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on 20 September 2011
Having now completed the campaign and given the multiplayer a good seeing to, I can confidently say that this is the pinnacle of the Gears trilogy.

I've never really been a Gears fanboy before but have enjoyed my time causing merry alien bloodshed with Marcus and chums. The social aspects of the game, such as co-op campaigns, Multiplayer and Horde, were what I really enjoyed. These have always been well executed and demonstrate why Gears is such a popular MP experience. I was hoping that Gears 3 could match the polish of its predecessor and it delivers in spades.

It took me around 10 hours to complete the campaign on normal and about the same again with a group of mates in Hardcore setting. The campaign plot shines through. The mixture of pace throughout levels is well judged and shows that the Gears' creators have begun to feel increasingly comfortable in having a nice balance of slower paced sections in amongst the frenzy of war. I was really impressed with the focus on storytelling and the noticeable efforts to really tie up a lot of the series' plotlines. As a miserable old cynic I was genuinely touched by a few moments in the story and thought that sentimentality was treated with real reverence. That's not to say that the gruff humour of the previous games is somewhat lacking; it's evident throughout but there is always the underlying thought that this is the end of things, one way or the other.

Lots of old faces return and none of these appearances feel shoe-horned into the plot. The cast get their chance to shine and do their thing for the COGS. Not only does give us some of the standout and most touching scenes of the Gears trilogy, but it also offers us some stunning individual levels. For me, a siege level encountered half way through the game encapsulates what is best about this series; a sense of urgency; the wide range of useful weapons available; the feeling that you are fighting overwhelming numbers; the importance of teamwork and the bond that exists between the soldiers. The AI in the game is superb, both on your side and with regards to the enemy. In most battles, modifying your attack approaches will reap rewards. It's this AI that really makes Gears 3 such a pleasure to play. The increased range of enemies adds real breadth and longevity to the game as you discover new strategies to deal with them. The scale and magnitude of some of them are a thing of gaming wonder. An arcade mode of the campaign is available which allows you to get one over on your friends by besting their score. Stealing kills has never felt so good.

As for the Multiplayer, Horde returns improved and more nuanced than previously. Not only do your motley crew have to fight off ever-improving groups of enemies, but now elements of castle-defence games have been thrown into the mix. What this means is that as you accumulate kills, you receive funds that can be used to help kit you out with better defences and equipment. This adds a further layer, to what is already an outstanding game mode.

Beast mode is new to Gears 3 and is similar to Horde. In this mode you play as an attacking group of Locust troops, striving to wipe out a group of humans. The better you do, the more experience you will have to spend on characters. The more experience you gain, the more characters become available. The best praise I can give is that this works as well as Horde, which is high praise indeed. The only improvement would be for rounds to be longer, but that aside I can see this game type eating up a lot of social gaming hours.

The rest of the Multiplayer options build on the successes of the previous Gears games and add range and content. They work brilliantly and offer a range of excellent game modes.

It's a fine game. As a package, it offers hours of entertainment. The love that the developers have for their franchise is obvious through all the little extras that exhibit the game, but also with the level of detail evident throughout, It's a near-perfect ending to the trilogy. I cared little for the story before but the writers really engaged me throughout and I found myself being drawn into a game that i thought would be just another polished run and gun experience. The co-op experiences I've had so far have been great and I haven't suffered any lag at all.

Having said all that, there is one small scene involving a character named 'The Cole Train', which has to go down as one of the most painful, cringe-inducing moments in gaming history. The fact that I didn't then will Cole to die painfully is perhaps testament to the excellence of the plot and gameplay.

Gears 3 is the best of the trilogy and for value for money, possibly only The Orange Box comes close. You will get many hours gaming pleasure from this. Whilst I was dubious that Gears 3 would live up to its huge hype, I'm happy to report that it's better than I could have expected.
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on 21 September 2011
As there is already an extensive review of the single player, I thought I would concentrate on the Multi-player.
The Multi-player is broken down into, versus, Horde, and the new Beast mode (the campaign can also be done co-op online but as that has already been covered I shall concentrate of the other modes here)

Versus - This is broken up into 6 game types; Team Deathmatch, here each team has a total of 15 respawns, once there gone the match ends and the team left standing wins, this in my opinion is a great spin on normal deathmatch and has been the focus of my time during the beta and now on the full release; next mode is Warzone which will be familiar to all previous players of Gears, 5 v 5 team deathmatch, but when you are dead that's it, your out until the next round, first team to 3 round wins, wins the game; Execution is similar except the only way to kill an opponent is a direct kill, i.e Headshot, grenade kill or by performing one of the many amazing executions; Capture the Leader is basically capture the flag except the flag in this case is one of the opposing team who you must first down and then capture for 30 seconds to win the round; King of the Hill is an objective based mode where you must capture designated areas of the map and hold on them for as long as possible and finally Wingman which is 4 teams of 2 in an all out battle, first team to 15 kills across the rounds wins.
All these game modes can be played online, splitscreen or for those preferring to get some practice in first, against AI bots, the great thing is that no matter which mode
you are playing stats carry across all modes.

Horde - This is the mode we all know and love from the previous game, fight against 50 waves of ever increasing Locust. The big difference this time is that each wave you will earn money for kills which you can then spend at the end of the round on fortifications, turrets, and command posts, which brings in a real tactical edge. Whereas Horde in GOW 2 was difficult but not impossible I foresee this new version being a lot more of a challenge, having so far only reached level 17, the range of enemies has increased and with it the difficulty, every 10 waves results in a boss wave, so far on the occasions I have passed wave 9 I have faced a Corpser and a Lambent Berserker, and they took a huge effort from every one on our team to bring them down.

Finally on to the all new Beast mode which is basically Horde in reverse as you play as the Locust and must defeat the humans within the time limit given. You initially start with the lesser locust such as the ticker, drones and the wretch, but as you kill humans you gain more money and are then able to purchase the next level of locust such as the Kantus, the Mauler (the slow one with the shield) before finally unlocking the real badasses in the form of the Boomer, the Corpser, the Berserker etc.
This mode is lots of fun but sadly ends far too quickly as it is over within 12 waves, there is DLC rumoured for this mode and hope it pans out that way as it really is lots of fun.

Overall then this multiplayer is the refinement of everything Gears of War has built up across the previous games, there is far too much to cover in a review, I simply urge you to buy this game, a true contender for the game of the year and a new benchmark in 360 games, with a multiplayer that could last years and a tremendous story mode (as outlined in other reviews) this really is a masterpiece!
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on 31 December 2013
Gears of war 3 is the concluding chapter to the the critically acclaimed gears of war series and I can safely say that he gears of war 3 is a masterpiece and one of the best games of all time next to the first and second games that were both fantastic. So were do I start well first off I can say that the graphics are incredible just like the series has been known for and the lighting,colours,sound and visual effects are fantastic and are a high point for the series. The graphics are lighter and more realistic than the dark gloomy graphics of the first two and every bullet that hits the target shows the bright red colour of your enemy's blood with and a realistic feel to it. Now for the gameplay, this is another area where gears of war 3 outdoes it's predecessors by perfecting the tense strategic combat where the first twos combat were brilliant but still needed a few improvements, and gears of war 3 does exactly that by making movement faster, more weapons and making combat more balanced so you feel like you need to make every bullet count while you go through the locust horde. And finally the story, like I said earlier this is the final chapter in the trilogy and Epic Games worked very hard to clean up all the plot holes which I can gladly say that all the plot holes are sorted so no fans will come out disappointed. The story is emotionally engaging all the way through and you will wonder what will happen next in the breathtaking conclusion to the series. My final words are that Gears of war 3 is thrilling,challenging,tense,brutal and an emotional roller-coaster from start to finish and is an outright incredible game and the best in the series.
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on 20 September 2011
I got the Epic version of Gears of War 3 this morning and I've been playing the campaign since, along with some Horde and a Beast mode match. So far, its the best game I've ever played.

The campaign is brilliant, the story has been progressing very nicely with some unforeseen plot twists, great voice acting and facial animation techniques, and a strong plot that I cannot wait to see the end of. So far I am at Act 3 Chapter III "Ghost Town" and the last two levels were absolutely bloody fantastic. Can't wait to see how it ends, and I have a strong feeling the next few levels will be among the best in the entire series.

Horde most has been very much improved. The enemies are mixed and matched with Locust and Lambent coming in together, and the new fortification features and cash are very nice additions to a trailblazing game mode. Gears of War 2 first had the Horde mode, and now many other games follow suit and add their own version of Horde. And with plenty of new variants of enemies in Horde like Corpsers, Brumaks, Berserkers (Lambent Zerkers too), and the Savage Locust it only adds further to the mode, and makes each stage a thrill to play through.

Beast mode is already as good as Horde mode and offers the chance to really play as the Locust, not just wear their skin in multiplayer. Boomers, Tickers, Wretches, Kantus and even the Berserker are all playable in Beast mode when you go up against the Stranded and the COG. Its a bit short at only twelve stages but when played on a higher difficulty it can be a hell of a challenge to get through the whole game. And of course getting a Berserker and charging right into the COG is one of the best things of the entire mode.

I think that GoW 3 will likely be Game of the Year for 2011, and I thank Epic Games for the incredible series they have given us in Gears of War. But thankfully the series isn't done yet, as Gears of War: Exile has been confirmed. Nobody knows what it is but we'll find out eventually.

Until then I am far from done with Gears 3, more of the campaign awaits tonight.
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VINE VOICEon 22 September 2011
Basically a decent game, but inferior to the previous 2 games in many ways.

It excels in variety, both visually, with colourful and varied levels, and in the new enemy types.

The big drawback of that, is that the new enemies are a lot less enjoyable to fight than the mainly humanoid, weapon-using locust of GOW1 and 2.

On paper, adding lots of new enemies sounds like a good plan - ticking the right boxes to get good review scores - but for gamers, it's only good if the new enemies are enjoyable to fight.

A big part of the fun in GOW 1 and 2 was fighting enemies who use weapons, use cover, flank you, work as an enemy team - swarms of bug-types and melee attackers were used sparingly to break up the pace.
In GOW3, they've gone totally the other way, with ridiculous emphasis on mindless melee/swarm attacks rushing at you headlong.

By the 10th section of dozens of tiny spider things coming at you, it's starting to get very boring - likewise the huge numbers of mindless humanoid enemies charging at you to melee you.

The bigger spider things (baby corpsers) are one of the most irritating enemies I've ever fought in a video game - not difficult, but just tedious and the game would be improved without question if somebody just went into the code and deleted every single one.

A new breed of bug that scampers around the battlefield eating weapons and ammo pick-ups if you don't grab them quickly enough - that ticks yet another "new enemy" box - but did anyone seriously not realise how irritating that would be for the player?

There is one particular new enemy type (would be a spoiler if I described them) - but in behaviour, they are like the non-weapon carrying Flood from Halo - and they get boring just as quickly as they did in the Library in Halo.

The atmosphere sometimes suffers a bit over the 1st 2 games - some levels have superb artistic design - but there are a lot that feel like Bulletstorm rejects, just dull lifeless uninspired sci-fi vistas that don't feel like they belong anywhere.

The quality of writing has improved a little - the storytelling is still basically minimalist and poor, but at least the dialogue is better, and some of the characters actually seem human now - Cole especially has grown from the one-line spewing caricature, into a character you start to almost care about - at least in the beginning - after his little emotional bit is over, he reverts to the old cardboard cut-out of 1 and 2.
Later on the Ice-T pimp/mogul type character drags it further down, and is cringeworthy in it's awfulness - thankfully he only appears briefly. Marcus is still mostly the gruff shallow comic-book character we already know.

By far the most annoying part of the writing is (SPOILER ALERT) - how the game deliberately teases you with answers to the questions of why the locust queen is apparently human, and lets you know that she was working with Marcus's father before E day - Marcus's father even offers to explain about the queen, but Marcus tells him to wait till later - making you feel like the end of the game will give you the answers - but nope, get to the end, and nothing - you're just left without any explaination of 2 of the more intruiging mysteries of the plot.

The pacing is one-note - walk a bit, get surprise attacked - talk a bit, get surprise attacked - drive a bit, get surprise attacked - take a cable-car, get surprise attacked - wish they'd do a compulsory course in videogame pacing, maybe let the makers of Half-Life 2 or Bioshock run it - with the budgets thrown around in games nowadays, the laziness of design in issues like that grates.

Other than that, it's still playable, still decent, more varied but considerably less fun to play than GOW 1 and 2, and a story which doesn't give you a satisfying ending - a real damb-squib of an ending to what should have been a fantastic trilogy.

A few minor technical glitches mar it a little - bugged cover with tables, occasional invisible weapons, people shouting "Look out, a reaver on the road" about 4 seconds before a reaver actually lands on the road in front of you - nothing game-breaking or unfixable in patches.

Multiplayer, works well. Some new ideas, well-implemented, still keeping the feel of the previous games - and the expanded Horde mode is very welcome.
For me the emphasis is on single-player campaigns primarly, with MP as an extra - if you are more interested in the MP than SP, then you'll probably give this game a higher mark than I do. If you consider the SP campaign an important part of the package, then you might find yourself disappointed at this lacklustre showing.
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on 9 October 2011
Games like this represent nothing but pure fun, its constant shooting with big epic set pieces. With the RPG beginning to slowly but surely creep its way into other genres within gaming, going down the open world route and so on this kind of run and gun down what is basically corridor after corridor in its format is a dying breed. You have no choices, you have no impact on its story at all, no upgrades to to play with as you progress and you cant decide which direction to go in or how you go about completing the game. But, the name of the game here is sheer adrenaline action and scale, with which you could imagine Arnold Schwarzenegger as Marcus and Sylvester Stallone as Dom standing side by side sending thousands of rounds out of machine guns that are way to big for them to be using at oncoming monsters some the size of houses lol. This is basically, give me a gun and show me where to shoot type gameplay, which in the 3 person genre it has no peers.

Its story is nothing special in comparison the increasingly high standards being set by such games as Mass Effect and Red Dead Redemption, the script is 80s action movie cheese ball style lines which you either love or hate but the main characters simply ooze charisma. It brings a satisfactory conclusion to the plot started from Gears 1 though has many lose ends, in particular certain facts and information that wasnt ever given (DLC likely).

Its campaign can be played through by yourself or with 3 other online players, it will last around 10 hours depending on which difficulty you set it at, how good you are or who you are playing with. But, with its arcade like structure youll want to play through this game many times and in particular through online. It has the usual game modes featured in countless multiplayer games like COD, Team Deathmatch and so on with some interesting variations. With character and weapon skin unlocks, smooth gameplay and quick access to match ups its online features will keep you going for a long time if you find yourself under its charm. For me, its best online asset is Horde mode, its brilliant! Tackling wave upon wave of increasingly hard enemies, at every 10 waves you fight bosses, spawning such things as house high Brumas firing rockets and machine guns at you, while bullet near proof man sized locusts try to force you out of cover. It has another mode called beast mode, which pits you as the locust against the gears in horde like style, which, offers variety.

At times i find myself laughing during certain moments within the game, be it while im firing hundreds of rounds with my machine gun at an enemy the size of a skyscraper or being on the bad end of a mortar strike meanwhile chainsawing enemies while my fellow cogs deal with house high rocket propellin and constant machine gun firing monsters. There are countless explosions in the game, with which if you have a good quality surround sound system youll feel like your house is falling down. Larger enemies or enemies that glow explode with great sound effects and visual flair.

Graphically, the game is beautiful. Nothing groundbreaking but clean and crisp with a silky smooth frame rate. If you like OTT action movies, typically like that of Stallone for example then youll simply love this. Its very much just more of the same though, its gears 1 and 2, but, BIGGER and BETTER in every way. This is the type of game you wanna play after a hard days work/school, its fun, its simple and doesnt tax your mind or your emotions in any way, its just fills you with adrenline charged pulsating action that never ever stops coming. Its not game of the year, but, its one of the games this year that you have to have on your game rack if you even mildly adore shooting things non stop.
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on 20 September 2011
I don't play online very often and although I'm getting better, I do tend to virtually 'die' a lot more than other players in the match.
For 'noobs' such as myself, Gears Of War 3 multiplayer includes a 'casual' option which allows inexperienced players to play against other newbies so that they can improve their skills before taking on the big boys in a regular match.
I've been playing 'casual' team deathmatch all evening and I've really enjoyed it. Since maps provide a great deal of cover, it's possible to get into extended one-on-one gunfights which are really thrilling, and which makes a change from running around wildly until you stumble into an enemy stronghold and immediately get gunned down (well, at least that's how I play COD). Each match consists of three rounds, and (presumably to get matches started quicker) if there aren't enough real people playing a match, some of the team is made up of bots which are replaced by human players (in a queue) when they die. I haven't seen this in a game before.
The map I enjoyed playing on the most is 'Sandbar', as during play a horn (?) sounds and players are engulfed in a sandstorm, reducing visibility to virtually zero [edit: I think the map with the sandstorm is actually 'Trenches')
The good thing about the casual mode is that it gives you experience of multiplayer in a relatively benign (if any setting in which you can be chainsawed, gutted, or beaten to death with your own arm can be described as 'benign') playing environment and I'm already feeling more confident about joining a 'regular' match.
Three games into the series you would assume the makers would only be making it with experienced players in mind, so credit to Epic for not forgetting about new players.

[edit]Well, after playing a number of 'casual' deathmatchs again tonight, my rank went up to 12, I received an achievement called 'Welcome To The Big League' and was then automatically 'moved up' to the regular multiplayer, so I assume that's the cut-off point.
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on 4 October 2011
Just a very quick review in response to the pathetic trolls giving it 1/5.
Im not going to be a fanboy, its not perfect, hence the 4/5.
The first major point id make is DO NOT do the campaign on Normal. I dont spend hours and hours on games and Normal is usualy where i start with a campaign but ive got to admit, i DID find it quite a bit too easy. I started again on Harcore and its much better!(See trolls, a simple solution if you're finding it too easy)
The campaign is the only reason iv not given it 5/5. I was slightly disapointed in the story but really, Gears is all about the action and this is the area where it excels! I was totally blown away by the battles- the explosions rocking the screen, tracer fire everywhere.. and then i tried it online.:)
I used to enjoy Gears and Gears 2 online although there were issues with lag etc i put up with it when it happened. Gears 3 online is everthing i wanted. If i die now, it feels like it was my fault for doing something stupid(which i do often) rather than a technical issue and im killing people when i feel like i should be. I know this may sound basic stuff but i hear many people stopped playing Gears online because of technical issues and i just want to assure any of these people that its all sorted!
I think most people already know wether theyre going to like this game or not before they buy it but if you are undecided then i really would recommend it if you like your action games. Dont believe the sad, sad people giving 1/5 scores as they generally have an agenda, or are just mardy kids who know nothing but COD and hate anything that isnt.
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on 26 May 2014
I been on this game a day now and I am on act 3 (somewhere around there) anyway I love the cinematic in this game so breathtaking, it is like this you go get into a cut scene then you fight a horde then watch another cut scene ect.

You get to be two people here Marcus and Cole Train the story trys to go back to Marcus father is and how he is still alive.

It's also the voices that I like in these games that make GOW a grand in the series for any die hard fans or shooters to try out you spend hours on this game.
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on 7 June 2012
Im not going to hammer on about the story .. there's enough reviews about this without me adding my 2 pennies, only that it is brilliant and an intricate part of why this game is a classic. The emphasis of this review is on the mechanics and all the touches that has shown this game as a front runner for the Game of the year.

The key aspect of the game is that it is TRULY FUN to play, the controls are responsive, movement is fluid and user friendly, both in single player and multis. The game has a great risk reward output (by using quick reloads and close combat animation)is always satisfying, it really never gets tired and multiplayer skill kills is even more of a thrill. The action is fast paced and on single player they pack more grub per square meter than an ant hive. The variation and behaviour of the enemies add fantastic depth. The laminent are a fantastic addition forcing you to change tactics when facing them. With grubs you can get in the mix and chainsaw some ppl down where as the glowy cousins are more of a keep your distance type.
Team AI is fantastic and you truly work with a team that is as accurate and agile as you would wish. Maybe no substitute for a human, but better than I could ever hope.

What can I say the graphics are truly beautiful, backdrops are jaw dropping, the scenery is lush and rich although quite linear in where your allowed to go. There is always a space for a sneak path but there is no 'true' space where you can truly wander off and explore.

The replay value of the game is undoubtedly epic. The game itself is huge, and it delighted me that they didn't take COD3 and ME3 route by spawning an unsatisfactory single player, trying to pilf as much money on DLC as possible. From start to finish the story is well told, free flowing and actually giving you a warm feeling of completion when your done.
On top of that they piled on the extra modes with horde, beast, and muliplayer modes to promise months if not years of game play.
DLC raams shadow is a fantastic addition, even without the fun of being RAAM, they packed an action packed 4-5 hours of gameplay into one DLC. (Shocking that GOW DLC lasts longer than the whole of of COD3).

There are some nit picks on the game that is worthy of note. The first is that jaw dropping as scenery might be, it really is quite linear in the exploration aspects, and not being able to back track to return to your weapon stash is a downer.
The variation of weapons is not enough and the new weapons do not really add any great depth. The lancer old skool, digger and sawn off are all pretty nice, but can be missing from the game and you won't blink an eye, a bit more weapeons especially on laminent technology (biological/ explosive weapons) may have been most welcome.

A classic in name and nature and well deserved, it actually strives to give the gamer a good experience straight off the bat instead of fleecing them for all there worth using brand name. Fast and fluid, challenging but ultimately satisfying, GOW3 Stands out on how a series finale should be done.
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