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Customer Review

22 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Variety at the expense of gameplay, 22 Sept. 2011
This review is from: Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360) (Video Game)
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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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Sep 2011 14:30:00 BDT
Rogue1363 says:
spot on review.

Posted on 26 Sep 2011 18:16:00 BDT
KingChumley says:
Great point about the enemies. I also enjoyed fighting the enemies in GOW2, but not so far in 3, just seems you are able to fire lots, and randomly at them, and they eventually die, not a lot of skill involved in the shots, unlike GOW2.

Posted on 28 Oct 2011 02:36:24 BDT
Scion says:
When will Microshaft get their finger out and actually put some real effort into producing a game with depth, this is just a remake of the first 2 with a smattering of eye candy to try and liven it up. This is the last Xbox game i'll buy as it's just overpriced rehash after rehash!
Amazon service is great as usual with fast delivery at competetive prices, though in this case feel like i've bought a lemon. Not Amazon's fault at all, just a reflection on Microsoft.
Stupidly i've bought a lot of Xbox games and been dissapointed by most of them, in the early days most games where reasonably original if not somewhat similar to each other in overall gameplay. Same road driven just a different looking vehicle.
I'm sure a lot of people will think this is fantastic...sad reflection on society, we just keep swallowing the same old fodder.

Posted on 18 Nov 2014 17:56:13 GMT
StygianJack says:
Good well written review.
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Location: UK

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