Review by DillMan926
"Emergence Day has arrived!"
Around the time when the Xbox 360 came out, there was talk of this really good futuristic shooter with amazing gameplay and graphics called Gears of War. Now, almost a year later, the game is finally out, and for the most part lived up to all its hype.
Graphics - 10
This is a no brainer. This game is graphically the best game out on the market right now, and definitely pushes the 360 to the max. Everything from the environments, to the people in the game, to the amazing explosions, to the disturbingly satisfying killing; it is all done exceptionally well.
Gameplay - 8
Gears of War is different than any game I have previously played. It mixes 3rd person shooting with very intense battles. There are not a ton of different weapons as well as the fact that you will basically be using the same gun, the "lancer" (machine gun + chainsaw), almost the whole time. There is however a really cool weapon called the "Hand of Dawn" which transmits a signal from a satellite and totally annihilates anything that it touches.
As far as actual combat goes, the game does things pretty well. You will have to be somewhat strategic in this game, taking cover at almost every opportunity. The game makes this easy however, with just a quick press of the "A" button you will slam up against a wall/car/debris/other things that game developers cleverly put into the game. Once you are behind some cover you can pop out and shoot at the enemy. This may get repetitive for some, but this is just how the game is.
You can shoot while moving, however if you want a reticle to guide your aim, you will need to press the left trigger. This will also slow down all of your movements. This is an interesting touch and makes the game feel very real.
Story - 7
The story is pretty weak, but I am guessing most people will forgive this point. People will play this game for the great action and graphics, not to hear a great story ... although it would have been very nice if the story was also a strong point of the game.
Sound - 9
The sound effects are really good and dead on to what is happening in the game and what you would expect something to sound like. The AI and other players also make accurate noises and sounds.
Online play - 10
Gears of War would probably get a 7 or 8 out of 10 if it was not for online play. Coupling with Xbox Live, the online play is where Gears of War really starts to come alive. You can choose to either play cooperatively with a friend through the story mode, or play in a few different kinds of online versus matches.
Co-op is self explanatory, you just play with a friend. This is much better than going through the game by yourself; plus if you are someone who likes to get achievements, there are a few for completing various parts of the game through co-op
Versus online is stellar. Each game is set up for 4 on 4 action, so team strategy is a big part of this game. Playing against other humans is a much better experience than playing against the computer AI. Once a team member falls, there will usually be a brief period where other team members can revive them with a quick press of the "X" button. A fallen enemy can no longer move or shoot (or do anything really except breathe), so it is quite easy for enemies to finish them off. This is an interesting way to make the game more real while not giving infinite lives to players.
Overall - 9
This is the game that many Xbox 360 owners have been waiting for. It is a different experience from any other game out there, and a nice change from the majority of the generic shooters available. The graphics are amazing and sound is good. The game is a ton of fun, and definitely a Must Own game.
Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 11/10/06
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