Microsoft and developer Epic Games today confirmed the release date for what many consider to be the most anticipated Xbox 360 title this holiday season, Gears of War
- the Xbox 360 exclusive tactical action shooter will ship to North American retail outlets on November 12, 2006.
Seen by many and Microsoft's primary weapon to draw attention away from Sony's launch of the PlayStation 3, it does not seem as a coincidence that the game ships just five days prior to the new Sony console's launch on November 17, helping to deflect a little publicity onto the Xbox 360 along the way.
Epic's Unreal Engine 3-powered Gears of War
, which tells the story of mankind's struggle against an invasion by subterranean creatures known as the Locust Horde, will ship as both a standard edition, available for $59.99 ,and a limited collector's edition available for $69.99.
The limited edition of Gears Of War
will come within a metal box, and in addition to the game will include an official "Destroyed Beauty" art book and a bonus DVD featuring an inside look at the making of the game. Interestingly, these prices are $10 more than a number of the first-party Xbox 360 launch titles such as Perfect Dark Zero
, but presumably are intended to reflect what the vast majority of titles are being priced at for Microsoft's next-gen machine, as well as the significant resources poured into the game.
"Gears of War
represents the emergence of a thrilling new franchise for Xbox 360 and is the must-have game of 2006," said Shane Kim, general manager of Microsoft Game Studios. "Combining the best in innovative gameplay, next- generation graphics and interactive storytelling, Epic has harnessed the extraordinary power of Xbox 360 to create an extremely powerful and immersive entertainment experience."
"Our vision is to deliver a one-two punch of cinematic action paired with a thrilling and compelling interactive experience," said Cliff Bleszinski, lead designer at Epic. "With Gears of War
we've created a title that will place gamers directly in the shadows of a ravaged world, surrounded by the beautiful remnants of a destroyed city and the horrific dangers that hide in the rubble."