Review by Azrael433

"THE REAL DEAL!! GEARS of WAR REVIEW!!! 'nuff said..."

Hype or Hope?

So, after all this time did Gears live up to the uber hype? For the most part yes it does!

Before I go on, I've got to clear this up: When you've been gaming as long as I have, you can become very skeptical/cynical when a game comes along an is heralded the next 'killer app' before it's even released. Prior to playing it, over the past few months everytime I saw Gears of War, Brute Force came into mind an I decided not to bite into the hype cookie like I almost did with Brute Force.

However I must say that I'm glad to be proven wrong! Gears does a great job! It does for the 360 what Halo 2 did for the XboX- provide a solid fun game but doesn't really add anything 'new'.

GraphX

Graphically Gears portrays the war torn world brilliantly, however you can tell it follows the same art direction as the unreal games: over muscled guys with huge grttiy guns in a dark apocalyptic war torn future. The lighting effects an the level of detail on the characters an enemies are amazing, the way the blood splatters on screen sometimes is a nice touch. Some of the environments can seem a bit 'flat' at times though, but otherwise there is little call for complaint. It does the job of depicting a war torn world near flawlessly.

Sound

The sound effects really help immerse you into Gears, from the music, to the gunfire, to the chainsaw to the enemies, it's all there an does a good job. The enemies do chatter from time to time, but not at the level seen in Halo.

Presentation

After the opening scene, there's not a lot of cut scenes in the game, an be warned, the story is very limited an will at time even feel tacked on. The controls are easy to master an you'll never really need to stop the game to select something after your initial setting up- it keeps the game flowing smoothly.

Gameplay

Gears is really easy to get into, the controls can be master within a matter of minutes, there's always a steady flow of action an things never get too dull, there are even a few surprises an moments that make you twitch now an again. Switching out weapons is an easy enough task that doesn't slow you down. Your team mates aren't too boneheaded an at the very least they'll help soak up some heat for you. Enemies will duck a hide the same as you do, though sometimes they'll still be exposed an will sit there while you pick them off in some cases. Without spoiling anything, gears will even throw you a curve now an again to help things from getting too repetitive like having you use a specific weapon to kill a certain creature.

If it's so great...

...then why didn't get a higher score you ask? Simple- yes Gears does a lot of things right, but it still doesn't do anything new, also it relies too much on ducking an covering. I understand it, but it would be nice to have a nice full out no cover guns blazing fight now an again. It would help balance the game out a lot more as it feels like every fight is take cover, shoot from behind cover, wait for enemy to jump out, wash,rinse, repeat. Also though online co-op is fun, 4 player max vs matches just seems a bit weak in this day an age. Also the weapons aren't that exciting, the most exciting one being the one with the chainsaw. Flat out, it will get repetitive real quick an it's also not a long experience (8-10 hours), but thankfully the online co-op is there to keep it interesting an fun with others.

In The End

Really a solid game that is a credit to the 360, but on a console that has so many shooters, it's nothing new to experience, but it definately is something to experience an at the very least worth a weekend rental to kick back an have fun with a friend for some old school gaming action with new school looks. It's a sure bet. I'm really glad that I was wrong about this one.

Final Score: 8


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 11/21/06


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