Review by DeltaConcept
"Gears of War Gets The Cigar..."
Gears of War
NOTE: I will be rating this game under my opinion only. I am not following what everyone else says. Also I rated the overall game a 10 because when you meld all of these together, it equals one fun game.
To put it simple the gameplay is great. The game tries a new style of gameplay, which the creators call "stop and pop." This type of gameplay takes a more realistic approach to video games, but MAKING the player go behind cover and shoot from behind cover. The controls are simple for this, "A" pretty much does everything, it may sound like it doesn't work but it does. You press "A" to go into cover, and you press "A" to go out of cover. You press "A" to dive, you press "A" to "roadie run." "A" pretty much does everything for you except let you jump, that's right, you can't jump, but in the game you never really think about it. Running around behind cover never gets old because there are so many different situations that require different things of cover. Also the weapons work out great, they all have thier little disadvantages and thier big advantages. Like the Torque Bow for example, it's great for long range and taking big things down, but bad for wretches and close quarters. Same with the Lancer, its excellent for medium range combat, and its really fun at close range (CHAINSAW), but if you get hit at close range the chainsaw lowers, and you're in for it. The only bad part about the gameplay is the car level, that just sucked.
The graphics in this game are absolutely amazing, this game really shows off the new Unreal engine. This game contains graphics that have never been seen before. There was never anything close (Except Splinter Cell : Chaos Theory). During gameplay the graphics help a lot, they add to the scenery as well as the firefights. We will start with the scenery. The way this game boats the graphics are through mainly its classical Greek styling. It makes it look like your fighting right there at the Parthenon. Everything you see has detail to the smallest inch, every bit of it can be harmed too, with grenades and bullets. Every part of the game looked great, I was impressed by most of the scenery, but I wasn't really impressed with the immulsion tunnels.
Then comes the firefights, what I mean by firefights is that if it adds or helps when just trying to get through the game. Overall the firefights and battles are great, when you blowing the crap out of some Locust you kind of start to squint and just go "wow." Sometimes you may actually say, "Oh snap, my man is down, I better just tell him he is alright and...Wait! This is just a game!" If you didn't have the Unreal engine here it would just look like Timesplitters (which I loved by the way). When you pull off a perfect action reload, you can tell that the enemy is gonna feel it hard. My personal favorite scenes are the chainsaw, shotgun them to bits, and the Hammer of Dawn. However there is just one bad part, sometimes the enemy is so well hidden behind something (like smoke), or they may just blend in to something, as I found in the Phoenix mansion. Otherwise the graphics are awesome.
The sound in this game is great, everything is done well. The sound really helps in this experience, as a matter of fact I recommend to turn up the volume (especially with Dolby 5.1 or 6.1). I loved the sound that the chainsaw made, the enemy dying and the Hammer blowing the crap out of the people. They all had that, "Snap! I want to do that again fast," feeling. I don't need a whole lot of space here for sound because sound is usually great, but the reason I marked this as a nine is because...THE FREAKIN' WRETCHES! I have heard that sound so many times and its just so freakin' annoying that I wish they would have come up with a different sound for them. Overall the sound is great though.
I gave the A.I a nine, because they are very intelligent at parts...and then there are the people who run into the middle of battle like Tom Cruise in a Mission Impossible movie. When facing off against smaller enemy's, they use tactics like flanking to try and kill you. But when facing off against bigger opponents, that can be just scary (in a good way). When the Grubs run around they look stupid but scary, but I can tell you they arn't stupid. In any situation they will use flanking and suppressing fire to get you. And if they are close enough they might chainsaw you.
For the big fella's its a whole another story, they don't flank, they just use everything they have got to kill you. The Boomer's will just stand in the open and shoot grenades at you, while the Berserker will just charge at you until she smashes you into the ground. Ive had moments when Im really scared of the Berserkers because of thier realism. But sometimes there are moments when you say, "WHAT?" For example on your second encounter with a Berserker she walks through a doorway that you will later go through, when you do she will smash through a wall into your room then when you escape she will smash another one. Ok, whats wrong you might ask... well she cant walk back to kill me. The smaller doorway she walked through earlier, she can go back through, she just stops right at the doorway, or better yet, she tries to charge you and she hits her head and stumbles back for another try. Other then that flaw the A.I is great.
NOTE: This Next Section Contains Spoilers! If you are reading this review to see if you should buy it, (WHY HAVENT YOU ALREADY?) do not read this next section.
The storyline in this game is fun and gruesome. I say gruesome because of the places it takes you and the things you have to do along the way. You start off getting out of prison for crimes committed during the Pendulum Wars, you can decide if the trial was just or not. Your buddy Dom rescues you out of prison, and after that you will face ridicule from a Lieutenant, as well as fighting your way through a city, through some slums and Kryll at night, just so you could get a car to drive to a mine to take the drills down into a mine just to place a bomb that will map the Locust tunnels. Since the bomb has problems, you must fight your way to your dad's house to find intel that was premapped by your father, about the Locust tunnels. Cool now you found another car that will bring you to a train where you will need to fight your way to the top of the train to beat the Locust that killed your dad and plant the intel into some bombs and save the world! That pretty much sums it up.
I just put a little thing for cutscenes in here to let you know that there are great, but sometimes hard to follow. For example, after the mapping bomb Resonator goes off, Baird suddenly obtains a ball that holds all of the tunnels in the core of thier planet. WHERE DID HE GET THAT? Otherwise the cutscenes are very well done. You can tell what the characters are feeling. Another great part is that they use motion-capture for the cutscenes and moves that the player preforms, that adds a lot more realism to the game and its effects.
I can't rate this because I don't have Xbox Live and I have not had enough friends over to play a big enough match. But from what Ive played in 1 on 1, its really fun and intense.
REPLAY VALUE: 9
The replay value in this game is great, when you play through the first time you will be saying "wow." Then you will play the game again in a harder difficulty and say, "Hey, that wasn't there before." Or, "I don't remember that." I highly recommend playing this through on Casual the first time and moving your way up every time, I found this more fun. I bet you will have more fun gaining Achievements this way then playing it all one time. I also found parts kind of funny this way, I played the game on Casual and it took me 21 tries to beat the final "boss." Then I played it on Hardcore and it took me 7 tries to beat him. When I played it on Insane it took me two tries to kill General RAAM. So yes this game contains much replay value.
BUY THIS GAME! Its the first must-own game for the 360, and chainsawing someone will never get old, and the overall experience you must feel. I must warn the readers though, there is quite a bit of swearing, but you can turn the really heavy stuff off.
Have fun playing Gears of War in the future and let me know if you don't understand something in this review!
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 03/08/07
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