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Gears of War with Cliffy B at TGS


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This is the first time we've seen the demo running on final Xbox 360 hardware (the E3 demo was running on a high-powered PC), and you'll be happy to know that it looks better than it did a few months ago, and it's running smoothly already. Unlike last night's demo, Cliff was in the driver's seat and manipulating everything in real-time.

Well, one thing he told us about were some of the various run modes in the game, like the mode he calls "roadie run," which is basically a crouching run that you can use to defend yourself on the move. He also told us that Epic will be showing off more of the game's environmental interactivity, such as the ability to either peak through slightly opened doors to see what's on the other side or slamming your shoulder through the damn thing and making yourself known. You'll also be able to blast your way through doors, giving the proper amount of drama to an already intense situation.

As you probably already know, with its "stop and pop" gameplay, cover plays a big part in Gears of War. Cliff told us that players will be able to move certain types of cover, such as burnt-out trucks and trash bins, to aid you in tough situations. You'll need to be careful what you pick for cover though, as some materials are better suited for defense than others. Large metal objects are handy, but wooden objects like bureaus and desks don't stop Locust bullets so well.

We also asked him a bit more about the much-touted co-op mode. You can play the entire story-based campaign co-op either in split-screen or via Xbox Live. A great feature of the co-op mode is that you can jump in at any time, so even if your bud comes over to your house when you're in the middle of a game, he can jump in as Dominique and start blasting away with you. It won't just be a "Dominique magically appears" scenario, either. Even if you're playing the game alone as Marcus, Dom will be tailing you -- and fighting with you -- the entire way, so it's just a matter of your friend coming in and taking over as Dom.

Cliff told us that the game is about 50% complete at this point, but that it's mainly content generation at this point, which is much faster than engine and technical development. As we said in our earlier preview, Gears of War is one of the prime examples of what we can expect out of the next-generation of games, so we're looking forward to seeing -- and playing -- this one more.

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