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Gears Of War review by Me
As far as the gameplay goes with shooting and movement, it feels like both. Even though you''re never technically looking through the eyes of your character xExcept for zooming in on scopes... but that''s different), when you''re pulling the left trigger to xxx, you feel so zoomed in that it''s just like a FPS... well, almost. This leaves a third person view for movement, which personally I like better than moving in first person, especially in Gears Of War, why? Because it''s closer to your character than most third person shooters xAnother micture of TPS and FPS), and even close when you run, and really makes you feel like you''re running by giving you a sense of speed, something many first person and third person shooters alike can''t offer.
Another great feature is the "active reload," which brings a whole new dimension of skill to the game. It''s a simple concept but a cool one. What it is is when you reload there''s a bar, and another bar goes across it. By hitting the reload button you can stop the smaller bar, and if you stop it on a certain point you reload faster and even get a damage boost if you nail the active reload perfectly. If you do it a little too early or too late, however, you end up jamming your gun. Active reload is an interesting addition to the game, and it really makes you pay attention, because in some cases xxxxxing up a reload or not going for the damage boost could be your death.
Then to enhance all of this, the graphics in Gears Of War are spectacular, which is rather amazing in itself because many games nowadays tend to be either all good graphics, or all good gameplay, but seemingly never both. Gears Of War brings beautiful landscapes xThe scenery for "Desperation" is my personal favorite), gritty undergrounds, and violence so detailed you''ll feel like you''ll have to wipe the blood off your screen after playing.
This brings me to the actual campaign and story of Gears Of War. As with most shooters, there isn''t that much variety in the story. Typical video game occurence: Some sort of monster xIn this case, the "Locusts") have managed to, or are trying to rather, take over the world as we know it. Your mission? Blow the crap out over every last one of them... Okay, so there''s more depth than that, but that is the skeleton of most shooters these days.
So granted, Gears Of War may not have the most unique storyline, but that does not by any means make it bad. It does have original points xOne thing I''ve never really seen before is anything comparable to the Locust tunnels), but like I said, as a whole you''ve probably seen it before. The thing that really keeps the storyline interesting and unique is the variety of enemies and weapons, which, to be fair, is about the only thing you can change on a large scale these days in shooters. Of course you will be facing drones, the most basic of fighters, which any shooter tends to have xNo matter what you call them), but Gears Of War also implements enemies such as wretches, seeders, corpsers, berserkers, reavers, nemacysts, kryll, and a few more.
While these enemies follow some basics of shooter games, they are also unique. To me, for example, the wretches remind me of the spider-like enemies in Condemned: Criminal Origins in the way they move and their weakness. And speaking of the wretches, there''s a certain quality about them I love but hate, and I''m sure anyone who''s played the campaign already knows what I''m talking about: The sound they make. I love it in the sense that it fits the game very well, and really enhances the first time you come into contact with the wretches. Later in the game though, the sound gets extremeley annoying, and seems to just drag on forever while you''re trying to kill themx to me anyways.
Some enemies, such as berserkers and seeders, can only be taken out using certain methods or weapons. One such weapon is the Hammer of Dawn, which basically summons a laser from the sky to obliterate enemies, however it can only be used at certain times, or really, whenever you''re allowed to in the campaign.
Personally one thing I''ve always found strange about games like this is that there is always a way to move forward. I mean you never seem to hit a dead end. There''s always a back entrance or extra route if you''ve blocked off, and right when you need a certain weapon, it just happens to be there. I know this is required to keep the game moving, but some games just make it seem more... natural than others. Gears Of War may have some parts that seem a little "too convenient," but for the most part I thought it kept its continuity quite well. *Potential Spoiler Alert* For instance, during Desperation you''re on a train and there''s a berserker, and at first you say you need the Hammer of Dawn online, at which point I was thinking "I don''t even have the Hammer, if I just happen to find one I''m going to find that a little too convenient." But to my surprise and joy, they didn''t just give me a Hammer, instead I had to disconnect the car from the train. *End Potential Spoiler Alert*
Now, I''ve heard some people talk about how they think Gears Of War is "just like Halo," I even heard someone reffer to it as a "Halo ripoff." After playing through the campaign I must say that I see some similarities xAnd very loose similarities they are), but not enough to really compare the two. I heard someone try to say that they thought zooming in on the sniper rifle was "just like Halo." Well, it''s a zoom function on a gun that''s in multiple xMany, many, many!) shooter games. Exactly how versatile can you get with something like that!? Okay, so granted that maybe the system of enemies can be vaguely related to Halo. Wretches as grunts... Drones as elites... Berserkers as hunters... Maybe, but even those seem like a bit of a stretch. So personally I wouldn''t say Gears Of War and Halo are very similar, especially when it comes to online play.
When it does come to online play, Gears Of War stands out for one reason: Online co-op. I believe Gears Of War is the very first game to implement this feature xExcluding computer games, because I''m sure there''s some out there). Online co-op is an interesting feature, and is also very fun and helpful for getting through hard parts of the campaign when you have someone who can revive you. Another nice thing about it is that you don''t have to start a brand new campaign, you can continue from one you were working on solo.
As far as versus goes, if you''re new, stick to the campaign for awhile. The number one complain from newcomers on Xbox Live is "OMG WHY DO YOU KEEP CHAINSAWING ME!?" And the answer is simple: You keep yourself undefended or otherwise charge right at the enemy! Use your head, and remember, you can chainsaw them as well. So before you start complaining about how "cheap" it is, learn to use your own.
Even though Gears Of War online may get rather redundant after a few hours of playing, it''s still a lot of fun, once you get used to it of course. And even if you get bored with versus, just flip to co-op and enjoy getting more achievements.
Speaking of acheivements, the campaign, and Xbox Live for that matter, has many. From the expected "Beat this level on this difficulty" and "win this many matches in versus" there are also some other achievements you can earn through things like doing perfect active reloads and finding COG tags lyring around in the campaign. There''s also some fascinating XBL achievements, like one for killing 10,000 opponents, which is appropriately named "Seriously..."
All in all, Gears Of War is a fantastic game which smoothly combines many elements, like TPS and FPS, and bringing co-op to Xbox Live. It also manages to have a semi-original story, great gameplay, and spectacular graphics. And as far as I''m concerned with online play, it might get a bit redundant after awhile, but after a quick break it''s fun once again. Gears Of War is a great game and I highly reccomend it.