Gears of War 3

Where people with no necks shoot things and cry a bit.

Gears of War 1 was ace. It mixed bits of the film Pitch Black with a decent cover system and a machine gun with a chainsaw on the end. Couldn’t tell you what the plot was about. All I really remember of it is that bastard section with the light tank, and fighting with Pandi / Tensing over who got to chainsaw the piano / whatever else could be chainsawed.

Gears of War 2 was ace. It mixed, ooh, I dunno, stuff from pretty much every disaster movie ever made into one big game. It also had a bit where you got swallowed by a Dune-style sandworm, used your be-chainsawed machine gun to cut its heart out, and then had to cut a hole out the side of the worm before you drowned in its blood. This was awesome. However, the game saved its most awesome scene for last, where you got to ride the biggest baddest bastard boss from the first game, which was basically a gargantuan T-Rex with a behemoth cannon on its head, and personally turn the tide of a fucking war with it. This was awesome multiplied by ten minutes (which is how long you got the Brumak for, and that’s pretty much all you needed; if you had it any longer you’d hire mad scientists to try and genetically engineer one for you, which would be bad). Oh, and I couldn’t tell you what the plot was about.

Gears of War 3 does everything bigger, but not necessarily better. Don’t get me wrong, I love the game, but it does have flaws. For one, while the new Retro Lancer (which doesn’t have a chainsaw on the end, but it does have a bayonet) is hilarious to wield against a foe, it is not a Brumak. Gears of War 3 has a distinct lack of Brumaks. Oh sure, there’s at least one you get to shoot at, but there’s none you get to ride yourself. This is because Gears of War 3 is making a point, and that point is WAR IS BAD VICTORY IS GOOD BUT AT WHAT COST ETC ETC. Basically, get every Oscar-nominated war film ever made, shove them all in a blender, add twelve gallons of banned steroids, and you end up with this game.

To be fair, the game does have some out and out fun in it. For one thing, the Silverback armoured suits are fun, cos instead of hiding behind poncy cover all the time, this bastard lets you stride around the map like a real man, dishing out hot lead to anyone that looks at you funny. I’ll also mention the Retro Lancer again, cos I never ever ever get bored of rampaging round the map with the bastard, aiming at yet another Locust / Lambent to skewer with it.




Dom dies.

It’s funny, cos even though he died, me and Pandi (we played through the game in co-op in one mental weekend) were convinced he’d come back from the dead at the end, one of them “Marcus is about to die but OMFG DOM HEADBUTTED THE BULLET BACK TOWARDS THE BASTARD THAT IS AWESOME” type deals. Didn’t happen. This all leads to the overall game having an almost subdued tone from start to finish, and the game made me feel, like Marcus, that I just had to get it done, I just had to finish the bastard game and get it over with.

Which is odd, cos the sad tone wasn’t what I was looking forward to. I wanted it to get a bit more of the proper sci-fi feel of the original back. I wanted it to give me some more mentally massive baddies like the sandworm level from Gears 2. I wanted the last game to be a celebration of the series. What I got was a game that spent its entire running time telling me how shitty war is. And honestly, I kinda liked that. It really wasn’t the ending to the series I was expecting, and it was oddly affecting in its own way.

Overall, it was awesome. 14 Retro Lancers out of 10.

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