“Gears Of War 3″ Game Review

September 29, 2011 in Games, Xbox 360 RealViews

 

“Yeah! WHOO! Bring it on, sucka! This my kinda shit!” – Augustus Cole A.K.A. Cole Train.

Now that you know Gears isn’t the place to go for gamers looking for a deep story, allow me to say that it is still one hell of a package. Since I’ve already I mentioned the story, I guess I’ll start by clarifying my initial statement. The story in Gears of War 3 is by no means terrible, but it doesn’t have the same somber tone as Resistance 3 nor does it have any actual depth to the characters that go past “Oh, I care about this guy because I’ve played him for the past two games” rather than having an actual reason to care about Marcus Fenix or the other characters. Sure, there are some exceptions such as Dom, but who the hell is Jace? Or this Samantha Bryne? These are minor complaints and these new characters don’t detract from the main story (except for Jace’s God-awful dialogue). The pacing slows down a little in the second-third, but it definitely ratchets up to a dizzying degree for the last third of the game.

There are a couple of twists, but none of them are completely left-field. A couple instances have some emotional resonance, but that only occurs about once or twice in the game, which is damn good considering the stories of the prior two titles. In the context of the Gears of War franchise, Gears of War 3′s story stands high and tall above the other two and it never slows down to a snooze. I also appreciate the fact that Gears 3 ends the tale on these characters but it’s disappointing that some questions are left unanswered, such as the still-mysterious origins Queen of the Locust, Myrrah.

While the pacing may seem lacking in spots in the story, the pacing in gameplay is much tighter. Just when things might seem to be getting repetitive, some setpiece occurs or a new enemy shows up for you to mangle. The gameplay is polished to the finest damn sheen and it shows in that smile on your face when you execute that Locust or Lambent that’s been fucking with you for three minutes. Boss encounters are tense and their intensity stays intact in the splendid up-to-four-player co-op offered here. I honestly can’t think of any major problems. Sure, I can say it’s more of the same, but how much innovation can someone expect from a third entry in a franchise? Epic Games has outdone themselves by providing players with a meaty campaign that’s been polished with a surgeon’s touch. And of course, there’s the multiplayer.

The major new addition is a variant on Horde mode called Beast. Beast mode (I swear they called it that so they could get writers to type those words in sequence) is basically Horde in flip mode where you’re the Locust. It’s undoubtedly a good time and it’s an absolute must to play as Ticker — trust me on it. The competitive multiplayer comes firing with all the same ammo as the prior titles. Team Deathmatch, Capture The Flag, and Wingman among the popular game types. The greatest addition of all though is the game being lag-free. Matchmaking is brisk and easy and the reinforcement for leveling up that “one more time” only feeds to te addiction.

The graphics are, well, holy shit. Just when you think you’ve seen everything the Unreal Engine has to offer, leave it to the baby daddy of the engine to teach it some new manners. The score is rousing (there’s even a moment where they used Gary Jules’ rendition of “Mad World”) and brooding at the same time. The voice acting is all very solid and the guns pack knockout punches.

Gears of War 3 is a bonafide hit and a monstrous package of a game. The campaign is more than satisfactory (especially when played with friends) and the multiplayer keeps on giving. Gears 3 is a no-brainer for the first annual Game of the Year award on RealViews. Considering that I hated the first Gears Of War and moderately liked the second one, it’s saying a lot when I praise this game. Get it.

REPORT CARD

Story: 85

Graphics: 98

Audio: 98

Gameplay: 95

Lasting Appeal: 93

OVERALL

97

“Gears Of War 2″ Game Review

April 20, 2010 in Games, Xbox 360 RealViews

Gears of War 2 continues with a heart-pumping, head-throbbing, worm-ripping, aids-developing, God-like story line (a bit much? NO!). This story deserves all the props it gets. From the thrilling battles with the Locust infantry to the jaw-dropping brutal battles against the brumaks. In Gears 2, it’s all veins and striated muscle, a mentally grinding, athletically pounding assault on your senses without a delicate Hallmark moment in sight. Red meat for the twitching masses. Halo for the shoot-and-swagger crowd. This game is the definition of EPIC.

The Real Battle Begins

In Gears of War 2, the human Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) forces continue their fight against the Locust horde, who are attempting to sink all of the cities on the planet Sera by using a giant worm-like creature to eat the ground beneath them. Sgt Marcus Fenix leads Delta Squad into the depths of the planet to try to stop the worm from eating but instead they discover the true intent of the Locust. The player controls Fenix in the main mission campaign, with the ability to play cooperatively with a second player controlling Fenix’s best friend and fellow Squad member, Dom Santiago. Gears of War 2 has also come out with a new game type called Horde, which is a fight for your right to live, while round after round of locust enemies sprint at you doing everything in their power to kill you and enslave you, while also making you their play things (wink). Every round the locust horde gets harder and harder to defeat gaining health and upgrades to their weapon damage. I personally love this game type, with it’s intense surprises such as the blood hounds randomly coming at your face with no warning!

So, what do we do now?

As far as gameplay goes, Gears 2 is as pristine and adrenaline-pumping as the shooter genre gets. Like the original, the game is played from a third-person perspective, and demands that you spend most of your time behind cover unless you like the feel of bullets to the face. Taking this tactical slant, players must dive from cover to cover, line up their shots carefully, and remain exposed as little as possible in a firefight. Thankfully, the folks at Epic Games have created the best cover system in the industry, and with only a little practice, you’ll be flying from cover to cover with a grace that is rarely seen in video games – even Jesus himself wishes he could move like you. The system is also improved from the original game, with improved intuition and smoother cover-taking. Rarely will you be able to blame anyone other than yourself for death.

This time around, if two opponents rev up their chainsaws at the same time, a chainsaw duel takes place in which the winner is the one who hits the B button the fastest. When enemies are down but not dead, you are also able to take the hostage, curb stomp their heads under your boot, or commit extra gory finishing moves that leave you exposed to enemy fire for longer. My personal favorite is when playing as a Locust in multilayer, you can rip off a COG’s arm and beat him to death with it. If you find yourself in the life to death limbo, you can now crawl away by tapping the A button, which leaves behind a satisfying trail of blood. It’s safe to say that Gears 2 will satisfy even the most bloodthirsty gore hounds (such as yours truly).

How do you like me now!?

The Gears of War 2 multiplayer has yet to fix its servers and the connection issues. I swear, if they do not fix this by Gears Of War 3, I will go all the way back to Super Mario or some shit, and i mean that EPIC! It’s like you are sprinting at someone, run right up behind them, aim your shotgun right behind their head, shoot,  and your damn bullets hit the wall behind you!? How does this happen! It gets so irritating that you don’t even want to play the game anymore, you just want to throw it at your friend because, no surprise, the game has frustrated you both so much you begin to argue and eventually it leads to fist fighting! So, with this is mind, Gears of War 2 multiplayer ruins even the best of friendships, just because they can’t fix the lag problems (way to go!). All things put aside, Gears Of War 2 will always remain one of my most favorite games.

REPORT CARD

Story: 87

Graphics: 97

Audio: 95

Gameplay: 89

Multiplayer: 65

Lasting Appeal: 80

OVERALL

90

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