Monday, October 3, 2011

Gears of War 3 Review

Gears of War is the product Microsoft arguably couldn't handle with its other premier series Halo. The action packed trilogy that takes Marcus Fenix and the Delta Squad on one last adventure to wrap up their story in the most satisfying way possible. This game takes you a roller coaster ride which finishes up one of the best series of this generation while at the same time keeping you playing along until the next generation arrives. There is something truly special about this game and is a defining statement on why the Xbox 360 doesn't need to have a large supply of exclusive titles to launch every year. Epic Games have created an experience that easily lives up to their namesake.


Ever since the original Gears title Epic have pushed the boundaries in terms of graphics. Gears of War 3 is no exception and easily outdoes its predecessors to show off the full potential of the Xbox 360. Everything about Gears 3 emits polish. The desolate land of Sera seems alive with outstanding visuals providing a sense of decay and danger. Everything from smoke effects to the crumbling landscape sets the perfect scene for the final setting of this franchise and the variation provided throughout your journey is plentiful. Unlike some games which fall into the track of one colour palette, Gears of War contuinally mixes it up accordingly.

Character animations are absolutely superb and definitely rank with the best games on the market. While extra detail and care has been put into the members of Delta Squad, everything from small cameo characters to the many types of Locust's have been perfected right down to small facial movements. This is in part due to the fact that every character, both COG and Beast can be used in multiplayer. They all look superb online and definitely puts games such as Call to Duty to shame as they are often lacking in online detail.

The musical score in Gears of War 3 is one of the more recognizable experiences you will have in gaming. Witty one liners and excellent voice acting takes precedence in the brilliant cut scenes as you instantly relate with the main squad and the struggles they are going through. The ability for the developers to put some sly comedy into situations like these and not make it seem like an overexerted attempt to be funny is a difficult thing to accomplish. The music always seem to have a knack of perfectly matches the situation presented to the group. Around halfway into the game it hits a period in the story that completely defines this game and the number of outstanding moments it provides. The musical score in this situation easily rivals this spine tingling moments experienced throughout my time playing video games.


Gears of War 3 is the end of the line for Delta Squad and the necessary steps to close out all outlying story plots has been covered in an ironic, over the top way that Gears only knows how to do. For players of the previous titles, there will be moments in the game that will pull on your heart strings, providing stunning moments of glory that spectacularly encapsulates multiple emotions in one go. First timers to the Gears franchise won't be able to appreciate the humour and subtle plots in the game, but just as with Halo where the same problem exists, you can still enjoy this game immensely. Not understanding the characters and their history won't distract from the stunning gameplay at hand.

When it comes to 3rd person shooters, absolutely no one does it better than Gears. This is one of the only games in existence that has actually got a solid and efficient cover system. The Delta Squad is made up of humans, but think of a beefed up version of a bodybuilder. With this physique you wouldn't imagine they would have the same amount of elegance as your standard person. The movements in this game are slow and unique except for the option to sprint where movement left or right is severely limited. A lot of thought has always gone into character animations in the Gears of War series and it is shown here with subtle improvements to make it as realistic as possible. Shooting is fun and varied with different guns haven't different ranges and damage amounts, which accurately affects the recoil and accuracy once firing. This is the most playable Gears yet and is suited for people of all abilities.

The campaign is absolutely outstanding and could easily sell by itself. What makes Gears of War 3 a complete package is all the extra modes that go with it. Co-op mode has always been a big hit in the franchise and the ability to play through the campaign with up to 4 players is an excellent way to experience the final battle for either your first, second or even third playthough. You can also mix up the campaign with either standard or arcade, which gives you points based on multipliers and headshots etc, giving added incentive to continue playing through. Multiplayer is back and better than ever before with new maps, new game modes and added finesse added to the finer points of the mode. Gone are all the frustrating glitches and issues that affected Gears 2 as the beta before the games launched has helped Gears 3 become the best multiplayer game in the series hands down. Playing online is just as slick as the single player, and is just as easy to get into this time around.

Past normal multiplayer, Horde mode is back and better than ever before. For those who have never played the game before, Horde is basically the Gears version of Zombies in Call of Duty Black Ops. You play with up to four people in a tower defense style mode to hold off waves of enemies by not only shooting them, but setting traps throughout the map. The mode is a heap of fun and a massive timesink for those who easily get sucked into the zombies style of gameplay. The most exciting addition to Gears for me was the brand new Beast mode, which is a play on the popular Horde style. Instead of playing as one of the COG you are instead the Locust and are completing wave based challenges in the opposing role. It is a cool twist they have added to the game which further extends your playing time and creates another fun mode for players.


Gears of War 3, simply put is the definitive 3rd person shooter. This game is a fitting tribute to 5 years of Gears that has ended in the best way possible. No loose ends are around for a Gears 4 and Epic has stayed true to one area of gaming that is seemingly broken regularly for a simple cash grab from developers. Marcus Fenix and co. provide a fitting end to the franchise which not only travels over some of the most spectacular scenery and storytelling in gaming, but delivers an addictive array of multiplayer modes which will keep gamers playing right up until they achieve the nigh on impossible Seriously 3.0 achievement. Simply put, this is a game you must get. Gears of War is an excellent franchise and a title that can't be missed in 2011.

Graphics - 9.5/10
Sound - 10/10
Gameplay - 9.5/10
Overall - 9.5/10