Here we are the final chapter in developers Epic’s epic trilogy, Gears of War 3. Gears of War 3 is an amazing game that you must play. In all seriousness the game is easily the the best out of any of the previous games in the franchise, however it simply would not have been as good a game without the others leading up to it. I almost have to treat this as somewhat of a review of a trilogy to a degree because of that. You play the games in third person getting to know the characters, their personalities and their background all through out the games. Playing the Gears of War 2 campaign is not necessary, but no doubt recommended. You can get away without playing the games first campaign but the Gears of War games progressively become more personal and emotional as the story goes on. Gears of War 3 does an amazing job of mixing an emotional masterpiece with an action packed campaign with tons more to do outside of the campaign.
For the first time in all the games you can play Gears of War 3 with 4 people in the campaign, which just expands the experience and makes the campaign that much better as well as adding replay value. You might want to play as a certain character in the campaign which would lead to playing the campaign more than once. With the added Arcade mode, you might very well want to play the campaign many times as Arcade mode is the same campaign, only you are scored on everything you do making it a competitive co-op experience. You can even gain experience to level up in campaign as well as every single mode in the game however, you are not going to reaching the top level by playing campaign only this century. This is still a great add on to the game especially in Arcade mode when you can see how many points you are getting in comparison to your team mates.
The Gears of War 3 campaign was quite an experience and you become closer to the characters in the franchise right from the beginning, seeing where they eat and sleep. As the story progresses you only feel closer to the characters as if you know them personal and can feel their emotions. It has been a long road to salvation through out the games and you can see that more than ever in this game as these soldiers have bled, sweat and done everything they have had to to survive this seemingly endless battle for the planet Serra. It is extremely hard to explain how in depth the game goes as far as twists, turns surprises and things you would never think possible, even in this sci-fi franchise, without giving away any spoilers. I suppose a good way to describe the campaign is an emotional roller coaster through hell and back. Now I know you good also say the same about the last game but this time around it is taken to the limit, with all the stops being pulled out. This is the final chapter closing the trilogy once and for all, although it has been said that there will be more Gears of War games, this is the end to a very long war.
There are not many trilogies when it comes to gaming, and when there are there are, none like this as I cannot emphasize that enough. Each character has come a long way is just about every aspect. People have changed, people have gone and newcomers have entered to storyline. As far as the main characters that have been with us from the beginning, most of them are on a mission of redemption with each of them having their moments that either take them back or push them into reality as they don’t know where they will end up or what will be of their home. Either way they pull together as always with a little bit of faith and just the perfect team you know as Delta Squad to keep the world turning. There are so many surprises during the campaign, it is unbelievable with it all coming to the culmination of knowing how it all started, just to understand how it all must end.
The campaign is one hell of a ride, where you might laugh, or cry only to have to realize you are still in the middle of a world war, having to stay on your toes at all times to survive. The story is far from everything packed on this one disc though as you have plenty of other ways to wreak some havoc and have a blast doing it. There is of course online multiplayer with the game giving you the option whether you want to play ‘Execution’, where the player must be killed up close and you can self revive yourself if down, where as ‘Warzone’ is generally similar only when you are down you are out unless you’re revived by a team mate, as well as being able to kill from a distance. In ‘Capture the Leader’, you must grab the enemy leader and hang on to them until the timer runs out, although if the other team has your leader it turns into a stalemate until one of the leaders are freed. ‘King of the Hill’ is pretty self explanatory with a constantly changing control point, that once capture you are free to move around as you rack up the allotted points to win, unless of course an enemy enters the control point (circle), breaking your teams reign over it. ‘Wingman’ returns with the same rules with where teams of two must eliminate the other three teams to win the round, with the default score limit being set at 15. The new mode in Gears of War 3 is ‘Team Deathmatch’ and is in my opinion one of the most fun multiplayer modes in the game with you simply having to eliminate all members of the opposing team, but you can respawn until your team has depleted them.
Upon choosing these modes you can then either choose Quick Match which will include bots or Ranked Match which is only live players. Leveling up and receiving rewards, are the same in both modes. There is even now a ‘Casual Mode’ for players that are completely new the the franchise, where Veterans automatically opt out of this mode. You can still choose to make a private or custom match in any of these modes. The only thing that bothered me was that you do not have the option to pick you character in between matches once choosing ‘Quick Match’ like you could in Gears of War 2 but is not such a big deal as you can custom set you load out from the start menu under multiplayer. One great aspect of Gears of War 3 is that you could literally hate online versus but still have a blast with the game. Gears of War 3 has added ‘Beast Mode’ which similar to Horde Mode, but you now play as Locust and you must unlock and purchase what Locust you want to be whether it is a cheap ‘Ticker’ or a nearly unstoppable ‘Berseker’. The more kills you rack up and the more COG fortification you destroy, the more money you will get and although there are only 12 waves, Beast Mode is a blast, finally getting a chance to play as locust using there many unique attacks.
In addition to Beast Mode, Horde Mode returns bigger, better and way more badass as was the slogan for Gears of War 2. In Horde 2.0 you will be put up against much more of a variety of enemies than the previous Horde Mode and each wave can differ with what enemies attack you. Of course you have new enemies from the campaign as well as bonus rounds, where if you say kill enemies a certain way you will get a money bonus. You will find money useful for attaining weapons, ammo and building fortifications. Gears of War 3 goes beyond just trying to grab shields to protect yourself. You can now build things like ground spikes, barbed wire, decoys, turret guns and even build yourself a Silverback (Mech with mounted turret and stationary missile launcher). You will need money for everything, even just picking up a frag will cost you something, so it is important to work with your team and co-ordinate your money together as well as you strategies… if you plan on surviving that is. Every 10th wave (out of the 50) the Queen unleashes her worst. Just playing by myself I died with two Berserker charging me at the same time while another try on the 10th wave a freaking Brumak appeared… so you will want to be ready for anything. All fortifications are upgradable as well, as you will have to level up a fortification by buying it so many time and you be able to go from ground spikes to barbwire just as one example.
Possibly one of the coolest aspects of the game, which many got a glimpse of in the Beta are the Medals, Ribbons and unlockables. You will gain something for doing literally everything in the game, whether it is an active reload, a simple kill with a specific weapon to even playing a match as a female character. While you may not unlock something everytime you do these things, you are certainly taking part in eventually unlocking something. Characters and weapon skins can be unlocked from beating the game to getting Gold for a medal, or simply leveling up. For instance ‘Superstar Cole’ is unlocked by getting the Gold MVP Medal, which would require you to go through bronze then silver and then eventually attaining 100 MVP Ribbons to Get the Gold MVP Medal. After Gold is Onyx and there are medals for nearly everything, which you can set to your profile so people see that medal in game. To give something to the Veterans and Hardcore fans of the game something back for their support, you can unlock things from attaining certain goals in previous Gears of War Games. Beating all three games will give you the Golden Gnasher Shotgun and just earning a single Achievement in the PC version will get you the Chrome Sawed-Off Shotgun. There are so many unlockable characters and weapon skins not to mention ones you will be able to purchase on day one of release.
Gears of War 3 is simply everything you could have asked for to end a trilogy. The campaign is something so unique to others where you become so intimate with the characters that it is almost like you are living through them, understanding how they feel from their facial expressions to their body language. This is where the Unreal Engine shines through with the amazing graphics of the character models as well as the stunning scenery, lighting, patterns and textures that bring the world to life like you have never seen it before. With a truly draw dropping campaign along with all the other modes, you just can’t go wrong with Gears of War 3 which where I come back to say that this is really one hell of a trilogy. The previous games are cheaper than ever now and if their is one collection you should make a part of your gaming collection, it is the Gears of War trilogy. I kept wondering ‘Why hasn’t a film been made for this franchise?.. It is so well written.’ Well I know now why and it is because it already has been made.. it has been made into an emotionally, action packed interactive thrill ride that is better than any film that could be made. It is the closing masterpiece, Gears of War 3.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
One hell of ride in campaign mode. Everything seems to finally be balanced in online in the last game in the trilogy, surely thanks to the beta.
The Lancer may have a few too many bullets in terms of being over powered online.