Gears 3 Review by Jimmy Paperboy

When Epic released the Gears of War franchise in 2006 it was a wholly unique experience.  Never before was there a game where you could experience the intensity of battle through a cover system, and came to be known as the definition of the third person shooter genre.  Gears has been a benchmark not only for any game that follows in its path, but for all shooters.  Gears offered its third installment in the series this September, and the game disc has been whirling away in my 360 since the release date.

I googled Gears of War 3 and found this, it looks like it is right

Let’s first start with my favorite part of the game:  multiplayer.  In the competitive mode the game still retains favorites like Warzone, Execution, King of the Hill, Capture the Leader, and Wingman.  The new addition of Team Deathmatch is a nice welcome to the franchise.  The structure is the same as Team Deathmatch in any other shooter because it features respawns and the objective is to simply kill the other team, but the wrinkle to Gears is that there are a limited number of respawns per team.  I was at first skeptical of this game type because I thought it would take away from the gameplay that made Gears multiplayer so intense.  Warzone and Execution are so nerve wracking because they are not about getting kills, but staying alive.  In Warzone and Execution, death resulted in you sitting out the round until it was over.  However, I find the limited number of respawns in Team Deathmatch reinforces the survival mindset present in other modes while allowing you to be constantly in the fray.  Gears also went away from Host matchmaking and now functions on their own dedicated servers.  This is a great improvement because it used to become so frustrating when you were playing with a good group of people and the game suddenly ended due to people quitting or having network problems.  Like in Gears 2, when a player quits in multiplayer a bot is put in its place.  But even better, Gears 3 allows people to join mid game which helps keep the competitive pace in multiplayer.  The maps are so-so.  There are really no stand outs, and I am left only to reminisce about the days of playing old favorites such as River, Canals, and War Machine.  It was always fun to have such variables of death in a map as well, such as the train on Tyro station or the snow in Avalanche.  I assume they will add some of the classics and better maps when DLC comes out, but until then I’ll make the best of what I’ve got.

Sadly, this man committed suicide with his lancer soon after.

Horde is back as well in Gears 3.  This version adds the ability of your COG team to build fortifications to protect your squad from the Locust Horde.  Depending on the quality and quantity of Locust grubs you kill, you will earn money that can be spent on things such as barriers, turrets, and decoys.  The more money you spend the better upgrades you can get.  Beast Mode is another mode offered, which is like a Horde from the Locust perspective.  You can play as the Locust monsters that you encounter in campaign mode to fight against the computer controlled COG squad.  The way of earning money is the same as Horde, and more money results in being able to choose bigger and better Locusts.  I found this to be one of my favorite new additions because of the sheer variety of attacks and abilities that the Locusts can use.  Also, the last game that I remember which allowed a player to play from the antagonist’s perspective was Perfect Dark on the 64 so it is a refreshing change to say the least.

The stat system is extremely comprehensive.  If anyone is familiar with’s stat system, the in-game stat tracking in Gears certainly rivals it depth and can be accessed completely from the console.  It delves into things such as kills with weapons, game modes stats, etc.  Gears “borrows” from Call of Duty ribbons and medals which function like challenges and earns you titles and emblems.  Gears 3 features a plethora of unlockables which will should take a player take eons to finish.  This promotes the player to experience the game with different weapons, modes, and kills to gain things such as character skins, colored guns, and executions.

Gears does not make Marcus morally, nor sexually ambiguous.

The campaign is an achievement in itself.  The story is top notch.  It can be corny at times, but it is like watching a good action movie.  Even in its moments of cheesiness, Gears is still able to pull at your heart.  There are about two or three moments that really stand out.  They even caused complete silence between the constant chatter of my co-op partner and I because it captured all of our sense.  What Gears 3 does better with its story than the previous installments is make you feel connected to the characters.  It is evident that the weight of war is starting to get to Delta Squad, and Gears does a good job of fleshing out their yearning for civilian life and families.  Unfortunately, It was obvious that Epic put little time into developing the women characters, and they seemed to be there just to widen the audience.  In spite of their obvious hotness they were one dimensional and generic.  I was very surprised to say the least that Epic was able to put such an engrossing story together which is by far the best of the three games in the franchise.  The campaign also keeps variety in mind.  It is not simply the mind-numbing task of finding cover and killing Locusts.  You are put into vehicles, fight in a mech suit, and with a nod to the movie Aliens get to use a Loader suit. The story takes place in multiple settings which will take you underwater, in the air, and through the Cole’s old Thrashball hometown.

These days it is rare that a video game exceeds expectations or meets them.  Gears 3 does a good job of keeping with the formula in the past games while taking some successful features of other modern shooters.  Gears of War 3 met my expectations and definitely worth picking up.

PROS: Same great competitive multiplayer experience that I expect, a moving story that will be remembered, buying fortifications in Horde.

CONS: Uninspiring multiplayer maps, cheesy parts in story at times, still get stuck on everything when doing the roadie run (not sure if anything can be done about this anyways).


5 Responses to “Gears 3 Review by Jimmy Paperboy”

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