We reported last week on some mixed opinions, stemming from Microsoft's recent “match made in hell” event, for Epic's upcoming third person shooter Gears of War. Despite those negative comments, that stated that some gamers were complaining that the control system was too hard to use, there were plenty of positive comments regarding the smoothness of the gameplay and the tremendous graphics, so we weren't particularly put off by the negative press.
Some new information has now come to light stating that the online mode of Gears Of War won't allow for friends to play together in ranked matches. A programmer speaking on the Gears Of War forums, and who is (apparently) working on the title, claims that you will not be able to create a party with your friends in ranked matches unless they are the same skill level.
Gears of War uses a TrueSkill ranking system that ensures that players will only be able to compete against people of a similar skill, meaning that unless you stick together with your established friends from the outset, you'll be playing against random people in all competitive matches. While this does mean that we should have some close fought matches, it's a poke in the eye for those who like to hook up with mates and enjoy the competitive part of online gaming together. "The theory is this prevents collaborative cheating claims the poster.
Halo 2 worked around this problem by averaging each party's score for ranked matches, irrevelant of whether a party members skill rating was 2 or 22, thus allowing parties of any skill level to jump into a ranked match against a similar ranked team. We're not sure why Gears of War can't do the same.
We're still waiting for official confirmation on the online aspect of Gears of War, so for now, take this information with a pinch of salt.
Please note: Friends will still be able to meet up and play in unranked matches.
Source : OXM