Gears of War 3 Review

By on September 23, 2011

Epic concludes the Gears trilogy with style, and substance.

Good: Brilliant story for single player; Horde mode 2.0 and Beast mode are highly expanded co-op modes; Multiplayer is much improved over first 2 games
Bad: Nothing, apart from a few minor bugs here and there that can be easily patched out; Matchmaking in UAE takes ages
Price: AED 269
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

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The impact Gears of War has had on the video games industry is undeniable; from creating a system seller game that defied all expectations of how good a game can look on a console, to selling an engine that set the industry standard of a generation of consoles, Epic’s Gears of War series has been a huge success story. And today, I’ll be looking at the final chapter in this truly epic (pun not intended) series.

As with any franchise, the developers always seek to improve upon the mistakes of the previous iteration, and Gears 3 is no exception. One of the biggest complaints many Gears’ fans have had is that the single player story, intriguing as it is, is laughable at best in terms of narration, with character development pretty much non-existent.  With Gears 3, though, Epic has hired Karen Traviss as the lead writer for the single player campaign; a New York Times bestselling author who’s also penned all four of the Gears of War novels.

While that in itself was enough to inspire confidence in me that Gears 3 will finally get the story treatment that it deserves, the benefits of hiring Traviss can be seen as soon as the game starts. Marcus is in jail (again?!) and recalling his final moments with his father, Adam Fenix; thinking aloud how he always wanted to do right by him, but even in the end he was unable to save his dad. And throughout this bleak scenario the world is breaking apart, enemies come and go, but the crux of this situation shows a depressing moment between father and son.

The rest of the game’s story unfolds in a similar situation, with proper narration; whether it’s through radio communication, or the back and forth banter between squad members, or the obvious cutscene; the story has been given proper treatment this time around. So much so, that I fear many players who just want straight up action from the single player campaign will be irritated by many of the unskippable scenarios where the story is unfolding.  Still, anyone who has read the books will truly enjoy all the different characters that come and go, not to mention various places which will have significant meaning for readers because we know its historical relevance (within that universe), whereas the average player will just see these places as another pretty new map.

In all honesty I wasn’t completely satisfied with how the story was played out, but at this point I’m getting overly critical of the “proper” treatment of a story in an action videogame where one of the most satisfying moves is to chainsaw an ugly alien in half, starting from its ass.

So that’s the single player campaign, but I’m not done with it yet. Apart from experiencing the story from Marcus Fenix and Dom’s point of view, you’ll also see things from a slightly different perspective as Baird and Cole form a completely different team, with their parts of the story unfolding simultaneously with Marcus and Dom. That’s not to say that you’ll be doing the same things as Marcus and Dom, while playing Cole and Baird, but you’ll ultimately know where things are headed.  Semantics aside, the fun comes in the form of four player co-op as you can play the entire campaign with up to three other buddies.

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From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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