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.
9.5/10

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Of course, the co-op action continues much further with the new Horde 2.0 mode, where you can team up with up to four other friends and take on 50 waves of progressively difficult Locust enemies. There are many new additions to this mode, not least of which is facing some very memorable bosses that you’ve confronted in previous Gears of War games. Seriously, when I saw a Brumak spawn for the first time, it was one of those jaw dropping moments I had in the first game. And these bosses don’t follow an order, as they will spawn at random points on every tenth wave.

Further changes have been made in the way you can fortify your positions on any given map, through all the money earned by killing the locust. And fortify you will, because even on the easiest difficulty, things get out of hand very, very quickly. The only advantage of going for a higher difficulty in Horde mode, apart from stroking the ego, is the bonus multiplier you get, ergo more money for even better fortifications.  Even within this, there’s an element of levelling up various fortifications. For instance, if you keep on adding fences, and upgrading them and repairing them, you will level up in that field, leading to more powerful fences (from barbed wires to lasers). Similarly if you just keep on spending money on gun turrets, you don’t just get normal bullets, but rockets as well. Even after the lengthy campaign, the Horde mode should keep you busy for a long time.

The Beast mode is similar to the Horde mode, but going in the opposite direction. In this mode you’re actually playing as the locust, and the objective is obviously killing off humans. It’s nice to play the other side for a change. And I’m saying this mostly because I always wanted to experience how it felt to play as certain locusts, and in this mode you can start from the tiny little annoying Tickers, and go all the way up to the legendary Berserker! Honestly, Beast mode is best played in short bursts, mostly because there are only 12 waves of humans to kill, and starting each round there’s a countdown timer within which you have to kill off everyone. Obviously the more humans you kill, the more time that’s added to your original 1 minute countdown, and the more money you make to unlock the different tiers of locust monstrosities.

The last mode I’ll talk about is the one that will keep you occupied with Gears for the longest time; the multiplayer mode. Actually there’s not much to talk about here, except that some genuinely great advancements have been made to make this even more accessible and deeper than Gears 1 or 2. So first off the multiplayer is being run on dedicated servers, hence no more host advantage. If there’s no multiplayer saved game file found on your Xbox 360, or even if you still want to, you can start off the multiplayer in a controlled environment where you’re only teamed up with complete newcomers. Depending on your performance, you will then be boosted to standard multiplayer where your skill level will decide who you’re paired up with. It’s a simple solution to an otherwise cutthroat multiplayer scene. I’m sure the multiplayer beta earlier this year must have helped Epic tremendously, and with future updates as more and more data is obtained, the multiplayer can only get better.

I’m just happy with the amount of unlockables there are as my rank increases. While I do find it a bit disturbing that even before the game was officially released, there were a plethora of skins for different weapons available already. That said, it does show that Epic will be supporting this game in any way possible. More than anything though, I’m just happy that Gridlock is back, as it used to be the de facto multiplayer map for me in the first Gears of War.

So what Gears of War 3 provides is not only a technical refinement over its predecessors in terms of gameplay style and mechanics, it also provides a richer experience with different co-op modes with multiple levels of depth within each mode. The single player story is given its fair share of plot and character development with some really memorable moments. And even once you’re done with the various co-op modes, the multiplayer will keep you busy for years to come, because there is quite literally no other game that provides a “Gears” like experience.

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About

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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