Microsoft announces simultaneous worldwide release for Epic Games' Xbox 360-exclusive shooter; no beta date yet.

It may be one of the jewels in Microsoft's 2011 lineup, but Gears of War 3 has had a tumultuous time on the road to release. The game's unveiling was set to take place on chat show Late Night with Jimmy Fallon but was delayed, though not before the game's release date was reportedly leaked on Xbox Live. Shortly after the Late Night showing, Microsoft confirmed that the game would be landing in April 2011, but then had to renege on its initial promise and delay the game to a holiday 2011 release.

Today, Microsoft has announced a new worldwide release date for Gears of War 3 of September 20, 2011. This brings territories such as Japan, Australia, and Europe in line with the US, which was originally going to get the game first when it was slated for an April release date.

Microsoft has also named some of the maps and weapons that are due to appear in the game when it lands in September. There will be new multiplayer maps by the name of Trenches, Overpass, Mercy, Checkout, and Thrashball, as well as new weapons, including a bayonet charge, a retro lancer, a sawed-off shotgun, a one-shot, an incendiary grenade, and a digger launcher. Microsoft has also promised that more news on the multiplayer public beta will be released soon.