Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gears of War 3 Review

Platform(s): X-Box 360
Developer(s): Epic Games
Publisher(s): Microsoft Studios
Genre: 3rd Person Shooter
Rating: M for Mature

It seems that 3 is the magic number for video game series nowadays. From God of War to Resistance: Fall of Man and even Skate, 3 games seem to be the ideal life span for a series…although Halo doesn’t count if you consider ODST and Reach. This time, X-Box’s golden child Gears of War is back with its third installment, ending the saga once and for all. But does the final chapter of Gears make the epic impact that Epic Games aimed for, or fizzles out into a mass of hype?

The Story

The game takes place 2 years after the COG was forced to destroy the Jacinto plateau, the last major city on their planet, in Gears of War 2. Their world ravaged by a new enemy, the Lambent, the remaining teams of COG are left to survive, some on land and others by sea. However, after receiving a message from his father via Chairman Prescott, Marcus Fenix and Team Delta go back out to search for the missing scientist…who possibly has the answers for destroying the Lambent once and for all.

The Pros

Geez…how do I begin this? For starters, my personal pro would be the enemies in the game. There are two types of enemies: the Locust, which are/have been the staple enemies in the game (but far from common) and the Lambent, creatures in the game that have been mutated by Imulsion. The pro about this is that they are far from simple to kill, especially the Lambent. When you kill one, move away b/c they are bound to explode. That, plus some will mutate after taking a lot of damage, taking the fight to another level.

A clip of Horde mode, where you fight off
wave after wave of Locust.

Secondly, Horde mode is a second pro in my book. If you haven’t played Gears 2, Horde mode is an arcade-style mode where you fight off wave after wave of enemies until you reach Level 50. And after every 10 levels, the enemies stats increase, making them harder to defeat. This mode has undergone some massive improvements, to say the least. A money system has been added, allowing players to buy items to protect their fort from caltrop barriers to mounted turret guns and even a decoy to draw enemy fire.

But the biggest improvement in Horde mode is that they added boss battles at every 10th round. Meaning after you fight the entire wave off, you have to battle a boss. And if you played any of the Gears games, you’ll know that the boss is far from easy…or small. And with the addition of Mutations in the game – similar to the Skulls in Halo ODST/Reach – it adds a deeper challenge to the game than just shooting enemies to survive.

A new mode to the Gears series (and another pro) is Beast mode, which is the complete opposite to Horde. In Beast mode, you’re playing as the Locust whose goal is to destroy all the humans in the area. The money that you gain from this mode is used to spawn better Locust. So if you play your cards right, you could appear as a Kantus on one round…or a Beserker.

Finally, my last pro would be the weapons in the game. A lot of the weaponry has been improved since the second installment of Gears. And with the addition of newer weapons (the One-Shot, Incendiary Grenades, Cleaver and more) and more savage versions of older weapons (Retro Lancer, Sawed-Off, and Digger), combat gets a bit more nuts.

The Cons

Alright…so for my first con, I’d have to get on Story Mode. Why? It’s shorter than expected. With 5 acts and 5 chapters an act, that’s 25 stages that you have to play through. And with the promise of the “biggest-ever Gears campaign solo”, that seems like a bit of a letdown.

And yes, that was written on the back of the Gears 3 box.

Members of COG.

The second con has to be one that I always find in every FPS (or in this case, 3PS) game. There’s always that one weapon in the game that’s unreasonably unbalanced and overused by everyone online. What is it in Gears 3: the Sawed-off Shotgun. The reload time is extra slow, however if you are in point blank range of someone and shoot (or get shot), the result is simple: You Die!

My next con lies with Beast Mode. Now, that mode is great, seeing that you pretty much flip the script and play as the antagonists. However, the mode is short. You only get 12 rounds and a minute per round, which slightly increases with each kill you acquire. And compared to Horde, where you get 50 rounds and unlimited time…yeah, enough said.

The leveling up system in the game…I can’t say it’s a complete con, but I do feel that it needs to be listed. The more you level up in the game, the more characters and weapon skins you are able to unlock. It looks nice, however it’s been considered useless by a good amount of players so it’s a noteworthy con.


If you’ve been waiting for Gears of War 3 anxiously, from the moment you first heard the announcement, then you’re guaranteed to get your money’s worth in this final installment. With the new modes, the 4-player campaign co-op, and gritty, brutal gameplay that the series is known for, you won’t put it down. If you’re buying this game and haven’t played the other two, you will still enjoy this game. Even though the campaign may be a bit short, there are plenty of modes that will keep your hands on the controller for a long time!!!

FINAL SCORE: 4 out of 5

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