According to translations of a big Gears of War 3 piece in a Russian gaming mag, giving us our first real details on the game, Epic's upcoming shooter will take place on the open sea.
The story below was originally published on Kotaku on May 5, based on a translated article. A correction/clarification follows.
There are plenty more details ahead, but be warned, some of you may consider them to be spoilers, so yeah. You've been warned.
If the translations from Epic's forums are on the money, Gears 3 takes place 18 months after the events of Gears 2. In the months since the flooding of the planet, humanity's government has collapsed, the remnants of the species fleeing to the seas, splitting up into "tribes" and taking care of themselves.
One of these outposts is called "Raven's Nest", a large man-made island built of several warships slung together. Much of the game's action takes place on and beneath this ship/island, with Marcus joined by Dom, Cole, a newly-combative Anya and, DOUBLE SPOILER ALERT, Marcus' father Adam.
Perhaps most interesting, however, is word from Epic that while Gears 3 concludes Marcus Fenix's trilogy, there'll be plenty more Gears games on the horizon, including prequels, spin-offs and "maybe even a transition to a new genre".
Other tidbits: there's confirmation the game has mechs - called "Silverbacks" - and Gears 3's difficulty will also be scaled back, Epic claiming around 60% of players never bothering to finish the last game.
For the full translation, head over to Epic's forums.
Gears of War 3 [Epic]
CORRECTION: Following the publication of the preceding post, Gears of War creative lead Cliff Bleszinski publicly Tweeted that the information from the Russian magazine was "badly translated," some of it "false." Bleszinski provided more direct clarification to Kotaku.
-Our post based on the translation of the article from Epic's forums had stated that "much of" the action in Gears of War 3 takes place on or below the water-bound outpost Raven's Nest. But Bleszinski explains that only one of the game's levels occurs on Raven's Nest, just as only one part of the first Gears occurred on a train.
-On the Waterworld comparison, Bleszinski tells us that the Hollow (the underground of the game's world) was flooded, not the planet's surface.
-The new game's difficulty is not exactly being "scaled back" from that of its predecessors. The easiest difficulty level of Gears of War 3, Casual, has been made easier, but the other difficulty levels will remain similar in challenge to their counterparts in the previous games.
-While details about the Gears of War 3 frame-rate did not appear in Kotaku's original post, the translation of the Russian article, now removed from Epic's forums, appeared to quote Bleszinski saying the new game would run at a lower frame-rate than earlier Gears titles. The developer told Kotaku that his studio is "targeting 30-plus [frames per-second] as always."