Gears of War 3
isn’t an overhaul of the series as other sequels may be, but for every
gameplay element that stays the same, there’s a little some new that
makes this one of the most well rounded shooters on the market. Epic
Games have decided to finish off this trilogy with a more sentimental
and deep story than just an increase in bloodshed. But don’t get me
wrong, there’s even more ways to paint the battlefield with the remains
of your opponent. And with the improved graphics engine they have
powering this climatic ending, this game ends up being one of the
technically best looking games on the Xbox 360.
the start you should know the controls and gameplay like the back of
your hand. You hold A to run and you’ll spend 95% of every gun fight
behind some form of cover while you fight off the ‘Locust’ enemy. Gears of War 3
doesn’t change up any of this, you played it this way in the first and
second games and you’ll play it that way this time. Instead, the
majority of the improvements seem to be in the additions they added to
all the modes.
Gears of War 3
is probably the most story driven of the last two games in terms of the
emotion it implements into its campaign. It ties together all the story
threads going on throughout the series in meaningful and sometimes
heartfelt ways. The majority of the main characters each get a moment in
the spotlight to have a specific set piece or cut scene all about their
back story and general history. The game does a good job of making you
care about the soldiers you’ve been playing as/with for years now.
campaign has also been split into two versions this time: Standard and
Arcade. Standard is what you’d expect but the difference that Arcade
brings to the table is that it awards you points and score multipliers
for every kill and action you do. This, along with the optional four
player co-operative play in the campaign, allows for you to not only
help your friends out with the story mode, but to also compete with each
other while doing so.
Along with this, Gears of War 3 moves the player outside of the underground enemy base we found ourselves stuck in in Gears of War 2 and
into the sunshine above ground. Not only does this allow for different
and better looking lighting effects to be used but we’re exposed to a
completely different color pallet than we’re used to. Gone are the
greys, browns and blues of the world beneath and now we see bright
yellows and oranges from the sun and sand above.
from the campaign, the game features several different types of
multiplayer. It terms of competitive, you’re looking at numerous
standard and returning modes such as Deathmatch, King of the Kill and
Execution. All six of these modes force you to play in different ways.
Certain modes only have you on teams of two, some require you to perform
an execution move to kill an enemy, while another has you focusing on
one specific enemy to defeat before worrying about his team.
addition, Horde mode returns with some key improvements. The majority
of the format is the same: battle waves of enemies as they slowly
getting harder and a boss wave will appear every so often. The biggest
change is the addition of a currency mechanic to utilize throughout the
waves. For every kill and wave completed you will earn money that can be
spent in many interesting and fun ways. Some are basic like buying more
ammo or purchasing different and more powerful weapons. The truly
exciting use of the currency is crafting different fortifications around
the map. For example, you can build spike walls around the entrance to a
church, and a turret gun at it’s central hallway. This way you can set
up your camp in a bigger spot and have more defense at your disposal.
This causes the survival mode to almost introduce a tower defense aspect
that works brilliantly
The newest mode introduced to the Gears of War
series is Beast mode. This mode plays similar to Horde mode except this
time you take on the role of the Locust monsters fighting against the
humans that are trying to hold down their fort. In Beast you can play
with a team of up to five as you take on wave after wave of opponents.
Here too you can spend the money you earn (this time from killing the
enemy and/or destroying their fortifications) to play as different
and/or stronger creatures. Each Locust type plays in a unique way
compared to the next. Some will be able to use cover, others can swing
around big cleavers, while some can self-destruct when desired.
But what makes Gears of War 3 such
a lasting game is the almost infinite number of in-game achievements to
work towards. Some of these in-game achievements or “medals/ribbons”
will be for getting a certain number of headshots while others will ask
you to build a certain number of objects in Horde mode. What adds to
this is there is four levels to every medal. For example, the bronze
medal might require you getting 200 headshots, while the onyx medal will
ask for 4000.
along with the countless number of different leaderboards it tracks
will have you playing this game for a long time - and always with a goal
set ahead of you. Not only will it track points collected in Arcade and
the various multiplayer modes, but it will constantly notify you in the
screen’s corner how you compare with the next closest player on your
friends list. The game seems to track some of the smallest details such
as how many of a certain enemy you’ve killed, to time spent in cover
overall. It’s quite fun to be playing the game and seeing that you’re
only five Grenadier kills away from passing your buddy.
Gears of War 3 doesn’t
change up what we’ve come to expect (and love) from the series; but
instead, adds a wealth of new features and game modes to ensure a
lasting and fun experience. The addition of Arcade and Beast mode are
great and allow for different and unique ways to play the game. And if
all the different campaign and multiplayer modes weren’t enough to keep
you playing, the incorporation of medals, ribbons and numerous
constantly evolving leaderboards will. Gears of War 3
is a complete package for anyone looking for either a wholesome story,
or just to take on some friends in Deathmatch and with all the content
put into it, you’ll be satisfied for a long, long time.