Gears of War 3 Review
The Gears are back!
Well it’s finally here, the most anticipated game of 2011. Yes people, I’m talking about Gears of War 3. This game does not disappoint even a little bit and I am so addicted I am finding it hard to put the game down to actually write this review so let’s get into it.
Lets start with the campaign. I promise no spoilers, but the campaign was foolish. We pick up where the story left of at the end of Gears 2. So after blowing up Jacinto in Gears 2, which was another failed attempt to destroy our enemy. We start Gears 3 on a boat called Sovereign and it’s all sorts of epic from there. Marcus continues to search for his father and after getting new information about his whereabouts the mission switches focus to try to find his father, as he appears to have a new solution to the Lambent and Locust problem. Your mission takes you all over the place, revisiting places from Gears 1 and 2. Dom also deals with letting go of his wife at which time we also see a crucial twist in the game. While trying to avoid spoilers, I will say that the gameplay was much smoother and something about it made me want to play more and more. The story was so good, I never knew what was going to happen next.
One change I did not like was that you can no longer just push X to pick up ammo and weapons, you now have to hold that button and, although it was not for a long period of time, you still had to do it, and it took a second. The online co-op mode for campaign can be played with you and up to three friends, this will make Insane difficulty much more fun and easy to do. This for me is going to be a ton of fun as I love campaign co-op and do not get as jacked up for online multiplayer. The campaign was well worth the money for this game but there is more…
The online multiplayer was great overall. Horde mode is ridiculous, and that was actually the first thing I tried because I am a huge Halo firefight fan. I thought it would either be the same or not as good as Halo, but I was shocked when they put their own twist on it. Endless waves of enemies is always fun but Epic added a money system, you get money for killing enemies and your contribution to the round. Once you have money you can purchase new weapons along with defenses to help you survive the waves. Between rounds you are given time to grab some ammo and purchase some new stuff, you can also upgrade your purchases once you reach a certain level and you have the money, but you can also upgrade you friends stuff as well. Oh yeah did I mention its up to 5 player multiplayer? Yes, 5 players ripping through that many enemies is that much more fun when it is with four of your friends, not just three. I loved the horde mode and can really see myself putting a lot of hours into it. The one bad thing I could say about it is that the enemies started weak and got strong very quickly, its was like Wave 9, this is easy, and then level 10 came and I was more like “What the F*** just happened”. Overall though Horde mode was a huge plus and a great addition to the game.
The other mode is Beast mode (epic title). This is the opposite of Horde mode, so instead of being the Gears, you are the locust and go through their ranks as you level up, and break through the Cog defenses. This mode was also great, however, it was way too short, we beat it super quick and were left wanting more as it ends after Wave 12. Hopefully some DLC will come out for this mode because it was a lot of fun.
The last mode is Versus. This was also featured in Gears 2, as I said earlier I’m not a huge online person, other than the campaigns, but this showed me they can be fun. The problem I have with online is people do the same thing over and over. For example, they roll a whole bunch and then shotgun you in the face. I hate that, it gets boring after three games, but the maps included do a good job of preventing that from happening. Yes there are maps where all people do is roll around and shotgun you in the face but the majority of time it was gun battles. My favorite map was the supermarket in Cole’s hometown. I remember playing through the campaign and saying to myself that this would be a sweet multiplayer map, and it was, it was a mix of everything, gun battles and chainsaw fights made me want to play over and over. Sadly, there were people rolling and shotgunning but I was able to take them out from range or with the chainsaw so it was still fun. Versus included the following game modes: Team Deathmatch, Warzone, Execution, Capture the leader, King of the Hill and Wingman. I played majority of my matches in Team DM and played some Wingman and I found all of the modes fun, but those two were my favorite.
There are a good mix of achievements between campaign and online multiplayer, totaling 50 achievements . There are easy ones you can get just from playing the campaign and completing the acts on casual or normal difficulty. There are achievements for all game modes and ton of collectibles throughout the game which can be tricky to find.
The Gears games were overall great, I truly feel Epic learned a lot from Gears 1, which made Gears 2 great and they took what they learned from 2, and made Gears 3 the masterpiece it is. With Gears 3 being so good, I am saddened that this will be the last we see of the Gears, but do I smell a Prequel? I think the possibility is there and they would be smart to do one, but Epic games should know that if they do put The Gears to bed forever, that they did it the best possible way, and that is by saving the best for last.