Review by ChronoShot

Reviewed: 11/13/06

If you have a 360, you MUST own this game

Gears of War has, for a long time, been hyped to be the killer app for the Xbox 360. It was supposed to be the entire reason you bought the system. It was supposed to be the Halo of 2006. It was supposed to have the best graphics to date. Such high expectations usually lead to big disappointments. But is Gears of War the exception? Read on and find out.

Story: 8

You are Marcus Fenix. A former COG member thrown in jail for disobeying orders in an failed attempt to rescue his father on the day that the Locust began to attack the planet Sera, Emergence Day. Years later, your best friend Dom breaks you out of prison to help in the failing effort to defeat the Locust. And that's about it. You don't really go too deep into the story or the characters, it's basically about the experiences of the soldiers during the war.

Gameplay: 10

Although the lack of depth in the story is a bit disappointing, the game more than makes up for it with it's gameplay. The game is all about ducking and covering. If you don't take cover, you'll be dead in about 5 seconds. The game does this incredibly well, yet doesn't really do a whole lot of new things. The enemy AI is incredible. They'll take cover, flank you, use melee attacks when you get too close, and shoot you any chance they get. There are a lot of weapons to play around with such as machine guns, pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles, frag grenades, smoke grenades, and my personal favorite, the Hammer of Dawn. The Hammer of Dawn isn't really a gun, it's more of a targeting device. You aim at your target, and a giant laser from a satellite comes down and obliterates your target. The only downside is that you can only use it outside and when the satellites are aligned, which doesn't happen much. Overall, the gameplay is crazy fun, but not exactly anything revolutionary.

Graphics: 10

Absolutely the best graphics I have ever seen in my life. And I don't even have an HDTV. The textures are amazing, the lighting is incredible, the character models for both allies and enemies is absurdly detailed. One of the hypes of Gears of War was that it was supposed to be the greatest looking game to date. And while I obviously haven't played every game to date, Gears of War blows away anything I have ever seen (including Oblivion).

Sound: 9

Cinematic, epic, and all-around fantastic. The music makes you feel like this game truly is one of the best of all time. The voice acting is no slouch either. Each soldier sounds like a "manly man" in the fact that their voice acting is low and gritty. The voices for the Locust are incredible as well. They sound just like you would think: like monsters.

Multiplayer: 8

The multiplayer in this game isn't anything special. The modes of Versus play include Warzone (Team Deathmatch), Assassination (kill the leader of the other team), and Execution, where you need to finish off your opponents to kill them completely. Usually a curb stomp works great, or maybe a nice chainsaw to the face. While I haven't been able to play Co-Op, I've heard that it's one of the highlights of the game. I've also had a few problems losing connections in multiplayer. I'm not sure if it is my internet or the game, but it seems to happen a lot.

Replay Value: 9

This is the game you will keep in your Xbox 360 for a while. The campaign will last you from about 8 to 12 hours, and the multiplayer will keep you coming back for more. While the single player game doesn't have much actual replay value, you'll want to replay it on harder difficulties just because it's so dang fun.

Overall: 9/10

This game really is the killer app everyone's been waiting for. Like shooters? Buy this game. Don't like shooters? Buy this game. Looking back on all the hype, I can say with confidence that Gears of War delievers all the hype and more. Don't rent this game. Buy it. You won't regret it.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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