The game modes
You have the classic ones: Team Deathmatch, Execution, Warzone, King of the Hill, Guardian. Then you have a few new ones, such as Arms Race, Dodgeball and Escalation. You can play all of them except Execution and Escalation in both Social Quickplay (with bots, people can join mid-game etc.) and as ranked (then they're called "Core Modes"). In ranked, it's only for players, and unlike Social mode where you can only be a party of 2, here you can be a party of 5. If you're playing ranked, you return the home menu after each match and have to search for a new one. And the waiting time is loooong (even though it has gotten better lately).
The new competitive game mode, King of the Hill with three rings, is very intense. Whatever team that reaches 210 points wins (and you get points by claiming the rings). If a team manages to captive all three rings at the same time, it's an instawin. The latter can make the rounds go extremely quickly, I once had a 27 second one, but if you go all the way to 210 points it will take time to reach a 7-rounds-win! Technically you could play 13 rounds, and that is a lot! (I think my longest game has been 11 rounds, we won with 7-4). Other than this, it is a fun and action packed game mode!
Hating it with a passion at first, now Arms Race is starting to grow on me. This is the game mode where you will go through all the weapons in the game, after getting 3 kills as a team with a certain weapon, it switches to the next. The team that goes through the entire list (12 weapons!) first, wins. Since I don't like all the weapons and avoid them best as I can, this is not my favourite mode. It has, however, forced me to play with weapons I would never touch. The Markza is the worst, and the Embar (even though everyone else seem to love it). You can get a lot of XP on this mode though, especially with a nice Bounty on it.
The warzone where when you kill an enemy, you bring back a team mate. An interesting take on the game. Instead of being (almost always) completely f*cked when you are last man out versus 5 players, you can now definitely bring the game back and win. It is one of the game modes with the biggest need for cooperation. Both in this and in other game modes (such as Guardian), you have to survive long enough for the other player to respawn. If the entire team dies but people are about to spawn, the game is lost. At least one player has to be alive at all times. I like this game mode, it's very interesting. The rounds can be over extremely quickly - or take forever.
Good old Guardian. My absolute favourite game mode in Gears of War 3. Differences to this game is that the leader can no longer press LB to see where the enemies are, and you can't see where the leader is. When you spot him/her however, it shows that the person is leader. I like this development, but I don't really feel for the lack of spawn switch. This makes the leader camp in spawn 99% of the time. And yes, there is no spawn protection, but the leader can still survive in spawn for a very long time.
There a looot of new weapons in Gow4, and the existing ones are radically changed. The hammerburst is the new Retro Lancer, extremely OP. The retro is now a power weapon, placed on some of the maps. I like the Lancer, but at times it feels very strong and the next moment it feels like I am shooting peas. The boomshot has only two rounds in it (gooood), we are now missing Mortar, Hammer of Dawn (in Versus that is) and digger.
You can't escape it, it gets you when you're in cover, it gets you from across the map, people are insanely good with it (yeah, OTHER people, not me). An annoying power weapon that is occasionally fun to use.
A stupid f*cking sniper that people love and that I hate. I do get how to use it, sort of like a torque bow - you have to hold the trigger and wait for the exact right moment to let go. I just don't get headshots like everyone else. My second hate gun (after Markza probably).
This thing I avoided for the longest time, for no reason. It shoots out buzzsaws and splits the enemy in 2 in no time. Awesome. So much fun to use. It's a heavy weapon, and you are exposed when using it, but did I mention that it was a lot of fun ^^ There's an achievement for killing three enemies in the same buzzshot, haven't gotten it yet, probably will naturally on Horde some time.
I am not going to be one of those people who spoils the story for everyone else. Let's just say that the story has some holes in it, that it is extremely difficult on Insane (you die immediately, you don't go down first). Luckily I have a way to beat the game on Insane, using a friend.
Horde 3,0 is a lot of fun, but not very challenging, even on insane. You have the fabricator, that you feed power taken from the dead enemies, and then you can buy fortifications, decoys, weapons, turrets, sentries etc. Boss every 10th wave, just as in Gow3. New is the (very complicated I felt first, but not anymore), different classes you can be (such as Soldier, Heavy, Scout, Sniper and Engineer) and the Class skills. It's a great way to get a lot of XP, but only fun in small doses. I love the sounds of picking up and dropping off the power :P
One would hope that the sponging from Gow3 was gone, but alas, it's awful at times. Here's an (updated) version of the spongiest characters:
1. Anya (in all her forms)
1. Scion (all the Scions)
2. The Deebees (can't tell them apart, so don't know who's worst)