Gears of War 3, one of the year's most highly anticipated games, drops Tuesday. It's been a game that, absent Halo, has defined the Xbox 360 and made it the console choice for hard-core gamers.
The third installment promises answers about Sera, the planet on which human soldiers, or Gears, for the Coalition of Ordered Governments have waged war against the evil creatures of the underground Locust Horde.
The game also boasts a bevy of new features. Among them:
■ As many as four players, instead of two, can play the cooperative campaign mode.
■ There are four new playable female characters.
■ There are a slew of new enemies from the Lambent species that are mutated versions of the Locust Horde.
■ In Beast mode, a five-player cooperative multiplayer game, players become the Locust to fend off Gears. It turns on its head the popular Horde mode, in which Gears fend off unstoppable waves of Locusts.
So what's the future of Gears of War? The game's developers and Microsoft say the third installment is the fastest pre-sold Xbox exclusive. With that kind of popularity, you know it's not going away. Both companies have frequently mentioned that this is just the end of the current story.