XBOX 360: Gears of War 3 Review

👤by Richard Weatherstone Comments 📅06-10-11
Being a big fan of Gears of War franchise, it was with great anticipation and trepidation that I began to play through the campaign mode. I was fearful that EPIC may have taken the franchise a step too far and perhaps diluted the raw gameplay of the previous two award winning titles. We have seen this countless times where a developer plays on previous titles and releases a re-hash of existing material in order to fill their coffers.

To some respect that sentiment is true of Gears of War 3. This however is no bad thing as the game retains (for the most part) the most appealing attractions of the original games and yet adds to them with some beautiful graphics. Nobody can accuse Gear of War 3 of being drab. The scenery and detailed figures are very well designed and draw you into the game very well. The Unreal 3 engine, while becoming dated by today’s professional standards showed no signs of its age thanks to the developer’s liberal use of polish both in campaign and multiplayer scenarios. Cole's return to his hometown is a fine example of what can still be achieved.

The new features do not detract from the ethos of the GOW franchise in that all of the familiarity of previous titles are their yet there are a few additional features which are likely to appeal to all and sundry such as the 4-player co-op mode and deliciously tactical Beast mode. The gore, foul language and brashness of the gameplay are still there and in generous amounts for gamers to gorge themselves on. There are some nice touches throughout the games storyline, both heart-felt and humorous which adds to the sense of being in the game and not just a bit-part spectator, something few games can claim to do today. The tremendous musical score only serves to add to the atmosphere.

The game however is not without its flaws.

As with the previous titles, the game becomes a little too linear which all but destroys the sense of realism. I was left frustrated as I stood by a flimsy wooden door with my chainsaw bayonet buzzing away and a bandolier of grenades to hand only to be told I wasn't ready to go there yet. Some may think this is simply nit-picking and to a certain degree I would agree however I think it is important to point out that people who prefer freedom to roam may be left with a bitter taste in their mouth when these scenarios rear their ugly heads.

Another area I was left with a little disappointment was the Multiplayer area. While it certainly adds longevity to the game, many I feel will be turned off by the rolling and shooting of the shotgun carriers which is hardly realistic, much like the bunny-hopping found on many online multiplaying first person shooters today. How could EPIC solve this? It seems they have no intention of doing so as instead of getting rid of the close quarters shooting aspect the added to it with the immensely powerful sawn-off shotgun! I also felt the EPIC games are slowly succumbing to the Call of Duty-esque 'Perks'. Epic do however ensure that new players can easily join in the fun. Whether you stay in the game would however depend on your style of gameplay.

Despite this, I keep going back to the game and having another blast. Such is the refined, addictive gameplay of the GOW3 Empire. It is a very polished game from start to finish. Fans of the game will be left with a grin on their faces as the game finishes by answering questions of the previous incarnations without posing more questions that previously left us waiting a few years to be answered.

My one hope is that this is not the last we will see of Gears of War because upon finishing the campaign, I was left with a sense that I was waving goodbye to an old friend, never to be seen again. While Gears of War 3 is near the perfect finale to a fantastic gaming franchise, we always crave for our next gaming fix and I'm sure EPIC are aware of this. So here's hoping for a further injection of Immulisifed infected, Locust swarming, chainsaw chewing, brutal furore in the return of Gears of War. Until then I'm off for a few more rounds of Horde!

+ Great Storyline
+ Polished graphical content
+ Copious amounts of violence
+ 4 Player co-op
+ Refined Multiplayer
+ Ties up all of the loose ends of previous games

- Very Linear
- Overpowered shotgun (multiplayer)
- Swearing becomes monotonous and over used rather than punctuated

Click here for an explanation of our awards at Credit goes to Crotale and II EVOL ONE II for the rendered images in this review. Thanks go to Microsoft for supplying our review sample.

4 pages 1 2 3 4