It seemed like there’s not much left of Sera. First the Pendulum Wars, followed by Emergence Day. War is all we’ve been doing. Surviving in all this mayhem has just added a new difficulty, a new species known as The Lambent. The Lambent is everywhere!
Let’s recover the timeline with quick summaries before we explore the conclusion to one of Epic’s greatest game series. First off, if you haven’t played any of the previous games, then why are you playing Gears of War 3? Anyways, In Gears of War, you start off 14 years after E-Day. You began with Marcus Fenix in a jail cell for disobeying Colonel Hoffman’s order and looking Marcus’s dad. Your close friend Dominic “Dom” Santiago comes to the rescue. Along the way you find other remaining Gears; Damn Baird, Augustus Cole etc. After their plan to use the resonator in order to map the “The Hollow” failed, you later find a larger map at the Fenix estate. Having this with you and fighting off so many Locust scum. You detonate a huge bomb called “The Lightmass Bomb” which will destroy the heart of the Locust Horde.
After playing Gears of War, Epic released a second game on November 7th, 2008. Gears of War 2 was a huge wait for many. In Gears of War two, you began 6 months after the detonation of the Lightmass bomb. The Locust Horde is still alive and regaining its power. Many cities of Sera at this moment, are sinking and being destroyed. Jacinto, the main stronghold of the humans is losing its protection. The remaining COG decides to do a counter attack and dig through Locust tunnels. Along their way, they find the humans are being captured and tortured making them look zombie-like. After realizing how huge the Locust Horde, the only thing they could do left was to sink Jacinto and hope the gushing water floods the entire Locust away. During the ending credits, you hear Marcus’s father, Adam Fenix, voice asking, “What have you done?” This gives the gamers a cliffhanger.
Now, what has happened since these two parts? In Gears of War 3, it has been 18 months since the flooding of Jacinto. Chairman Prescott, the leader of the COG, has decided to abandon everyone. The COG has become leaderless. The survivors have relocated to an island called, “Vectes.” After a short period, a new enemy has emerged from the ground. As I stated before, everywhere you go, you will see The Lambent. While struggling to fight off the Lambent and recovering supplies, Chairman Prescott has come back and gave Marcus news of his father being alive and a key encrypted. Now, there’s a new mission to complete.
During the game, you’re going to be fighting off huge amounts of Lambent. Due to the fact the humans are struggling for survival, Epic has became quite creative with this aspect. Looking for ammo is a pain in this game. Not only is it hard to find ammo, there are new creatures called, “Wild Tickers.” Unlike the Tickers that are Lambent, these Tickers will nothing harmful, but eat your ammo. If the Wild Tickers are not a problem, then trying to reach your supply might be. You might be able to get it, but all of the sudden it falls down a cliff. Cliffs and the environment are pretty decent in the game.
Looking around, you see mountain ranges, oceanic areas etc. Epic has made the game look beautiful. Being able to interact with some of the environment might get you into a heap of trouble though. Some locations are lovely horrible. What I mean by this is there are some areas that are remains of Hammer of Dawn strikes. Epic truly does try to show you the aftermath. Not only is the feel of the environment well done, but the characters as well.
During the previous games, you didn’t exactly what these wars are doing to these characters. Epic Games generally changed that. In Gears of War 3, you get to go back to Cole’s hometown. The Cole Train lives on. You will see how once famous Thrashball player changes its emotion when arriving back from war. Even the look of Dom’s heartbroken state, when returning to Maria’s hometown was nicely done. The characters who sat during the previous games, like Anya Stroud, are now a playable character. Epic was pretty smart allowing women to fight instead of their overused steroid men. Playing as the opposite can be fun, but Epic tried getting women to play their game. It’s not a bad or positive move, but I don’t think it made any difference.
The online is great with its dedicated servers, but the matchmaking doesn’t balance level or rank that well. Allowing people play a decent game without the shout of “He/she” is using host powers” is great. Sometime the game freezes up online and it’s usually due to Epic’s server being down. The newer weapons like The Oneshot are pretty awesome. New and old maps have returned to Gears of War 3. Gridlock, which was in the previous games, has come back. I have two problems with Gridlock. One is hearing Madworld play over and over. The other is it’s not original. It still has the same layout as the others, except this time you can’t climb in the bed of the trucks.
There are also new game modes. Players can team up and play through the campaign act/chapters in Arcade mode. Like many games nowadays, you can check your career score with friends and other players. Epic also created Beast Mode. Beast Mode is the complete opposite of Horde Mode. Instead of killing waves of the Locust Horde, you get to kill waves of the COG with any of the Locust. Want to kill a Locust with a Ticker? Be my guess and try pulling off the kamikaze missions.
Epic has done one thing that surely will piss off most of its players off. Epic has decided to charge people to buy skins of their weapons. Some may be earned, but most are bought with MS points. I also didn’t know Epic charged people for rockets of their newest creation called “The Silverback.” What the fuck Epic? You're making an awesome game so far, but you decided to charge people for skins and rockets? Also, just to add on to that minor frustration. Does anyone think the Silverback look like Amplified Mobility Platform (AMP) suits from James Cameron’s Avatar?
The controls are pretty alright, but there are still some flaws to them. It takes awhile to execute a downed opponent, because they will try to crawl away and it sometimes screws up. Sometimes hopping over random objects sometimes lags or you might not have the enemy lose balance and stumble.
Overall this is a pretty damn good game. Seeing whether the new Carmine lives or die was pretty funny. There are some noticeable flaws, but I don’t think they’re that important to not get this game. When Rod Ferguson said the beta is used to polish the game up, he meant it. The game is shining which is why I give it an A-
+ Dedicated Servers
-Matchmaking isn’t balanced.
-Jace bitches too much
+Horde Mode is amazing
-Only 12 Waves?
-Charging for Skins and Rockets…WTF?