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'Gears 3', the perfect package

Sept 26, 2011

By John Powell - G4 Canada

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Gears of War 3It is rare to find a game that has almost perfect pacing, perfect multiplayer capabilities and perfect gameplay.

'Gears of War 3' is that game or at least as close as you can possible come.

The third and supposedly final chapter in the 'Gears' story arc featuring hard-nosed mercenary Marcus Fenix, the irritating Locust and the doomed planet Sera is a fast-paced, unrelenting adventure that ties up the series nicely by answering the one question that has been on everyone's mind: Where the heck did these monsters come from and how did things get soooo freaking messed up?

Picking up months after the fall of Jacinto, 'Gears 3' has Marcus and his crew hiding out on the island of Vectes. Without the leadership in disarray over the defeat, the COG have become even more of a rebel army than ever before. When Marcus learns his egg-head scientist father is still alive and working on a cure for the Lambent mutations, he rounds up a rag-tag team of survivors including familiar faces such as Augustus ("Cole Train") Cole and Dominic ("Dom") Santiago as well as some kickass female soldiers in Samantha Byrne and Anya Stroud.

Gears of War 3 It should be noted that even though Marcus Fenix is the central character, you will play missions as other members of the team such as Augustus Cole. Actually, in many ways, Cole's segway - which cleverly ties into his football background in a 'Duke Nuke 'Em' kind of way - is a refreshing diversion from Marcus's stoic and emotionless deathmarch on the Locust and Lambents.

Marcus's journey to rescue and assist dear old dad is fraught with new enemies, new locations and new settings. You will travel in a submarine, drive in assorted vehicles and even hitch a ride on a grotesque blimp that can only be found in 'Gears of War'.

The new enemies range from being brief thorns in your side to being very, very vicious. At the top of the threat list are the Kantus Knights who resemble humanoid armadillos. Borrowing a page out of Samus' book, they can roll up into metal balls and steamroll right through you. Not a pretty sight. The Lambent Beserker boss is one tough customer as well but thankfully you don't encounter those often. Others like the Savage Grenadier, the Savage Theron, the Digger Boomer, Drudges, Polyps, and Lambent Stalks mix things up when it comes to target practice. The Locust Siege Beast is probably the most creative and most bizarre new addition to the 'Gears' beastiary. The enslaved creature has been harnessed and made into a living catapult.

Gears of War 3 Yep. It is as strange as those freaking blimps.

And what would be the point of new enemies without new weapons to chop, shot or pummel them to death with? The Vulcan is a massive gatling gun that needs one person to aim, shoot and one to feed the ammo in. The Digger Launcher fires creatures into the ground who seek out targets and torpedo them. The Hammerburst is a new high-powered Locust rifle and the Retro Lancer has a bayonette in the place of the chainsaw attachment. The Sawed-Off Shotgun, One Shot Sniper Rifle, new grenades and heavy cleaver operate as advertised and give players a better selection.

The best new death dealer is without a doubt is the Silverback though. The armoured mech suit blasts anything in its way to pieces.

Gears of War 3 Nothing but bits for sure.

Although the campaign is phenomenally cohesive and satisfying that you will ever play, with no dead space at all, the entire package is strongly supported by its multiplayer campaigns. Beast Mode is essentially a timed Horde Mode with players choosing Locust creatures to slaughter human COG members and unlocking stronger beasties as they earn tokens. The ticking clock is your greatest enemy here. The updated Horde Mode ushers in bosses every 10 levels and command posts with purchasable defences such as barriers, laser fences and turrets. The crumby part if you don't snatch weapons or ammo left behind by your vanquished enemies, you have to purchase them. Get your pals together as this mode is almost impossible for one person to complete on their own. There are 10 multiplayer maps and modes such as Warzone, Execution, Capture the Leader and Team Deathmatch with 20 respawns for each team.

'Gears of War 3' is so polished, it sparkles. From things as simple as the upgraded smoke effects and the lighted stairways to the grand, opulent backdrops to the sound effects and action movie feel of the gameplay, 'Gears 3' is gaming development at its best on each and every production front. Epic Games has set a new standard that every third-person shooter for the foreseeable future will be compared to. 'Gears 3' is indeed gaming at its very best.

 

Star Fox Gears of War 3
Format: Xbox 360
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios
Developer: Epic Games
ESRB Rating: Mature
Official Site: http://gearsofwar.xbox.com/
Rating: 9.5 / 10

 
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G4 Canada (formerly TechTV Canada) launched in September 2001. G4 is the one and only television station that is plugged into every dimension of games, gear, gadgets and gigabytes. Owned Rogers Media Inc., the channel airs more than 24 original series. G4 is available on digital cable and satellite. For more information, see www.g4tv.ca.