hot  /  reviews  /  video  /  blogs  /  forum

Gears of War

Couch Campaign photo
Couch Campaign

Gears of War: Judgment Krampus Bro Fest


Conrad and Jordan's Couch Campaign begins
Apr 12
// Conrad Zimmerman
There is nothing (and I mean nothing; no food, nor sex, nor drug) that I enjoy more than the act of sitting down next to another person whose company is pleasant and playing a game with them. Couch Campaign is an opportunity...
Gears of War photo
Gears of War

Fully playable mode found hidden on GoW: Judgment


Microsoft says the mode is not on-disc DLC
Mar 28
// Abel Girmay
Some clever little birds went snooping around in Gears of War: Judgment's code, and ended up finding a fully playable, locked mode called Warzone. Naturally the assumption is that the mode is another case of on-disc DLC, but ...
Gears Judgment console photo
This exclusive console will NOT be sold in stores!
[Update: Contest over! Winner is Lawrence Diego!] Destructoid has acquired an exclusive Gears of War: Judgment-themed Xbox 360 to give away to one lucky Dtoid Gearhead! To win, you need to demonstrate to us your love for the ...

Ranked: The Gears of War trailers

Mar 18 // Brett Makedonski
[embed]248958:47621:0[/embed] 6. Gears of War: Judgment Despite its impending release, the Gears of War: Judgment trailer has to be the worst of the bunch. It completely ignores the formula that was expertly refined in the previous trailers. Featuring the song "Shooting the Moon" by Mona, the Gears of War: Judgment video takes an entirely different approach than all of its predecessors. Focusing on action, combat, and testosterone, it feels less like a Gears of War trailer, and more like the run-of-the-mill trailer released for almost any other videogame. It's tough not to view this one as the black sheep of the Gears of War trailers. [embed]248958:47622:0[/embed] 5. Gears of War 2 - I Have A Rendezvous With Death This is the most unique of the Gears of War trailers, in the sense that it's the only one to feature a poem instead of a song. Borrowing choice lines from Alan Seeger's writing, this video seems to move step-in-step with the poem. Despite being only the second Gears of War trailer, it didn't take long for Epic to find their groove. This video is highlighted by several defining characteristics that tend to find their way into the series' other trailers. [embed]248958:47623:0[/embed] 4. Gears of War 3 - Ashes to Ashes When Cliff Bleszinski appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon to announce Gears of War 3, they showed this reveal trailer. The video unveiled some interesting tidbits about the game such as the inclusion of a female COG, and the introduction of the Lambent as enemies. Aside from these revelations, the video was quite phenomenal. It's probably the trailer that best depicts the hopelessness of war. The look of utter defeat on Dom's face as he gives in to the realization of death is nothing short of incredible. As the camera fades out to show all sects fighting one another with the COGs caught squarely in the middle, you couldn't help but feel as if Gears of War 3 couldn't release fast enough. [embed]248958:47626:0[/embed] 3. Gears of War 2 - Last Day The "Last Day" trailer may be the most emotionally effective one of all because it shows purely the human side of war. There's no combat or action, just soldiers reflecting on the weight of war. As Dom looks at a creased picture of him and Maria, and Marcus stares into the ominously overcast sky, their lives seem semi-normal. That is, until the camera follows Marcus to show him walking from a golden field into a Locust camp -- expressing the permanent blurring of lines between what can even be considered normal anymore. As their elevator plummets into the ground in perfect synchronization with the music, you know that normal's out the window. [embed]248958:47627:0[/embed] 2. Gears of War 3 - Dust to Dust "Dust to Dust" is the trailer that was made for the game that was set to close out the original trilogy. It's unusually action-packed, as it was made to correlate nicely with the apex of the series. What made this trailer really special was the style in which they went about packing in all that action. The entire video is one continuous camera shot, and it's in slow-motion. This, coupled with Mazzy Star's "Into Dust", made for one of the most memorable trailers of all time. [embed]248958:47628:0[/embed] 1. Gears of War - Mad World Here it is. The "Mad World" spot is hands-down the best Gears of War trailer. This probably doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. In fact, there's a solid chance that you clicked this article solely to watch it again. When this trailer began to air in 2006, not only did it turn a lot of people on to Gears of War, but it's the reason that a lot of people even bought an Xbox 360 in the first place. There was never any question that "Mad World" would be at the top of this list. In fact, if this were a list of best videogame trailers of all time, this one would probably be in the exact same spot.
Gears of War trailers photo
The emotional side to these tough guys
The Gears of War franchise has a history across its four titles of releasing some of the best cinematic trailers in gaming. Despite the series' reputation of being all about impossibly muscle-bound space marines murderin...

New releases photo
New releases

New releases: LEGO City: Undercover gets built


Plus Monster Hunter and Gears of War
Mar 18
// Fraser Brown
Underneath my gruff exterior beats the heart of a kid obsessed with LEGO. Even now, if I see some of those little bricks, I drop what I'm doing, and start building, ignoring whoever else is in the room. With that in mind, it...
 photo

Reviews Elsewhere: Gears of War: Judgment


Judgment Day
Mar 18
// Jim Sterling
The release of Gears of War: Judgment has taken a fair few folks by surprise. Even I had a minor jolt when the review copy arrived on my doorstep, the prequel having enjoyed a relatively unsung build, at least when compared t...

Review: Gears of War: Judgment

Mar 17 // Jim Sterling
Gears of War: Judgment (Xbox 360)Developer: Epic Games, People Can FlyPublisher: Microsoft Game StudiosReleased: March 19, 2013MSRP: $59.99 Set in the early years just after "Emergence Day," Gears of War: Judgment tells the story of Baird -- Delta Squad's forever caustic complainer and arguably the best character in the series. Judgment explains why he was a lowly private during the events of Gears of War, despite having served as Lieutenant, and introduces us to Kilo Squad -- comprised of Sofia Hendrik, Paduk, and series favorite Augustus "Cole Train" Cole.  As a story, Judgment is largely forgettable -- a bit of a shame for those rare freaks like myself who actually quite enjoy Gears' silly-but-entertaining narrative. Despite claiming to reveal Baird's past and pit him against a terrifying new Locust threat, Judgment doesn't really provide much in the way of compelling information. Baird disobeys authority, fights a bad guy, and that's about it. It's not poorly written, and the Kilo Squad is a likable bunch, but it is by far the least memorable of all Gears campaigns in terms of pure story.  As far as delivery goes, however, Judgment shakes things up in a big way. Set during Kilo Squad's military trial, campaign chapters are presented as flashbacks, each member of the squad taking turns to retell their story. At the beginning of every section, players can select to "declassify" the testimony, allowing characters to reveal more information about the events that took place. What this amounts to in gameplay terms is choosing optional extra challenges that change the way a section plays out. [embed]248919:47610:0[/embed] To declassify a mission, players simply approach a Gears logo painted on the wall and confirm the mission condition -- be it reduced visibility in a room, the presence of elite Locust troops, or a lack of ammunition. Some of these extra challenges are damn tough, and can significantly alter the feel of a mission. However, playing the game under these difficult conditions leads to a better star rating upon completion -- which in turns leads to unlockable content.  Judgment places a heavy emphasis on star and ribbon acquisition, encouraging players to kill opponents by gibbing or executing them, and completing various tasks on the fly to obtain commendations. As players earn ribbons and kills, they level up, and as they level up they get to earn Prize Boxes which can award anything from an experience boost to a new character skin. Player progress is retained throughout all modes of the game, meaning players constantly feel like they're working toward an end goal no matter what they do.  This focus on leveling and winning things leads to Judgment's campaign having a lot more of an "arcade" feel than prior installments. Missions are very short, lasting a few minutes at most, which leads to the already basic story feeling segmented. However, the trade-off is a faster, more chaotic, more varied solo and cooperative experience which, coupled with the declassified extras, leads to an altogether different type of Gears that players are used to. Whether fighting in a room covered in thick dust and full of sword-wielding Therons, or defending a position with sentry bots and turrets, Judgment constantly switches things up on the player, and the bite-sized nature of individual missions leads to a feeling of greater replayability.  As always, the game can be experienced cooperatively, which is as simple as jumping into -- or having someone else jump into -- a game and just getting down to business. Once again, the segmented structure of the campaign makes co-op a more enjoyable option. For those who prefer to play solo, however, the allied A.I. seems to have received a bit of a boost this time around. They're more competent as they're less ready to wander aimlessly, and they tend to be quick at reviving you -- a crucial requirement, since staying in "down but not out" status for an extended period of time can cost you progress toward stars.  After unlocking thirty stars, a shorter, more traditional campaign -- Aftermath -- becomes accessible. This is a little side story taking place during the events of Gears of War 3, and sees Baird return to Judgment's Halvo Bay in order to acquire a boat. While only brief, Aftermath is a neat little chapter that plays with a horror atmosphere and adequately wraps up Kilo Squad's story.  Multiplayer is, of course, the main attraction, and it's where the majority of controversial changes have been made. Most importantly, classic team deathmatch no longer pits COG forces against Locust players. Instead, regular multiplayer modes will pit red teams against blue teams, with any player free to select and skin their favorite character. You could ostensibly have a team of four blue Bairds against four red Bairds if you want. An advantage to this decision is that players get to feel more personally attached to their character of choice, giving them a unique look and feeling more like it's their avatar. However, since Judgment goes so far as to pit COG against COG, I don't think it would have been too jarring to allow for mixed teams, and let players select either COG or Locust characters to fight alongside each other. It would have been no weirder than seeing Cole chainsaw his doppelganger in half.  Sticking to human players only will likely disappoint many players (I personally miss being able to play as a Theron Guard), but the alteration is purely cosmetic, and the game itself is familiar as always -- players are all still rolling around with shotguns and sticking grenades on each other, so don't worry if you feel the game's changed too much. Domination also returns, the familiar capture-and-hold based game type that has always been a long-standing personal favorite. Those eager for traditional Gears gameplay will get their fill here, but it's the new content that really draws my eye. The disassembly of the COG/Locust dynamic paves the way for an all-new competitive mode, free-for-all. For the first time in the series, all players can fight for themselves in a mode that dismantles teams and lets personal combat reign free. I actually enjoyed this mode a lot more than I thought I would. No longer having a team relying on you is a rather freeing experience, while having death come from anywhere provides a level of pleasant anarchy matching that of the campaign. While I don't expect many of the hardcore Gears players to migrate away from their beloved team dynamic, the free-for-all option is a great one to have.  The second new mode is OverRun, a mode I have fallen completely in love with. This gametype is the sole source of COG vs. Locust action, pitting teams against each other in a class-based battle of attack and defense. As humans, players must defend barricaded Emergence Holes for a set period of time, while the Locust team must fight their way to it and destroy the barricades. Played over three rounds, the whole game is over should the players hold out at any stage, but if the Locust can open two E-Holes and eventually destroy a power generator, they win the game. In a manner similar to Left 4 Dead, the advantage lies with the monsters, and it's more a case of seeing which team can hole out for the longer rather than who can stay alive until the timer drains -- though it's entirely possible to do so.  When playing as COG, participants can select from an engineer, scout, soldier, or medic, each with their own pre-set weapon loadouts and combat roles. The engineer is perhaps the most important, able to repair damaged fortifications and slow down the Locust progress, while erecting temporary sentry turrets to score kills. The soldier is based around high impact weapons and can toss an ammo grenade to replenish allied weaponry, while the scout uses long-ranged firearms and a grenade that locates and debuffs the opposition. Finally, the medic does as you'd expect, armed with conventional weapons and stim-gas grenades that heal or revive teammates.  The Locust get a lot more options, and judicial use of all the beasts on offer is key to victory. The first tier of monsters allows players to be explosive Tickers, fence-jumping Wretches, deadly Grenadiers, or (my personal favorite) healing Kantus Priests. As Locust players deal damage and wrack up points, they get to unlock more deadly creatures from a second tier -- consisting of the transforming Rager, tank-like Mauler, slithering Serapede, or outright terrifying Corpser. Using these creatures well is not only important, but immense fun. Sending waves of Tickers out, or having a Mauler and Kantus team up as an unstoppable force, is just fantastic stuff, and the panic felt as the human team, when a pair of giant spider monsters start digging their way under barriers, is pretty exhilarating in its own right. I'm a fan of class-based multiplayer in general, and have to say I'm immensely impressed by what Epic and People Can Fly have done with OverRun. Even when I had to get on and test the other multiplayer modes, I struggled to tear myself away from this one. It's a stupid amount of fun, and something I plan to keep playing for quite some time.  Once again, Gears of Wars' commitment to content is laudable, with a full campaign, co-op, and scads of multiplayer options to choose from. I'm a little turned off, however, by the fact the majority of character and weapon skins are gated behind extra purchases, which seems to diminish the importance being placed on level progression and Prize Box acquisition. Knowing some of the better unlockables must be paid for rather than earned reduces my interest in the entire system, and while Judgment does more than enough to justify its asking price, it's a bit of an own-goal to undermine the value of what would otherwise be a fantastic ranking system.  That quibble aside, Epic's latest is still a very worthy purchase for fans of the series, and does enough new things that the previously uninterested may consider looking into it. The campaign is light on story, but heavy on replay value, with an invigorated new approach to solo play and a nice twist on the idea of optional difficulty. The core multiplayer modes are preserved, but competitive play truly comes back to life with the addition of free-for-all and the stellar new OverRun mode.  Gears of War 3 was still a great little game, but represented the kind of step down indicative of a series that's running out of steam. Gears of War: Judgment puts paid to that impression, proving there's plenty of vitality in Epic's flagship yet; provided it's willing to try some new spins on its established formula. OverRun alone is worthy of praise, but there's just so much stuff going on in this package, there's something for all followers of the series. A few of Judgment's experiments may not be as fondly received as others, but overall it's hard to complain about a game that tries so much, and succeeds in almost all its endeavors.  This is Gears of War back, unquestionably, on the winning path. 
Gears of War: Judgment photo
No Baird soars too high
Gears of War 3 may have seen an effective end to the war between the COG and the Locust, but in the game industry, a story isn't over until games stop selling. While Epic Games works on an inevitable sequel, it's joined up wi...

 photo

Gears of War: Judgment trailer introduces Kilo Squad


Grub's up!
Mar 13
// Jim Sterling
Here's a new trailer for Gears of War: Judgment, introducing us to Baird's allies in the prequel campaign. Kilo Squad is the team responsible for the events of Epic's upcoming new game, and you can hear them say things while...
Epic Games photo
Epic Games

Mike Capps 'no longer affiliated' with Epic Games


Former president leaves advisory role
Mar 08
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
Back in December Mike Capps, former president of Epic Games, announced he was retiring from the company to focus largely on his family and upcoming baby. Mike was going to stick around in an advisory role, but tonight he anno...
Gears of War: Judgment photo
Gears of War: Judgment

Gears of War: Judgment launch trailer emerges


So many explosions
Mar 07
// Brett Makedonski
"Heroes make it up as they go along," as this new Gears of War: Judgment trailer boldly suggests. Judging by the video, "make it up" is some sort of military code phrase for "kill everything." Featuring the song "Shooti...
Vanishing of Ethan Carter photo
Vanishing of Ethan Carter

Former Bulletstorm developer on move toward smaller games


Guns, guns, guns...no guns?
Mar 05
// Steven Hansen
Speaking with GamesIndustry International, Adrian Chmielarz, People Can Fly’s former co-owner and creative director, had this to say: “We think that video games are not all they can be. Actually, most of them are ...

Gears of War: Judgment features two different campaigns

Mar 04 // Abel Girmay
[embed]247647:47360:0[/embed] Gears of War: Judgment (Xbox 360)Developer: Epic Games, People Can flyPublisher: Microsoft Game StudiosRelease: March 19, 2013 Gears of War has been known more for its scale rather than its narrative; nearly nonsensical in the first, melodramatic in the second, but not half bad in the third. Epic is making a concerted effort with Judgment to change that, bringing in Rob Auten, a former Hollywood editor, and Tom Bissell, a former war correspondent. The duo had actually met prior to their work on Judgment, working together in 2009 on a yet to be announced/possibly defunct game. For a universe as big as Gears, with the games, comics, and the rest of the expanded universe, it can be a bit of a minefield for new writers adding new stories to such an established lore. "In a weird way we actually wanted to take things back," Auten told me. "Gears has always been about guys and girls saving the world, three times now. So how about we just save a city, almost like a western. Bad guy comes into town, good guys go kill the bad guy. Plus what's adding to this is that we already know in Gears lore that the city is going to be destroyed. So it adds this nice bitter aftertaste to the heroic actions in our game which we get to explore in Aftermath." A side story unlocked after completing Judgments campaign, Aftermath follows Baird and Cole after they separate from Marcus and Dom during the events of Gears of War 3. Over the course of both campaigns, you will get to see how both stories talk to each other even though they take place many years apart. I got to see this mostly in the character Paduk, who's part of Kilo squad, and also makes an appearance early in the Aftermath story. "Paduk by the end of Judgment is a really pissed off guy. He just completely removes himself. He doesn't believe in the COG, he doesn't believe in the war, and it's how he remains when we see him in Aftermath." In terms of gameplay, Aftermath gets to shine from Judgments subtle tweaks. Movement speed is raised just slightly, weapons now have a quick swap button on Y, and grenades can be quick tossed with LB, or you can hold it for the traditional arc. Aftermath is essentially a lovely little taste of Gears of War 3, but with the finer amenities of Judgment, and so far my most compelling reason to get this game. This is still a Gears game mind you, so the majority of your attention is still focused on shooting Locust in the face in as fun a way as possible. As many of you know, Judgments narrative is a series of flashbacks, as Kilo squad try to explain away the actions they're being held on trial for. Apart from being a new narrative style, the story adds new wrinkles to gameplay with the Declassifications.  If the main campaign is the public record of Kilo squads story, Declassifications are the bits of the file marked in black ink, shedding light on what really happened. Speaking with senior producer Alan Van Slyke, "When we had this framework of Kilo squad gone rogue, and now they're giving their testimony in a military tribunal, it made sense for us to give the player options to opt in and hear the testimony that not only the Republic knows about, but what really went down." In combat, Declassifying acts as mutators, adding additional challenges to the game. These range from reduced visibility, to weapons restrictions, to fighting modified enemy types. Really, the Declassify system adds more to the gameplay than the story, but more hardcore Gears fans will recognize the story significance of a few of these challenges. Early in the game I ran into a Declassification that would turn all the Wretches in the chapter into Lambent Wretches. Lambent Wretches don't actually make their appearance until later in the story of Gears of War 2, some 15 odd years later, but the Declassified variant of the level shows the COG knew about them for a while, but buried that knowledge. Declassifications also feed into Judgments scoring system. A relatively simple system, scoring in Judgment has you attempting to get a three star rating, with rewarded actions running the gamut of headshots, multi-kills, finishing a chapter without getting downed, and the like. The scoring itself can be simple, but Judgment aims to make the combat anything but. Like with Left 4 Dead, Judgment has a smart-spawn system that reads your play style and tries to fight back. "We tried to make it so that the game reads you," Alan told me. "So that if you're being really aggressive and rushing through a level we might spawn Wretches to come up behind you, or if you play it super defensively we might start bringing in more Tickers and Kantus." It remains to be seen just how dynamic it is, as I only had time to run through the chapters once, but at the very least Epic is promising the system is dynamic enough to spawn different enemy types during different playthroughs, rather than the previous system of scripted encounters. Between the story, subtle control tweaks, Declassifications, and Aftermath, I can feel the ice breaking between me and Judgment. I still carry a few reservations mind you (still not into free-for-all) and while the effort is sincere, I'm going to need to experience the full campaign for myself before I get hyped at the possibility of a good story in a Gears game. Such is the mind of a fan. But again, I am just that, a fan. And if you are too, then let me tell you there is no reason to not keep your eyes peeled for how this one turns out.
Gears of War: Judgment  photo
Making a real push for story and gameplay refinement
I love Gears of War. Like many earlier adopters of the Xbox 360 (I have and love a PS3 too so don't hate), Gears of War was that first big game that made me very comfortable with my system choice. With roughly a year and half...

Gears of War: Judgment photo
Gears of War: Judgment

Former war correspondent worked on Gears of War: Judgment


A look at the writing in Gears of War: Judgment
Mar 02
// Hamza CTZ Aziz
The awesome team at Kill Screen paid a visit to Epic Games and got a behind the scenes look at how Gears of War: Judgment's new story was created. Kill Screen spoke with Rob Auten, a former Hollywood editor, and Tom Bissell,...
Gears of War photo
Gears of War

Epic: Gears of War ripoffs hurt the franchise's legacy


Gears of War: Judgment's art director calls out the wannabes
Feb 27
// Brett Makedonski
Chris Perna, the art director for Gears of War: Judgment, recently had some choice words for detractors of Epic Games' flagship series. In an interview with Official Xbox Magazine, Perna stated that the only reason Gears of W...
Gears of War Season Pass photo
Gears of War Season Pass

Gears of War: Judgment will have a Season Pass


Is this really a surprise?
Feb 26
// Chris Carter
Like Gears of War 3, the newest Gears iteration, Judgment, will be getting a Season Pass. The pass will be available at the game's launch (March 19) for $20 (1600 Microsoft Points), which is a 20 percent discount compared to ...
Gears of War: Judgment photo
Gears of War: Judgment

Bumblebee Baird takes us through Judgment's multiplayer


Also, Gears of War: Judgment OST coming soon
Feb 19
// Jason Cabral
People Can Fly sure knows its multiplayer! Odd multiplayer armor choices aside, Gears of War: Judgment's multiplayer is looking to have some of the most robust options and refined mechanics in the series. The inclusion of th...

Roses and tears: 10 depressing videogame romances

Feb 14 // Taylor Stein
Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater – Big Boss and Eva Love can blossom anywhere. If the Metal Gear series has taught us anything (besides the usefulness of a cardboard box) it is that romance is especially prominent on the battlefield. Why would bullets, explosions, and a team of evil super soldiers deter one from indulging in a little affection? While Big Boss fought off Eva’s motive-driven advances, he was unable to resist her overt feminine charm indefinitely. After a romantic encounter complete with wine, a fireplace, and a bear skin rug, Eva skipped town, leaving the battle-hardened veteran heart-broken and empty handed. I guess Snake would've been better off sticking with his M1911A1. Final Fantasy 10 – Tidus and Yuna Ah, there’s nothing sweeter than teenage love. Combining raging hormones with the responsibility of saving a world tormented by perpetual death is certainly a unique formula for passion. During their pilgrimage to defeat the ever-returning nightmare Sin, Tidus and Yuna found romance as a convenient way to ignore the foreboding reality of their quest: Yuna’s death. Throughout a series of plot twists and extensive battles, players save Yuna from her sinister fate. Too bad the protagonist Tidus turns out to be from a dream world and disappears into a poof of nothingness. Dead Space – Isaac and Nicole The horror genre isn't ideal for heartfelt connections. The closest that scary games often get to featuring physicality is through a zombie bite to the neck. Too bad no one sent the memo to Isaac Clark. What started as a standard repair job on the intergalactic mining vessel the USG Ishimura, quickly turned into a terrifying test of survival among reanimated corpses and alien monsters. Did I mention that his girlfriend Nicole was stationed aboard the ship? I’m sure you know where this is going. Not only does the poor systems engineer discover that his girlfriend has been dead since before his arrival, he develops mental instability causing him to see visions of her, courtesy of an alien artifact. Thanks, Nicole, insanity is a perfect parting gift. Infamous - Cole and Trish There are very few actions in life that cannot be forgiven. Being held responsible for an explosion that wiped out a chunk of a city, killing thousands, would definitely be one of those unforgivable moments. Ever since The Blast, Cole's relationship with his girlfriend Trish took a turn for the worst. Blaming him for the death of her sister, Cole became a monster in her eyes. In an effort to win back her trust, the now super-powered hero went above and beyond to assist Trish and the citizens of Empire City. Just as affections were beginning to turn around, Trish was kidnapped, forcing Cole to make a difficult choice. Save the love of his life, or save a team of doctors; serve his personal desires or act on behalf of the greater good. Either way, Cole is pretty much screwed. Choose Trish and she spends her last dying breath describing how much she despises what Cole has become. Rescue the doctors and Trish praises his decision yet still dies from her injuries. Lose-lose situation is an understatement. Final Fantasy VII – Cloud and Aerith What does a spiky-haired soldier, an innocent flower girl , and a well-endowed bartender have in common? In the boring arena of reality, absolutely nothing. Within the fiction of videogames however, the trio arguably represent the most notable love triangle in the gaming world. Regardless of who the player chooses to pursue as a romantic interest, Aerith or Tifa, fate intervenes in the cruelest way possible. A scene of tranquility is instantly transformed into the epitome of shock, alarm, and terror. While praying at an alter, the silver-haired villain Sephiroth seemingly appears from the heavens and impales Aerith with his eight-foot-long Masamune. In an instant she is gone, collapsed in Cloud's arms. To hit the point home, Aerith's theme song begins to play in the background, and the reality that Final Fantasy VII actually had the audacity to kill off a main character halfway through the game, is fully realized. Mass Effect 3 – Commander Shepard and Romantic Partner Saving the galaxy from sentient machines may seem like a tall order, but after three installments of the Mass Effect series, it's pretty safe to say that Commander Shepard always finds a solution. Whether through diplomacy or a firefight, humanity's savior has proven to go above and beyond the call of duty. This applies both on and off the battlefield. Seducing a slew of men, women, and alien crew mates is all fine and good, but the end of the world has a way of offering a sobering reminder as to what is at stake. There will be no civilian life for Shepard and her partner; no white picket fence and no blue children. Ensuring the survival of the entire galaxy is not a job that one simply comes back from. All that can be said between the larger-than-life figure and her significant other is a somber goodbye before the true suicide mission commences. At the end of Mass Effect 3, the hero alone ventures into the depths of the Reaper operated Citadel. The first human Spectre is given a choice that will forever alter the course of the galaxy, to end the cycle of destruction that has continued in secret for millennia. Ultimately, Shepard's decision opens a new chapter for the galaxy, while putting an end to her own. Whether truly dead or not, Commander Shepard's closest squadmate is forced to hang her name on the Normandy SR2's memorial wall. In an act of remembrance signifying Shepard the soldier, the legend, and the human being.  Shadow of the Colossus – Wander and Mono Love has the power to transform a young man into a hero; a vigilant civilian into a seasoned warrior. In the case of Wander, the desire to revive his romantic interest Mono, inspires him to commit a laundry list of questionable choices. Stealing an ancient sword is risky yet understandable. Entering a forbidden land is yet another precarious decision. But following the instructions of an ominous, obviously evil, being is a step in the wrong direction. Whether due to naivety or injudiciousness, Wander proceeds to slay 16 enormous colossi in the hope that his new "ally" will reawaken the beloved maiden. Instead, the sinister lord Dormin possesses his body, transforming Wander into darkness incarnate. In the end, Mono successfully opens her eyes and returns to the land of the living. Wander, however, regresses to the age of an infant, marked with horns upon his head to signify a curse. As the only bridge connecting the forbidden land from the rest of the world falls, only Mono, altered Wander, and his trusty steed Agro remain. The two are together again, yet they are worlds apart. Alive but isolated in a land of danger and mystery. The Darkness - Jackie and Jenny Hit man with a heart of gold may seem like an oxymoron, but in the case of Jackie Estacado, the seemingly opposing identities are more than true. After the death of his parents at a young age, Jackie was sent off to an orphanage where he met the love of his life, Jenny Romano. Their childhood friendship blossomed into an adult romance; a relationship seemingly too good to be true. Unfortunately, Jackie's profession would be the factor to catalyze the sudden change from conjugal bliss to marital tragedy. On the eve of his 21st birthday, Jackie was targeted in an assassination attempt by his own organization due to fears that he was attempting to take over the Franchetti Family. In an effort to shake Jackie at his core, Don Uncle Paulie kidnaps Jenny and travels to the orphanage from their youth. Jackie arrives in a homecoming of sorts to witness his enemies berating Jenny. In a scene of absolute helplessness,  the Darkness seizes Jackie's body, preventing him from intervening as the Don raises his gun to Jenny's face. Boom. Jenny crumples to the floor and the antagonists escape. Even through suicide, Jackie is unable to find peace. The Darkness cannot live without its host, and thus he returns to the land of the living, forced to continue his existence as a pawn of the malevolent being. Gears of War 2 – Dom and Maria Battling for humanity’s survival against a horde of reptilian humanoids may seem like a challenging feat, but the steroid-pumped, macho men of Gears of War claim otherwise. Corporal Dominic “Dom” Santiago, one of the elite soldiers chosen to fight against the Locust, is forced to not only deal with the hardships of war, but also with an internal struggle fueled by the death of his children and disappearance of his wife Maria. When news is received about her whereabouts, Dom trudges through hordes of alien forces to her rescue. The good news is Dom finds his wife alive. The bad news is she is malnourished, scarred, and mentally broken from the torment of slave labor. In the ultimate display of love, Dom ends her suffering with a single bullet to the head. Damn. God of War – Kratos and Lysandra Kratos may be Sparta’s most prominent ladies man, boasting encounters with countless women and even the Goddess of Love, but he wasn’t always the king of promiscuity. Before the demigod was known to partake in threesomes with advanced button-pressing sequences, he was a devoted husband and father. In a desperate move during a losing battle, the Spartan devoted his allegiance to the god of war Ares in return for victory against enemy Barbarian tribes. Through a twist of fate fueled by Kratos’s thirst for power, he was tricked by Ares to raid a nearby village. Blinded by Ares' power,  Kratos slaughtered every man, woman, and child in the village, including his own wife Lysandra and child Calliope. If that wasn’t enough, Kratos was cursed by a village oracle, forcing him to forever wear the ashes of his dead family on his skin. From that day forward, Kratos became known as The Ghost of Sparta; and ever since then, God of War has represented one of the most depressing love stories in videogames. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- What is your favorite videogame romance? Have you ever felt moved or saddened by gaming love affairs gone wrong?
Sad videogame romances photo
Still think love conquers all?
Valentine’s Day inspires a variety of emotions. While love is in the air for many, cupid has more sinister plans for a select few. A poor Valentine's Day for an average person might include seeing a movie alone or a sol...

Top five ways for a gaming couple to bond

Feb 13 // Taylor Stein
1. Breakfast and controller in bed. Mornings often reflect the epitome of stress; a battle against the clock thrusting dreary souls out into the unforgiving cold, all under the guise of necessity. Often enacted as a daily skirmish against the alarm clock or a misguided affair with the snooze button, the essence of get-up-and-go is undoubtedly hard to come by. Perhaps the most gratifying gifts that one could offer would be to transform that frantic morning hustle into a relaxing videogame inspired reprieve? Breakfast in bed with a side of videogames represents the trifecta of happiness: comfort, relaxation, and entertainment. Wrapped in a bundle of absolute joy, no mortal could deny the pleasure of munching down scrambled eggs and toast, with controller in hand, and eyes fixed upon the TV screen. Grant your loved one the gift of game time, in the most absolutely wonderful way possible. 2. Complement your valentine's gaming hobby with a custom controller. There are a multitude of tools that we depend on in our work lives. Carpenters are reliant upon a trusty set of power tools, and a film crew would be lost without expensive recording equipment. For the average gamer, the necessary tool of the trade is none other than the controller. With a few analog sticks and a handful of buttons, a gamer is able to take charge of any situation. Commanded to defeat a dark overlord? Easy. Trusted to free an entire kingdom? No problem. How about saving a princess? I'd like to see a wrench do that. After years of button mashing, control-stick grinding, and perhaps a few rage-induced slams to the floor, the closest thing that many will get to holding a gun, sword, or magic lance often shows its age. Rather than replacing an old controller with a standard model, invest in a custom version and kick Valentine's Day up to epic levels. Personalize the device with your loved one's favorite colors, patterns, or decals, and you're sure to impress your beloved. Not to mention, with a gift like that, your partner will certainly be willing to share. 3. Make your partner a home cooked meal ... with videogame flair. In the words of famous playwright George Bernard Shaw, "There is no love more sincere than the love of food." Take out is great and fast food gets the job done, but there is undoubtedly something special about a dish prepared from scratch with the ultimate flavor enhancer, love. How does one describe the savory, unctuous delight of a home cooked meal? From first glance the senses explode in a frenzy; aromas envelop one's being as eyes lock on the gastronomical marvel. Mouth salivates, brain revs in anticipation, and stomach awaits a close encounter of the culinary kind. Successfully delivering a sensory explosion of this nature will easily earn you 100 bonus points with your significant other, but as a gamer, 100 measly points just isn't enough. We've explored every inch of Skyrim, unlocked ultimate weapons in the realm of Final Fantasy, and built impressive achievement and trophy lists while amassing loads of virtual gold, coins, and rupees. Going the extra mile is what we do. Add a videogame inspired food item to the party, and the real-life celebration will be complete. Show your sweetheart that you can get your Cooking Mama on while embracing the hobby that they hold dear. A little bit of creativity goes a long way, and a Pac-Man cupcake is sure to make this Valentine's Day memorable for all the right reasons. 4. Plan a special trip for the two of you ... to a videogame convention. Taking a trip with a romantic partner often signifies a noteworthy milestone in a couple's relationship. You trust your significant other enough to showcase your post-nighttime bed head, and they trust you enough to spend more than 24 hours by your side. Armed with the fluttery sentiments of love, an island getaway might be the first notion to enter your thoughts. Your sweetheart might thank you, but your wallet sure won't. How memorable can sunbathing really be anyway? It might be impossible to agree with that special someone over politics or religion, but if you're dating a gamer, videogames are always a sure bet. Skip the tropical oasis and buy two tickets to a gaming convention instead. You'll still be able to achieve a level of romance in between events and exhibits, while managing to satiate your partner's inner nerd, geek, or game enthusiast at the same time. Not to mention, couple cosplay is always an option. Master Chief and Cortana anyone? 5. Have a couple's night in, cuddle up, and play co-op together. When a couple must manage the rigors of daily life: school, work and kids, paired with a cultural emphasis on conspicuous consumption, it can become easy to forget that a relaxing night at home is not only an option, but a fun alternative to the constant flow of dinner outings and movie dates. The fast-paced lives that many of us lead can act as an uninvited buffer between two people actually enjoying each other's company. If there is one day to step up and break the mold of an archetypal weekday evening, it's on Valentine's Day. Instead of dealing with hassle-filled dinner reservations, spend the night at home with your special someone and bond over a shared hobby of videogames. Playing together might be a rare treat, making it all the more memorable when you can successfully devote an hour or two to Valentine's Day co-op. There's nothing quite like bonding over surviving a horde of zombies together in Dead Island, or tag-team chainsawing an enemy alien in Gears of War. Despite the probable gory subject matter of the games you'll be playing, don't make that an excuse not to cuddle together in the name of Cupid.  ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but any gamer male or female can appreciate a gift that facilitates, encourages, and promotes their pastime of gaming. It is rare to be taken seriously as a gamer; we're instantly typified along a stringent line of negativity. With so much antagonism or simple misunderstanding within the general populace, having someone by your side who understands the thrill of saving Hyrule for the umpteenth time, is priceless. You might criticize Valentine's Day for being a commercial holiday or sulk at its arrival for other reasons, but if love and videogames could find a middle ground, maybe it would be worth giving a chance after all? Trust me, roses and chocolates get old fast. Why not break free from the traditional boring offerings and give your significant other something that they'd really enjoy this Valentine's day? [Images courtesy of Bitmob, Rolf Venema, Vox Efx, Echo.Plexus, Game Set Watch, and Feast of Fiction.]
Tips for gaming couples photo
Romance AND videogames? Heck yes.
Taylor is an avid gamer, sushi lover, and overall nerd. After founding two gaming-related sites of her own, she went on to intern with G4, and can now be found across the interwebs writing about videogames of all kinds. At le...

 photo

Early access: Gears of War: Judgement mode via pre-order


At GameStop
Jan 28
// Dale North
Your pre-order of Gears of War: Judgement at any GameStop gets you three-day early access to the game's five-on-five, Locusts vs COGs OverRun multiplayer mode. GameStop PowerUp Rewards members that get their pre-order in will...
 photo

Gears of War: Judgment to include original GOW token


Also, new GOW: Judgement trailer
Jan 22
// Dale North
Gears of War: Judgement launch copies will include an Xbox Live download token for the original Gears of War (except in Germany, as the game is banned there). Microsoft and Epic Games say that moe than half of gamers that pl...
Jimquisition photo
Jimquisition

Jimquisition: Epic Hole (B Mine Cliffy)


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Dec 31
// Jim Sterling
Over a year ago, Cliff Bleszinski (then of Epic Games) and myself had a public falling out and have never traded a word since. Ever a man of peace and goodwill, I hereby extend the olive branch the only way I know how -- with a little help from The Escapist's very own Miracle of Sound.
 photo

Here's the Gears of War: Judgment campaign trailer


Milky milk
Dec 10
// Jim Sterling
Oh, hello there! Why not sit down and watch this trailer for Gears of War: Judgment, as seen during the Spike Videogame Commercials? It has guns in it, and some other things that aren't guns. Mostly guns, though. And shoutin...
 photo

Gears of War: Judgment pre-orders are now open


Get a free gun, because videogames!
Nov 07
// Brett Zeidler
You know what's a weird thing? Opening up pre-orders on a specified day. I remember when the name of a title was known, you could just roll up in any old game store and put down a pre-order. Now you have to wait until "parti...
 photo

New studio The Astronauts forms licensing deal with Epic


What other engine is there?
Oct 12
// Brett Zeidler
Do you remember a time when Unreal Engine 3 wasn't powering every game coming out, from epic sci-fi RPGs to football titles? Yeah, neither do I. Before a studio announces they'll be using Epic's meat-man simulator, we pretty ...
 photo

Jimquisition: Crying Through The Laughs


Jimquisition happens every Monday!
Sep 17
// Jim Sterling
Most games are depressed and miserable, but are they truly tragic? Of course not, otherwise there wouldn't be a video asking such a deliberately leading question. The trouble with most games today is that they rush to the sa...
 photo

Assassin's Creed dev accuses game journalists of racism


Aug 17
// Jim Sterling
Assassin's Creed III creative director Alex Hutchinson has accused game journalists of "subtle racism" thanks to the way they treat Japanese games. Apparently, enjoying the narrative of Japanese games is condescending and rac...
 photo

Epic Games buys Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly


Aug 13
// Jordan Devore
Though Epic Games acquired a majority share of Painkiller and Bulletstorm developer People Can Fly all the way back in 2007, they only now got around to buying the company fully. This comes alongside the news that three top m...

SDCC: More fun times with GoW: Judgment's Overun mode

Jul 13 // Hamza CTZ Aziz
The Locust players will get to use Tier 2 type characters once they've gotten enough points. They're all basically overpowered and pretty awesome. I'm not the best Gears player, but when I realized I could just destroy everything with the Corpser, I ended up using him over and over. The Corsper has a special ability where he can dig underground, letting him bypass fences and destroy obstacles directly above his path. Once above ground, the Corpser has these powerful claws that he can slam into opponents, usually killing them instantly. Admittedly, it's very overpowered and the other team was quick to abuse the Corpser themselves once we had to switch sides for the next round. Overall, the match took around 15 to 20 minutes on each side, with the game ending in a draw. While I did like the Tier 2 Locust characters as they were, I do hope they get properly balanced in the final product. There needs to be some better limitations on how much players can use them. Otherwise, teams of Corpsers can easily dominate and destroy every time. All in all, Overrun is simply a blast to play. Like Horde mode before it, I wonder how soon other games will try to mimic Overrun once they see the potential -- it's a great way to break up the monotony of traditional shooter games.
 photo

Gears of War: Judgment is bringing with it a new multiplayer mode called Overrun. It's a first for Gears as the mode focuses on class-based gameplay, with a major focus on teamwork. While I dug what I played at E3, it turns o...

 photo

SDCC: Gears of War: Judgment scheduled for March 2013


Jul 13
// Jordan Devore
[Update: Epic Games and People Can Fly have announced that Gears of War: Judgment is (more specifically) going to launch for Xbox 360 on March 19, 2013. Mark your calendar and read our latest impressions.] Oh, that Twitter ne...
 photo

Infinity Blade is Epic's most profitable game


Jun 27
// Jim Sterling
Most readers will associate Epic Games almost exclusively with Gears of War these days, but Cliffy B's muscular man fantasy is not the company's prime breadwinner. Those who know about pulling power of mobile gaming (or just ...

  Around the web (login to improve these)




Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -