KSD writes: The promise of Gears of War is still best captured by the original “Mad World” trailer. Melancholic and understated, the marketing offered something of a response to the triumphant jingoism of Microsoft’s other blockbuster shooter series, Halo. War with aliens isn’t bad-ass. It’s sad and lonely and probably hopeless. Protagonist Marcus Fenix could well have been Independence Day’s Steven Hiller, shooting down aliens and punching them in the face until the end of time because what else was left? Coming out of an era of “Ooh Rah” patriotism and gas-guzzling machismo, making the hulking, lone COG soldier’s anthem a Gary Jules’ cover of “Mad World” felt brave and refreshing.
Sit down to actually play it, however, and it’s clear the game is just as much at war with itself as Fenix is with the Locust Horde.