Gears of War 3 Review

Gears of War 3. Wow. I remember Emergence Day way back when it was 2006 – which, of course, with delays, ended up being 2007, but you know.

Now, I’ve always been more of a Halo fan, which, of course, why wouldn’t I be if it’s got the lineage and storyline that I’ve been obsessed with for the last decade? With that said, my review of Gears 3 is now complete, and it might be a bit of a unique one, seeing that I haven’t played a single Gears game before this one. So my impressions are all pretty much based off of Halo. Which may or may not be a good thing.

Graphics. Okay, so this game looks phenomenal. The splatters, the particle effects, flames, smoke, dust, and everything looks great. The effects at the very beginning where time turns back and you’re fighting in an area that was, thirty seconds before, demolished – woah. That’s a phenomenal storytelling dynamic I had never seen before and it worked famously well. Of course, we’re talking about a massive franchise here with an equally-impressive budget, but that doesn’t mean other publishers haven’t failed with huge development budgets in the past. Simply put, Gears of War 3 is one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen. And lately, there have been some pretty great stunners, so that’s saying quite a bit!

From an audio perspective, things turn down ever so slightly, if only because I’m not sure the voices really match the people speaking with them. The voices on their own are of the highest quality and the acting is top notch. The graphics and mouth movements are excellent as well. But something gets lost in translation – no pun intended – when you put them together. To me, Marcus Fenix just doesn’t look like he has that voice. Fenix doesn’t speak with the same realism and connection that the Chief does in Halo. So forgive me for comparing this to the best game ever, but it is something we must do.

Now, the storyline – probably another of the best I’ve heard in a while, and while it doesn’t carry for me the same weight that something like, oh, I don’t know, Halo does, I can see why so many people are enthralled by this series so much. The advertisements which are almost specifically going after the storyline-hunting crowd seems to mimic Halo 3’s Believe series of advertisements, both in style and in music, but that’s not a bad thing because, well, those were freaking awesome.

Beyond that, there are the controls. I come from a world of first-person shooters and the occasional third-person action title like Splinter Cell. But where Splinter Cell shines is the fact that it goes first person when it needs to be, and the run and gun style of something like Gears of War, for me at least, just doesn’t work when I can see the whole character. It is less exciting, doesn’t give me that sense of actually being Marcus Fenix, and it simply just doesn’t control nearly as well.

Overall, not a bad game. In fact, Gears of War 3 surprised me if only because I didn’t really think I could get into a game that I had no history with. But it’s clear that Epic Games knows what their doing, and while I’m not exactly clamouring for the next trilogy in the Gears universe, I’m sure whatever Cliffy B. does next will surely impress.