Review by horror_spooky
...to power the machines of destruction.
Gears of War was THE game for the Xbox 360. The series has truly defined the console, and with two epic games already, the storyline right now for the series looks to end with a bang in Gears of War 3.
Gears 3 is the same Gears of War we've all come to know and love, except way more polished. The game runs perfectly, with gorgeous visuals unprecedented on the Xbox 360, and there are virtually no graphical hiccups or technical issues. After all, Epic Games had five six years with the Xbox 360 by the time Gears of War 3 released, and I'd expect nothing less.
The storyline is somewhat of a disappointment. Four player co-op for the campaign is fun, but otherwise, it's just the same old Gears of War stuff, just with a better coat of paint and a few new toys here and there. That's not to say that that isn't awesome in and of itself, but overall, I found the plot to be lacking of what I'd expect from an epic finale of the Xbox 360's flagship franchise. The game really heats up about halfway through, having one fantastic moment after another, but after that, everything sort of goes down hill. The game expects us to care about Marcus and his relationship with his father, but the problem with that is that we haven't even seen his father until this game, and even then, Marcus isn't exactly easy to care about. Hell, in Gears of War 2, they barely mention Marcus's dad, which takes quite a bit of air out of the sails for Gears of War 3's plot, or at least the emotional impact of it.
Gears of War 3 has the best multiplayer in franchise history. The matchmaking has been vastly improved, and there's a lot more game types that don't have needlessly confusing games. The new Team Deathmatch mode feels like a blend between the fast-paced action and the more strategic Gears of War 3 multiplayer gameplay, and it's a match made in heaven. With a ton of challenges to conquer and medals to unlock, the multiplayer is really fleshed out in Gears 3, providing the best multiplayer experience in the series history. I was a bit disappointed that the game still only supports two players in split-screen, but the split-screen online is a blast and better than it has ever been.
Rounding out the Gears experience is two new takes on the popular horde mode. The regular version of horde mode now features a new tower defense system that allows you to purchase new structures in order to help you ward off the locust swarm a bit easier. The maps are very well designed for horde, I'd argue more than they are for multiplayer, and it's a lot more entertaining than it was before. The other version of horde mode available in the game is called beast mode. This is reverse horde mode, in which you play as the enemies and try to destroy the defenses of the human players and kill them. It was an interesting change of perspective, but overall, I wasn't too blown away with beast mode, and I wish it was better fleshed out.
Gears of War 3 is a very good game, but it's really just more of the same Gears of War with better polish. The novelty of the game has worn off by this third installment and the thousands of imitators, and the storyline is a disappointment that runs out of steam well before the credits roll. However, it's the multiplayer and co-op experiences that really help Gears of War 3 reach the next level. It could have, and should have, been better, but Gears of War 3 is still a great game that is worthy of any fan of the series, or anyone that owns a 360.
Rating: 4.0 - Great
Product Release: Gears of War 3 (US, 09/20/11)
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