Gears of War (Xbox 360)
Developed by Epic Games
Published by Microsoft Studios
Released November 7, 2006
Review Written August 5, 2010
Great Graphics and audio
Co-op mode is great
Small amount of screen tearing
AI is sometimes really dumb
The cogs man! The cogs! This game’s title isn’t only ironic and a small description of the main story, but it is also what you must look for throughout the game. Look for the gears or the cogs or whatever you want to call them. This game originally came out in 2006 on the Xbox 360 and on the PC.
Let me get this out of the way, the story within Gears of War isn’t all that compelling. You really focus more on the gameplay throughout the game than the story. A quick summary of it is that you start off in a prison cell and you play as the former space marine Marcus Fenix. One of your old war buddies comes and releases you from prison to help fight the locust horde that has gotten worse since their arrival on the planet. You then set out to find one of their main underground layers to blow it up. No real plot twists or anything. The game’s story is fairly straightforward, but as I said you focus more on the gameplay than the story.
The gameplay is what makes this game good and it is a good third person shooter. The running and cover system have been recreated in other games because of what Gears of War did. Many games have rather cheap cover systems, but the one in this game doesn’t have many complications, press A to cover and move away from it to well move away. Though there are times it’s not so perfect, but overall its great. You also get a pretty cool chainsaw machinegun, though it takes a couple seconds to warm it up to hack someone to little bits.
The game is broken up into five chapters and each chapter is pretty linear. Get from point A to point B, but you don’t have to play alone. You can play through the entire game on online co-op or through a split screen, and it feels better to play with someone else than to play alone. In co-op one character controls Marcus while the other controls Dom. The game has multiple types of enemies, but the variation isn’t much to talk about. You also have multiple weapons to use but can only carry two weapons at a time. There is also a nifty reload mini-game where you have to stop the marker at a certain point to reload faster, but that’s also a very small detail. There are also parts where you think that you need to flank the enemy to take them out when instead you can just charge right in guns ablazing. I guess going Rambo is wanted within Gears of War especially since the characters are as big as defensive linemen.
Thought the story wasn’t much to talk about, the gameplay was very enjoyable. I felt that running and gunning in this game was near flawless, but it did have some problems. There were small moments where there was screen tearing and it was only a minor annoyance, but it caused me to think that my game was broken at first. The other flaw was that some of the AI is very dumb. There were times some of the locust would just sit there and I’d come behind him and cut him in half. That’s not to say that there aren’t some enemies that seem super smart and flank you instantly. The game was enjoyable while it lasted and I believe it took me about 2 days to complete in single player campaign. There is also an online multiplayer portion, but I didn’t bother checking it out. So if you’re in the market for a classic Xbox 360 game or need a shooter for your PC, then pick up Gears of War because I thought it was worth at least one or two play-throughs.
Final Score: 5 out of 5
Review Written by John of The Time Heist
Editorial Note: This is an older review that I posted three years ago on another gaming review blog of mine. Lately I decided that i should bring those old reviews over to add more substance to the blog since I had a few old reviews. The older reviews are in a different style than how I write now but still encompass my opinion of the games none the less. This is the first of six.