Gears of War Review

Game Name: Gears of War
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Platform: PC / XBox 360

What I liked about it:

A few weeks ago, my roommate and I played through the first Gears of War, and I must say, it was a night full of fun! While I was testing at Microsoft a few summers ago, a friend of mine was testing Gears of War 2. At the time, I had no clue that Gears of War was so much fun!

Gears of War has a very interesting and fluid cover system. The Gears of War team used context sensitive input to make the space bar perform different actions depending on what’s going on around you. Usually this is done poorly, so when you mean to perform one action, another action happens instead. In Gears of War however, I would say it did what I wanted about 95% of the time.

Another thing that I thought this game did that I haven’t seen too much of, yet I really liked, was universal ammo crates. This probably isn’t quite what you think though. When you pick up one box of ammo, it gives you ammo for each of your weapons, but each weapon uses separate ammo. For example, one box of ammo might give +150 machine gun ammo, +20 pistol ammo, and +4 sniper ammo.

I very much enjoyed the bigger enemies in the game as well, even though most of them were taken down using a super gun called the Hammer of Dawn, which essentially called a huge satellite to attack your target. Some of these bigger enemies are boomers, berserkers, seeders, and brumaks.

I absolutely loved the quirky remarks made by the characters, both in the cutscenes and the ambient dialogue. If you ever make a game, try and add stuff like that to further immerse the player.

Finally, I felt that the difficulty curve of the game was done very well. The game was hard at some points, but not too hard. The final boss is actually pretty difficult until you get the rhythm down, which is perfect for a final boss. In fact, I haven’t seen a more fun final boss battle than this in a long time.

What could use some improvement:

Overall, the game had a great look and feel to it. That being said, individual portions of the level looked very similar, so I kept getting turned around, especially with the motion blur while running. Which reminds me, when you run, there’s a little bit of a blur effect. Over the course of the game, this made my eyes hurt quite a bit. The game could have done without that, even though it was a cool effect.

The game was a little buggy. I got stuck on walls about three times, and had one out of environment experience (Which was actually pretty cool, because I had a good view of a cool looking city from where I was). Lucky for me, when your teammate gets to a checkpoint, you get teleported there.

I wish that the story was explained a little bit more. There is a short cutscene if you stay idle at the main screen, but it doesn’t really explain that much. Once you start the game, it seems to assume that you know what a seeder is, or why you’re fighting against the Locust Horde.

All in all, I highly recommend playing through Gears of War, especially if you have a friend that can save you when the game glitches out.

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