Review by CloudSkm
"Sweet apples, get this game"
Sometimes hype works, and other times, well, you know..Thankfully this is one of the rare occurrences in which a game that has been pouring hype out of every orifice has delivered on all of it's promises. Gears of War is a surreal experience that any one with a 360 should throw some money down to purchase.
Heres the skinny: You take the role of an imprisoned Marcus Fenix who served in the military some years prior to his containment. However, Marcus was jailed for disobeying a direct order and trying to rescue his dad. He did not reach his dad in time, and instead found himself staring at a very lengthy imprisonment. Dom, who can be inferred to have partnered with Marcus sometime earlier comes to your aid and rescues you as the prison is being overrun by the Locust. This brings me to our next point, the Locust. Trust me when I say that you have crapped out better looking things than these walking disasters. The Locust are a subterranean race that suddenly emerged and began to mow everything in sight. These guys come in all shapes and forms ranging from small and annoying to big and hungry. This game does not really revolve around a strong central story, there is a plot line, but character development is dulled down to a low degree in this one folks. To find out more on the story just read the guide book that comes with the game as it has some background information on everything that has gone down recently on the planet Sera. Some people find he lack of character development unappealing, and they have that right. I am sure Epic will let us know more about he protagonist Fenix as this series progresses into the future.
Now we're talking. This game has astounding graphics, sound quality, and all that jazz, but this is what makes Gears shine when compared to any other standard shooter. The game play in this title is honestly amazing. People rant and rave about the cover system, however, I found that as soon as I started playing the game the cover system just melded so easily into the experience that it just became second nature. I started the game on Hardcore, which is the standard difficulty with Casual being the easiest, and Insane being the most difficult. I recommend starting on Hardcore as most of the game won't be an unbearable challenge on this difficulty for the casual gamer.
The firefights in this game can get really intense. Dodging and maneuvering are all included here and are all a real blast. One key feature that comes into play often is the ability to revive teammates, especially when it comes to on line play. The game could have been a little longer, but if you are looking for length, I recommend playing the game on Insane. There is not a huge array of weaponry, but what you will find I can guarantee you will be genuinely impressed with. The Locust and the COG (human) races each have their own weapons, but the weapons are not limited to one race or the other.
Chainsawing someone is just so amazingly satisfying. When you get your first saw kill I can almost guarantee you will be ecstatic. There really is nothing like shoving that beast of a weapon into someones chest and watching the uh, stuff..go flying everywhere. The great part of that is the fact that you can really see brutality like never before due to visual knockout that this title delivers. If you grenade tag lets say a boomer, after he has crapped himself and is in pieces, you can examine each and every part of whats left of him and often times find his spine, ribs and other parts of its anatomy scattered around the room. The shotgun can be an absolute death dealer and is often the topic of debate concerning weapons that are over-powered, and once you see what it can do to your opponents, you will know exactly why this is so.
As far as on line play is concerned, you are confined to three different game types: war zone, execution, and assassination. War zone is the standard team death match game type found in many other shooters. Execution entails that you have to finish someone off after downing them either by shooting them to death, curb stomping them, or revving up the chainsaw and sending a lot of fluids into the air. Assassination is a game type in which you have to kill the other teams leader, however, several other rules apply to this game type such as the leader being the only one able to pick up weapons. There is not much in the way of customization as far as game creation goes, and many people miss the standard death match and capture the flag. I think working in teams is how this game was meant to be played and I prefer it that way, although I do miss capture the flag and roadie-runs would really lend to many a great CTF game.
The music in this game feels very epic and dramatic when you can hear it. Most of the time you are bombarded by sounds of constant firing, people getting chainsawed, locust screeching, and all that good stuff. Everything sounds as it should and I have absolutely no reservations in this category. Character's voices also add the to the over-the-top type of feeling you get from this game, everyone talks as if momma fed them testosterone every morning.
This game features stunning graphics, and the level design is also amazing. The architecture feels very epic, and almost Roman/Greek inspired. I have never seen anything quite like the graphics in this game, however, I am sure there are games currently out there that might feature better visuals. Those games would probably have to have almost picture like quality, because this game is almost on that type of graphical level. I wont harp on the visuals for much longer, because in my opinion you should focus more on game play than anything else. However, it is hard to not stare and drool all over yourself when looking at the detail in this game.
This game is really brutal concerning kills and deaths and this is due to the stunning attention to detail. As stated before the numerous ways to leave someone lying in pieces is truly a visceral and gut-wrenching sight. Now if only we could collect spines...
Many people feel that on line is really where it's all at with this game. Let me assure you that the campaign is very satisfying and will stay fresh even on your third play through, especially when playing co-op. However, on line is also an absolute blast. Just like any other game out, there are those people that will bug all of your restraints into dust, but hey, this is Earth right? Besides, when people annoy you, you always have your trusty CHAINSAW (had to bust that one out). I am willing to bet some people only play this game to see the pop icon that is the GeOW chainsaw. Basically if you rent this game, you could keep the place you got it from in business, because the fine you will pay when you finally get it back in will be bigger than a Corpser. Also, getting the achievements in this game will take you a while. An example, Seriously.. is an achievement that requires you have to get 10,000 kills in ranked matches 0_0.
You might find people who glitch on line and it can be very annoying and or distracting. More often then not I play clean games that are an absolute adrenaline blast and I haven't really run into too many glitchers. The game is too short for some but I believe that a sequel is in the works and this series is to be a trilogy. You do not get to fight a Brumak in this one, and I can only hope that we will get the chance to in the second game. This does not really qualify as a complaint but I would suggest playing on line as soon as you can before the community goes the way of the buffalo as it did in Halo 2. I would also LOVE to see a patch for capture the flag, as it is my personal favorite game type.
Story: Not a huge factor for me, but the sequence of events is exciting. I wont put a rating here, however, I hope to see some character development in the next game. If I wanted a thick plot I would go play an rpg.
Game play: 10/10
Sound: 10/10 Gotta love it when you can hear it over deafening gunfire.
Graphics: 10/10 This game might not paint a very hopeful picture for mankind, but it sure paints a pretty one.
Re playability: 10/10 This game has a life that will span longer than many other shooters, especially concerning the on line department.
Overall: A solid 10/10
Just throw down some cash for this great game, and get it while everyone is still so enthralled with it. It is genuinely a grand experience worth anyones time. If you have a 360, you simply must own this game.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 02/26/07
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