The lights are on
I have been a subscriber to GI for awhile now and have played video games all my life. Pretty recently I started playing Gears of War 3. Although I have always been impressed with the graphics and gameplay of the Gears series, I just never played it for some reason. Even after a friend gave me a copy of Gears 3, it stayed on my shelf for months until I finally popped it in. Although I didn't play the campaign, (I have watched friends play through) I immediately fell in love with the multiplayer. Especially team death match . And after watching the GoW Judgment multiplayer trailer, I was pretty excited for the changes that were on the horizon for the series. The excitement unfortunately, did not last long.
Here's the thing, I rented this game. I was gonna buy it but decided to wait after reading some things about the multiplayer. Another thing I am noting is that I did not play the campaign , and fortunately, the campaign seems to have been covered very well in several reviews. The multiplayer however, especially in GI's review is not. So let me complain and inform people on things I think should be acknowledged about this games multiplayer component.
First of all your standard weapon load out has been narrowed down to 2 guns instead of 3. And one, the pistol, is mandatory. I thought this was a pretty lame concept and subtraction seems to be a trend with Judgment. Why would they take away a weapon slot? I can only guess that they are trying to cut down on shotgun battles, as the gnasher only starts with one clip of ammunition. But again, why take something away from the player? It turns out this isn't to big of a deal as it is relatively easy to pick up another weapon off a dead player and swap it out for the pistol.
It is also worth noting the new grenade types and the ability to choose what type you start with are welcome additions and I think most players would agree. Also the ability to choose your starting grenade type and the ease of being able to acquire additional grenades through picking up ammo boxes is a good addition.
The Marzka is also a new rifle you can choose from the start that adds a sort of sniper rifle type gun to the arsenal. This gun brings more variation to the lancer, hammerburst lineup.
Speaking of the hammerburst, you can no longer switch to first person to use the iron sights anymore. Why? No clue, yet it is another take away from the game. It could be argued that the zoom function of the Marzka replaces the need for the hammerburst iron sights, but why not just have both?
Now one of my huge gripes. There is no more downs. This omission from the game is really being overlooked in a lot of reviews. I understand that a lot of people don't care for this concept, (second chance anyone?) however this drastically changes the way the game plays and takes some of the coolest components of GoW with it. So now there are no executions, meat shields, or bag n tag. How could they seriously drop these features, especially the executions, which I though was one of the cooler and more unique aspects of the series. Not to mention that it exemplified the brutality and violence of the game the fans and players love. It also takes some strategic elements out of the game and decreases players options for disposing of enemies. The meat shield allowed players to escape dire situations and also helped against facing multiple enimies. Again, why subtract these features?
And finally, the levels. Now I can't really bash the levels that much. They are fun and look great. I also enjoy the moving pieces and the vertical aspects. Dropping down behind a unknowing player and blasting them with a gnasher feels great. But I think the levels lack the symmetry and overall design of previous GoW maps. I noticed I felt the need to use cover a lot less. A whole lot less. Covered fire fights? Not so much either. It seems the maps make for much more frantic run and gun battles. While this might not be bad for everybody, I think it detracts from being able to play more strategical. It creates a very chaotic feel as another user review stated.
And c'mon 4 maps!? I know there's 8 altogether, but only 4 for Tdm and 4 for the other modes. At this point, I understand that every game is going to have DLC, it's mandatory for the most part. And I also understand that publishers and game creators need to make more money as it is undoubtably more expensive to create these games. But this is just getting ridiculous and somebody really needs to call foul on this trend. Halo 4 also only had a handful of maps when it shipped. But at least they had the Forge. GoW3 shipped with 10 multiplayer maps and then u even got a few for free. It's kinda ridiculous when you think about it. How can a sequel, (prequel, I know, I know...) have less maps then it's predecessor? If anything it should have more! These sequels should be vastly expanding on the previous works especially if they are gonna come out at full retail price. They could have at least thrown in some classics.
Like I said, I have no problem getting dlc for a game but when it's painfully obvious they are trying to MAKE you buy it, that's when a problem arises for me. I shouldn't have to pay more to get what I feel would be the full experience. And I understand there are more maps but a lot of people, like me, probably enjoy team death match the most. And for a lot of games, that is the big multiplayer draw. I really can't believe this aspect of recent multiplayer games isn't being addressed more.
Also the character selection takes a major blow as the locust are missing. I thought the locust characters were the coolest looking and I liked to run around as a hissing subterranean beast with huge guns much more than one of the human characters. Now in team death match and other modes, you can only choose the members of the cog. So essentially, they took away half of the character selection also. Once again, why? Team death match now consists of cog versus cog. This doesn't even make sense in regards to the story. At least in Halo 4 and the option to only use Spartans, they depicted multiplayer battles as training exercises. Why are two Bairds blowing each other apart while 2 Coles chainsaw each other? Why WOULDN'T the cog be pit against the locust? Especially when players want the widest character selection possible. I understand you can be them in other modes, but why take them out of TDM and FFA?
At least the new guns are good and a great addition. Most of them are different and unique, although the classic power weapons are now more scarce it seems. And I don't want people to think I'm totally bashing this game because I'm not. It is a good game and it is fun but it feels totally different then the Gears of War I have become accustomed to and it is missing a ton of elements I thought made 3 so great. It is different, and not really in a better way at all. The key word is expansion, and I think for some reason developers miss out on this aspect. And I can't understand how they took away so many key components from this game. Couldn't they have kept everything from 3 and added what they wanted?
I really wrote this because I thought it was hilarious nobody was really talking about the multiplayer in their reviews. Especially how GI waited to post their review to give a better picture of the multiplayer and then only a paragraph is devoted to discussing it, very generally to I might add. And I hope people that were on the fence about getting this game read this or other user reviews on the site because this is not an expanded upon version of a GoW3. It is a different game of sorts and while looks similar, lacks a tremendous amount of content that should obviously be in the game and also plays very differently in a lot of ways.
Note: This was originally a blog I wrote however I am posting as a review since it was not coming up for some reason. And as others users stated this info needs to be out there and discussed.