A great game for any fan of shooting games.
Zorbrak wrote this review on .
When you first play the game, you will obviously be stunned by the game's graphics. But there's much more to Gears of War than that. First off, Gears of War is not like your average shooter. Its gameplay is simple, yet addictive, and will give you an experience that you haven't had before with any other shooting game you have played.
You start off as Marcus Fenix, who had been freed from Jacinto Maximum Security Penitentiary by one of his close friends, who is referred to as Dom. As you first play the game, you will probably be a little confused about what exactly is going on, which I personally was throughout the whole game. However, that didn't stop me from enjoying it. Overall, the story is pretty good, however, the game doesn't quite explain it the way many people would like. I personally didn't understand it very well, but is still a great game. Through the whole game you are pretty much fighting locusts and trying to complete a certain objective. Overall, the gameplay isn't very complicated, only addicting and very fun.
Through the game, taking cover is definitely something that is vital to success. It remains this way through almost the whole game, but it doesn't get boring. You will be fighting foreign creatures called locusts, which had presumably invaded the planet. There aren't necessarily a large variety of weapons to choose from, but each one is definitely unique in their own way. Your primary weapons, which can be picked up from enemies you have killed and other places, are a lancer (equipped with an awesome chainsaw), a pistol, and a shotgun. There are more weapons you can find in the game as well. For example, the farther you get into the game, you will encounter much stronger enemies. Some of which can only be defeated with the Hammer of Dawn, which is basically a destructive laser that needs open sunlight and a clear view of the sky to fire.
One thing that really makes Gears of War stand out from other shooters is its health system. Rather than having a health bar and First-Aid kits that you can pick up, Gears of War has a "Bleed-Out Time", meaning you are damaged from enemy attacks, but can recover quite quickly as long as you don't get hit for a few seconds. While this may make it sound very easy, it's not. There is constant action in the game; locusts will do what ever they can to kill you, as the enemy AI is rather good. The single-player campaign on casual difficulty didn't take me a long time to beat, in fact, it only took two or three days. Don't be fooled by the short time you will be done with that though, because after casual, it gets very difficult, yet at the same time, not unbeatable.
The game also features a few extras. One of these includes finding COG tags. I'm not sure if they all lead up to a certain reward or not, because I haven't gotten all of them yet, but they add something extra to the game. COG tags take a small part in the story, and they can be found near spots where you see a certain symbol (which is shown in the game). Story-wise, they are ment to remember all the soldiers that had been killed in combat.
As if Gears of War isn't good enough on single-player, Xbox Live adds a huge benefit. The ability to fight cooperatively with other players online or verse them makes the game much more re-playable than it was on single-player. Many of the modes on versus are very short, but they certainly provide a lot of action. I haven't played much of the versus on multi-player, but there are three modes to choose from, which are Warzone, Execution, and Assassination, which each have a different style of play. As for cooperative, even if you have gotten bored of the campaign itself, playing with other people adds a whole new experience, and you will always find new strategies to try out for yourself. Another addition to the Xbox Live system is that you can get free downloadable content, which includes maps, themes, videos, and much more.
Of course, Xbox Live's Achievement System also adds a lot of fun for competitive gamers. If I recall correctly, there are 49 achievements to unlock for Gears of War. Many of them involve completing the campaign on each difficulty, but there are also many for how many kills you have gotten on Multi-Player, how many COG tags you have collected, and a variety of others. If you are a big fan of graphics, Gears of War will amaze you. Its has very detailed textures and fantastic lighting. You will see blood spurt from your enemy when you cut them with a chainsaw, which makes it look even cooler. What really surprises me with this game, is that even with its fantastic graphics, you rarely ever notice any framerate slowdown, and very little lag on Multi-Player. I would have to say that Gears of War is one of the best looking (if not, the best looking) games available right now. Its sound is also amazing as well, the guns sound very realistic, and the music is well orchestrated and really draws you into the game.
Even if you don't have Xbox Live, Gears of War is still worth playing. Though without it, I wouldn't quite recommend buying it, because it won't take you but a week or two till you either have beat the story on all three difficulty levels or get tired of it. Nevertheless, Gears of War is a great game, and is a must for any shooter fan.