'Gears of War 3' set for September 20

The third and final part to popular Xbox 360 franchise Gears of War is now due September 20, publisher Microsoft Game Studios has confirmed.

The company calls it "2011's most highly anticipated game," making clear its intentions to compete on an even footing with heavyweights such as RAGE, Uncharted 3, Skyrim, Battlefield 3, The Last Guardian, and the anticiapted new entry to Call of Duty's blockbuster franchise.

Early builds of the game have gone down well at fan conventions, leaving many eager for more.

Gears of War 3 will have an online beta testing phase open to Xbox 360 players who purchase Bulletstorm's Epic Edition, with the development team at Epic Games to announce other ways to get in on the beta test action in due course.