Review: Gears of War 3
By Sean Booker
September 30, 2011 - 09:27
Studios: Epic Games
Microsoft Game Studios
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-5 Co-op, 2-10 Competitive
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.
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.
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.
In 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.
Verdict: Buy It
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