Thank God, the rare Xbox exclusive finally makes its way to my TV. And is Gears good enough to join the ranks of Alan Wake and Halo? Well, read on to find out!
Story: With Locust seemingly out of the picture, the Lambent are COG’s primary targets. But when Queen Myrrah of the Locust makes her stunning return, the Gears have a major problem on their hands.
Sound: The music is pretty bad-ass. You can tell a LOT of time went into composing the tracks, and it all pays off when you’re watching an extremely emotional cutscene with music that tugs at your heartstrings. The voice acting is top-notch too, and the only real issue I have is with Marcus sounding like a chronic smoker. Why does every main character nowadays have to sound like they have lung cancer? Is this a trend? Is this like planking 2.0? Sound: 9/10
Presentation: Gorgeous visuals ooze from every pour of GOW3, from gorgeous animations to the shiny sheen of Anya’s hair. I’m not even kidding, Anya has the most kick-ass hair texture ever. Five thousand points to Griffindor. As far as technical visual aspects go, everything is great with minimal texture pop-ins and no screen tearing. Presentation: 9.5/10
Gameplay: If you thought gameplay could be refined to three buttons and a thumbstick, you’d be right. Now, it’s not always that simple, but in reality two triggers, the A button and your d-pad are all your necessities throughout GOW3. It’s not bad, it’s just a little underwhelming considering all of the other great third-person titles we’ve been treated to in the past. With that out of the way, cover shooting fun is definitely present and provides a great sense of satisfaction when you chainsaw a Lambent into juicy chunks of steaming goop. Gameplay: 7.5/10
Multiplayer: Originally, I didn’t think much of online versus. Then, I discovered the glory of the sawed-off shotgun, and I still play it online to this day. The maps are great and the insta-kill weapons negate any real skill gaps present between players, leaving the majority of kills up to one-hit roll ‘n prays. That’s just versus, though. Horde, the ultimate test of endurance and strategy, pits you and four friends against fifty waves of enemies. To this day, I still can’t beat wave 50 (even though I’ve only had a team good enough to get there once). It’s fun and encourages you to come back, with the prize of COG dominance always enticingly close yet difficulty far. Lastly, there is beast mode. Beast mode is awesome. You go around as all of the different Locust grunts (and even some bosses) beating the crap out of COG soldiers, which is all sorts of fun. And this was no tacked-on mode, as every beast has their own unique controls and physics, all of which are extremely solid. Multiplayer: 9.5/10
Length: The campaign is a bit overrated, clocking out at about nine hours. Multiplayer, on the other hand, can keep one busy for at least twenty. At least. The replayability and incentives are huge, so Gears will keep anyone with a Gold subscription busy for quite a while. Length: 8.5/10
Overall: Gears is getting a fantastic 8.8 out of 10. Maybe not quite enough to win the exclusives battle between Microsoft and Sony, but enough to provide any gamer with a solid chunk of third person shooter action that’s sure to please.