Must buy Gears of War 3

Roberto Campos

Tuesday marked the end of Epic Games’ highly anticipated and fastest pre-selling exclusive title for the Xbox 360, Gears of War 3.

Being the last game in the trilogy, Gears of War 3 has a lot to live up to. But does the third-person shooter really live up to its predecessors and to all the hype it’s been given?

The campaign to Gears of War 3 is astonishing. Cliff Bleszinski, the creative mind and lead designer to the game, claimed that summer movies didn’t end until Gears of War 3 came out. And it’s safe to say his claim was right.

Gears of War 3 starts two years after the second game and the human race is facing impending doom. Marcus Fenix, the stories main protagonist and the rest of the human race are all stranded on an earth-like planet called Sera. The government has collapsed and humans are making refuge where they can, but the future doesn’t look too bright for them.

The humans and the Locust, an underground humanoid species who were originally your only enemy, are now trying to survive against a new enemy called the Lambent. The Lambent are basically exploding locust.

The first two Gears of War games were fairly simple in terms of story. The characters had little depth to them and the theme of the game was to survive against impossible odds. If you’ve never played a Gears of War game, don’t fret they have a video option that catches you up to speed on the story.

You can expect the same kind of gameplay from the previous installments in this game. The difference here is that battles are going to be on a much larger scale than they’ve ever been before. You’ll face colossal monsters and see beautiful post-apocalyptic environments. At points in the game I found myself looking at the scenery in awe of the detail to the game and its environments. Of course you’ll have some more toys to play with too.

The big difference between this game and its predecessors is how much attention it pays to individual characters. Epic Games really focused on telling a story in this game. At points in the game you will be playing other characters than Marcus Fenix. You’ll learn more about the characters in Fenix’s squad, Delta Squad, and get a feel of where they came from and what they’ve lost in their struggles. Epic Games does such a great job a doing this.

Throughout the campaign when waves of enemies are coming at you and cut scene after cut scene leaves you wondering what’s going to happen next, you’ll care what happens to the characters, which is a quality that has been lost in a lot of shooting games campaigns these days.

With a bigger campaign, the new addition of four player co-op and multiple difficulties the Gears of War 3 campaign will have you coming back for more. But that’s not all Gears is about.

When Gears of War 2 shipped the online experience was terrible. It was impossible to find games, textures wouldn’t load, and it was just a bad experience at first. Epic Games learned from their mistakes and last spring held a beta and pushed back the games release date. It was the best decision they could have ever made.

Launch day, Gears of War 3 had no significant problems. It was easy to find games, everything loaded when it was supposed to, Epic Games learned from the past.

Game play wise Gears of War is a totally different shooting game than anything out right now, and it’s not just because it’s a third-person over-the-shoulder game.

If you’ve ever played Gears you know what to expect in terms of how people are killed in this game. If you’ve never played Gears of War, there is a gun with a chainsaw on it. Gears of War is brutal when it comes to killing. It’s not your Halo or your Call of Duty. When you kill someone with a shotgun…they explode. When you headshot someone…there’s no head left. Epic Games has always been creative when it comes to the ways you can kill in the game. And with the addition of flamethrower executions and bayonet executions, you’ll find yourself constantly trying to pull off these moves to humiliate opponents.

The controls to this game are superb. Everything is so fluid and reacts perfectly to the moves that you want to perform. I can’t go back to the other Gears games because of how excellent Gears of War 3 are.

You don’t feel big and bulky anymore. Horde Mode has been revamped and works more like Call of Duty’s zombies game mode. You can buy weapons and barbed fence to defend locations in hopes that you will survive all 50 waves of enemies. Enemies still come in waves set a fix number and there is rest time between each round. It works better than Gears of War 2’s horde and is more addicting with all the options you are given in terms of defending. It also allows you to play with up to five friends or random people online.

Multiplayer mode is called Beast Mode. Essentially its horde, but instead of being humans you’re the Locust. It is addicting because of the variety of Locust that you can be and it’s a change good change of pace if you’re burnt out on a certain mode. Plus, who doesn’t want to be the bad guy.

Gears of War 3 is an amazing game. Epic Games crams so much into this game that it’s actually a bargain at $60. Every game type has so much replay value on it and so much to do that you’ll be coming back to it for months.

If you have an Xbox 360, do yourself a favor and at least rent this game. In my opinion it’s a must own. I give Gears of War 3 a 9.5/10.