Plugged In: Gears Of War 3 Review!
Gears Of War 3 (Rated M)
Available on: X-Box 360
This fall sees the release of nearly every single major videogame of the year. Epic and Microsoft Studios’ Gears Of War 3 gets the ball rolling, coming out in advance of other high-profile releases like Batman: Arkham City, Uncharted 3, and of course, Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The real reason you’re reading is to find out if Gears Of War 3 is any good. Well, I can tell you that it is, at least in my opinion. It has all of the familiar aspects of the previous two games, but with enough new weapons, creatures, and level elements to keep it from feeling like a retread of the previous games. The story picks up a little over a year after the events of the second game, in which Marcus Fenix and his squad mates (the “Gears”) had to flood the human city of Jacinto to stop the Locust creatures and the Lambent, infected locusts that are basically glowing zombies. Since then, the humans have been trying to rebuild on a small island, all the while trying to fight off the Lambent creatures and remaining Locusts.
The game begins with a pretty awesome set piece onboard an oil tanker, in which Marcus and his crew must fight off a Lambent attack. The action starts off quick and doesn’t let up for quite awhile. It’s in these over the top action moments that GoW 3 really shines, the game developers really seem to enjoy thinking of crazy things for you to not only fight, but ways to destroy them as well. The controls are very responsive, and feel much like the ones from the previous games. The new weapons available to you are very cool as well, even if the Retro Lancer is a little strange to use (instead of the chainsaw attachment it has a single blade).
|These glowy guys (The Lambent) go BOOM when you kill them.|
You may be wondering how I was able to review this so quickly, especially if the game came out only this past week. Well, unfortunately this brings me to my only real negative about the game: the campaign length. I bought the game on the day it came out, and a week later I had beaten the solo player mode. This was without a major all-day gaming session or anything. Make no mistakes, the game is SHORT, but now that I think about it, all of the games in the Gears Of War series have been pretty short. The story isn’t that much to write home about either. Sure, it’s got a great sense of finality to it, which is a welcome relief in the never-ending cycle of videogame franchises (I’m looking at you Halo and Call Of Duty), but a lot of the moments kind of fall flat. There’s one major character death that in my opinion wasn’t as powerful as it should have been, but then again, the Gears series was never known for its amazing narrative. In fact, one could argue that the real star of the series is the multiplayer, which is just as good here as it was in the previous games.
The multiplayer in GoW 3 contains the usual death match, but it also includes “Horde Mode”, in which you and a squad of others must fortify an area and defend it from wave after wave of Locust monsters. The action is intense in this mode, with you scrambling to keep up with the monstrosities that are destroying the base you just spent time carefully preparing. There’s a great deal of customization in the multiplayer as well, from the different characters you can play as to the skins that you can put on your weapons. Currently I’m playing as the Locust Queen, a character that I never thought would be available as a playable character in the series. Its surprises like this that make Gears Of War 3 a worthy purchase.
|Did I mention this is an “M” rated game?|
While the story and campaign in Gears Of War 3 might be a little disappointing, the game is still a must purchase for fans of the series and online multiplayer. The action is fun and fast, and I had forgotten how brutal the deaths are in the series. Plus, the Torque Bow is quite possibly my favorite weapon in any game ever. Hearing that ping! sound hit an enemy in the middle of a firefight is one of the coolest things in games, especially when the arrow explodes and takes out another two enemies around them. Gears Of War 3 has started the 2011 Fall video game bloodbath, and if it’s any indication of the games to come, it’s going to be a great Autumn for gamers.
Final Verdict: 9 “Revive Me!”‘s out of 10