The Planet Sara, inhabited by humans, is under attack by the Locust Horde. Things aren't looking good for humanity, and it is up to you, Marcus Fenix, and the rest of COG, to save the human race from extinction. I was really interested in the story of this game from the start, and stayed interested until the end. I found the main character, Marcus Fenix, to be very likeable, and someone that many people would be interested in. He's just a badass type guy, and is not afraid of kicking some locust ass. While playing through the campaign, you also get help from his buddy Dominic (or "Dom"), Cole (or "The Cole Train"), Carmine, and Baird.
The campaign takes between 8-10 hours to complete, but there is COG tags that you can collect throughout the campaign, similar to Halo 3, that will lengthen your experience quite a bit. On top of this, you can also play 2 player co-op through the entire campaign, either on Xbox Live, or with your buddies on split-screen.
There is quite a variety in the different types of locusts that you will meet throughout the campaign. There's just the standard, equipped with maybe a shotgun or machine gun of some sort. Then there's what are called the "Boomers". These are huge locusts, maybe 3-4 times larger than the average, equipped with a weapon called the Boomshot, which is basically the Gears of War version of a rocket launcher. Then there is the Berserker, which is also quite a large Locust. Only you can't kill it with a standard machine gun or shotgun. You can only kill it using a weapon called the hammer of dawn, which shoots a huge beam of light down from the heavens, and basically fry's the berserker to pieces.
The only flaw that I have with the campaign is that the AI of your teammates really isn't that good. Most of the time they will be getting killed. The only thing they are really good for is distracting the enemy so you can flank them.
Overall, the campaign is a complete blast to play through, and offers a wide variety of environments aswell.
Well, let's see, this game was released in 2006, and in my opinion, it still has the best graphics of all time, both in terms of art style, and realism. There is really no words to describe how good this game looks. Absolutely everything, from character models, guns, explosions, and textures down to things like the blood and gore, bullets, and cut scenes look absolutely stunning.
This game still has my vote for best visuals in the history of gaming. It just looks so crisp, clear, and real. And there are no flaws whatsoever. No jaggies, no framerate issues, nothing like that. It's going to take a long time for this game's visuals to be forgotten.
The sound is almost as amazing as the graphics. The gun effects are great, and very realistic, the locusts grunts are fantastic, and the music playing at some points in the campaign is in the same league as Halo. Another thing the sound is great at is the sound of enemies bodies blowing up into pieces after you've shot them with the shotgun, or sniped them with the sniper. It is just a fantastic feeling after headshotting them to hear that nice satisfying "pop".
The sound is completely flawless, just as the graphics and visuals are.
The gameplay of Gears of War is very fun, both online and off. It also does a great job at innovating. This is definitely not your typical run and gun shooter. If you want to survive and beat this game, you need to use cover. Cover is the most important key to survival in this game. It has been referred by many as kind of like a "cat and mouse" game. When in a battle with enemies, you hide behind cover, pop out, take a few shots, and duck back behind cover and heal a bit, then pop back out.
The weapons are very fun to use in this game. There is a weapon called the Lancer, which is basically just a machine gun, only it has a chainsaw attached to it, so if an enemy gets to cloose, you can cut them to pieces using that. Then there is the extremely powerful shotgun, which can blow to pieces any enemy that comes with 10 feet of you with 1 or 2 shots. Then there's the Boomshot, the GOW version of a rocket launcher, and the hammer of dawn, which shoots a beam of light down from the sky to completely fry any enemy that crosses its path. The weapons are extremely fun to use, especially in multiplayer. It is just a very satisfying feeling hiding behind cover, popping out, sniping someone in the head, watching there head pop off, and returning to cover, preparing for your next shot.
As for vehicles, there is really no vehicles in this game, except for one of the missions in the Campaign, although that's really not a complaint, I have no problems with it.
Overall, the gameplay is unique, and very, very fun. There is nothing like kicking some locust ass.
The online in Gears of War can be described by one word, "intense". The online is what will keep you coming back for a long time. The max amount of players is 8, but the maps are completely designed around this number, and there is still a ton of action. And this isn't a game where you can win if the rest of your team sucks. The teamwork needed to win an online match is very high, and requires a lot of skill.
There is also a wide variety of game modes. There's warzone, just a basic 4 on 4 type match, first one to kill all players on other team wins. Then there is execution, where the enemy must be killed with something like a curbstomp, or chainsaw. Next is Assassination, where each team has a leader, and the leader on the opposing team must be killed in order to win. There is also Annex, which is basically like King of the Hill. And I believe there is even one more matchtype, which I can't remember right now. But you get the point. There is a ton of creative and fun matchtypes in this game's online to keep you entertained.
Then on top of all the fun in online matches, there is also 2 player online co-op.
The online in Gears of War is incredibly fast-paced, fun, and satisfying.
Gears of War is an absolutely incredible experience that every Xbox 360 owner should own. No Xbox 360 games library is complete without Gears of War. Both the campaign, and online multiplayer are a complete blast. All I can say is I can't wait for Gears of War 2.