Gears of War 3 Review

Gears of War 3 is a 2011 military science fiction third-person shooter video game developed by Epic Games, published by Microsoft Studios, and released for the Xbox 360.  Serving as the third installment of the Gears of War series, the game is set two years after the events of GOW2, Marcus Fenix and the members of Delta Squad lead the final assault against the Locust as well as a new foe, the Lambent.


Positives:

  • Challenging gameplay
  • Graphics are pretty good
  • Awesome story
  • Solid voice performances
  • Tons of replayability
  • Good soundtrack
  • Extensive campaign
  • Great characters
  • Competitive multiplayer

Negatives:

  • Linear campaign

Campaign:  The campaign is pretty extensive, consisting of 5 Acts with several chapters per Act.  Like previous installments the campaign can be played single player with AI controlled allies, however, this game also allows up to 4 player co-op.  The campaign can be as fun as it is challenging.  There are some pretty memorable moments that are pretty memorable, such as the Lambent Leviathan battle or the final battle with Queen Myrrah.  The story follows the members of Delta Squad who lead the charge against the remnants of the Locust as well as new enemies, the Lambent, while searching for Marcus’ father, Adam, who holds the key to ending the war.  The story is actually pretty compelling with some very emotional and thrilling moments.  There are a lot of great memorable characters, both new and returning, that help to add depth to the story.  The members of Delta Squad are pretty freaking awesome.  We have Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago, Damon Baird, Augustus Cole, and Anya Stroud as well as new characters Clayton Carmine (yes, another Carmine brother who is completely badass), Jace Stratton, and Samantha “Sam” Byrne. (4 out of 5)

Gameplay: GOW3’s gameplay mechanics remain largely similar to that of its predecessors though there are some new elements.  Loved the ability to trade weapons with allies.  There were so many moments where I ran out of ammo and my comrade helped me out.  Players maintain an experience level that persists across all game modes which builds based on kills, executions, reviving and aiding teammates, progression of the campaign and competitive modes, and by winning medals and ribbons with specific conditions such as number of active reloads or weapon kills.  Earning levels unlocks the use of special character skins and weapons in the multiplayer modes. GOW veterans will get a kick out of the new weapons introduced such as the Digger Launcher, Sawed Off Shotgun, the Oneshot, and the Retro Lancer. (4 out of 5)

Graphics:  Visually the game looks awesome.  There is a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the environment, level design, and background that make for a very convincing world. Loved taking the time out to enjoy the scenery. The character and creature models are done well.  The cinematics are done really well and definitely flesh out the important moments between the characters. (4 out of 5)

Score: Loved the soundtrack, how epic it feels, how emotional it can be, how intense firefights can sound.  The voice performances are just awesome and the cast deserves a total thumbs up.  The sound effects are definitely on point.  The creatures sound unique, the weapons, very specific. (4 out of 5)

Replay Value: GOW3 is great on the replayability.  First, players who crave a more challenging campaign can undertake it on harder difficulties.  Second, there is hidden content and collectibles on every level for players to find.  Third, there are the multiple modes: Beast Mode (players assume the role of Locust creatures against COG forces), Multiplayer (features game types like Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Capture the Leader), and the awesome Horde Mode (players working together to take on waves of Locust enemies).  The multiplayer is incredibly competitive and players will lose themselves with all the action.  Thumbs up to the DLC which adds another segment to the campaign, RAAM’s Shadow Campaign, in which players are able to play from the Locust side of the war and it is freakin awesome. (5 out of 5)


The Verdict: In the end, Gears of War 3 is an awesome conclusion to an epic trilogy.  There are few gripes I have with the game outside of the linear campaign.  The game features an awesome combat system, terrific multiplayer, lots of content, a great story, awesome characters, great graphics, great voice performances, and a great soundtrack.  Gears of War 3 gets 4 out of 5.

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