Gears of War 3 beta: Bulletstorm players in April 18, GameStop pre-orderers join April 25

Nobody should have to wait for the chance to carve up their best friends with gas-powered chainsaw rifles -- luckily, interested parties can ensure their entry into the Gears of War 3 beta on April 25. All you have to do to grab a golden ticket is pre-order the Locust-massacring shooter at GameStop, and you'll be eligible to participate in the three-week beta testing process.

If you grabbed the Bulletstorm "Epic Edition," you'll be able to get your hands dirty one week earlier, starting April 18.

Participants in the beta will be able to unlock not only the Gold-Plated Retro Lancer, but a whole bevy of bonuses (listed after the jump). All that's left to do now is plan what kind of murders you're going to make first. Us? We're gonna shoot a guy, and then stomp on him, then stand him up, and then do something unspeakable to him with a grenade.

Gears of War 3 Beta Unlockables:
  • 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.
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Pre-Order "Gears of War 3" from GameStop and Secure Access to the Multiplayer Beta on April 25

Join the biggest gaming event of the spring and earn exclusive in-game unlockables Get ready to jump back in the action with Delta Squad beginning this April by pre-ordering "Gears of War 3" online at www.gamestop.com/gearsofwar3 or from any conveniently located GameStop store.*

Fans can pre-order one of the three distinct "Gears of War 3" editions -- Standard ($59.99 USD), Limited ($79.99) and Epic ($149.99) -- and gain access to three weeks of multiplayer beta action on Xbox LIVE, beginning April 25.**

Over the course of the beta program, three new competitive multiplayer modes and four exclusive maps will be rolled out, all running on dedicated servers and providing fans with the opportunity to help shape the biggest blockbuster game of 2011. Two of the four multiplayer maps, Trenches and Old Town, were selected by "Gears" fans through a Facebook poll that generated thousands of votes.

The "Gears of War 3" public multiplayer beta kicks off April 25 and runs through May 15.

"Bulletstorm: Epic Edition" customers will get early access beginning April 18 through the Bulletstorm disc.***

Key Beta Dates: · "Bulletstorm" Preview, April 18-24
-- Owners of "Bulletstorm: Epic Edition" are eligible for a one-week beta preview period featuring the new Team Deathmatch mode on four new maps (Thrashball, Checkout, Trenches and Old Town). ·

"Gears of War 3" Beta, April 25-May 15
-- The full public beta period begins April 25. Players can look forward to special events and playlists throughout the beta period. Two additional competitive game modes, Capture the Leader and King of the Hill, will be added over the course of the beta period. ·

May 15 - Beta concludes.

Not only will fans who participate in the beta have the opportunity to get an early taste of the year's biggest game, but they'll also have the opportunity to unlock exclusive content they can carry over to their retail copy of "Gears of War 3" when it launches on Sept. 20.

Unlockables:
· 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.

For additional details on "Gears of War 3" and the public multiplayer beta, please visit gearsofwar.xbox.com. Published by Microsoft Game Studios, the "Gears of War" franchise has won more than 50 "Game of the Year" awards, sold more than 13 million copies worldwide and redefined the third-person shooter genre this generation. One of the bestselling Xbox game series of all time, "Gears of War" is exclusive to the Xbox 360 and its riveting multiplayer action makes it one of the most popular titles on Xbox LIVE.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.