One of the biggest games of the year is finally here. If you don't know what the Gears of War series is...Where he hell have you been?
Brothers til the end...the tagline that pretty much sums up what the game is going to be. Sadly, this is to be the (supposed) end of a trilogy. Who will die? Who will survive? And will a lot of questions we've been pondering finally be answered?
The cover, the tagline, and trailers show the ride we're in for; and it's one hell of a roller coaster. A lightly armored Marcus, a scruffy Dom, and women jumping into the fray, it truly looks like a battle for survival involving our human heroes.
But, in truth there is nothing surprisingly new on offer. If you played previous Gears games its base is still the same, but it isn't like anything was wrong with that to begin with. It's still your third person hover around cover until you pick your spot to go balls in and kill an enemy to bits.
One intriguing thing that keeps even the most casual of Gears fans coming back is it's story. With humanity on it's last legs and new enemies emerging how exactly will the series play out? One thing is for sure, this is one area where there definitely are a lot of surprises.
The most obvious new add-on is the option to play four player campaign co-op, this was definitely something that should have been included since the first game, but better late than never. The single player whether by yourself or any partners is violent, explosive, spectacular fun and will have you hooked for the long run.
Multiplayer is the real reason we play gears. Horde Mode 2.0 is an update from the Gears 2 version and has even more goodies to keep you playing for hours. The aim is to withstand wave after wave of increasingly difficult enemies. What's new enough to warrant the 2.0 moniker? It's now become part tower defense game as you gain money by killing enemies and use it to upgrade turrets, lasers, and decoys among other things. It's definitely a mode to try out if you are a first time gears player or fancy something more casual.
Beast Mode is dDefinitely one of my new favorite modes in any game. A role reversal as you play the Locusts this time around trying to kill off a team of stranded Cogs. I honestly think this game mode is one for co-op only. As different types of classes work for different types of situations. For instance the only way to get rid of a defense is having a wretch jump over it or use a ticker to blow it up, but they could easily get picked off from a distance. That's where somebody else being a Drone can help cover them. I've yet to play with the bigger classes but I'm sure they're going to be extremely fun. It takes awhile to get used to each class because of its different special attacks or properties but once you figure that out, you yourself will surely be in...BEAST MODE!
Most people end up playing Matchmaking. A mode that's certainly changed, with new playlists and actual dedicated servers. Dedicated servers are a great new feature, now you are able to jump in and out of games much freely and there is no more host advantage. Gears of War 3 has also added something else people have been asking for, and that's respawning in a Team Deathmatch mode.
You still have your War Zone and Execution but with Team Deathmatch your team has 15 lives shared together instead of the one per round. It's been added to make the game more fast paced and let the newer and more casual gamers pick up the game more easily. Gears multiplayer is different and actually takes time to learn, it plays more like a gears 1.5 than anything; faster paced than Gears 2 but not as crazy as Gears one.
There are tonnes of unlockables in this game; weapon skins, characters, executions, medals... and the great thing is you don't have to do the requirements in public games, though really they're there to be earned in them. It's definitely fun and will deservedly get Game of the Year mentions. It's not just blood, gore and quirky one liners. The multiplayer feels just as refreshing as the previous iterations and campaign is a gritty, emotional experience that really grips you.
With great presentation, and staying true to the series roots Gears of War 3 is a triumph -If you haven't played a Gears game there's a steep learning curve to playing multiplayer - so it's more fun with friends...if you have any left.
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