Review by Guns_A_Blazing

Reviewed: 11/27/06

Amazing game, even better with friends!

After thoroughly playing this game for about three weeks now, I can say this was definitely an enjoyable game and worth the sixty dollars I paid for it. I'd even go as far to say that this is, at the moment, my favorite 360 title. Not just the game on Campaign is amazing, however; the Online modes make this game a must-have for Live users, as it brings amazing fun to almost all FPS fans.

Gameplay: 9/10
I found the gameplay to be well done. Although there aren't that many weapons to use (From what I can remember, about 10), they are separated throughout the story evenly, so it doesn't get to repetitive or boring. Also, the Active Reload function is pretty neat, and an innovative thing brought to FPS games. The cover system is actually needed in this game, which I find nice. People that enjoy blasting your way through the levels might not like this, though. It's somewhat possible on Casual difficulty, but on the harder difficulties, cover is a must. GoW also keeps the game fresh by introducing new characters or minigames of a sort just about every act. The boss fights are also thrilling, and are great the first time through. However, the game is a little short. The average gamer could probably beat it within 7-8 hours. Still, it has a great replay value, and the fact that there is Co-op and online Co-op even add more fun. The enemy AI is pretty amazing as well. Most enemies will take cover where necessary, as well as move or peek out to shoot at most opportunities. As previously said, someone would probably find themselves getting gunned down just running in and blasting away. The enemy makes it very difficult to do this, and so taking cover and popping out to take shots makes it a very realistic setting and a lot of fun.

One thing that makes the gameplay absolutely amazing? Online Versus or System Link. This game's multiplayer is top notch, and is some of the best I have ever played. Every level is balanced, as most are almost symmetrical, and even if the other team has the more powerful weapons, you are not at much of a disadvantage, as the weapons in this aren't powerful enough to take on a whole team. Again, the online Co-op is really fun, as is playing Versus with some friends. I would say the Versus is even better than most FPS games, even including Halo 2. Nothing is more fun than getting together with friends and playing this game. It will definitely keep you entertained for at least a good two or three hours, if not more.

Graphics: 10/10
The graphics are outstanding, probably the best brought to the 360 so far. From the character models to the surroundings, everything looks very realistic, and to show off the game's graphic powers even more, most cutscenes are done with in-game graphics. The framerate is also constant, so there is hardly ever a time where the game might freeze up or get pixelated. Another amazing thing is how far you can actually see on this game. If you were to look at the farthest point on the screen, you would probably think you could go there. Of course, the game isn't that large, but it just shows how it makes everything look equally good. Once again, amazing graphics. The locust look awesome, as they are intimidating and certainly look like they're ready to take out some COG soldiers. Also, the main characters in the game look well done and unique in their own way.

Sound: 10/10
This is another awesome part of the game. The voice acting is well done, as are the sound effects, such as the chainsaw, gunfire, even the locusts' creepy growls. The sound will definitely keep you on your toes, as you can hear gunfire and locust from very far away. The music, although there isn't much, is also really good. It's also great to hear online people get active reloads, as their characters will respond with things such as: "Hell yea!" "Bring it on, Baby!" from across the map. Even then, it's funny to hear people mess up a reload, as a sentence riddled with profanity and cursing usually follows.

Replay value: 8/10
I would say someone could run through the game about three or four times before getting bored with the Campaign, and online Co-op even furthers this length. The different difficulties really bring an actual challenge to the table, and you will definitely find it satisfying to beat an act on the harder difficulties. And even after you get bored with it, this is a great game to come back and play after a while, especially when you might have a friend over or someone on Live might want to play some Co-op.

So, why doesn't the game get a 10? Because it has it's minor flaws, just like every game. It is most likely impossible to make a game everyone will enjoy, and as well done as this game is, there are problems. It can get repetitive on the Campaign after a few playthroughs, and the story is lacking pretty badly. Still, Gears of War is a great game, I would definitely consider it a buy.

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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