Microsoft Game Studios
It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since the first Gears of War title chainsawed its way so brutally onto our screens. Redefining the way we played third person shooters online, the title was a smash hit success, and undoubtedly played a huge part in the early success of the Xbox 360, as one of the first must have games for the system. Following a somewhat disappointing sequel, which took multiple patches to bring it up to speed, Epic Games are back with the final part in the trilogy, but how does it measure up against its modern day peers?
Quite well actually. While the game certainly won’t win any awards for originality or innovation, as few final chapters of trilogies ever do, it does manage to take everything that’s come before it and polish it to within an inch of its life.
While some people were less than impressed with the quality of the storylines in the first two games, we have always been somewhat partial to the over the top machismo that oozed from their every pore, so we were happy to see that none of that has changed.
The game picks up 18 months after the last title, and Marcus Fenix finds himself behind bars once more, this time for endangering the success of a mission in order to try to save his father. Following a brief introductory mission created in order to let you shake some of the rust off those trigger fingers, you’re back into action in no uncertain terms. COG has mostly been disbanded, the Lambent are running amuck and there’s the regular Locust to worry about too.
One thing that Gears 3 really doesn’t cut back on is epic battles. Much like its predecessors, the main set pieces are a real joy to behold. Right from the early stages of the seven to eight hour long campaign you’ll be facing off against some mammoth foes, including the Leviathan that you’ll no doubt have seen from the early gameplay videos.
The usual humour is there in spades, and the witty interplay between the supporting characters far exceeds anything we’ve seen in the series to date. With plenty of new weapons and enemies to keep you on your toes, this is most certainly a fitting end to the trilogy.
While the single player campaign doesn’t offer much by way of new features (although the mech sections are a nice break from the norm, and the ability to switch away from Fenix’s story arc occasionally is refreshing) it does deliver an answer to most Gears fans’ questions, and while it may not be the ending you may have wanted, it does prove to be satisfactory.
The multiplayer side of things benefits greatly from dedicated servers and a substantial reworking of the overall balance of game, which immediately makes it more satisfying than Gears 2. The Beast mode is our particular favourite, acting as a reverse Horde mode, where you take control of the Locust and must take on COG. Straight up team death match is back to its gory best too, making this far and away the most enjoyable Gears title to date.
If you like your action fast paced and gory, then this is a must have!