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Rating: Not Rated

Yeah, It's Really Good

Talraen's Review of Gears of War 3 (360) (Video Games)

Gears of War broke ground by standardizing cover-based shooter gameplay and having really pretty graphics. Gears 3 follows in that tradition, perfecting the gameplay and featuring some of the most stunning graphics you'll ever see. But the greatest accomplishment of Gears 3, at least to my thinking, is just how well-constructed and complete the game is.

Gears 3 has the same setup as its predecessors, with five acts about about 10 hours of total gameplay. All of your favorite enemies and weapons are here (including my all-time favorite, the torque bow), and there are a whole bunch of new elements. The cover-based combat is fantastic, but they don't really do anything that innovative here. Sure, there are some novel environments for on-rails sections, but they're still on rails. Still, the mix of gameplay types is far more balanced than the original Gears. There's still plenty of stop & pop fighting, but there's also a fair amount of running and gunning, crazy set pieces, and general mayhem.

I haven't played the multiplayer yet, but if you're into that sort of thing, there's a new co-op mode alongside Horde, and you can now play the campaign with up to three friends. Because the game requires four characters to be with you at all times, there are a few new faces in the game. Still, things play out pretty predictably as far as your allies go.

If Gears 3 has a weakness, it's in its predictability. Not in the overall plot so much as the callbacks to previous games and the actions of your allies. Even hinting at any specifics would constitute a spoiler, since they're so obvious. But the game's drama is still pretty fun, and the one-liners are as entertaining as ever. They even tried to have some emotional moments, but I'll leave it up to you to decide if they succeeded.

But you don't play Gears for the plot, so complaining about that hardly seems fair. This game delivers on everything it promises. If you liked Gears 1 and 2, you will like 3. This is a series that has always delivered the goods, and it doesn't stop here. Theoretically, this is the end of the story, but I would be shocked if, in 2011, they just stop making a series this good and this popular. That just isn't how business is done. The trilogy stands up quite well, but there's always room for more.

Score: A

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