Review by Galactus21
"Let them come I say. Let them come."
Five years ago
Five years ago, I played a fantastic third person shooter. It certainly was a title that helped define this generation. Whether or not you are a fan of shooters, or the direction this generation of video games has taken, the first Gears title left one thing certain the amount of love the developers had given it. This was apparent through the breathtaking graphics at the time, as well as the superb cover and shooting system that was in place. Gears of War 3 extends on the successful formula and provides a dynamic and breathtaking experience that is unmatched by other shooters.
The stories behind the Gears games have never been complex. It has been simple and easy to follow. It worked for the first two titles and continues this tried and true formula for the third installment. The setting takes place two years after the end of Gears of War 2. Familiar faces, such as Marcus Fenix, Baird, and Cole Train make their return. The Locusts are no longer underground, and are not in the best of shape. The COG are not doing much better either, as depicted in the early parts of the game. The Lambent, Locusts exposed to lambent, are running rampant and causing chaos throughout. Events during the early parts of the game quickly setup the plot. Most of which however are filler for the true purpose of Gears to shoot enemies in brutal fashion.
Gears of War 3 the definitive shooter of this generation
If you have played previous Gears of War games, then there isn't much that will surprise you. Most of the content will be familiar. The factors that separate the third installment from previous ones are new weapons, tremendous pacing, stellar chapters, and fantastic game play. Not to say previous Gears of War titles did not feature such brilliant designs, but Gears of War 3 simply extends upon the tremendous foundation already built. The game play is where Gears of War 3 shines. The utilization of the cover system in Gears is not only back, but better than ever. Movements between cover, as you shift from structure to structure is seamless. Not only that, running up to particular structures and diving out of harm's way offers the sense of the cohesive game play that exists within Gears of War 3.
Much of this seamlessness is due to the game's superb controls. Controls are slick and utilize the Xbox 360 controller marvelously. With the amount of action going on during gun battles, the controls are absolutely superb. The ability to dodge, fire, and various melee options flow with swift precision. The fantastic controls allow game play to work in the context of Gears of War. You can switch between targets almost effortlessly, such as scenarios where you are attacking a certain enemy and need to quickly switch your efforts towards another.
Like previous Gears of War games, when you're reloading a weapon, a marker will start moving. There will be a given white area where landing the marker in that particular spot will reload the weapon correctly, rather than jamming the weapon. During hectic battle situations, this adds to the overall intensity. I think this simulates the intense situations nicely, as you need to be on your toes during these situations. Moreover, the weapons within the game felt were varied and controlled well. Sniper rifles offered allowed you to pick enemies off from far away, while shotguns can dispatch enemies in messy fashion up close. The weapon variety was fantastic. Not to mention, the different weapons allow you to dispose enemies in different and messy ways.
Executions are also a fantastic mechanic within the context of Gears of War. It fits for this bloody and violent game. After mowing down Locusts with your weapons, there are scenarios where they will keel over. These situations allow you to approach and finish them in brutal fashion, such as a stomp to the face. In addition, the ability to use the lancer and its chainsaw is back. You can maneuver Marcus Fenix towards an enemy, rev up that chainsaw, and watch the bloody chaos ensue. A modified lancer is also introduced, where you can use it as a bayonet instead. These types of finishes fit the game and add to the overall experience.
Gears of War 3 also feature several breathtaking and fantastic chapters, such as the submarine level, as well as the Cole Train portion. These levels were especially memorable. While these levels standout, almost all chapters were fantastic. Within these chapters are multiple enemies for you to take down. Moreover, there are well placed boss fights during these chapters. The boss fights were intense and fun. Gears of War 3 is a fairly long game for a shooter, but it feels like it goes by quickly due to the game's overall quality. The game's value is extended due to its online multiplayer functionalities.
As with its previous installments, Gears of War 3 is a fantastic looking game. Character models look detailed, highlighted by their movements and facial features. Animation looks great. This can be seen through the action throughout the game. Execution and fire fights showcase the fantastic animation, as these elements are pleasing to the eye. Given the amount of action going on, the game also runs smoothly. Cut scenes also look great and add to the overall experience of the game. The soundtrack is also very appealing and fits the overall mood of the game. Like previous Gears of War titles, this installation also features the rough and tough voice acting for its characters.
A fitting end to the trilogy
Like previous Gears of War titles, the third installment is fantastic and epic experience. The additions, as well as the overall feel of the game puts this game above its predecessors. It not only extends on previous greatness, but it feels like an amazing sequel and end to a trilogy. Gears of War 3 is one of the premier shooters of this generation. It features fantastic game play littered throughout multiple chapters, coupled with an outstanding soundtrack and beautiful graphics. Gears of War 3's online multiplayer is icing on the cake. Taking all these elements into context makes Gears of War 3 one of the better titles on the Xbox 360. You would be missing out on a fun experience if you didn't pick it up. Do yourself a favor and purchase this title.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 01/06/12, Updated 04/04/17
Game Release: Gears of War 3 (US, 09/20/11)
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