Plugged In

‘Gears’ turns again next April

The final installment in the critically acclaimed “Gears of War” trilogy has been announced. “Gears of War 3” is set to be released April 5, 2011, according to publisher Microsoft and developer Epic Games.

The third-person action shooter franchise helped put the Xbox 360 on the map, and millions of gamers have taken up arms against the Locust Horde. For “Gears of War 3,” Epic has already announced new weapons — including a double-barrel shotgun — a female COG soldier, a refined cover system and four-player co-op play in the campaign. The story picks up 18 months after the conclusion of “Gears of War 2.”

Expect more “Gears” details to be announced during E3, but in the meantime check out the first trailer below, which was unveiled by Epic design director CliffyB Monday night on “The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon.”