The Gears of War series has always been about brutal war, a desperate struggle, an entire world falling to ruin. That desperation has always shown in great gameplay, running, taking cover, gathering what ammo you can, even the most famous weapon of the series, the Lancer Assault Rifle, illustrates how vicious this fight is.
Every soldier has biceps the size of tree trunks, everyone looks scarred and battle hardened. Gears of War is not lacking in identity, and the environment from all 3 games is always echoed of a beautiful world that has since been destroyed. This awesome unflinching reality barely influences the story of Gears of War 3 though. The sense of real loss is almost lost in gears of War 3, make no mistake not everyone is going to make it. There are going to be some notable moments of darkness and drama in this final game of the trilogy. There needed to be more, more mistakes need to be made, and more fallen heroes.
The dialogue between characters is quick and snappy though bordering on overly chatty. But it gives you a sense of friendship in this ragtag squad, they really flush out the heroes of Gears in this game. Claudia Black as Sam delivers a solid and believable performance and Ice T is very much Ice T. Though when your focus becomes the character it doesn't matter how many burnt out cities you see, how many graves, it all doesn't matter unless the characters that you've fallen in love with aren't burnt to the ground as well.
Gears of War 3 doesn't feel like a world many survive but many of the characters feel untouchable and this is reflected even in the gameplay. Unless you're playing this on the hardcore difficulty you're not going to face a challenge, your squad mates are either too good at picking you backup or your enemies are too weak. Cover is still part of the gameplay but it feels less important, the mechanics of Gears of War 3 is as sound as it has ever been, weapons feel visceral, the enemies are well animated and massive.
There is some mission repetition, you are given a job and something goes wrong and you're given another job and something else goes wrong and I have not spent this much time in elevators since Mass Effect 1. Versus mode is fun, horde mode is as always a blast but the new retro lancer weapon is a bit of a dud. Gears of War fans are going to be very happy with Gears of War 3, it is a very fun game, great paced story, the heart of the game is the gameplay and that does not disappoint. But Gears of War 3 could have been epic, could have been more than just good it could have been great. They could have gone out with a major bang but instead they settled for something more conventional and more predictable. I give Gears of War 3 eight stars out of 10.
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