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Being Downed is a state of incapacitation in the Gears of War games in which a character cannot attack and requires assistance from allies in order to be returned to fighting capacity.
When one is downed, one's knees have been blown out, or one has suffered extensive damage to the body, and one will crouch helplessly on the ground in an expanding pool of one's blood, writhing and unable to fight. This is seen in both campaign and multiplayer. In campaign, it is caused by shooting many bullets into the leg of the opponent. In multiplayer, it is done by causing enough damage to injure but not yet kill an enemy (automatic in Execution game mode).
In campaign, a downed enemy is one who is completely immobile and vulnerable to any attack. They can be killed by any means, including the Curb Stomp (despite the fact that the manual says you can only Curb Stomp in multiplayer).
When a Locust foe takes damage in the torso or head, it is most likely that the enemy will simply be killed. If you shoot at the legs of a foe, though, that opponent will most likely be downed as a result. If not finished off by an ally or yourself, the Locust enemy will then either bleed out and die if there is no assistance, a fellow Locust soldier may revive them if they are able to get close, or (in Gears of War 2 or Gears of War 3) a Kantus may chant and revive any downed opponent.
Please note that the only types of Locust that can be downed are the soldier-type Locust. This includes Drones, Snipers, Grenadiers and Elite Grenadiers, Cyclops, Bolters, and Beast Riders. Enemies that will only die and will not be downed in campaign are Wretches, Tickers, Butchers, Maulers, Grinders, Boomers, Kantus', and Bloodmounts. Obviously, special Locust such as Reavers and Brumaks are also not able to be downed.
In campaign, depending on your difficulty, if you take enough damage to fill the Crimson Omen, you will be downed. If you are not assisted in time, you will bleed out and die. In Gears of War 2 on Single Player, Hardcore and Insane difficulties will not let you be downed and you will simply die. In Gears of War 3, however, you can be revived on Hardcore difficulty but not on Insane. There are many methods of enemy attacks that may kill you without downing, which include the explosive attacks such as Frag Grenades, Boomshots, Torque Bow (if an arrow hits you in the right -or wrong, in your case- spot), Mortars, Tickers, and you can be cut-up by Grinder- or Troika-fire. When downed, most enemies tend to ignore you for a while before deciding to finish you off (although this is not always the case), but enemies will not shoot you. You can still be Curb Stomped, Two-pieced, blown up, and mauled by enemies though. However, if you lose all health and every other squadmate is downed, you will simply die (any difficulty except Casual).
In Gears of War, the player cannot be revived on any difficulty on Single Player and will simply die when loosing all health.
On Gears of War 3 & Gears of War: Judgment, if you are downed, you can self-revive by not crawling and tapping A instead of waiting for someone to revive you. In campaign, this only applies on Casual difficulty.
In most cases on Single Player, when your AI squadmates go down, they will never bleed out and will just wait to be revived. However, on Insane difficulty in Gears of War 2, the ally will have his icon-background on your HUD slowly fill with red, and when it reaches full, the ally will die unless someone on your squad revives him.
When playing multiplayer matches with Warzone-style rules, once your Crimson Omen fills you will become downed, and any downed player can be injured like any active player. While a player is downed, they are only able to suffer a small amount of damage before succumbing to death. Also, if a downed player is not revived within bleed-out time, that player will die.
Game types in which Warzone-Style rules are in-place are:
- Guardian, with the exception of the Leader, who follows Execution-Style rules
Formerly, Annex also held to Warzone-Style rules with respect to downing, but since being updated via Xbox Live, Annex now follows Execution-Style downing rules.
If a player is downed twice, the third time they are damaged to the point of being downed they will instead just be killed.
Also, one who is downed but happens to be equipped with a frag grenade can detonate it, and give any enemy(s) attempting a curb stomp or any other type of execution "a parting gift" and kill them along with themselves. This is possible in all multiplayer modes.
When playing multiplayer matches with Execution-Style rules, once your Crimson Omen fills, you will become downed, and while downed you are invulnerable to gunfire except at very close ranges. Like Warzone-Style, the downed player can only suffer a minimal amount of damage before succumbing to death. If a player is not revived within bleed-out time, then that player will stand-up on their own. The ways to kill a downed player in this type of game is by:
- Curb Stomp/Other executing moves
- Frag Grenade, Boomshot, Torque Bow, Hammer of Dawn, Mortar or any type of explosions
- Any damage (I.E. Gunfire, Ink cloud) in which the source of damage is almost directly next to you
- Chainsaw (Kills straight away without downing)
- Shotgun (Can kill straight away without downing if well aimed at point blank to gib opponent, but will otherwise just down)
- Headshot from particularly powerful non-fully-auto gun, such as Boltok Pistol or Longshot Sniper Rifle. (Kills straight away without downing)
- The lasers on Security
- Downing the same enemy two times; he'll die instantly the third time instead of getting downed
Game types in which Execution-Style rules are in-place are:
- Guardian, only for the Leader
- King of the Hill
In Horde, the same rules of downing are applied as in Campaign mode.
- In Gears of War 3, activating Tac/Com clears the screen temporarily, allowing the player to see more clearly and make his or her way towards allies. However, this only lasts as long as the player holds LB, and due to it removing the increasing redness from the screen, makes it difficult to tell when one is close to death.
- Only a few weapons will kill the player instead of being downed. For example, weapons such as Bolo Grenades, Boomshots, Torque Bow, Hammer of Dawn, Mortars, headshots, Mulcher, explosives and the Sawed-off Shotgun and Gnasher Shotgun. However, the two shotguns and the Mulcher can only kill the player if the weapon is shot at very close ranges (from a little distance from the attacker to shooting from the hip)
- In Gears of War 3, you can get yourself up immediately if needed. Press the A button (Xbox) rapidly, there are four stages while doing so. You will slowly get back up and back into the game, although you can still be executed while doing this. Another important note to add is you can only do this twice; on your third "life" you will be killed instead of going down.