Earlier this month, Epic Games delayed Gears of War 3 to spring 2011. Today we hear the game has an improved multiplayer system.
Epic Games revealed this morning that Gears of War 3 features dedicated servers. This is a dramatic change from the way the game has handled multiplayer hosting in the past - games used to be hosted locally by players. Epic made the announcement this morning on its official web site.
Epic also announced a Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta test (date to be announced) and detailed some of the new features players can expect. True host migration is a new feature that helps players hosting games replace participants that exit by accident (or on purpose) seamlessly. Peer-to-peer voice chat moves to the dedicated servers as well. Social matches introduced in the Title Update 6 to Gears of War 2 are in, as well as support for persistent parties (allows groups of friends that play together regularly to move between games and modes without having to disband). Gears of War 3 profile information migrates to Epic's servers too.
Multiplayer game types in Gears of War 3 make it easier for new players to get into the fight. Guardian and Submission merge into a single mode called Capture the Leader, where teams choose a leader that opposing teams must capture and hold for 30 seconds. Every few seconds the captured leader has a chance to struggle and attempt to escape. Leaders get bonuses such as enhanced tactical communications capabilities to see enemy positions.
A new King of the Hill mode is in the works as well. The mode is a hybrid of the existing King of the Hill mode mixed with Annex. Teams capture and hold ringed areas that rotate around the map at timed intervals for points.
Team Deathmatch (team-vs-team multiplayer combat mode with a special "Gears twist") is also in the mix. Each team has 20 lives at the beginning of each match. That number ticks down when team members die. The last team standing gets a point and the first team to score two points wins.
New weapons are in the fight, and changes to how players earn XP. Rewards (ribbons) see changes as well.
Details on some of the changes to multiplayer revealed this week are available at Epic Games.