The Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta is one of the most anticipated gaming events of the Spring, and Epic Games has been very coy about revealing the official details. That is, of course, until today.

Gamers dying to play the candidate for this year’s biggest gore-fest will be delighted to know that they can jump into the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta starting April 25, 2011. How does one get into the beta? Well, there are two ways to gain access.

Starting April 1, 2011, (Epic better not be joking about this) gamers will be able to pre-order one of three different versions of Gears of War 3. There will be a Standard Edition for $59.99, Special Edition for $79.99, and Epic Edition for a whopping $149.99. Details about the Special and Epic editions have yet to be revealed, but pre-ordering the game will secure you three weeks of access to the multiplayer beta, from April 25, 2011 – May 15, 2011.

But what about the beta access granted by the Bulletstorm Epic Edition? No worries there, as Epic Games has a special treat for Epic Edition owners. Those gamers will be granted access to the beta the week prior to the public beta, starting on April 18, 2011 and ending on April 24, 2011.

During the first week of access provided to Bulletstorm purchasers, the beta will feature Team Deathmatch on 4 new maps: Thrashball, Checkout, Trenches, and Old Town. The Trenches and Old Town maps were selected by fans through a facebook poll. During the three week public beta that follows, gamers can look forward to special events and playlists. Two new multiplayer modes, Capture the Leader and King of the Hill, will be added over the course of the public beta period.

As if it wasn’t amazing enough that gamers are going to be able to take part in the public beta, there are also a host of rewards for those dedicated gamers who dare to pursue them. These unlockables will carry over to the retail copy of Gears of War 3 as a badge of honor for participation in the beta.

The unlockables inlcude:

  • 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.

If you’re not convinced that you want to try out the multiplayer beta, then maybe you should check out the Gears of War 3 multiplayer video.

For the Gears diehards out there, are you going to be unlocking all of these during your foray into the multiplayer beta? Or are you going to dodge it so that you don’t suffer withdrawal waiting for the game to come out?

Gears of War 3 will drop us back into the war with the Locust horde on September 20, 2011, exclusively for the Xbox 360 (not that Epic wouldn’t love to bring it to the PS3).

SCROLL FOR NEXT ARTICLE