As a result of getting an Xbox 360 late into the proverbial game, I had a huge backlog of titles to catch up on. After going through Mass Effect’s, Dragon Age’s, Bioshock and many titles with the word Dead in it, I felt like I finally caught up early in 2011 and was able to enjoy more games as they were released. I had heard many great things about Gears of War from many friends of mine, but these were largely from people who were into Halo and Call of Duty, neither of which I was a fan of. After some persuading and borrowing the original Gears of War from my brother, I decided it was time to find out for myself whether or not I would enjoy it.
Full spoilers for all Gears of Wars below.
Since I had thoroughly finished Mass Effect 2 with all achievements, I decided to try out Gears of War on Hardcore and some ran into some frustrating portions at times but managed to endure it. I enjoyed experimenting with many weapons, was impressed that they had some limited collectibles in the form of COG tags and felt pretty accomplished when I defeated Raam. He was such a bitch to defeat, but eventually my shotgun took care of him.
Shortly after completing Gears of War, I decided to borrow Gears of War 2 from my friend Bruce. Fortunately, it didn’t suffer from the typical issues that sequels suffer from, instead it kept everything that worked from the first game and improved upon it. I really enjoyed the character Carmine and really felt terrible when he was killed, I was hoping that he would become a true hero and evolve throughout the story. I was impressed with the amount of variety in weapons and all of the interesting mounts throughout the game. Also the story appeared to be more fleshed out. I’m a sucker for collectibles especially when there is a little bit of story behind each individual collectible. The only issue I could see was that this was clearly a transitional game setting up for a third part. Fortunately, I had already purchased Gears of War 3 and was ready to start right away.
Mere days after completing Gears of War 2, my friend Sam and I, decided to play Gears 3 together. This time I was the second player and was expecting to feel as if I were missing out on key elements of gameplay. Fortunately, I was wrong and never felt like I was denied the right to be awesome. The co-op story mode of Gears of War 3 was my first Gears multiplayer experience and it ended up being a blast. Gears 3 definitely felt more fluid than the other games, but was at times very hectic with all of the Lambent exploding everywhere. I was delighted to see a surviving Carmine brother throughout the game. I really loved all of the variety throughout the game, including the rail sequences. I tried out Hoard Mode for the first time in Gears of War 3 and realized that it was like a hands on tower defense game, which is simply amazing in my book. Gotta go back to play Hoard in Gears 2.
I don’t think there is much to say about Gears of War as a whole that has not already been said. I have to say that I was wrong to think that this was a typical meathead shooter. I look forward to revisiting the first two games from the co-pilot perspective and would like to sink my teeth into hoard mode a little further. I really did not expect to enjoy these games so much and when they decide to make a new title or prequel, you’d best believe I will pick it up. So the moral of the story is don’t judge a game by it’s cover… well unless it’s one of those Bratz games or other shovel ware. Well back to Final Fantasy XIII-2.