Hype is an interesting part of the game industry. It seems like every time there's a big game on the horizon, its hype train gains momentum, and gamers somehow think that they can determine whether or not a game is good before they even get their hands on it. This was the case with Halo 2, the last game in the Xbox canon that was actually able to live up to the hype surrounding it. Now, as we enter the second year of the Xbox 360's life cycle, the hype has reached critical mass for another shooter, this one from the folks at Epic Studios, creators of the Unreal franchise. We've been hearing about this one for a long time now, ever since we first saw a tech demo of the vaunted Unreal Engine 3. Now, after having our way with the game for over a week, we can finally answer the question that everyone's dying to know. Is Gears of War "the Next Big Thing," or is it just another game that'll be crushed under the considerable weight of its own hype?