Sunday, October 2, 2011

Gears of War 3 Review

I wrote a review of Gears of War 3 over at Pixelhunt. You can read it now, if you want. It doesn't say everything I want to say about Gears of War 3, but Gears of War 3 is a huge game so there is a lot I want to say about it.

One thing my review didn't have space for was the excellent menu and stats system. Gears of Wars 2 was one of those few games on 360 where I wanted to track down and get as many achievements as I wanted, as they were actually enjoyable, additional things to do. Gears of War 3 channels this superbly by tracking your exact progress with every single achievement. Within the menus, you can find out exactly what collectables you are yet to find, exactly which weapon executions you are yet to achieve, exactly which campaign levels you still need to complete on what difficulty, etc. It makes going after the achievements even more enjoyable. The user-interface improvements stretch to multiplayer, too, with dropping in and out of groups and parties immensely easy without having to go to the dashboard.

Story wise, I talk about it a lot in the review, but I only touch on how much I love the Gears characters. Sure, they are all dude-bros, but that doesn't stop them from being characters. Epic has done an excellent job of crafting these personalities and their little nuanced reactions to different scenarios. For me, Gears of War isn't for dude-bros, it's about dude-bros. I find the relationship between Marcus and Dom especially interesting, especially in relation to how I have played through ever Gears of Wars' campaign. Namely, with my own brother on co-op with myself as Marcus and him as Dom. There is a moment later in Gears of War 3 which had a huge affect on this, but I won't spoil it yet and will save that for a later post. Though, the name of the chapter in-game pretty much spoils it anyway. Or maybe it doesn't. Maybe it reflects on its inevitability. Who knows!

I also have many ideas of how Gears of War can be read as a reflection on the futility and contradictory nature of modern masculinity, but that too can wait for a latter post. For now, I find it fascinating that for all their brawn, none of the Gears are equipped with whatever it is they need to save those they love. They are always coming up short and painfully aware of it. Even the cover system reflects this: you are not good enough to face them head-on. I think it captures something really interesting. I could stretch such a post to discuss the Locust as a non-phallic civilization because they don't build towers. You know, just to really annoy those that insist Gears of War is about nothing.

Anyway, there you go. Gears of War 3 is great and you should play it. Also, we should play it. My gamertag should be over there on the side somewhere. If you see me playing, feel free to drop in and help out with a few waves on Horde mode.

1 comment:

Paul Bauman said...

Nice review! Although I'm curious to see a later analysis on some of the stuff you brought up in your post about inadequacy, masculinity, etc. It kind of reminds me of some of the dynamics I saw in the hyper-armored mechs in late 90's anime like Evangelion.