There's also a major multiplayer overhaul for killing with friends. Guardian and Submission have been merged into Capture the Leader and King of the Hill has been blended in with Annex. Add a load of XP offerings - for kill-streaks, drawing first blood and the like - and you can expect a satisfyingly violent bout of multiplayer mayhem every time.
Epic is one of the biggest names in the games industry today with enough swagger and respect to go balls-out with Gears 3. We're not only expecting the best in the series this year, we're expecting one of the best shooters ever.
BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY
No one was expecting Batman: Arkham Asylum to be a game worth giving a flying bat about. Big surprises all around then when everyone went absolutely batty for Rocksteady's Dark Knight adaptation.
Okay, enough of the bat puns. Arkham Asylum was not only a great action title but a brilliant faithful addition to the Batman Universe.
Rocksteady's sequel, Arkham City, looks not only to continue Batman's story but do so in style. This time we're in an open world packed with more character, variety and comic book lore than the predecessor. Most importantly though, it looks like more of the same, which is absolutely fine by us.
If you really want to take advantage of the delicious eye-candy DICE is offering from its sweet shop of head-shots then you'll want to go down to your local computer garage, get yourself a spoiler and stick it on the back of your PC. With the right rig, Battlefield 3 could well be one of the best looking games of the past, present and even the near future. Nevermind the tiny grain that is 2011.
But fear not console comrades, the latest in the Battlefield series is looking pretty tasty from where you're sitting as well, with its sexy lighting effects and devastatingly total destruction engine.
Battlefield 3 is looking like a relatively more measured FPS affair (emphasis on the relatively) than what else is out there as well. It'll hit the spot for a load of gun-toting gamers that find Call of Duty doesn't quite hit the spot.
We've lost count of how many times we've included an Uncharted title in a best of list like this. Truth be told we're running out of new ways to praise the Naughty Dog franchise, so we're just going to have to repeat ourselves.
Uncharted doesn't revolutionise any one part of the third-person shooter genre but it does every part of it to a ridiculously high standard. Beautiful visuals, epic set-pieces and satisfying shooting all complement a narrative and and acting quality that surpasses most of what's on the market today.
Uncharted 3 looks set to continue that with the series looking better than ever in all of the above respects. That's on top of the brand new sense of intrigue we've got following what we've been teased with so far.
MODERN WARFARE 3
Look, we know Call of Duty has been losing some favour in the corridor's of the CVG Hotel, but it's hard to deny the series' success and its dominance in the genre.
It's also difficult to argue against its high production values and entertainment offering as an epic, cinematic title. Even if you are doing your best to steer clear of the bandwagon, the footage of Infinity Ward's latest, you have to admit that there's some real excitement surrounding what we've seen so far.
Even if you haven't seen a thing from the latest freshly wrapped COD, Modern Warfare is a name worth taking note of. Whatever critics say, whatever the hardcore gamer says, Modern Warfare 3 is going to take the charts by storm come November.
We're not saying that great sales make a great game but we're expecting another fast-paced, high-action thrill-ride from Activision this year, one that will drag the world back in doors for hours on end.