By: Steven Knauer
As anticipated, “Gears of War 3” hit harder than the soldiers hitting cover. With greater than 1 million pre-orders and a yet-to-be-determined number of sales straight off the rack, this game will definitely be counted as a win for videogame company “Epic Games.” Released on Sept. 20, it was awarded a score of 9.0 from websites such as IGN.com. It shows just how this game seals off the trilogy.
The game itself has the familiar feel ofthird person action that was so nicely delivered by the first two games. It follows the war between the COG and their mysterious adversaries, the Locust. In the previous game, Delta Squad, a group of soldiers called “Gears,” learned that their enemy fed on a resource deep underground called emulsion and mutated into something they now call the Lambent. The plot thickens as it starts to become a three-sided war for the planet.
The shooting in the game is spot on, as expected from the franchise. For those familiar to the series, the reloading mechanic, hitting the shoulder button at the indicated spot in the bar, is slightly altered. It is exactly the same for the Lancer assault rifle, but for every other gun, this “sweet spot” is in a different part of the bar. For instance, a new gun called the Retro Lancer, a pre-Emergence day rifle, is obviously less accurate, but stronger. That being said, its “sweet spot” is later in the bar than the regular Lancer, as it physically takes longer to load, adding an all new strategy to the game. Another new strategy is forced on the player when facing certain new lambent enemies. Being mutated and deformed, they grow tentacles that can easily reach over cover to harm the player, causing you to move about more often.
Moving along to the multiplayer, this game harkens back to the golden age of gaming: the days of un-lockables. Before the invention of downloadable content, which is sold at a price, games had clever ways of showing just how good a player is at a game by rewarding their skills with unlockable guns, skills, characters etc. Gears of War 3 chose this noble way for their game, making multiplayer that much more enjoyable. The Multiplayer modes themselves are Team Death Match, Capture the Flag/leader, the infamous Horde Mode and a new one called Beast Mode.
Everyone familiar with the series knows about Horde Mode, the “survive as long as you can against innumerous waves of enemies,” but the new Beast Mode adds to the mix by allowing you to play as the enemy. You start out as a basic enemy troop attacking human enemies, then as your teams kill count grows, you unlock the ability to play as stronger and stronger troops. The goal of this mode is the same as Team Death Match, just with a tactical twist.
Being just as testosterone filled as the previous games, as well as a few heart strings being plucked here and there, the score of 9.0 seems much deserved. This game can be enjoyed by avid fans of the series and casual gamers alike because chain sawing an enemy in half is still fun five years later.