Gears of War Review
Well, here it is. We weren't early adopters of the Xbox 360. One of the things that finally made us purchase the console was seeing Gears of War being played at our brother's house (initial meeting with the Berserker).
We know, we know ... the game has been out for a year now, and is about to be released for the PC (with new levels, an editor, etc), and we're just now getting a review out. What's the deal?
After seeing that level (and getting hooked on a completely different, guitar related game), we had to buy it.
Shortly after purchasing the system, Halo 3 came out, and we got busy beating that game up on Nightmare.
Right about now you're probably wondering: which one is better?
I'd have to say Gears of War beats Halo 3 in almost every aspect of the game IF you like a darker, grittier, more realistic (i.e. no jumping around in battle to avoid the guy trying to frag you) gaming experience. I definitely fall into this category ... It threw me off when I hopped onto Halo 3 and Xbox Live and had everyone jumping in the air to avoid being shot. I mean, that just doesn't happen in a gun fight.
I really like the one button "take cover" feature that they built into the game, as well as the soundtrack. I liked the soundtrack so much, in fact, that I went out and bought it.
Voice acting is pretty good as well. I literally found myself laughing out loud during some of the dialogue. Some of the things that they say are downright hilarious.
Along with the soundtrack, and voice acting, the sound effects are great too. Playing in surround-sound is the only way to go with this game. I found myself turning to look at my rear speakers more then once to see what was making that freaky noise behind me, not to mention the bass (combined with controller rattling) from thunder.
The graphics are amazing, and the animation is top notch (watch the "extras" DVD that comes with the collector's edition to see some great behind-the-scenes footage). The gorilla run is AWESOME, and blowing people away at point-blank range has never looked better ... Or bloodier. It actually turned me off initially, there was just so much blood and mess everywhere, but I found myself looking forward to chain-sawing Locusts, or popping heads off with the magnum pistol.
I was actually surprised out how well the multiplayer works. I initially thought that there was no way to get a good game in when you were limited to only 8 players. Boy was I wrong. The multiplayer is as addicting, if not more, then the campaign mode. The only issue I have is that you can't invite your friends into a ranked match (unless you host it), so it makes getting into the same game a little tricky (ranked matches don't give you a host-name like the player matches do).
The game looks great, sounds great, why didn't it get 10/10?
There are only two issues I have with the game.
It kills me that the crosshairs are only displayed when you pull the left trigger.
2. Aiming is slow:
Even with the controller sensitivity turned all the way up, it still moves a little too slow for my tastes ... This may be due to the fact that I'm coming from a PC background.
3. Story/Campaign Conclusion:
I don't want to give anything away, but when I beat the game, it literally took me at least two minutes to realize that it was the last level. It ends rather suddenly (I thought there were at least one or two more levels to go).
In the end I took points off the game play due to the crosshair and speed issue (only 1 point). I had to dock 2 for the story ending so abruptly, and I took 1 point for replayability ... Finding the COGs in the campaign mode just isn't enough for me to go through the game again, although getting another one of my friends to play, and seeing their reaction to some of the more intense stages of the game, would definitely be worth playing through again.
I'm looking forward to a Gears of War 2. They definitely left it open for one, and I think the game has done well enough that it's a no-brainer.
Final Verdict: 10/10
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