Epic has already said that players will be able to unlock certain pieces of content in "Gears of War 3" by completing objectives in the previous "Gears" games. They haven't, however, been very specific about what objectives people will need to complete and what the rewards will be. Rod Fergusson, the executive producer of "Gears of War 3," was recently in New York to show off the game, and was happy to reveal some of those unlocks for me.
"It's mostly around weapon skins in terms of tying into historical stuff. Two of the ones...I guess we haven't announced this but we have to announce it eventually, right? Two of the weapon skins are based on historical weapon skins, so if you want the gold lancer and the gold hammerburst in 'Gears 3,' you get them by owning the gold hammerburst and the gold lancer in 'Gears 2,' so those skins transfer over."
In addition to the gold skins, which were given to players through giveaways and in the special edition of "Gears of War 2," there will be a number of chrome skins rewarded for completing certain achievements in past "Gears" games. Said Fergusson, "If you did something in 'Gears' PC you get a chrome skin, if you did something in 'Gears 2' you get a chrome skin. The chrome set is sort of our thank you to people who played our games in the past."
We already saw one of the "Gears of War 3" historical unlocks in the beta, the chrome hammerburst, which required the Rookie Gear achievement (get to level 5 in "Gears of War 2" multiplayer).
Fergusson went on to explain that achievements are the easiest way to track and reward those who have played the previous games. "Generally whenever we do unlocks, we do it based on achievements. That's why I've been trying to tell people about the level 100 thing. No, it's not about getting level 100 [in 'Gears of War 2' multiplayer] , it's about Veteran Gear. Get that achievement and that'll get you something. I don't care if you're level 100, you have to have the Veteran Gear achievement." Veteran Gear requires that you hit level 100 and win a match on each of the 4 maps in the "Gears of War 2" Snowblind DLC pack.
It's important to remember that none of these historical unlocks will give you any edge over the competition when "Gears of War 3" launches. They're purely cosmetic. But if you want to ensure that you've got every customization option in the game, it's not a bad idea to put some time into the first two "Gears of War" games as you await the September release of the third. As a matter of fact, that's what Epic will be doing. "Some of us don't have all the 'Gears 1' achievements," said Fergusson. "The ranked achievements are so hard. So we have a night planned where 20 of us are going to sit in a room and play Ranked 'Gears 1' just to get our achievements." And you thought they'd give themselves special treatment!