Gears 3 Beta Kicks Off April 25

And if you're a Bulletstorm owner, you get access even earlier.

Erik Norrisby Erik Norris

Gears 3 Beta Kicks Off April 25

Microsoft and Epic Games have announced that the Gears of War 3 beta will go public on April 25. Owners of the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm will get access a whole week earlier on April 18. The beta period lasts until May 15, giving gamers a whole three weeks to chainsaw and curb stomp the shit out of each other.

Players can also pre-order Gears of War 3 right now at GameStop to lock down access to the beta on April 25. Gears 3 comes in three flavors at retail: Standard ($59.99 USD), Limited ($79.99) and Epic ($149.99). There are no details about what each contains just yet.

The beta will include three competitive modes and four maps. Two of the maps, “Trenches” and “Old Town,” were chosen by Gears fans on Facebook.

Finally, there’s incentive to play the Gears 3 beta outside getting an early taste of one of the biggest games of 2011. You can unlock content that will transfer over to the full retail version of Gears 3 when it releases on September 20.

Here’s the full list of unlockable goodies and what’s required of you to get them:

·         Beta Tester Medal Complete one match in the beta to unlock the Beta Tester medal, which will carry over to your gamer profile in the final game. The Beta Tester title will be featured in the “Gears 3” multiplayer lobby as well.

·         Thrashball Cole – Complete 50 matches in any game type to unlock the Thrashball Cole character variant in the beta. Once unlocked, complete 10 matches as Thrashball Cole during the beta and the character will carry over to your gamer profile in the final game.

·         Gold-Plated Retro Lancer – Show your ultimate “Gears of War” fandom by unlocking the Gold-Plated Retro Lancer. Complete 90 matches in any game type to unlock it for the beta, and score 100 kills with it once unlocked to carry the exclusive weapon skin over to your gamer profile in the final game.

·         Flaming Hammerburst – Complete one match by Sunday, April 24 and unlock this weapon variant.

·         Flaming Lancer – Complete one match during the week of April 25 and unlock this weapon variant.

·         Flaming Sawed-Off Shotgun – Complete one match during the week of May 2 to unlock this weapon variant.

·         Flaming Gnasher Shotgun – Complete one match during the week of May 9 to unlock this weapon variant.

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