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Gears of War 3 (XBOX One) Review

Updated: Sep 13


Game Name: Gears of War 3

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Developer: Epic Games

Release Date: September 20th, 2011

Platforms: XBOX 360, XBOX One


Introduction


Here we are at the third installment already. Although, these are not long games, they do pack quite a punch. In my previous reviews for Gears of War and Gears of War 2, I believe that there was a clear step up between games. Where in the first one, I thought the gameplay was good but I was not super attached to the characters. The second game fixed that. They kept the addictive gameplay but added deeper story elements that made the series that much better.


Let us see if Gears of War 3 builds on that foundation.


Story


Once again, you play (for the most part) as the famous Marcus Fenix. This time, the game takes place two years after the final events of Gears of War 2. Jacinto which was the last place where COGS were safe has been destroyed and they are forced to relocate to a secluded island.


Since the last time, COGS have been disbanded as their leader at the time, Prescott, disappeared with no whisper about why he left. However, after 2 years, Prescott re-appears and his somethings to say. However, Marcus and his team are not very happy about this.


At this point, the Lambent, who are a mutated version of the Locusts are killing everyone on the planet and they have a surprise attack the Sovereign ship. Once all is said and done, Prescott is almost dead but before he dies, he gives Marcus an encrypted disc. Now we need to find what is on that disk.


You soon learn that Macus's father is still alive and can stop all this madness. The rest of the game is just getting to that point.


I will stop the storyline here as if I say anymore I may ruin the game.


Gameplay


Since this is my third review in the series, I cannot say much more than I already said in my previous two reviews. The formula has worked until now and there is no reason to fix something that is technically not broken.


The weapons are pretty much the same as previous games. They also did not add anything new in terms of the mechanics in this game. At least if there were changes, they are quite subtle.


Gears of War 3 - Sample Gameplay


Bottomline


My first impression after finishing this was a good game that did not revolutionize. I consider it status quo in comparison to the second game. Here are the reasons why.


The graphics look really good during gameplay. I felt right at home having played the two previous games. However, what threw me off was that the cuts scenes looked very last gen, whereas the gameplay looked like it was upscaled. It is very weird and disappointing. I would have expected if they enhanced the game graphics, they would have put the time and effort in updating the cutscenes. On stream it did not look too bad but playing in front of my screen really showed the scenes as dated.


I think one of the weaker aspects of the series is the music, and this is no different. The music is ok but it is not front and centre like in other games. The music pumps up during fighting scenes but that is about it.


The one thing that I did enjoy was the lore. Of course, I was not able get all of the collectibles, but the ones that I did get were fun to read and gave me a little more insight about the story.


Speaking of story, this is where the game shines. They managed to pull on your heart strings quite a few times. As I mentioned on my mini review at the end of the play through, I expected more for the finally. I thought that it came out flat. But may be it is cause I was tired. Having said that, the story is engaging and I think that it did cap the trilogy nicely.


The one thing that I truly enjoyed was the fact that for the first time in the game, you play as a secondary character, Cole Train. The player goes to his old stomping grounds where he was a football hero. I loved this as it gave a little background on the character, while still being in the spirit of the Gears of War games. I think this was done to perfection and should be applauded for that.


In the end, I would recommend this game. Yes, the game is more of a side step in terms of gameplay, but it is still worth your time. The story had some pretty heavy and sad moments, which made you connect with the characters. However, I did find the final fight a little disappointing and I am not sure what I expected but I found it was a little easy to beat the final boss. Then again at the time, I think players expected this to be the last game in the franchise.


I do wonder what Gears of War 4 will have in store for the player. Stay tuned for my review in the near future.


What do you think of the game, did you like it? Was I off the mark? let me know at the coordinates below.


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