i know that nobody would remember this, but i've already written a review about this game in the past which was actually just a joke, saying that i've never played gears of war and probably never will, but the truth is that at the time i had no idea how easy it was to save up for an xbox 360 once you have a job. so obviously, yes, i have now played it because i now have an xbox.
and since i finished the game i figured that maybe i should change that joke review into a real review.
a lot is expected of gears of war, especially after seeing how big the release of gears of war 2 was. once i got my xbox, i had planned on getting a few games, namely halo 3, fable 2 and one of the 2 only good call of duties that have ever been made (thats right, call of duty 4 was when the series FINALLY got it right). and amongst all the games i planned to get, gears of war was in the list but not a very big priority. when i played it for the first time, i thought that the low prioritising of this game was well placed, as i thought it was ok but nothing special really. and that was after a whole first playthrough on a relatively long game. but it was only after i had done the first act on insane the second time around that i really started to get into it.
i cant really explain why that's the way it is, but it's been happeneing to me a lot lately, even with halo 3. however it's not really the first act that does it for me, its the second act where i think the game really gets going. the whole scenario of having the kryll (little bat like bastards that will rip you to shreds if you step into the darkness) constantly threatening to kill you was a brilliant idea. the game starts off like a regular shooter and then turns into something really special, with the kryll being one of my favorite..... things in any game. you could make a lot of arguments, like the flood in halo 3, liquid ocelots private army in metal gear solid 4, or even the gonados in resident evil 4, but nothing does it for me like the kryll portion of the game. it doesnt sound very interesting but it's much more fun than you would think.
the graphics in this game are spectacular, let down only by the occasional drop in framerate and the.... im not really sure what you call it but its where the graphical detail just drops completely and takes a few seconds to get going again, i think its texture something. anyway, getting back to the point. the character models look about as good as you could possibly get on the xbox 360 (beaten only by metal gear solid 4, and maybe crysis from what i've heard) and the distant environment is even better. again, with the kryll, in the second act there is a moment where the camera looks up at the sky to see the sun going down and the kryll come out of hiding, and without a framerate drop or the other thing that i mentioned, it really is a great looking bit of virtual scenery. can't really think of when i've seen a better graphical moment in gaming.
i thought that the story really was too shallow, but it had enough to at least be a story, and at least it doesn't get a little weird towards the end like gears of war 2 does. its not that i dont like gears 2, in fact i think its awsome, but i just prefer gears 1 for a lot of little things.
the difficulty of the game goes at a steady pace, getting harder and harder but without being an overly impossible game, in fact you wouldn't really even call it that hard compared to some other games, but what you could compare to others is the final boss fight. it is waaaaaaaaay harder than it should be when you consider what the rest of the game was like. i've only done the final chapter on the lowest of 3 difficulties, and i had a REALLY hard time getting past him. i honestly can't even remember how i did it. i also like some of the names of achievements on this game. well, there's really only one i wish to mention, called "my love for you is like a truck", and the challenge is beating a big blind monster in the hardcore difficulty.
so while i do think that this game is better than its sequal, i still think this game isnt perfect. it may be in my top 360 games forever, but probably not my favorite of all time. i will write a review for gears two sometime, but im still at the stage of thinking its 'ok' like i did with this game, hopefully more play time will change my mind.