Remember that time they made three games about super-meathead soldiers hacking and slashing their way through an entire army of underground pale dudes who were maybe insects or something armed with little more than chainsaws, bullets and testosterone? Yeah, I know, we’re kind of behind the times on this one, seeing as how Gears of War 3 can now no longer be considered a new game, what because of all the TIME that has passed since now and whatever month it was released. But I finally had time to sit down with Elrood and Enosh to polish this sucker off this weekend, wherein I was treated to a lot of explosions, Enosh sounding like a robot through his faulty mic, and huge gaping plot holes the game assures us were adequately filled, even though we know better.
The previous two Gears of War games included co-op with just two people, which meant Elrood and I plowed through them, he as the stoic and badass Marcus and me as Dom, his best broseph of all time. So Elrood would saw and shoot his way through levels and I would provide the
Dompocalype I mean apocalypse full of Domsplosions I mean explosions and we would proceed to Dominate I mean dominate the locust horde.
Eventually, a rudimentary plot started to manifest through each successive game. Apparently, as we are told, humanity was chillin’ on the planet Sera, doing whatever it is that humans like to do before the advent of chainsaws and explosions right up until Emergence Day, when the locust horde burst forth from deep within the planet to wreck some shit. The locust are like pale dudes with guns. Some of them are fat.
Marcus and Dom are just grunts in a bigger war effort to repel the locust, and over the course of two games we’ve seen them charge headfirst after one deus ex machina game-ending weapon to another, each of them ending up rather weaksauce. They’re joined by Cole, a former Thrashball star (think of Thrashball as the love child of football, rugby and possibly basketball. Wait shit I know nothing about sports), Baird, a jerkface genius repair man, and a slew of Carmine brothers, each of whom is various degrees of professional. Also, “sundry others” whom the game switches in and out as needed.
At the start of Gears of War 3, the COG have seen better days. Marcus, Dom, and former com girl Anya are living on a ship, staying far away from the lambent and locust dudes rampaging about. There’s also some new guy named Jayce there, whom the game assures us we knew before now. Due to new game mechanics, Enosh joined us this time around. Since there are no jumping puzzles, he was actually effective.
After the long missing Chairman Prescott returns from wherever the hell he has been, however, the team heads off on a mission to save Marcus’ father. Oh and Cole and Baird are there too I guess.
Here’s the best part about Gears of War: You will not have one encounter or situation in the game that is not completely over the top chaotic. Combat is smooth, ducking in and out of cover works masterfully (though to be fair at one point I did get stuck on a sofa in the middle of a firefight. But since that was the same firefight that Enosh found he could not stop shooting his rifle under any circumstances, I’m willing to chalk that up to technical difficulties), and even if you have never played a Gears of War game in the past you should be able to pick it up without too much difficulty.
The story, too, isn’t too hard to pick up. The locust are bad guys, but the lambent are a bigger threat, so you should probably kill everyone. And the game is fun. Aside from two notable boss fights, there was not any point during Gears of War 3 that I started to get irritated. Those two fights, for the record, and without going into too much detail, are bullshit.
Having the ability to take three friends with you is also an added bonus. And that’s probably something that you’re going to want to do. The AI has a tendency to throw caution to the wind, which usually means you have to go bail them out and compromise your sweet position for one that is tactically terrible. Also, multiplayer has been expanded to include new and astounding ways to team up with or to blow up your friends, if you’re into that sort of thing. I recommend horde mode.
The bad part about Gears of War 3?
After three games… well, you’d think Epic would have had a better idea of where they were going with this. Some questions will be answered about the overarching plot, but the game itself seems marginally confused about the details. At one point one of the characters is handed a data disk and told “this will explain everything.” We’re not treated to the contents of this disk, mind you, which is probably because there are no answers.
Gears of War, all three games of it, is really just an excuse for you to blow up some ugly bug men with your friends. There’s nothing wrong with that, mind you. They are almost impossibly fun. But after three games of build up. Okay, spoiler real quick here. Skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want to hear this. After three games, I kind of wish humanity’s hope had NOT rested on a machine that we had known nothing about before now, in a facility that we JUST learn about in Gears 3, and that this one machine would have the power to solve all problems forever. It’s like Epic realized they wrote themselves into a corner and decided to escape with a huge, planet altering deus ex machina.
Okay, you non-spoiler guys back? Good. In any case, you should play Gears of War 3, especially if you are a fan of the first two games. It’s not going to go down in history as one of the most compelling stories of all time, mind you. It probably would be included in a book about chainsaw murders, though.
Also, inexplicably, they left the game open for a sequel. I know Gears of War is meant to be a trilogy, but man, so was Halo. Anyone want to take bets on if we’ll see more Gears someday down the line? If I was a betting man, I probably wouldn’t take those odds.