So finally the final part of the Gears of War trilogy hits the stores with a loud bang and once again Marcus Fenix and his team of COG soldiers are thrust into the fray to fight for their lives on the planet Sera. This time there’s a new breed of monster joining in the fun in the form of the Lambent or ‘glowies’ as they’re affectionately called due to the fact that they’re full of lava-like Imulsion. This third game has always promised to be bigger and better and thankfully it lives up to the hype.
The campaign is played over five acts split into smaller chapters and there are a fair few places to explore and things to do. There are set pieces on board your command centre, in the desert, atop of floating Locust barges and in the city streets and once again it’s a heady mix of duck and cover shooting and on rails sections all tied together with sharp sarcastic wit with the occasional serious bits. If you’ve played Gears before you’ll know how to fight. Press A to lock into cover, run or mantle objects and then shoot anything that has scales. Active Reload’s back which rewards you for timing reloads well but jams your gun if you muck it up and there are some new weapons including melee weapons such as this cleaver you can hack things to bits with. There’s also the ability to mark enemies for your unit to fire upon but to be honest it’s pretty useless because if it’s in your sights you may as well shoot it yourself. It comes more in handy in multiplayer where you can spot enemies to make your team aware of their position.
Speaking of multiplayer, co-op’s back where you can split up at certain intersections and help each other up if downed and there’s another Horde mode called Beast where you must fight off heroes as the bad guys. You can also rack up your level by playing in a few of the versus modes, my favourite being good old Team Deathmatch where classic maps such as Gridlock make a return. It’s also a really good idea from Epic that your level even increases as you play through the campaign, meaning if you do replay it in co-op or on harder difficulties you still get rewarded and unlock items, skins and characters as you go.
Little Gears niggles still prevail though, such as not being able to steer your character too well whilst running and sometimes sticking to walls when you don’t want to but these never ruin gameplay that much. I also experienced a weird bug whilst fighting a boss where it just disappeared from the battle and I had to restart the checkpoint, Again, confusing but not a game breaker.
If you hammer through it you’ll finish the campaign in a day but there’s so much more here to once again make it a AAA title that’ll give you lots of bang for your buck. Gears of War 3 gets a whopping 9 out of 10.
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