Good, not great.

User Rating: 8.3 | Gears of War X360
When they write the timetable for great video games under 2006, Gears of War will probably be the highlight of the year, and many people will make the argument that it deserves high honors. Most of the time I would agree with the rants of little children and fan boys, but not this time.
Yes the game is great to look at, but it requires more than just a great visual engine to make a game great. I think that it’s the visual presentation that has most people giving false ratings. It’s not all about how it looks. Let’s talk about how it plays.
It would have been nice if this tactical shooter was actually a tactical shooter. The team system in the single player campaign is almost non-existent. Team members do not respond well to orders, even when it’s in their own benefit. As time in the game progresses, they become more of a liability than a support group.
The cover system is good for a while, but it’s hardly revolutionary. Kill Switch, G.R.A.W. and even non shooters life Metal Gear and Tenchu have utilized this system in years past. The problem with this game is it relies too much on it. These leads to a lot of duck and cover fire fights that get repetitive because that’s most of what the game consists of. It gets more frustrating when you don’t want to go into cover, yet the computer pulls you to it automatically. This would be good if the button was only for cover, but……it’s not.
Don’t get me wrong, the game isn’t all bad. The visuals are the best I’ve seen in a game. The game play is challenging. The world is very immersible, giving the illusion that your really there. The story could use a little work, but I’ll give them a break because it looks like the beginning of a series of games, hopefully expanding on the characters and plot. Gears of War is a good game. Not great, but good. It did what it needed to do appeal to a mass audience. Hopefully they’ll make the game play mechanics as rich as the visuals in the future renditions of this potentially great franchise. Here’s to looking forward.