Review by Chronic_Apathy

Reviewed: 09/04/07

Gear up for an amazing experience

Gears of War is the highly anticipated third person shooter for Xbox 360 from Epic Games. It features some of the best graphics, sound, and gameplay on any game on any console to date. But did it live up to all the hype? Did it live up to what Epic promised it would? Did it deserve the numerous "Game of the Year" awards? Yes, yes, and yes. It delivered everything Epic promised and much, much more. In this review you'll find out what really makes this one of (if not the) best next-gen game out today.

The gameplay in this game is, with all due respect, the best I personally have ever seen. The cover system works excellently, providing cover to leap to at almost any point during the game. The AI in this game was excellent, the enemies and allies use the same set of controls and physics to combat each other. There's not much of a difference between Campaign and versus mode due to this, which in my opinion is an extremely good thing. Online co-op is an extremely nice touch, allowing you and a friend to beat the entire game on any difficulty.

The two complaints I have are simple: Because running, rolling, and leaping into cover have the same button, it's sometimes hard to retreat when necessary, as you're constantly slamming into walls as opposed to getting the hell out of there. The second complaint is the character models for the CoG and Locust teams are almost the same, which means you sometimes find yourself shooting at your teammates, and sometimes you ignore the enemy. However, despite these flaws, versus is still extremely fun.

The graphics were a bit hard to give a score to, mostly because half of them work extremely well, and the other half look a bit tacky. The half that's done poorly is the characters themselves. They often look (dare-I-say-it) shiny and unrealistic, really taking away from the value of cutscenes. The rest of the game however, is unbelievable. The vistas, buildings, and scenery are amazingly good. Epic wanted to give off the impression that the planet of Sera has been nearly destroyed, and they pulled that off very, very well.

The audio in this game is superb. Gunshots hitting metal, wood, and flesh is extremely well done, as is the shouts to flank the enemy, or regroup. The main complaint is voice acting in cutscenes seems to be a bit off. They pause in the middle of sentences for no real reason, and they don't seem to get into the character much. This problem isn't during gameplay however. The stress of battle really comes alive when you hear a teammate cry out to be revived. The Locust voices match their personality perfectly. Scratchy and scary, exactly what you'd expect.

The controls in this game are simple, and for the most part revolve around the "A" button, which allows you to jump over cover, jump into cover, and roll from one piece of cover into another. The "A" button also allows you to roll, and by holding it in, to "roady run". This is one of the first games of its kind to get use from the "D Pad". By hitting a direction, you select a different weapon to equip. Other than that, the controls are consistent with a classic FPS (First Person Shooter), "R" is fire, "B" is melee, and "L" is aim.

This game has the most replayibility of any game....ever (in my opinion). Online co-op with the most fun multiplayer of any game I've ever played allows for a fun experience. Throw in a lot of multiplayer maps for variability, along with the option to swap weapon spawns in offline means there's thousands of different ways to play versus.

Overall this game is a masterpiece. It took Epic nearly three years to perfect it, and when you play, you can tell that they working every second of those three years. The main drawbacks are the strong language and gore, which some adults might find "sick" and therefore wouldn't play it. But as the hardcore veterans of the game will tell you, this game just isn't complete without them. For those of you that are delaying buying this game because of those reasons, you can be happy that you can switch them off, allowing for a better experience.

Gameplay - 9/10
Graphics - 7/10
Audio - 8/10
Controls - 9/10
Replayibility - 10/10
Overall - 9/10

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

Product Release: Gears of War (US, 11/07/06)

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