Brothers to THE END
Gears of War 3 is Epic’s, and one of Microsoft’s most successful franchises. From a fiscal standpoint, closing the book on the franchise is a terrible idea. But, maybe Cliff Bleszinski and the crew at Epic would rather focus on something new and different.
In Gears of War 3 you play as one of 8 playable characters, due to the addition of 4-player co-op. When you’re player one, you are Marcus Fenix (the main hulking bro), or Augustus Cole (the “WHOOO!” bro). You’re mostly Marcus, because this is his story.
After sinking/flooding Jacinto at the end of Gears of War 2, we learned that Marcus’ father Adam Fenix was still alive. In Gears of War 3 your objectives are to both find and rescue Adam Fenix, and to help him put a stop to the lambent scourge.
- Old weapons for familiar awesomeness. A lot of the weapons from Gears past make their return. The lancer is as awesome as always, and the hammerburst somehow feels even more powerful than it did in Gears 2. There’s also the retro lancer, which is up there with the regular lancer and the scorcher (flamethrower) for most satisfying execution.
- They really conclude the story. I’m not going to say how, but I find it hard to see there being a sequel to Gears of War 3.
- It has some really great set-pieces. One of the things the series has always done well is great firefights, and in Gears 3 there are some awesome on-rails action sequences, which was a surprise.
- Beast mode, a sort of a reverse horde mode where you play as the locust, is awesome. You get to be a wide variety of locust with varying skill sets, and have a limited time to kill a group of humans. It’s a very fun game mode.
- Horde mode is still awesome. They made it more involved by rewarding you with money and giving you the opportunity to pay for defenses, so there’s less frantic scrambling for boomshields to block off your makeshift stronghold. They still come in handy though.
- Multiplayer is pretty addictive. It features 10 tight maps which make for some great firefights and battles for positions.
- I really liked Acts 3-5, and I was more into Act 2 than 1, because I really didn’t like Act 1. Based on that alone I was ready to call Gears 3’s the worst campaign in the series. The rest of it was redeeming enough though.
- Speaking of Act 1, this leads to my next point, which is: the lambent are bad enemies. There’s nothing to take away from the visceral awesomeness of chainsawing an enemy in half, or shooting them into a pile of parts point blank with a shotgun than making them explode at death. Gears of War 3 also turns into a bad Left 4 Dead game during a couple of the chapters, which is sad.
- The emotional parts of the story are handled rather poorly. Instead of saying anything remotely emotionally powerful the characters would rather brush the issues off until “later”. But, as a friend cleverly put it “It’s not Tears of War.”