We Hunted - Gears of War 3
Epic is a word often overused. It is used with big movies and best sellers. It is used with larger than life descriptions and often with video games. It’s even the name of the developer for the Gears of War series. However, there is no better word that can be used to describe Gears of War 3 than “epic.”
Picking up where the series left off, GoW3 puts players back into Delta Squad, a ragtag team of hardened soldiers as they battle the Locust Horde, an inhuman race of reptilian soldiers and the Lambent, their glowing, super-powered mutated offshoot. Fans of the series, the audience that GoW3 will be aimed at, will be on pins and needles to find out the final fate of Marcus Fenix and his fellows Cogs as the world of Sera comes to a close.
The graphics of Gears 3 are impressive. From a floating fortress to a jungle landscape, the look of the game is worthy of pausing just to appreciate. The soldiers are signature big people in big armor and they look the part. Rain slicks on weapons. Spittle from Locust beasts lands on the screen. Using the Unreal Engine 3 technology, Gears of War 3, a gritty war game, is beautiful.
The sound is dead on. Tickers, living ordinance that scuttle on flea-like legs, click in the distance. Landers rattle as they deliver firestorms in gunfights. The voice-over acting is finely turned as returning actors John DiMaggio and Lester Speight deliver some of the best lines in any game on the market. New to the series are rapper Ice-T and sci-fi favorite Claudia Black as newly added characters Griffin and Sam respectively.
The game controls as its predecessors. Any new players to the series would be wise to start with Gears 1 and 2 in order to familiarize themselves with swapping weapons, reloading and running in the realistic war-movie shake of darting to cover. Each weapon also allows for its own special execution when the Horde are on their last leg. GoW3 also features control layouts for the Loader, an exo-skeleton used for heavy lifting and the Silverback, an exo-skeleton used for battle.
The story of Gears 3 unfolds and keeps players on their seat. Time will literally melt as you keep telling yourself “one more checkpoint.” Every act opens up more questions while delivering answers. The relationship and weight of Marcus Fenix and his father Adam plays throughout the game. Additional details are given about the current condition of humanity after the fall of Jacinto and a new surprise enemy rears its ugly head. Lives will be lost. Lives will be saved. There is grief, there is hope and this is the end to the series (or at least the current story arc.)
Gears of War 3 also offers an additional gaming experience with multiplayer support that is new to the series. There is four player campaign co-operative play. There are also the Horde and Beast modes allowing gamers to suit up as the Locust battling waves of Gears or humans fighting off the inhuman barrage.
They say all things must come to an end. But not all ends are bad ones. Some things end only to begin anew and start differently. Is there life left to Gears of War? Perhaps. But one thing is for sure, that the life it has led, and the ride it has taken gamers on has been an epic one.
The edition reviewed was the Limited Edition. It contains the Gears of War 3 game, a two-day Xbox live Gold membership plus Adam Fenix download for multiplayer code, a COG flag and additional paperwork for Fenix including a will, photos and letters to Marcus. The Limited Edition retails for $79.99. Gears of War 3 is released in worldwide, except Japan, on Sept. 20, 2011. Japan releases on Sept 22.