Any micron of respect that anyone reading this article may have possibly had for me is about to be pantsed and given the dreaded Rear Admiral. At 11:45 p.m. on Monday, September 19, I stood in line with my fellow dorks getting soaked by a torrential downpour outside the local mall because I absolutely needed to get my hands on a copy of “Gears of War 3” at midnight. I realize how terribly nerdy that is. This is coming from a guy who tries to get his girlfriend in the mood by telling her how fast he can complete a Rubik’s Cube. I will tell you this, however: If you’re ever feeling down or uncool, go surround yourself with kids from a midnight release line. You’ll feel like the second coming of Sean Connery. But I digress. The long national nightmare was finally over: I had my copy of Gears in my Xbox by 12:20. As the final game in the beloved Gears trilogy, “Gears of War 3” has a lot to live up to. Developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Studios, Gears is a third-person shooter that relies heavily on good use of cover and teammates. If you’ve played the first two games in this series — which I sincerely hope you have — you’re generally familiar with the story. It’s a fight to the finish for the survival of humanity with the invading Locust, who have firmly planted themselves above the surface and attempted to murder you, like, a million times. Really shitty neighbors. Now it’s time to murder them back, with some brand-new weapons and friends. The main campaign completes this story arc and can be played co-op with up to four people, which is two more than “Gears 2.” No real changes in gameplay or mechanics; Epic just brings you more of what you loved about the first two games in the series. The excellently written story wraps up the trilogy very well, sucking you in along the way. Some parts in this game will really put you into your character’s boots, making you feel like you truly are part of the struggle. As always, there are many competitive multiplayer modes to choose from. Team Deathmatch gives each five-player team a common pool of 20 lives to share, instead of just one apiece. Very fun, unless you get some clown on your team dying 18 times all by themselves. Back again are Warzone and Execution modes, each a five-on-five team battle giving one life per person. The only difference is that enemies must be executed in Execution. Then there’s my favorite, King of the Hill, where teams of five vie for supremacy by capturing and controlling rings in a set time. In addition to competitive multiplayer, Epic does a hell of a job with cooperative multiplayer, bringing back the enormously popular Horde mode. Not content to rest on their laurels, they ratcheted up the difficulty and made a few improvements, introducing a currency system wherein you get paid depending on the amounts of kills/assists you have. Every tenth wave is now a boss wave, where ridiculously overpowered enemies come breaking down your door like Nino Brown. Epic simply made an already strong Horde mode stronger. A completely new edition to Gears multiplayer is Beast mode, where you play as the Locust trying to kill the humans à la “Left 4 Dead.” With 15 Locust to choose from, you have a time limit to do away with 12 waves of those pesky humans. I love “Gears of War.” I’m a total Gears nerd. I admit it. ”Gears of War 2” is why I bought an Xbox. So, yeah, I’m gonna tell you to play this game. But don’t let the fact that I’m not the most impartial judge stop you from playing this. I have yet to hear a negative word about this game from anyone, and that has to mean something. The upcoming Christmas season is absolutely packed with big-name, can’t-miss game releases, but “Gears of War 3” is a must-play. Trust me.