The first thing I tried after the co-op campaign mode was Beast mode. I knew Horde mode was going to be good and I’ve played the multiplayer in the beta, so Beast is the only unknown. From all the early information it sounded like Versus mode in Left 4 Dead, and that roused my interest. I had my full entourage with me, so we decided to try it out four player. I’m not sure if that helped or not but the results were… mixed.
After the jump, we put the Bea in Beast mode… I guess
The round starts and I’m faced with choosing a “beast.” Each monster has a purpose and price. For instance, the Wild Tickers can eat through defenses and swallow grenades, where the Savage Drones can shoot and use cover, but get stuck on defenses. As the rounds progress and you kill more and more soldiers, you gain access to tougher creatures. As you would expect, the meaner the creature, the higher the price.
Each monster has a distinct feel and style of play. The tickers are crazy and frantic while the larger creatures have a sense of heft. I found my favorite later in the game after unlocking the final tier of monsters. The berserker is a part of the Gears universe that is hard to forget. They’re blind and angry. Very angry. They take a ton of damage and can run through fortifications. My average turn as a berserker can be best summed up as “stompy and violent.”
The upper level beasts are all powerful and range from support to assault. As far as support is concerned, kantus is represented in the list and is upgraded to the armored kantus a level later, filling the healer role like his less powerful iteration but able to take much more punishment.There’s plenty of damage and you can play as a ticker, wretch, savage drone, butcher, blood mount, mauler, giant serapede, savage corpser, savage grenadier, boomer or savage boomer.
That’s the concept behind the game. It’s fun at first. Kicking over some COG soldiers and booting them into hell is a good time, and each of the monsters is represented in a way that makes them feel unique. Hell, playing the berserker was worth Beast mode to me, but I can certainly see the shine wearing off quickly. There’s only 12 rounds and, unlike horde mode, there’s no real progression for which to strive. After my party had beaten the 12 waves we were anxious to get to Horde mode – Beast mode quickly forgotten.
I can think of no better short description of Beast mode than “an amusing aside but far from the main draw.”