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Gears of War 3 is finally upon us, and with it comes the finale to the current story arc along with a few new additions to the franchise. Favorites such as horde mode and multiplayer have returned, but now players can enjoy the campaign with a four player cooperative mode, as well as finding a sick glee from killing humans in the new beast mode. Does Gears 3 live up to the hype from its predecessors, or should it to be torn apart like a locust? Read on to find out.
Picking up a few months after where Gears of War 2 left us, we find that the Cog has been disbanded and the few survivors have found refuge in the safer parts of the world. Of course, as always, this is when all hell starts to break loose. A presumably dead Chairman Prescott lands on a carrier ship, the CNV Soveriegn, and surprises Marcus and other remaining COG members not only with being alive, but informs Marcus that his father has also cheated death. As if on cue the ship is attacked by the Lambent which mortally wounds Prescott and forces Marcus and the crew to leave their home and begin their quest to find the man who can kill the Lambent, Marcusís father Alex Fenix.
While I donít believe that this is the end of the Gears of War franchise, this title certainly gives the impression that we wonít be playing as Marcus or his COG team anytime soon. I wouldnít be surprised to see an announcement of a new Gears game with a different team of COG members, but, thatís not a bad thing because the story is wrapped up nicely. Gears 3 does a fantastic job of answering many questions people have had for years unlike other finales.
Four player online coop campaign is something that the series has desperately needed for quite a while and Iím pleased to see it finally implemented. While the story is engaging and exciting, thereís just something about running into a group of enemies knowing that your friends have your back. Additionally, throughout the campaign there was never any bit of lag between my teammates and I which rounded out an enjoyable experience. Anyone who has been on the search for a kick ass game to play with your friends, Gears 3 is more than capable of fulfilling that wish.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a perfect game. A staple of the Gears series, multiplayer returns with a few different modes such as Versus and Capture the Leader. Similar to previous titles in the series, many find that the shotguns are overpowered and Iíd have to agree with them. More often than not battles are fought within hand to hand combat range with shotguns shells being blasting away back and forth. In addition, the retro lancer is in the same overpowered category, so, rather than having diverse battles players will be facing off against each other using the same weapons every match which can become tiresome very quickly.
Horde mode has also been brought back but adds a new twist. In this COG vs. Locusts and Lambent survival mode, when enemies are killed they now yield points along with money. Barriers, turrets, and other objects can be purchased to make the upcoming rounds a bit easier to handle. Also, when players spend money their skill level in the particular department that itís spent on goes up which can unlock different upgrades to their defenses. This is saved so when you join a later horde game your levels will be carried over as well so you can further help your well oiled team as time progresses. I love this new addition as it expands on the fun that the mode brought in previous titles and gives Horde even more re-playability.
Beast mode is a new addition and plays very similar to Horde just with a slightly different perspective. In this time trial players take control of different types of beasts from the Locust and attempt to kill all the humans in the area. By taking out fortifications and enemies, the Locust are awarded bonus time and finances which, rather than spent on fortifications, are spent by spawning as a bigger and badder Locust. As more points are gained different tiers of Locust are unlocked and soon youíll be crushing puny human skulls as a massive Berserker, or making their life difficult with the Giant Serapede. While this mode is a tad short with only twelve rounds, there is a sick glee that I get when I run up to a scavenger down on his luck and blow him to smithereens. A fantastic mode that is a great addition to the Gears of War universe.
Most of the time Gears of War 3 looks like a piece of art. Environments and explosions look top notch, and enemy designs will leave you in horror. However, during a few of the cut-scenes as the camera zoomed in on a character and it would take a few moments for their entire body to texturize which is nothing new. Watching Cole talk while his body had no definition was a bit funny. However, this minor gripe is soon forgotten as you see a Lambent explode leaving his body parts and fluids across the battlefield.
Hands down Gears of War 3 is a ton of fun. With the addition of playing the campaign with 3 of your friends online, tearing through wave after wave in horde mode, or senselessly murdering humans in beast mode, Gears 3 has something for everybody. Though be sure to play the game when you can mute your mic from your friends, parts of the campaign are strong enough to make any broseph choke up just a little bit.
For its amazing gameplay, fantastic story, and the ability to spend countless hours online we give Gears of War 3 5/5 stars.
Gears of War 3 is developed by Epic Games, published by Microsoft Studios, and retails for $59.99 for the XBox 360. read