Thursday, 27 October 2011

Gears of War 3 review - Last and Best of the Trilogy


Back in 2006 (when I first bought my faithful Xbox 360), I picked up a copy of Gears of War, and proceeded to play it until I thought my thumbs would fall off. This was one of my first purchases on the Xbox 360 that just seemed to hit the right notes every time.

With its gritty approach to combat, and its tense and fast-paced action, it’s always been one of those titles that stand out from the crowd.

And using a gun with a chainsaw?......What’s not to love?

Luckily for me, my thumbs remained attached, and I had a chance to put them to equally good use with Gears of War 2.

Needless to say, I’ve always had a soft spot for this series.

The games protagonist – Marcus Fenix, is one of those characters that speak to the survivor in all of us. Far from perfect, he’s a true warrior at heart and one of the biggest bad-asses in gaming history.

Through-out your fight against the terrifying locust invasion, you’re always made to feel the danger of your situation, and the difficulties that face the dwindling population as you try to save humanity from the brink of annihilation.

With an over the shoulder, third-person view and an incredibly creative cover system, these games have a tendency to keep you on your toes from the start.

Multiplayer has always been a large part of playing Gears of War, and has always made a nice change from the overwhelming amount of First Person Shooters out there that seem all to similar in their approach to Multiplayer gameplay.

Toss in the ability to play the campaign with a friend in co-op and you can start seeing why this game has retained such a huge fan base over the years.

Gears of War 3 was recently released and fails to disappoint once again. This Final chapter in the trilogy is a fantastic finale to the storyline and is undoubtedly the best in the series.

The Lambent (an infected variation of the locust horde first seen in Gears of War 2) have now  taken over majority of the planet Sera where the game is situated, and although the locust are still around, have become the main enemy that you end up dealing with majority of the time.

This adds a greater sense of satisfaction when fighting enemies though, as the Lambent have a tendency to explode when killed.

Graphics have been tweaked a bit with more detail added, and provides a far more colourful and less grey colour-scheme than the first Gears of War.
The Pacing this time around feels a lot less stressful and more dynamic, with certain sections focusing on character development and story progression, giving you a nice break from the chaotic battles that follow.

You can now play through the campaign with up to four players in co-op, replacing the AI controlled team-mates that are with you through the duration.

Some chapters will see you switching to Augustus Cole (or Cole Train) at times, which changes things up further.  

Multiplayer has been tweaked with a few new features and none of the issues that plagued the matching system of Gears of War 2.

While the majority of multiplayer game modes have remained the same, one of the multiplayer modes that did get a drastic change is Horde Mode, which now provides you with income after each kill, allowing you to purchase new turrets, barricades and other defences to aid you, as progressively difficult waves of enemies try to eliminate your team and every 10th wave ending in a random boss battle.  

A new mode has been added, called “Beast Mode” which has you playing the Locust horde trying to kill off humans in their outposts. Every kill earns you currency which can be used to respawn as more powerful locust monsters.

Also included in Gears of War 3 is Stereoscopic 3D which was not present in the pervious titles.

Certainly one of the best games released this year and incredibly well paced, this is definitely one to pick up if you own an Xbox 360 and want an action-packed experience with the option to play with your friends.

9/10

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