Gears Of War 3 (GOW3) is not just a game that warrants the purchase of an Xbox 360, it’s also one that redeems gaming console. It puts players into the war-hardened boots of Marcus Fenix once again as he strives to end the alien menace plaguing his planet. The developer, Epic, is a fierce believer of the “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” adage, so if you’ve played the previous games in the series, you’ll know exactly what to expect.
You play as one of the four burly dudes, and you’ll spend a lot of time taking cover, chainsawing enemies, blurting a ton of cocky one-liners and grinning from ear to ear at the over-the-top violence.
You’ve seen this before
Yes there are new enemies, weapons and enough set pieces, but at the end of the day, GOW is a laundry list of cliches. Throughout the game’s eight odd hours, you’ll go through the whole gamut of conventional video game missions like flipping switches, surviving ambushes and watching people sacrifice their lives for the greater good. Thankfully, the game’s near-perfect pacing and relentless action hide this. You can run through the entire campaign by yourself or team up with up to three friends over Xbox Live. The campaign’s just the tip of the iceberg in GOW3, and you can continue the co-operative experience by engaging in Horde or Beast mode.
Horde mode returns from Gears of War 2 with some tower defence-like features. For those who haven’t played it at all, it’s very simple. You need to survive 50 waves of enemies, each of which gets progressively tougher. Team co-ordination is essential because if a teammate dies, they have to wait out the entire wave, making it that much tougher for the remaining survivors. Your goal is to kill every human before the timer runs out. This ends up getting pretty intense because once the humans start setting up defenses, it becomes difficult to kill them in time. Gears Of War 3 has to be the best looking game on the Xbox right now. Even though the Unreal gaming engine is nearly five years old now, Epic has squeezed every last drop from it to create an utterly gorgeous game world. Thanks to the chunky nature of your enemies, killing them is a highly satisfying experience, be it with the pop of their skull after a well-placed shot from your sniper or the sound of flesh exploding when your shotgun meets their face. The cover system also stays unchanged.
As much as we loved Gears Of War 3, we need to point out that this is essentially the same game you’ve played before with newer weapons, enemies and a coat of paint. If you weren’t a fan of the Gears Of War franchise to begin with, this one will not change your mind. However, if you enjoy this series for its frat-boy mentality, polished visceral action and good production value, it will not disappoint you.