[Review: 8.5/10] Gears of War 3 feels like an improvement over the previous two games in almost every way, except one: the story. It's not bad by any stretch, but it felt to me like it never quite surpassed the feel of GoW2's campaign and plot.

While I felt that GoW2 had a much stronger campaign and plot than the original, I felt like GoW3 never reached that same level, or at least that same level of improvement over its predecessor. The end felt rushed, and worse, it left a lot of questions unanswered, which makes it feel like a lackluster end to an otherwise great trilogy. Aside from that, the campaign is a blast with three friends, and the arcade mode opens up a scoring system to add some competition to your co-op experience.

But it's the game's multiplayer where it shines brightest - six game modes for competitive play keep things interesting, and the medals and achievements to go along with them can keep you busy for months, if not years,

Horde mode gets a revamping, and now features a currency model that lets you purchase ammo, weapons, and fortifications, tower defense style, between rounds. Every tenth wave is a boss fight, letting you try your luck against Berserkers, Brumaks, and a few other big baddies.

The big new addition to GoW3 is Beast mode, which is Horde's evil twin. Instead of playing with friends as Marcus and company and building up a base, you play as the Locust, assaulting cpu-controlled CoG opponents and their fortifications. You only have tickets and a few lower-level monsters available at first, but earning cash unlocks three more tiers of Locust to play as, including Kantus, Boomers, and even the Berserker.

My only disappointment is that Beast mode runs 12 waves, as opposed to Horde's 50. I really would have loved to enjoy a marathon session of playing as the bad guys.

Add in unlockables like weapon skins, playable characters, and mutators (like big head mode,) and the game has enough content to keep you coming back for a long, long time.