Gaming Magazine

Gears of War

Posted on the 22 June 2012 by Gamermonkey
gears of warGears of War. A third person shooter nearly every serious gamer has played at one time or another. Gears of War came out way back in 2006 when the xbox 360 was still a relatively new console, but to soon become known as the must-have shooter, even comparing against the flagship of xbox, Halo. Gears of war added some new and innovative elements to the shooter, and changed the way we view action games forever. If you're a serious gamer, and shooting monsters on the verge of annihilating the human race on a faraway planet is your kind of game; and who doesn't want to play a game to save the human race, Gears of War is the game for you and a must-buy for the 360.
The action in Gears of War is intense. It's heart-pounding, fast,tight, and brutal. On harder difficulties, the player will be challenged to think ahead, plan their next move, and most of all, make sure they're at the top of their game, because although Gears of War may not be as "Twitchy", relying on adept and fast reflexes as the Hollywood-esque Call of Duty franchise, it still provides a challenge as accuracy, timing, precisions, and in some cases, even a bit of luck, will be needed to survive the campaign. Now as far as difficulties, I recommend even new players should play on hardcore difficulty. Playing on anything less is a bit too easy and will subtract from the overall experience. This story of Gears of War is a dire situation, and only on the harder difficulties does it really feel all the more epic when you defy your foes time and again as they attempt to snuff out the last bit of resistance and kill all human on the planet Serra. You'll be blasting full auto to bring down the big ones, slapping more mags into your gun and pumping the Locust full of lead, popping off headshot with your sniper rifle, and exploding your foes into a hundred pieces up close and personal with the shotgun. The gameplay is fast-paced and even unforgiving for those without a plan. And you'll have to be quick about it.
The standard weapon in Gears of War for is known as the Lancer, which is essentially an assault rifle with a chainsaw attached to the end. Forget bayonets and combat knives. You have something so much more satisfying my friends. Using the chainsaw to hack and slice the enemy into venison can be addicting and the kill animation is one of the baddest and most brutal things I've seen in a game to date. A gun with a chainsaw. Genius.
gears of warThe overall atmosphere of Gears of War may not be the most original what with it's near apocalyptic approach with civilization destroyed, entire towns and cities corroded, decayed, and otherwise falling into ruin. Sounds like the same old right? That's what I expected it to be. But Gear of War just nails it in it's visuals and the underlying tone of each level and set the player interacts with. You really get the sense of making your way through a sprawling metropolis reminiscent of the Roman Empire or the ancient Greeks. Statuesque, temple-like structures and buildings loom high over the player. Everywhere you look you get a sense that this planet was once indeed inhabited by a thriving civilization, and at the apex of their glory, they were struck down relentlessly and mercilessly. Gears of War could have taken place on Earth for all I care, such is the level of attention to detail; even what might seem like minute things is given love and care and it feels like the area you're exploring as you fight off wave after wave of Locust hordes has a history. However, that seems to be mostly on the exterior. My only real gripe with the presentation, among a few other minor annoyances, is that it seems there was only one furniture store on the entire planet. Why does everyone have the same furniture?
gears of warNow, I'm not sure if Gears of War was necessarily the first Third-Person Shooter do implement the cover system, but they certainly do it right, perhaps better than any other third person shooter out there. The developers have dubbed this method of play as "stop and pop" which is exactly as it sounds. Especially on harder difficulties, the player won't get very far without taking cover behind something, whether it be a car left in the road, a fallen structure like what used to be a column of a Roman or Greek inspired building, or even behind furniture. It's siply really. Get behind something, pick the opportune moment, snap your head and gun out of cover, light em up, and snap yourself back behind whatever it is you're using for cover because the AI in this game can be brutal. And if you're not careful, if you get reckless or impatient, if you think you're just the baddest gun slinger out there, YOU'RE NOT. Especially on the hardest difficulty, You'll be lucky if you can peek your head out for more than two seconds before a sniper tears your head off, or even a common grub with a few precision bursts. To make things more exciting, the player can move while in cover, duck and roll, and climb over cover and obstacles whenever necessary. It can take some getting used to at first, and even slow to newcombers, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be saying "I got blisters on me thumbs"
gears of warco op mode is one of the best I've very player in the third-person shooter genre. Two players combine their wits and their skill to crush the enemy. As a team, players can tackle every level with their own tactics and formulate plans with each other as they battle it out against the hordes. One of the funnest things I found about co op was playing on the hardest difficulty with a good friend of mine, jumping in, getting wasted by the computer, and then collaborating and coming up with a plan to get past the section of the level rather than storming the room like idiots and getting our heads shot off. The strategies we came up with were surprisingly complex and elaborate. And when it all came to fruition, when everything was executed to our design, the feeling was, in couple words, gratifying and rewarding. There's just something right about pinning down the enemy, and then sending your buddy around the back to flank them and finish them off. Hoorah.
Gears of War multiplayer is fun and engaging, but may leave something to be desired. It's one of the few shooters out there where the actual campaign is what will have gamers playing over and over again. Gears of War three has Versus Multiplayer in which a team of 4 takes on another team of 4 and the goal is to blast each other into kingdom come. In 4 on 4, team work is key. This isn't Halo where one really good player can lay waste to an entire team without breaking a sweat. The fights are fast and tight, and almost methodical in the way a match plays out. It's almost like a game of chess. If chess had huge hulking guys with chainsaws on their assault rifles. There are a few other game modes such as Kill the Leader, which is exactly what the name implies, and execution, where the only way to earn points for your team is to blast a guy to the ground, and them curb-stomping his head into mush. Yikes.
gears of warA few minor gripes though. There will be texture problems at times, often making it look like you're watching the process of getting the character's look in an animation and art video log or something. Your teammate AI's can be a burden at times,and on harder difficulties, like so many other games, serve as little more than a distraction. But trust me, on the hardest difficulty, you'll take what you can get and be glad for it. The AI seems to always know exactly where you are at all times, and sometimes the controls can bug out a bit and you'll end up hoping over some cover or something a few times and getting your read shot off when you meant to re-position yourself and your squad or roll to a better spot lay into the enemy.
Gears of War is a game any serious gamer should get their hands on if they are fortunate enough to own a xbox 360. It's stunning visuals, innovation and thoughtful gameplay mechanics, and the over all FUN you're gonna have playing the game with relatively few annoyances easily earns Gears of War a 9 out of 10.

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