All that news

29 01 2012

Hi there everybody. I come to you today with pretty much no news, apart from maybe I should do more with my saturdays other than work and play games 😛 So with all that, I’m going to just jump right into things and give you my review of Gears of War 3. Enjoy your read and please comment below 🙂

Gears of War 3 Review

The Gears of War franchise has established itself on the grounds on great, fast paced, cover based shooting and plenty of ways to paste our enemies across the walls. Gears of war 3 is no different, adding a couple new weapons and modes into the mix, aswell as bringing the lambent into the spotlight of the story, offering us even more types of enemies to get caught on the wrong side of our shotgun.

The story kicks off roughly two years after Jacinto, the last human stronghold was flooded in an attempt to wipe out the locust at the end of Gears of War 2. It would seem that humanity’s plan didn’t work, and the loscust are still the scourge of humanity. The story picks back with Marcus Fenix and his buddies living on a colony cruise ship, and big surprise, it gets invaded by the lambent. At this point, Marcus learns that his father may still be alive, and have important information about the locust. From then on this game is all about finding Marcus’ father, and hoping he has found a way to rid the locust threat once and for all.

The story gives us plenty enough motivation to keep on gunning through the (roughly) 6 hour campaign. Plenty of set piece moments and boss battles keep the pace up and the action high. This is the ending of a trilogy, so expect deaths, on both sides of the battle, and the death scenes were some of the best bits of storytelling the trilogy has seen to date. However, I still found the story to be little more than a reason to just blow things up. This is no reason to fear buying this game, because the rest of the game is really where the game shines through.

Firstly, the addition of an arcade mode to the campaign is a welcome addition. Adding a level of competetive play within the co-op story mode, as all of the players fight together against the locust horde, but at the same time compete for the most kills in an attempt to rack up more points than their buddies. It works great for the most part, however there are times when, if you’re not playing with players you don’t know, there may be moments, like in all games, where selfishness occurs, and opponents will leave you to die. Luckily however, players will respawn 30 after death, so long as one player stays alive, leaving frustration to a minimum.

The multiplayer mode is also now much improved, with dedicated servers working away behind the scenes, the lag is now almost non existent, and matchmaking speeds are hugely improved from the other titles. Not to mention the great new team deathmatch variation, which gives the whole team a pool of respawns to share, meaning that teamwork becomes even more important, if anybody just continues to run into no-mans land and die, then the whole team suffers. This new variation of the classic Gears gameplay is possibly the best so far, and the new best way to play multiplayer in Gears of War 3.

Then there is the new take on horde mode. Horde 2.0 adds fortifications and upgrades to this fantastic mode, and the game that defined the horde mode has now redefined it, making it harder, better and a whole lot more fun than ever before. Not to mention the boss wave on every tenth wave, pitting us against the likes of berserkers and brumaks. This then manages to destroy all your fortifications, and also, all of your plans, sending you and your buddies into panic mode as you scramble around the battlefield trying to wear down those big beasties. With fences, turrets, sentry guns, decoys and silverbacks all at your disposal, there are plenty of ways to keep back the devastating horde invasion. It’s a fresh a wonderful take on the much imitated mode, making it the best around yet again.

Finally, there is the all new beast mode. Beast mode is essentially a horde mode, which puts you in the shoes of the locust, letting you play the part of wretches and tickers, all the way up to bloodmounts and berserkers. This mode can be fantastic fun, giving us even more variation in gameplay, and who would have ever thought that playing kamikaze as a little ticker would ever be so much fun. Unfortunately the downside to this is that it really doesn’t last long enough, with only 12 rounds before the end, the fun ends almost as soon as it begins, with many players only unlocking the higher tier locust to play as right before it finishes, it leads to many wishing they had a bit longer to play around with all those bid baddies we’ve been crushing all these years.

Now with all these modes to play through, plus the ability to play through all of them with at least 3 other players at once, it’s easy to see why there is plenty of bang for your buck here in Gears of War 3. Plus, with an experience and unlock system that runs through the whole game, rewarding you with character and weapon skins, executions and mutators (e.g. infinite ammo and big head mode), there is plenty of reason to see it all here, and give everything a go, and many reasons to keep coming back for more.

That doesn’t mean however that there aren’t disappointments. Although there are many changes to the modes, trying to find the changes made to the core gameplay starts to become a little bit more difficult. Yeah, alright, they have the new mantle kick, allowing you to kick enemies into a stagger if they are in the way of you mantling over a wall, and yeah, they have a couple new weapons like the digger, and sawn-off shotgun. However, other than that, it feels pretty much like playing a very extensive Gears of War 2 DLC pack at times within the game.

You may have noticed however that graphically, this game has certainly had a nice bump up, this game is beautiful, and once again finds itself  being one of the most fantastic looking games of the year. Running at a smooth frame rate that never lets up, even when there are dozens of locust baring down on you. In fact, the whole presentation of the game is nothing but stellar, with a great soundtrack, wonderful, varied environments and an overall polish to the whole game, it’s clear to say that plenty of time and effort has been put into making this the best sounding and looking game of the trilogy so far. Also take note that the sound of a mans head being trampled into the ground has never been so satisfyingly crunchy.

So while not having a bunch of brand new content, there is still no denying the awesomeness that is Gears of War 3. With really tight and focused gameplay, some of the finer moments in the story so far and plenty of modes to play, this is definitely Gears at its finest.

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