bunker? Not sure what that means.
Either way, lots of grenades.

So we’re pinned down and are, most certainly, going to lose. Only one thing left to do: make our peace with the afterlife. Suddenly, the enemy makes a mistake and two of their number die leaving the opening guarded by only one motherless dog. It’s time to charge!

Well, it was time to charge.

You see, the two guys we managed to kill spawned directly behind us. It didn’t take long until the match ended, mercifully, and the teams randomized. It’s moments like those that make you just want to quit.
Of course, from a logical standpoint, I understand why this is done. Camping can make a match take much, much longer and be substantially less enjoyable for all those involved. In fact, I applaud Epic for using this function in Team Death Match, as it makes sense there. It’s when you look at it from a Capture the Leader or King of the Hill standpoint that it starts to get under my skin.

When you have someone’s leader, or you are the leader of your team, the last thing you want to do is go chugging around a mostly circular map while Yakety Sax lends its dulcet tones to your hijinx. You want to hole up and let the clock wind down, finally ending the often Globetrotter-esque antics of the enemy team.
Being one of the Washington Generals really sucks.

Next: GoW, OCD and you!
Click here for the previous Gears 3 entry.