Gears of War 3 (GW3) is the end of a trilogy, and in my opinion, it’s a good ending. Gears 3 delivered everything I have come to expect from the franchise and more. As with all good sequels, GW3 expanded on its existing gameplay style, added some extras, and improved the elements that were lacking.
As many know, the Gears of War series is not for the faint of heart (or stomach). The series is infamous for visceral chainsaw attacks, assassinations, and curb-stomps. So much so, that the original Gears game was deemed to be too violent to fit into the current game rating scale in Europe. But at the same time, there is nothing more satisfying in video games than chain-sawing your enemy in half. Epic Games clearly understands their market for this game, and therefore made the decision to make a unique assassination for each weapon in the game. This understanding can also be seen in the improvements made to “Horde Mode.”
The GW3 “Horde Mode” is the best I’ve played to date. Other games, such as Halo and Modern Warfare, have their own versions of Horde, but they all lack the finishing touches that GW3 brings to the table this time around. First, the GW3 play style allows for a very personal, up-in-your-face experience as you combat waves of enemies with your friends. The updated scoring/economy system gives players incentives for surviving and killing the most enemies. And finally, the ability to set up fortifications and buy weapons allows for a new and different experience every time you play, regardless of the map. I have yet to find a better game for teaming up with friends to survive and kill enemies.
Now, Gears 3 is not without its faults. The storyline is, as always, cryptic at best, giving little information and bad explanations for why you or the characters around you are doing what they’re doing. The developers claimed they would wrap up all the loose ends in the story, but, in actuality, just ended those storylines without offering the conclusions we all wanted. I’m still left in the dark as to why the Locust attacked the humans at all. Supposedly the Lambent were overrunning the Locust, but why attack and have to battle on two fronts, instead of joining forces with the humans? However, it was satisfying that Dom stopped whining in this installment, and didn’t feel the need to kill anyone he was trying to save. Although the storyline has its faults, the campaign was, as always, very entertaining, with great set pieces and intense vehicle combat.
At the end of the day, Gears of War 3 is a fun game to play, and that’s what matters. It is a great value for your money as well. Any game that provides an entertaining 8 hours of campaign and hundreds of hours of multi-player/Horde Mode is definitely worth buying.