Gears of War review (Xbox 360)

BeaArthur | 2298d ago | User review
Reviewing: Gears of War
Chainsaw anyone?
Like a lot of other people I bought into the hype and picked up a copy of Gears of War the first week it came out. I wasn't really anticipating the game but when it finally arrived I guess like everyone else I was influenced by the onslaught of advertising. With Gears of War opening me up to so many things I had never seen before (I had just bought an xbox at that point), I can't really say that I wasted my money even though I still to this day don't see what all the hype is about.

Gears of War places the player in the not to distant future where the planet earth has been overrun by a species that humans refer to as Locusts. When I first played Gears of War I thought the story was pretty bad, they left out a lot of details and the player knew very little about the Locusts by the end of the game, and that aggravated me a little bit. When I was done with it I really thought about it and decided that it's not so much that the story is bad as it is that the way they are telling it is designed to bring you back for a sequel. Now with that being said the story isn't great. You follow Marcus Phoenix who begins the game in a military prison that he is broken out of by a solider and friend (Dom). Once freed, Phoenix is charged with stopping some sort of doomsday weapon that the Locusts have designed. You spend a majority of the game trying to reach this weapon and destroy it. In the end the story feels incomplete (as it was supposed to I can only imagine) and is littered with horrible dialog that should only be suitable only for the crappiest of action movies.

Now like I have already said Gears of War opened my eyes to a lot of things I had never experienced in video games before and for that the game scores some extra points. Gears of War was my first experience with a cover system that I have grown to love. After playing Gears of War with its one button cover mechanic I fell that every game that does not have a history predating the cover system should be designed with a cover system of some sort. Being able to easily switch from one area of cover to another with the flick of a button is fantastic. As a matter of fact the whole control scheme is top notch. Even though Marcus Phoenix is clunky by the nature of his massive figure, the controls for Gears of War's campaign never make you think about the controller or what you want to do next; you just react. I also enjoyed the co-op system that Gears of War offered up. Once again this was a first for me. I had never played an online co-op game before and even to this day the co-op for Gears of War is as good as any other co-op currently available. Being able to seamlessly hop in and out of games and not have it take you out of the action is one of my favorite features in the game. Finally and probably most importantly the campaign for Gears of War features some phenomenal game play. The Locust AI is some of the best I have seen in any game. I never found myself in a situation where they were looking or shooting in the wrong direction, they flank and they are a great shot; making every encounter with the Locust a challenge. And to kill those very intelligent Locusts, Epic has provided the player with some great weaponry. I can honestly say that the chainsaw gun is one of my all time favorite weapons. The visuals and sound of cutting through your enemies is one of the most satisfying experiences in gaming and I would strongly recommend that every gamer try it at least once.

Sadly for all its innovation Gears of War falls very short of gaming perfection as some would have you believe. The campaign is very short and I will put an emphasis on very. The campaign can probably take you no more than 6 hours. Although there are differently difficulty levels to take for a spin the horrific dialog and below average story will probably make this a one and done for your average player. Now for my money multiplayer is where it's at. A game like Gears of War can have the shortest, crappiest story this side of Lost Planet but as long as they have a quality multiplayer it doesn't matter. Sadly though, Gears of War really suffers for me in the multiplayer arena. The game feels completely unpolished and very clunky for lack of a better word. I always felt like I was facing the wrong way or that my character just didn't have adequate range of movement in order to get the job done. Not to mention I can't count the number of times I was basically sniped with a shotgun and watched my body explode only to shoot someone with every same weapon the next round at point blank range and watch them walk away. This was not an isolated incident, it was a common occurrence. Suffice it to say that the game really could have used some refinement in the multiplayer.

All in all Gears of War is a solid game. For shooter fans you will most likely find something to enjoy. For online enthusiasts prepare to be frustrated and confused at the same time. With an overhauled multipalyer and a better story Gears of War could easily be as great as it's hyped up to be.
Ups
Great campaign game play with exceptional AI{One of the best co-ops available on any system{Great level design and lighting effects really put you in the moment
Downs
Multiplayer is akward and buggy{Poor story telling and annoying characters{Campaign is way too short
Score
9.2
Graphics Great cover system, AI, level design and controls are all held back by a forgetable story.
9.9
Sound Even more than a year after its release Gears of War is still one of the best looking games avaialable on any console. Great lighting effects set the mood and character models look phenomenal.
9.0
Gameplay Sounds effects and music are great but the horrible dialog diminishes the experience.
8.3
Fun factor Multiplayer will frustrate and the campaign is too short with not a lot of reason to go back for a second helping.
7.7
Online The co-op is a blast but the multiplayer is not up to the standard of some of the big guns.
8.7
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
sonarus  +   2298d ago
you nailed that perfectly. Especially the area with the cover system i felt the EXACT same way. The story sucked but it really didn't matter to me that much. Over all i would give gears a 9. Game was fun to play but i eventually grew tired...very very tired.
BeaArthur  +   2297d ago
I could just not get into the multiplayer at all. If I had liked it more I would have given it a 9 easy; maybe even higher than that.
Truplaya  +   2297d ago
i loved the multiplayer considering it was only tacked on at the end. It could have done with a party system but apart from that its great fun.

Still in the top5 games on LIVE too i think, even 15 months after release!

i agree on the story mode, too short. It takes longer on hard mode, the way its meant to be played, but still not even 10 hours. I hope the next one is longer

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Gears of War

Average Score 7.6 Reviews(30)
Release Dates
PC Release Dates
US 06 November 2007
AU 15 November 2007
EU 09 November 2007
PS3 Release Dates
PS4 Release Dates
Xbox 360 Release Dates
US 09 November 2006
EU 17 November 2006
AU 23 November 2006
JP 18 January 2007
Xbox One Release Dates