Gears Of War
Enter perhaps the most hyped game to be on the Xbox 360 aside from the upcoming 2007 release of Halo 3, Gears of War. With all the hype of this game you would expect it to be the most amazing gaming experience ever, sadly it is not. This is a tactical third person shooter which with all its hype can be compared to Jay-Z's latest release. Just like Kingdom Come, Gears of War will leave you with the feeling that you were misled because even though its good its not what you were expecting it to be.
First enter the story, you are none other than Marcus Fenix, a solider of the C.O.G., who has been imprisoned for the last four years and now is pardoned just so you get to fight for the people who imprisoned you. The enemy in this game is nothing other an alien life form coming up from the ground known as The Locust Horde. The story tells very little to why you're really at war or what the Locust truly are which makes sense as this is the first in a series of games.
I was loving the fact that GoW was going to offer plenty of ways to do co-operative play instead of making you rely on just single player. The many ways GoW's co-op can be done, Split Screen – 2 players 1 tv. Xbox Live Public Co-Op – 2 players over Xbox Live with your co-op partner being anyone in the mood to do co-op or wanting to get achievements for doing the co-op as the other playable character via co-op mode Dom. Xbox Live Private Co-Op – 2 players over Xbox Live with your partner being someone on your friends list or recently played list that only you can invite. However, don't expect the co-op to be too lengthy because the overall Campaign mode is rather short but very pretty when you look at the cinematic's. Which is possibly the highest attribute of the game because, as of yet, nothing on the 360 beats GoW in the cinematic-cut-scene-cgi field.
Anything other than the split screen co-op comes with a number of glitches. The most common glitch is for your screen to go completely black and you can only see outlines of buildings and your own partner when your gun is pointed at him and to escape this glitch you have to die completely and restart from the last checkpoint all over again or load the last checkpoint. Then you run into the most hideous thing ever on the public Xbox Live co-op aspect. Anytime someone joins and then quits you have to start all over from the last checkpoint you hit. Meaning if someone randomly joins up and then sees your at a part they didn't want to be in or they decide they don't have the time to do it now, you're stuck starting all over again at your last checkpoint. It's short, it's not difficult at all until you unlock insane mode which you do by beating it on hardcore and outside of the glitches theres few memorable moments. The multi-player however offers some memorable moments.
However when you really examine the multi-player you come to wonder why was it hyped? You have your Assassination, your Warzone and Execution game types in your multi-player options and all three try to focus on working as a team. Warzone and Execution are almost the same damn game typ, similar doesn't do them justice. The only difference in the games are that in Execution you can only kill an opponent with a Curb Stomp, Shotgun Blast, a body decimating explosion, which means Grenade or Boomshot, a headshot, or the chain saw. Where as in Warzone you can pop a few rounds in the body and they die. Assassination makes one person in the game the Leader of either the Locust or COG side depending on which team your on. The point? Assassinate the leader by any means possible without letting your leader be assassinated. So thats your game types for your multi-player, which like the campaign comes with some glitches. Gears of War offers a max of 8 players in one game.. You can not create a party to go into ranked matches and is one of the larger let downs of the game. Would it be so horrible of you to actually take a little from Halo 2 and have this being as you borrowed bits and ideas and even improved certain aspects of gaming from other developers?
Other than that the multi-player isn't that hideous. The weapons of the game are really nice. However the balance of the weapons is a little off. For example, why is the shotgun more powerful than the Boomshot? The Boomshot is a grenade launcher when it hits a wall behind someone it should deal them a little damage. Or why is it that the Torque Bow, which is by far one of the most amazing weapons and useful I've ever used in a game, so weak on explosions that aren't attached to your opponent? The pistol melee is faster than any other melee with any weapon and becomes the most over used weapon in the game.
The maps for the multi-player are based off the campaign story and theres plenty of them even though you lack the game types to play them all on. Not to mention they are quite beautiful to stand and look at even though standing still and not being covered in this game can lead to you watching your head explode off of your body, placing the image of the comedian Gallagher smashing a watermelon on stage, in your head. The essential use of always having to use cover is also a good thing. Being as certain types of cover when shot enough simply fall apart in front of you, making you move while shooting or try your best to put your opponent down long enough to at least retreat for a moment.
Gears of War does offer a fun experience, it just comes with frustration at times and not frustration from not being good at the game but just simple things that could have been done better. It seems from my perspective that for every good aspect this game offers it turns around with a kick in the face and gives you a horrible aspect. Then again the game has potential to grow on people very easily. It has me for while i find myself hating some aspects of it there are aspects such as gore, violence, and the need to play as a team that make you fall in love with it. It is a really good game, not a great game, not the instant classic it was claimed to be by some people. But none the less something worth at least renting and playing as the experience of playing it can lead to many happy moments such as hearing a chainsaw rev and cut through someone across the map and know that when you get over there you will not only find blood but a few limbs still laying around. Thus making me give it a 4 out of 5 even with its negative issues that really need to be solved.