Review by PoPPiP
"You haven't yet experienced "Next-Gen" until you've experienced Gears of War."
In a nutshell, Gears of War is the best reason to own an Xbox 360. If you're still thinking about what's the next game you should buy, don't wait, this game won't disappoint. Though it does not quite live up to the hype as being the next "Zelda" or "Halo", this is still hands down one of the best games you'll play all year.
Boasting cooperative play throughout the whole campaign, that alone is often enough to warrant a purchase. However, the campaign is much more than that, the AI is awesome, the dialogue is wonderful, thus you can be assured that you'll be playing through this game a couple of times. Some argue that the game is short at around 10 hours; however I challenge anyone to find a better 10-hour coop experience. Exactly, there isn't one, this is the best cooperative experience you'll find anywhere and probably for some time to come. There is even coop over Xbox Live allowing you to jump into your friend's game and help them out at any time.
On the multiplayer side, this ain't your usual run n' gun shooter, as encounters aren't always solved with brainless circle strafing and bunny-hopping like an idiot. This game is all about taking cover and fast tactics. Each weapon has very clear strength and weaknesses, and you'll be constantly moving about trying to obtain advantageous cover. Teamwork is incredibly important, as you only have one life per round and your teammates can revive you once you get gunned down. If no teammates are around, the enemy can easily finish you off by slamming your head into the ground, or simply pumping more bullets from far away. Flanking the enemy, and surprising them from behind is the most surefire way to win making this a very unique experience to say the least.
There are currently 3 multiplayer modes, and 10 multiplayer maps. Though all the modes are just variants on team deathmatch/last man standing, you really don't notice it, as each match is so different. All the maps have various paths to take, and are well balanced with powerful weapons placed strategically on the map. For example, most players will attempt to quickly grab the Sniper Rifle on the balcony in "Gridlock" however, this exposes yourself and makes you easy picking if flanked.
This game is gorgeous, and arguably the best looking game ever made. Next-generation graphics have finally arrived, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better looking game for the rest of the year. Though there some of the ingame cinematics show hints of lag, the almost non-existent loading times more than make up for any shortcomings. There are just tons of incredible sights to see throughout the game, and the multiplayer levels look just as great. This is indeed the game you'll be showing guests to show off the incredible power of the Xbox 360!
Great orchestral score, with fantastic sound effects for all the weapons. The sound of blood gushing from headshots and chainsaw kills must be heard to be believed. This game will get your blood pumping!
Final Verdict 9/10
Needless to say, this game delivers everything that a gamer can possibly want in a shooting game. A great singleplayer experience, and a competitive multiplayer experience. The graphics are second to none, and the controls take all of a couple of minutes to get use to. My only complaint is that lefties will have trouble getting use to the game due to the cover button being mapped poorly with the swapped analog sticks. Other than that, this game is a must-have for any Xbox 360 owner.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 11/13/06
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