Gears of War PC Release Date Set; Details and Exclusive Screenshots

Have you been holding out to play Epic's latest Xbox 360 "exclusive" on the PC? Get out your calendar: Gears of War for Windows makes its way to stores on November 6th.

The game will feature five new singleplayer chapters, a new "King of the Hill" multiplayer game mode, three new multiplayer maps, a game editor, and the first and last showdown with the infamous Brumak boss. Also included will be all of the Xbox 360 downloadable content released thus far, for a total of 19 multiplayer maps. For more information and impressions, check out our full preview.

To celebrate the announcement, we have a variety of media to peruse, including shots of the new multiplayer maps, a look at the game editor, some pictures of the Brumak monster, a whole bunch of glamorous poses, and a pair of exclusives.

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"The timing is right for this... we didn't want [to wait] 3-4 years," said Epic producer Rod Fergusson at a recent press event. Flanked by Gears of War director Cliff Bleszinski and Gears PC lead level designer Jim Brown, Fergusson explained that bringing the game to the PC was a natural move--especially considering it had actually been running on the PC during the project's early showings at E3.

Bleszinski echoed that sentiment, adding that the port had been under development since just after the original Xbox 360 version shipped.

"You can tell it's not trying to be a PC game," said Bleszinski of the end result, referencing titles such as Halo 2 and Shadowrun as lazy examples of PC ports. Gears of War for Windows will support Windows Vista and XP, keyboards and Xbox controllers, and all manner of PCs, having been reworked to scale for low-end computers.

"Gears PC is almost on a different engine," said Fergusson, explaining that the changes required to make the game scalable for varied specs required a lot of work on the Unreal Engine 3. Of course, many users will want to crank the game's DirectX 10-supported visuals to their full resolution, which the designers encouraged. "Once you fire it up on the PC...it's almost like an entirely new game," remarked Bleszinski.

As an added bonus for Gears veterans, the Windows version's singleplayer campaign-- which Bleszinski compared to a director's cut DVD--can be started from Act 5, allowing those who have already played the original to dig right into the five new chapters.

With this extra content heading only to the PC, the question arises: will it ever be coming to Xbox 360 owners? The answer, it turns out, is complicated. So much has changed to the engine for Gears PC that it would need to be entirely reworked again in order to port it back to the Xbox 360. "Putting that content back on the Xbox 360 would be a huge hurdle," said Fergusson.

Bleszinski provided a second, simple reason for the content exclusivity: "Quite frankly, we want there to be other reasons to buy the PC version."