Review by Prime8
"Gears of Mediocrity"
Before initiating this review, please let it be known that this is a review of only the Single Player. I do not have LIVE, so I can not correctly judge the entire game. If by some miracle the MP is awe-inspiring, then the grade I give this game shouldn't be too different.
After E3, you couldn't visit a single gaming website without hearing about the Gears of War's graphics. It developed a hype parallel to many failures before it. This game doesn't suffer as badly as earlier cases, but it sure doesn't put out what people hyped it up to be. The graphics are good, but they do not make a significant difference. People were expecting the Second Coming from this game, and I'm sure some of those are disappointed or disillusioned. Again, the graphics are very good, but not up to the par that most of us were expecting. On a side note, I thought the blood in this game was a joke. My first thought of this was the cel-shading in Wind Waker.
The music in this game sounds like the works of Roger Williams, and in some instances, I felt like I was playing a rather gritty Star Wars game. The voice acting isn't bad, but it's rather hard to hear. Sure, you can turn the volume up on the TV, but do you really want a bunch of blaring noise coming from every other sound in the game? It's a good thing that they put in subtitles or it would seem impossible to know what the people are saying or even what you are supposed to do.
My main gripe with this would have to be the universal use of the A button. Putting too many uses on a single button could spell the difference between life and death. You may be wanting to just switch cover, but if you aren't careful, you might end up climbing over the cover and jump right into the line of fire. My frustration with the many possible mistakes caused by this flaw primarily skews this score. If it weren't for this, this category would have gotten an easy 9-10.
Game play: 4.5/10
Ok guys. Here is this game's major downfall. This game is one of the very few games I've played where I just didn't feel like playing anymore. Despite how close I was to the next checkpoint or finishing an act, I just felt like quiting due to how tedious it is. The basic pattern you follow is as such: run, duck, wait, pop out, shoot, duck, wait, pop out, shoot, duck, reload, pop out shoot, pick up any ammo, run to next cover. I kid you not; there isn't too much variation to this throughout the game. Granted, you have your "mini games" here and there, such as pushing a car for cover or driving the Junker, but that's just filler in-between the unbearable pattern I've already stated. It's a chore to continue on through this game when you're bombarded with this repeated recipe of blandness. The game might have been more enjoyable if the weapons were strong and intuitive. Nope, none present here. You have your minimal cliche set up of weapons, and even those weapons aren't that great to use. I'm just glad that there is a healthy abundance of ammo boxes to fill up those weapons with a rather limited ammo capacity. Sure, you have a chainsaw attachment on ONE of your guns, but after the 100th locust, it drastically loses it's primordial effect. I sincerely congratulate those who have the tenacity and patience to trudge through this game, because it was a harsh struggle for me.
Replay Value: 6/10
The problem isn't with the opportunity for replaying but rather the want to replay this game. You can replay this game on Insane mode and go through the game to collect the COG tags that you might have missed. But 7-10 of yet more torture isn't worth the pity achievement points that you are rewarded for such. After one playthrough on Hardcore, there wasn't anything convincing me to go through that all over again. Again, for those who love the unfaltering sequence of events you're coerced into, you might actually feel the will or obligation to finish the game once again.
Gears of War falls victim to the hype monster like most games tend to do. Nothing (not even the superficial visuals) sets this game on its own merit. It's basically another Killzone game, just grittier and $10 more. I am saddened that a game that could have lived up to the hype failed at an alarming rate. It's an un-fun, mediocre game. Simple as that. Unless the MP in this game is as orgasmic as people thought the graphics were, there really isn't any reason you should buy this shame of a game. I hope to soon get LIVE and give this game another try, because it hurts me to give this game a poor score when so many others praise it dearly.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 11/13/06
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