Review by miscs

Reviewed: 01/02/07

Shows the xbox 360's potential.

Gears of war has to be one of the most beautiful and enjoyable shooters to ever be released. I don’t remember enjoying a game this much since Zelda. Enough said? Let’s get started. Gears of war is a third person shooter which is set in the future on a planet called sera and shows off an innovative design with great visuals.

Story. Gears of war is set on a planet called Sera which has mostly been destroyed by the Locust Horde they began there attack on Sera on what is known to be Emergence Day. You pick up the game in a prison cell your character is Marcus Fenix who is a former cog solider locked in prison for treachery .As you begin to play though the game you learn more information about your objective and the war on the Locust. Although sadly there isn’t very much of a back story to the game so you don’t learn very much about the locust horde or Emergence Day. On a whole the story really isn’t
That great which is a little disappointing but it doesn’t ruin the experience of the game.

Game play. The game play of gears of war uses a really innovative and realistic design in which you play though the fire fights in cover almost like a real battlefield. But if you don’t have much experience with shooters then the Gears of war system might be challenging at first although in time you will pick it up. The game a utilises third person design rather than first person even though I am not really a fan of third person genre but Gears of war defiantly suits this design. When you begin to play you won’t really notice any glitches are bugs that take away from the game play but that’s not saying there isn’t any there but rather they’re just hard to find. Gears of war is defiantly not in any way similar to any game I have played and feels in some aspects like a futuristic tactical shooter. But unlike a tactical shooter the health system is a lot more enjoyable you won’t be able to get stuck because you don’t have any health the regenerating health system makes the game a lot more player friendly and especially adds to the multi-player element of the game.

Sound. Gears of war sounds amazing the sound effects as your shooting the locust or just the music in the background are perfect for this style of game. With this mixture of sound effects and music gears of war doesn’t really have any down points when it comes to sounding good it really adds to the atmosphere. Gears of war doesn’t disappoint either when it comes to voice acting either it is pretty well timed and acted out which is a key part for the cinematic part of the game Even the locust sound good with there voice set.

Graphics. Gears of war looks amazing possibly one of the best looking games I have ever played textures and environments look beautiful. But even though it looks beautiful it doesn’t always render the textures and characters immediately sometimes it can take a while it is mainly noticeable in cut scenes were the frame rate doesn’t hold quite so well. Even though it has some problems there is still no denying that it looks outstanding Probably one of the best looking console games to date.

Multi-player. Gears of war offers a unique multi-player experience the first one being able to play though the campaign on co-op this is a great feature for local play with your friends or over xbox live. The co-op works by player two takes over the character of Dominic Santiago and player one plays as Marcus Fenix using this system the co-op plays a lot better than most other games with a co-op campaign. The second form of multi-player gears of war has it over xbox live or local play which I have to say is fun but doesn’t have a lot of variety. Gears of war doesn’t have the game types that other games have like capture the flag etc the game types it does have are fun and will keep you going for a long time after you have finished the campaign.

Difficulty. The difficulty system is pretty good but I think that it could have used four difficulty settings rather than three. The AI in the game is pretty smart and tends not to focus all there attention on you but attack you and you squad equally. Less experienced players may struggle with the game at first because it seems so complicated but don’t worry after a while the control scheme will just become natural and you will probably finish the game in about 12 hours.

Design. Gears of war has a great design the environments are so well done they really give you an atmosphere of war and destroyed beauty. The character models for the locust and cog are very well presented as well and give you the impression of how tough the cog soldiers are with the scars on there faces and there bulky armor and huge muscles. The locust models are no different they show how terrifying the locust are and in some cases show you the remains of what they have done. The level designs are pretty simple you will never be able to get lost in them which in a way is a good point but at the same time a down point. The good point about the levels been simple is that you’re nearly always in the action and shooting something but the down point to this it shortens the life span of the game because you never have to really look for your next route after you have cleared and area. The boss battles in Gears of war are also very well thought out it’s not always clear on how you defeat the boss which adds a nice puzzle element to the game. In conclusion gears of war has a really great design the environments are fantastic and the character models look great.

Replay value. Gears of war really doesn’t have the replay value that I would have hoped for after you play though the story once you’re not really compelled to do it again. Afterwards it feels as if the multi-player is the only real thing that will keep you immersed in the game which it does beautifully the multi-player aspect can keep you entertained for weeks alone. Even though there isn’t a large replay value in the game it shouldn’t be overlooked it is still definitely worth it.

Control scheme. The control scheme for Gears of war is complicated at first but after a couple of hours you realise you only need only a few buttons and there all laid out really well. I have only one problem with this layout though the A button does way too much and can sometimes do actions that you don’t want to do it feels as if they tried to simplify it too much . But other than that it is pretty flawless

Problems. Every game has its problems and Gears of war is no different here is some issues that could have been fixed but were over looked during its production.

-Some parts of the game render really slow sometimes quite annoying.
-Too many commands on the A button.
-Not enough back story.
-Weapons aren’t really that futuristic.
-Frame rate doesn’t hold up sometimes in cut scenes.
-Could be more difficulty settings.
-Really short campaign.
-Weapons aren’t all that futuristic.

Good points. Gears of war has some great game play and stunning visuals. The character models are great and the sound track is top notch here is a list of the things I think really stand out.

-The best visuals on a console to date.
-Innovative design makes great game play.
-Great multi-player offers hours of entertainment after you have finished the campaign.
-Awesome soundtrack and sound effects.
-Great health system not too harsh.
-Great voice acting.
-Character models for the locust and cog are great.
-Constant action your pretty much always shooting at something.

Conclusion. Gears of war is an excellent game that shows the power of the xbox360 and is the best game on the console. Graphical wise Gears is one of the best looking console games ever to be released and is also one of the only games that managed to live up to the huge amount of hype the game had before launch. My final words are if you have an xbox 360 and are looking for a great shooter for your collection you won’t be disappointed with Gears of war but you will wish the game wasn’t so short.

Overall scores.

Design 10/10

Story 7/10

Control scheme 8/10

Graphics 9/10

Sounds 10/10

Game play 9/10

Replay value 6/10

Multi-player 9/10

Final score 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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