Gears of War Thoughts

Gears of War, the most hyped-up, biggest game for the 360 is now upon. Having played the game for quite awhile now, I thought I should offer up my thoughts on this splendid blog of mine.

First of all, you will see the graphics. And you will marvel in them. They are truly next-gen in a way no other game has captured, and I would say it is the best looking game I have ever seen. On top of that, the frame rate is very smooth, with little slowdown at all (at least from what I’ve played). Characters and environments are detailed and have that grimy, dirty look to them that really put you inside this raging war between you and the Locust. Environments also take damage, contain great effects like bloom lighting, fire effects, and more. This game is truly THE GAME to show off to your buddies, if anyone is in that position.

But, as we’ve seen before, graphics aren’t everything. When it comes down to it, Gears of War is a shooter. It doesn’t have anything terribly innovative, but it does everything, and I mean everything, right. Cover works beautifully using only the A button; within an hour of playing, you will have no doubt mastered all the cover techniques, creating some great looking (and highly useful) cover combos (a personal favorite of mine is jumping right into cover, popping a few shots, then roadie running up to an enemy and letting them taste the old chainsaw – which is one of the best weapons ever I might add). Like I said, nothing super new, but it all just comes together in the most polished gaming package this side of Half-Life 2. Another plus is that the somewhat monotonous-on-paper idea of stop-n-pop game play doesn’t ever really get old. You constantly find yourself using new types of cover and new techniques and manuvers, which keep the game fresh and new, always. And with the wide variety of weapons and special enemies, its hard to get bored of killing those nasty Locust.

The Locust themselves are rather smart as well. While the A.I. isn’t perfect (some baddies, especially those who just got shot off the turrets, seem to have some problems shooting you) it is still plenty sufficient for a challenging game. It is one of the harder shooters of recent memory, something that I can appreciate as I don’t have endless amounts of cash to spend on a game, and I like to get my money’s worth.

Multiplayer in the game is, in some ways, barebones with only 4-on-4 matches, and something like 8 maps, but what is there is incredibly fun. The cover really adds a new aspect to the run-and-gun norm we have become accustomed to with games like Halo 2 and Unreal Tournament. There’s nothing like jumping out of cover to chainsaw some poor saps face either (for those who haven’t noticed, I’m a pretty big chainsaw fan).

I suppose the only negative thing I can say about the game is that the storyline isn’t very innovative. It has a very simple feel to it, with a basic “you get out of jail to find a gadget that can end the war”. While this isn’t too big of a negative, considering the genre and the fun had, it would have still been nice to see a more fleshed out narrative.

Overall, Gears of War is easily one of the best games for the system. Great graphics, fresh game play and intense firefights make this one a “hype live-up-tooer”, if you will. Snag this one right away (like you already haven’t).

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