If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Do you have your Lancer ready? Are you quaking with anticipation over curb-stomping some Locust? Well then suit up, COG, it’s Gears of War 3.
In Gears of War you fought against the Locust incursion. In Gears of War 2 not only the human but the Locust were pushed to the breaking point. In one last ditch attempt to win a desperate war a terrible and costly plan was executed. Gears 3 picks up a few years after this defining moment in the mythology. That’s all you need to know. I’m not going to sugarcoat this, the gears developers know where the money is here. They have known it all along-multiplayer. I will cover all this as you read.
Just some of the gang
First I will come right out and say this. I didn’t like GoW. I was never going to revisit the series again until one day I saw GoW2 on sale over X-box Live and on a whim bought it. I can tell you now that I enjoyed both the story and multiplayer. Multiplayer (especially Horde mode) was fun, engaging and challenging. The story took these growly characters I couldn’t care less about in the first game and made me care somewhat. That game had its faults though. The story was barely passable (even though I cared mildly about these guys) and multiplayer wasn’t the best I had played. You might ask yourself, “Why are you reviewing GoW2?” Well, I’m simply letting you know where I stand on the previous titles. Give you a frame of reference maybe.
So now that you understand where I came from I can say I really thoroughly enjoyed this game. The story was epic. It had actual emotion as you watch these people traverse their once mighty and (relatively) peaceful world. You literally see whole cities frozen in time in the midst of war and death. I actually felt sad for these people. I felt for the first time in this series what I was doing actually had weight behind it. There was character development, and as with any true blue war story, sadness and triumph. Now don’t get me all wrong this is no Mass Effect or Metal Gear Solid. They don’t waste all your time with exposition. They know why you came here and that is to blast the hell out of grubs. But you pretty much fought them to a virtual stalemate in the last game so now there is the Lambent you also must fight. And fight you will. This game is so action packed; full of explosions and the classic GoW combat we all love. Hell, that’s what got me through the first game. You fight your way through level after level of relentless enemies, as you try one last ditch effort to end the suffering of Sera. Excellent story-- I enjoyed the hell out of it.
She is not your friend.
Before I dive into multiplayer too much let me say as far as the story: I found the game jumping between some enemies having a steep learning curve on how to take them down (the Lambent Berserker in particular) and some being far too easy. I could ratchet up the difficulty but I’m a casual gamer, I like to pick up a game and play it without getting too nervous or frustrated. I was on normal and it just seemed like I was almost never in real danger whether it be multiplayer or single. Just saying.
Multiplayer is a blast. The maps are fun and quite large (one of GoW most likeable aspects I must say). They took horde mode and made it more complex. Now you earn money which you and your team can spend on fortifying positions on the map with barriers that slow down and injure oncoming enemies. Turrets to help take down the tougher baddies. Use your money wisely though because you will also need it to repair broken equipment. The VS mode is what you would expect. I fully admit that this is on me, but I didn’t like it very much because more often than not some dink with a sniper rifle would kill me before I had a chance to really get into any of the matches. Luckily there is now a respawn system. Your team only has limited numbers though so take it easy, don’t be reckless. You can also now play in Beast mode. This one may take some explaining. Basically it’s a pseudo-horde mode except this time you’re the horde. You earn money much the same way you do in Horde but now you use it to buy your “class” in Beast. You attack a group of fortified assorted soldiers. Whether they be COG, Heroes, stranded or a combination of all three. This mode is fun because you can finally play as a ticker. I know I always wanted too.
So final score time. I give this game an enthusiastic…
4 out of 5. A good narrative, along with great multiplayer puts this game above most others.
Written by: Kevin Mason (AKA LempiElinika)
Edited by: Sarah Lawhorne