Friday, November 10, 2006

The Gears of War Review.


If you don't have a 360 well, buy one. Don't have Xbox Live? Buy it. Don't have an HDTV, you don't need one, this game looks amazing HD or not. The big question everyone keeps asking is, "Does Gears live up to the hype?" Well, I think I've answered that, yes Gears does. My store got Gears in on time (luckily) but, due to some confusion (On the retailers part) on when they were receiving the game and on top of that, shipping problems with major retailers some stores still don't have it. So due to my attaining a copy before some people, my Live account has been flooded with messages and voice chat requests. Most people asking how it is, but some jaded "friends" (Sorry UK!) have even sent me hate mail because they won't be getting Gears for "a while". Sorry, enough ranting...

This is the best looking game on any console to date, period. The graphics are amazing but that not why this game looks so good. The architecture and attention to detail in every, building, car, soldier, gun, water, lava, mine cart... yeah there's mine carts. But that's not all, the game sounds amazing too, Cliffy B. has been credited for spending tons of time wanting the guns to have just the right sound to them. The gun fire and explosions are crisp and not too over the top. (5.1 audio puts you right in the action) The controls couldn't be any tighter, and with really only 3 buttons that you need to use (Shoot, Reload, Cover) it couldn't get much simpler.
Anyway, on to the review.

Single Player

The game starts off with our anti-hero's being freed from jail (for disobeying the Army to go save his father), to rejoin the fight against the Locust Horde in the 11th hour. Single player takes off with a bang and doesn't ever stop, every level, every scene is jam packed with suspense and action, a "Tactical shooter meets horror movie" as Cliffy puts it. The environments are varied and there is no repetition a la Halo (and most shooters to be fair) so you don't get that sense of didn't I do this already? You fight from the streets, houses, factories, back alleys, underground, and even on frigin' mine carts! Rain or shine, light or dark, this game has all the environments and it does them superb. The one grip I have with single player is the story, they never tell you anything. I learned more about the story from the manual that came with the game then I did playing it! Setting up for a sequel is one thing, but at this rate they better be making 10 games. But once you chew through the seemingly short single player, you're ready to move on to the meat of Gears:


This is where you will "lose" countless hours of your life. The fast paced 4 vs 4 team multiplayer action is what Gears was made for. Gears proves that tons of options, configurations, and players aren't needed to make the most awesome multiplayer experience ever. There are only 3 game types in Gears:

  1. Warzone - Basic team death match, no re-spawns, last man standing (and his team) win.
  2. Assassination - Each team has a leader, and your object is to kill the other teams leader.
  3. Execution - (From the manual) This game type is similar to Warzone, but instead of dying after you have been knocked down... (From me) ... You have to finish off your opponent with a classic "curb stomp" or the ol' chain saw!
Execution is by far my favorite game type, it inspires more teamwork and cooperation, not to mention sometimes a second chance. It also leads to my favorite quote from Gears lead man Cliffy B. :

"I was getting tagged by this guy, he had me down and was coming over to stomp me, and my buddy came in around the corner like, 'Here comes the cavalry' and knocked him down. My buddy intentionally didn't kill the guy, because he knew he was no longer a threat at that moment. He knew the more important thing was to resurrect me before I bled out.So he resurrected me, but not only that, he was a gentleman and allowed me to go over and stomp the guy who had knocked me down, as this kinda nice revenge. Right then, I literally was like, F*** you! as I stepped on his head. It felt so good."

As you can tell Cliffy's got a way with words... Now reviving your teammate for revenge, that's teamwork. Another huge bonus is you accually start with (arguably) the best weapon in the game, the Lancer (AKA Chainsaw Gun!). Unlike Halo, where you get a single SMG to start, in Gears off the bat you're ready to kick some ass. The only grip I do have with multiplayer is you can't go with your friends into ranked matches, bummer. MS says this is to prevent cheating, but I feel I would rather deal with some guys trying to boost so that I can play with my buddies. It's tough seeing 15 friends of mine all online playing Gears, but I can't join 'em cause they're in ranked games, and who can blame 'em? That's where all the competion is. It's OK to play the unranked games for a while, but it's plagued with people that don't care. So they quit early, or don't play right, and run around like dumbasses, you know the type. This is a must fix for Gears to stand the long haul like Halo 2. Level design in multiplayer is fantastic as well, this game shipped with 10 great maps with more promised through the marketplace, if you've got Xbox Live this game is a must have. Get ready to kick some ass and chain saw your buddies (in unranked...) Gears of War, it will blow your sock off. I'm off for some more.

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1 comment:

DannyOB said...

whimpers in anticipation of the BLOODY UK RELEASE DATE! : D