Gears of War
Review by YamiYaj
"Clearly The Xbox 360's Killer App..."
Clearly The Xbox 360's Killer App...
Even before the Xbox 360 was released there was wide-spread information about a great game coming out within the next year that would revolutionize the way one would play shooters and look at graphics. Over a year later, that game, Gears of War, delivered, and it indeed lived up to the hype. Without further ado, here is my review.
I don't know if I've ever given a game a perfect score in regards to gameplay, however, Gears of War has clearly garnered this score. Many fans of opposing franchises or systems will tell you that Gears of War is nothing more than an average shooter with amazing graphics. However, that couldn't be further from the truth. For the first time in my gaming career, there is a shooter in which when you're in a dogfight, you don't just fire back and forth with your opponent and magically win as you take on thousands of bullets. Instead Gears of War brings strategy to the dogfight, that involves a cover system. Not just cover, where you hide behind things, but a revolutionary cover system in which a simple button tap will leave you hidden and allow for either blind fire or slightly covered fire. Throw in a unique and somewhat innovative mini-game reloading system that adds a bit of fun to the game, and you have flawless gameplay.
Without a doubt, fanboy or not, any individual that has played, or even seen Gears of War must acknowledge that these are the best graphics that any console has ever produced to this moment. Though with their armor on the Cogs feel larger than your average person, they still look amazing to the point where you can see the hairs on their neck stand on end when they feel excited about the events to come. Unlike most other games that boast beautiful cutscenes, Gears of War actually boasts beautiful in game play as well, whether it be the actions of locating your guns, or yourself or the enemy being blown to little bits. However, not only are the cutscenes and characters great looking, but the apparatuses that you will find yourself fighting within are beautifully rendered as well. In the end all of these leads to what is quite possibly the most beautiful console game I have ever played when it comes to graphics.
Many individuals will tell you that Gears of War has little to no story. However, those individuals would be incorrect. While the story is neither original, nor groundbreaking, it is still in the same vein as movies within the humankind vs. alien genre. In this Gears accomplishes what it promises when it states that you will be immersed within the story. When you find out about the complete backstory within Gears you realize that the events you will go through within the game, while not groundbreaking become interesting. Upon beating the game, however, you become subject to what I call Xbox 360 syndrome, or simply put, an incredibly short story mode like many other 360 titles.
Quite simply, this game earned it's sound score, because it is unrivaled in greatness. I say this simply because this is the only game that I have ever played in which, literally, three seconds after I say something my character says the exact same thing. After getting past the fact that the creators actually put thought into what the players say, you actually have a great soundtrack that fits with the mood of your gaming. Furthermore, any gun-themed song, whether rap, punk, or pop you might apply via custom soundtrack fits within the gameplay and brings you in even more.
A good multiplayer game, however, not a great one. Multiplayer expands upon the already great gameplay of the campaign mode, using tactics within battle rather than sheer brute strength to win a match. Throw in some greatly organized maps that allow you to actually enact these tactics, and the fact that weapons are only placed on a map if they suit the map, you have great multiplayer. However, because of one little shortcoming, the lack of a larger amount of combatants (you're limited to 4-on-4 matches), the multiplayer does not garner a perfect score, and becomes simply good. Another flaw is quite possibly, a flaw that is present in just about every game that has ever sold successfully, yet has online play. In ranked matches, you wouldn't be hard pressed to find individuals that take the game way too seriously, and would rather win than have fun. However, they seem to be the minority of the online Gears community, so it doesn't really merit a deduction in points.
With the aforementioned multiplayer in effect, as well as the ability to play as Dom in campaign mode, whether it be with a friend that's present, or via Xbox Live, you have almost unlimited replayability. Not to mention the plain and simple fact that you have numerous different Gamer Achievements to unlock. However, I have found that unless I am playing locally within my dorms, that I do not play Gears, therefore I cannot give it a perfect score.
Overall Score: 10/10
This is not an average, cumulative, or anything like that. Yes, I realize that in some areas I stated that Gears didn't garner a perfect score, but this score is in relation to all other games I have played. There are a few games that are leaps and bounds above their counterparts, and this is one of them, plain and simple. A great, yet short campaign mode, mixed with a good multiplayer mode, and something that's been missing for years, a working cover system, makes Gears of War the best game of 2006, and a game that any Xbox 360 owner must have.
Reviewer's Score: 10/10 | Originally Posted: 10/24/08
Game Release: Gears of War (US, 11/07/06)
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