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Veteran Member - Level 13
Gears of War is the story of Delta squad. When the game starts, Locusts has already invaded Earth. This is known as E-Day (Emergence Day); we find the protagonist Marcus in prison, and rejoining his long time friend, Dom. Throughout the game, you find new squad members. Your mission is to blow up the Locust hive. Along the way, you will come across quite a few nasty creatures - needing to be taken down. Marcus doesn't really have any interesting qualities. Neither does the rest of the squad. They take care of each other, but they aren't exactly noble. You don't really see the squad grow in partnership. They just tolerate each other.... Throughout most of the game, Cole Train and Baird won't even join you in battle. They will come up with some lame excuse to stay behind. One of those being to take care some wounded soldiers that are so bloodied, they probably won't make it anyways. So, this is Marcus' and Dom's game.
The level design is dark and dreary. After playing through the first two Acts, I knew I wouldn't be seeing rainbows anytime soon. A lot of the levels feel the same to me. With the exception of the last level which takes place on a moving train; a mission taking place on a train isn't exactly unique. When you are with Baird and Cole, there are missions that make you split up. Marcus and an AI squad member will go one way, and Dom will go the other way with another squad member. These moments are frustrating, because your AI buddies refuse to revive you when you're down. Instead, when one of you dies, the game is instantly over. It doesn't help that your AI squad will also be taken down in battle, and you can't leave them there; you must revive them. These kind of moments happen far too often. Though, there is one mission where one person will take the high ground, and the other the low ground, and the one on the high ground assists by taking out enemies below. Moments like that is fun in any co-op shooter. There are some really cool weapons in the game. The most notable one is the Lancer - an assault rifle with a chainsaw tacked on. It's so satisfying to cut someone in half with the chainsaw. You have to hold down B to activate the chainsaw, but if someone shoots you, your character flinches - cancelling out the chainsaw animation. This gets frustrating, because you can only chainsaw people with the Lancer. Having the option to just melee with the weapon by just pressing B (rather than holding it down) would have been welcome. My favorite weapon in the game is the Torque Bow. You hold down the right trigger to charge your shot - once hit by an enemy, the bolt explodes in his face. This gives you a feeling of satisfaction. There is also the Hammer of Dawn. I loved using the Hammer of Dawn, but there are only specific times in the game when you can use it. Once charged at an enemy - a large beam shoots out of the sky, vaporizing said enemy. There are also sniper rifles, magnums, shotguns, and rocket launchers. One of the most unique aspects of the game is its reloading mini game. If you hit RB on the white bar, you will reload your weapon fairly quickly. If you press it too soon, or too late, your gun jams - which could get you killed in battle. It was a nice decision that kept you on your toes.
I love enemy variety. This game does well in providing different kind of enemies to destroy. You get Boomers - which are giant Locusts with a Boomer (rocket launcher), there are smaller enemies that are quick, and will charge you, and enemies that will explode. The coolest enemy is the Berserker. These guys are blind. They only try and kill you if they can hear you. They're definitely the most antagonizing enemies. Other than the lackluster level design, other things I didn't care for were the controls. I love the Xbox 360 controller, but any game that requires you to use that abysmal D-Pad is frowned upon. You switch weapons using the D-Pad. There is a lot of delay, and it's very inaccurate. Also, the characters are slow and clunky. Trying to revive your allies at an angle is far too tedious. Sprinting look ridiculous. You can't really turn when sprinting, so I'm always running into walls. Finally, you cannot movie when you're down. When you're down by a ton of enemies, it gets kind of annoying. Thankfully, you're not going to bleed out in 15 seconds like most game. They're pretty forgiving in that sense. These are minor complaints, of course. But they could use refining.
Don't play this game for the competitive multiplayer. Since the game is seven years old, you're not going to find many people battling it out. From what I've played, it doesn't really hold up well. If you want to play some awesome Gears multiplayer, go play Gears 3 for sure. I enjoyed my time with the game. It offered quite a few thrills. I wouldn't recommend this game if you don't have a friend to play with. This is definitely more fun with a buddy - especially on the harder difficulties. This is the definition of a "dudebro" game. Don't expect much of a story, or decent character development. It's all about shooting everything you see.