Gears of War 3
there's one reason to purchase an XBox 360, the reason is Gears of War.
Gears of War by Epic Games is easily one of the most entertaining third
person shooter games to be available on any platform. Strong
words but true... reminiscent of cinematic blockbusters like Aliens
and Starship Troopers, Gears of War put the player in control of
protagonist Marcus Fenix, a veteran soldier who takes no sh*t from
anyone or any being. The series is set in the distance future where
mankind has colonised the stars, however their reach into space has been
hampered by the deadly alien collective known as the Locust.
Unfortunately for mankind, they have been losing against this deadly
force and 18-months since the fall of the last human city, Marcus and
his elite team of soldiers must save the last bastion of mankind.
Welcome to Gears of War 3 and to quote Apone from Aliens
"Another glorious day in the Corps! A day in the Marine Corps is like a
day on the farm. Every meal's a banquet! Every pay check a fortune!"
which is definitely not true in the world of Gears of War but
it's a damn cool saying.
Gears of War 3 is also dubbed as the conclusion to this series
but if we've learned anything from Halo, this is hopefully not the fact
because this current instalment of this violent and over top the shooter
is easily the most fun I've had all year... so yes, I want more! With
its primordial type atmosphere, the developers of Gears of War have
managed to make the series quite emotional and nerve racking at the same
as you attempt dispose of your enemies with as much deadly force as
possible. Best of all, the classic mechanics of the gameplay remain from
its vicious alien stand-offs to immersive cover system plus relatable
characters and a very memorable story.
Familiar faces return in Gears of War such as Marcus Fenix and The
Cole Train but more importantly, there are two new female characters
that include Samantha (Sam) Byrne and Anya Stroud... both with awesome
personalities who really add the atmosphere and dynamics of the game.
Sam Byrne is actually an Australian! But before the player is thrown to
the dogs, the developers ensure that the player is reacquainted with the
story and as Delta squad enjoy a moment of respite before things once
again turn to sh*t.
Without spoiling the final instalment of Gears of War 3, early the game,
you get to play as another member of Delta Team which not only serves as
a plot point but opens up the familiar story of Marcus to something
uniquely different. Fortunately even if you have never played Gears of
War 1 and 2, you still can jump straight into the game and play, however
for a true holistic experience which is much more beneficial, having
played the original games will definitely enlighten the whole
Once you do jump into the campaign, things begin to fall in place quite
quickly and picking up the control feels perfect as you shoot, cover and
explore this ravaged planet with tons of surprises and boss battles
along the way. There also lots of new enemies from both the Locusts and
the Lambents such as the Digger Boomer (quite tough to kill) and the
Lambent Stalks which keep on populating the battle field with enemies
until they are destroyed.
Gameplay does follow a familiar path to the previous Gears of Wars
titles and during key moments in the game, the player is given a detour
of either A or B. I really enjoyed the use of detours in this series as
it opens up the campaign for another play or two. Vehicles played a key
role in the previous instalments but in Gears of War 3, I introduce
Although not full blown Mechs, the exoskeletons that you use are still
quite powerhouses when used to interact with the environment and
enemies, not to mention extremely fun to use. These things can not only
take on the larger enemies but are also used to help solve a few odd
puzzles here and there. But Gears of War is all about the battles and
fortunately, the game is buzzing with battles from the get go.
cover system once again plays an integral role to the gameplay which
must be used in order to survive, especially in the open space locations
but just like Aliens, there are plenty of claustrophobic areas to really
get on your nerves, not to mention a couple of jump out moments. The
campaign mode also can be played cooperatively (2 locally via
split-screen or 4 online) so if you do become injured in the game, one
of your colleagues or your real-life counterpart can heal you and
thankfully the auto-save and checkpoints are used well in the game
should you duke it out alone. When you are injured, you can crawl to
safety until a team member heals you and if they fail to get to you in
time or they are killed, you need to restart.
Weaponry plays an integral role to the title and there's quite a large
amount of arsenal available to the player. Familiar weapons from the
previous games return such as the Hammerburst with a few new ones as
well such as the Retro Lancer. You can also swap ammo and weapons
between characters and what's cool about Gears of War 3 is the
introduction of a level system.
Depending on what difficulty you select, ammunition can sometimes be
quite sparse, especially on the higher difficulty and sometimes it's
quite hard to manage when you are surrounded by the Locust and when in
doubt, the chainsaw works wonders. For the most part, ranged weapons are
the key to succeeding in Gears of War such as the Mulcher or the
Predator like Vulcan mini-game. The AI in the Gears of War 3 work quite
well with the player and this is one of the rare games where they
actually do some work, however for the more realistic experience,
playing it online with up to four player takes the gameplay to a totally
new level. AI ranges from easy on the lower levels to quite insane on
the hardest level.
it comes to multiplayer modes, the game has it all from traditional
modes such as Team Deathmacth to something more unique like Beast Mode
and players can tweak the conditions of the gaming environment via
mutators such as turning on friendly fire or other interesting elements.
Online modes allow up to 10 players to engage in various versus modes
and thankfully there is a level system employed so that newbies are not
thrown in with the experts.
For us, one of the most popular online modes was Horde which allowed up
to 5 players to face off against a never ending wave of Locust. However
in order to spice things up, the developers have tweaked this mode to
award the players with every kill that they make by purchasing
additional defences. This can become quite hectic but it's such a joy to
play, especially when your pushed to the edge which is why this mode is
popular. There is actually an element of strategy employed here because
unlike a regular shooter, you need to use the defences that you purchase
such as decoys or turrets to hold off until the next attack. Beast mode
on the other hand allows players to control the Locust as opposed to the
humans and basically reverses this popular online mode. Just like horde,
you are rewarded for each kill you make in order to upgrade your
spawning. Needless to say, multiplayer has been tweaked and improved
Graphically, Gears of War 3 is a true technological treat on the XBox
360 with some amazing backgrounds and locations that you visit. At
times, the planet that you are on appears like Earth but then something
totally different will be thrown at you feel like you're on an alien
planet. Character animation and detail are the highlights, especially
the facial animation which comes into its own during in-game cutscenes.
Voice acting is a little over the top but there is a sense of realism
with all the characters in the game and the sound effects sound
spectacular through a decent surround sound system. Finally, to link it
all together, we have the amazing soundtrack that seems like it has been
taken out of a Hollywood science fiction move and helps adds to the
emotional elements of the story.
Final Thoughts? Gears of 3 is a fitting way to conclude this amazing
series (although fans will definitely want more) from its immerse
campaign mode which contains cooperative to a whole wealth of
multiplayer fun such as the Beast mode and our favourite, Horde which
now supports additional defences. This game works on all levels and
provides something for both single-player and multi-player fans in this
final tale about Delta Squad as they fight for the last bastion of
humanity. Gears of War 3 is the most epic game of the year and if you're
a fan of third person shooters, than you've come to the right place.
This is not a game to miss.