Review by Solaire2

"A passable, but ultimately not entertaining title"

PREFACE:
I am not taking into consideration any element of online play with this review. There is a reason for it, as online play is not a constant.

REVIEW:
1) Gameplay (4/10)
Honestly I feel like Gears of War's gameplay is flawed. The cover-shoot system does work well, but the problem comes into play when you enter the realm of controls. The system is tedious and slow. As many of you know the characters here look like they are 300 pounds, all upper body weight, well the controls really hit that point home. Movements and slow, but powerful; this is a very far cry from shooters with tighter, more responsive controls like Halo, Resistance, and Half-Life. You can really pick up on that here as well, movement and motion doesn't feel fluid, instead feeling forced and robotic.

Aside from the controls the rest of the game plays fairly well, the AI takes advantage of the combat system well, and the action is done well.

2) Visual and Audio Presentation (9/10)
The visual presentation is top notch. There is really nothing to complain about here, other than elements of dating. In typical Epic fashion, here is where the game shines. The visuals are signature, something that sings Gears of War; the sound is wonderful and realistic. This is the one area that draws you into the canon, one area that for video-game generations to come this will be the stamp that is undeniably Gears.

3) Replay Value (5/10)
This is one area I will give some points to online play as this truly extends the life of the game. Unfortunately there is not much else unlocked other than a new difficulty level to challenge players further.

4) Story (2/10)
I have to admit here is where I am truly disappointed in the game. The concept was original, the whole idea of an “alien” race growing underneath the surface of the planet. It is something ripe with potential; there are all kinds of outlets that could be explored as the relationship or lack thereof between the Humans and the Locust, or how exactly small changes could bring about such hatred. Some point that could be truly impactful, instead this is generally washed over. The dialogue is stock at best, the majority of the questions about the Locust are left unanswered, even simple things like how they came to be seem to be almost completely ignored. Outside of providing some unique over-the-top bosses, the Locust could be substituted with any random number of aliens from various Sci-Fi realms. There is no element brought to this game in this category to give it identity. It's almost as if someone clever came up with the concept, but left the story to be written by someone in a Middle School English Class. Even simple story elements like the motivation of the heroes for the most part is left to the assumptions of the player, and even the main 4 characters are under-developed to say the least. At the end of the game, none of the characters are changed for better or worse by the events, there is no impact there.

OVERALL: 5/10


Reviewer's Score: 5/10 | Originally Posted: 12/08/08

Game Release: Gears of War (US, 11/07/06)


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