Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gears of War 3 Conclusion

Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3 is the epic conclusion of the Gears of War Trilogy. Epic Games has pulled off something that any video game developer will tell you, three consecutive games that are brilliant and hit just about every goal the team strived for. Gears of War 3 introduces new enemies, engages the player in an enthralling story, maintains interest in the characters players have come to know and love, and continues to set the bar for single and online gameplay. So the question remains, is Gears of War 3 worth the investment? ? Is it really worth my money? And it really as good as people say it is? Read on, see what I think, and then decide for yourselves.
Gears of War 3 Overview
Gears of War 3 takes place two years after the fall of Jacinto, the last human city. In a desperate, last-ditch attempt to wipe out the Locust Horde and ensure the future of man kind, Jacinto was sacrificed. To the dismay of the survivors, it was all in vain. As those who remain settle the secluded island known as Vectes, a new threat emerges in the form of the Lambent. Cairman Prescott has disappeared, and COG (The Coalition of Ordered Governments) has been disbanded. Knowing the survivors are vulnerable, and with humanity’s military in complete disarray, the Lambent strike against Vectes. Marcus Fenix and his squad rise to meet the Lambent in a battle to determine the fate of the human race on Sera.
Gears of War 3 Single Player
Gears of War 3 has improved upon the already high standards players expect from Epic Games. In no place is the more true than in the single player experience. Gears of War 3, and its predecessors are an anomaly among shooters in this day and age. By that I mean, there are so few shooters out there that truly have an engaging story to tell, and even fewer still that can actually get the players to care. The campaign is an adrenaline rush. There are plenty of moments that will tear at the player’s heart strings, and in the end, players will feel completely invested in the overall story. The spectacular campaign is easily 10-13 hours of solid gameplay, depending on whether or not you play with friends and on what difficulty level. Play split screen, or online with up to three other players. It doesn’t matter, either way, you and your friends will have a blast and I highly recommend you play this game at least with one other person.

Gears of War 3 Trailer Youtube vid by IGN

Gears of War 3 Narrative
One complaint some players may have is with the narrative of Gears of War 3. The story, at times, seems to take a few detours. But bear with it as each story arc plays a key role in regards to the overall plot of the story and it’s main themes: Man’s indomitable spirit, sacrifice, and our drive to survive and prosper even against seemingly impossible odds.
Gears of War 3 Level Design
As far as level design in Gears of War 3, players have cause to rejoice. Many complained about the linear levels that mostly felt like corridors Epic Games has done its best to alleviate the fears of gamers who didn’t want Gears of War 3 to continue this negative trend. In Gears of War 3, players will duke it out with the Locust and Lambent in vibrant set pieces with beautiful environments that do a stellar job in immersing the players into the world while creating that perfect sense of action and desperation. Compared to the first Gears of War game, players may not experience many “first times” such as the first time a Berserker came charging straight at them in a narrow hall with almost nowhere to run or hide. But the game does manage to keep the heart pumping. Players will have to use the many weapons, both old and new to their advantage, and come up with some strategies as many enemies are only vulnerable at certain points on the body. Not to mention some Lambent explode right in your face when you kill them. Flanking is emphasized a bit more in Gears of War 3 than in One and Two, but this adds to the fun. For those in need of a more competitive fix, try out the campaign in arcade mode to compare your scores to a friend earn bragging rights.
Gears of War 3 Multiplayer
Gears of War 3 has an amazing multiplayer few games could ever hope to match. Horde Mode, a fan favorite, makes a triumphant return and is even better than before. Earn money as you shoot down your enemies and spend the cash on defenses and fortifications to increase your chances of survival. And as each new wave is more difficult than the last, good luck towards the end, you’ll need it. New to the series is Beast Mode. Beast Mode was heavily advertised by developers and many promises were made. Players looking forward to this new mode but were a bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype can rest at ease. Beast mode is everything we ever hoped it would be. Become your favorite Locust/Lambent and use its special abilities to take on increasingly difficult waves of human AI. The first time you rip the arm off a poor soldier and bludgeon him to death with it is an experience of its own.
Gears of War 3 Servers 
Of course, Gears of War 3 has the more traditional online modes as well. One of my favorites being Team Death Match, which is exactly what it sounds like. Capture the Territory is essentially your king of the hill game. Other modes have some exciting twists, such as Capture the Leader. One team strives to capture the other team’s selected leader and hold him/ her for as long as possible. As you can imagine, it is the other team’s job to kill the other team and protect their leader. One of my personal favorites is Execution in which the only way to score a real kill is by executing an enemy with one of the brutal kill animations that differ based on the weapon the player is using. And for those who were worried that the lag from Gears of War 2 online would carry over, don’t be. It’s been taken care of with dedicated servers that ensure this game can be played the way it’s meant to be played. So no more blaming lag with a better player gets the jump on you and splatters your brains on the pavement.

Gears of War 3 E3 Demo Youtube vid by IGN

Gears of War 3 Curb-Stomp-er
For all the things Gears of War 3 does right, there are, however, a few things it does wrong. The dialogue does make this sense of comradery for the most part, but there are times when the game tries a little to hard to say something epic that will have some players scoffing or rolling their eyes. While the gameplay as been tweaked and polished for the most part, there really isn’t anything new about the gameplay mechanics that stand out, and for many, much of what they do will feel like something they’ve done a hundred times before. The bosses may look cool, but thee is very little brain power required to overcome them, in fact, most are simply blasting away with your gun until the big guy drops. The last boss in particular was a disappointment, just like the previous games.
Gears of War 3 Final Verdict
Gears of War 3 is an outstanding game. Epic Games more than delivers and creates a near perfect sendoff for the beloved trilogy. The single player campaign is fast-paced and gorgeous to look at. The multiplayer is stellar all around and will have players gaming for hours on end. And though Gears of War 3 isn’t a perfect game, it is a shooter with a story and characters the player actually cares about For those who haven’t bought the game yet, be sure to do so, especially if third-person shooters are your thing. Gears of War 3 earns a solid 9 out of 10.

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