I have bought a lot of video games; what I haven’t done is beat a lot of video games. For whatever reason, I’ve decided to go back and give some of these games another shot: this is the Backlog.
This Week’s Game: Gears of War 3
I have a soft spot for the bombastic, brotastic lore of Gears of War, which makes it pretty odd that I have yet to beat the final entry in the Bender Bending Rodriguez trilogy (I also have a soft spot for John DiMaggio). So in the hopes of continuing this blog feature beyond one week, I called up my brother and we dove back into the co-op campaign in the hopes of exorcising another of my backlog demons.
The first thing that surprised me about GoW 3 was how colorful it was. For whatever reason, I was expecting a lot of browns and greys; I seem to recall the original Gears of War being accused of setting that generation’s color palate on the dusty side of brown. Gears of War 3 was full of sunlight and color in a way that Gears of War 2 wanted to be but did not achieve. That said, it was still definitely a Unreal Engine game, so Jake the Dog and company all looked like they regularly bathed in butter.
The gameplay is immensely satisfying, the guns all have a powerful feel to them, and the cover system had, at this point, been refined into its purest form. This game is a lot of fun, especially with a co-op partner, but that is likely the reason that I stopped playing it in the first place; it is sometimes difficult for my brother and I to coordinate our schedules these days. That’s a shame, because the game is great and I would have liked to spend time with it back when it was new and the multiplayer was extant. I can definitely see myself going back to this game and finishing it off fairly soon.
An Update on The Last of Us
I might have come across as a little harsh in my impressions of The Last of Us, and while I still stand by everything I wrote, I also spent a couple more nights playing it and have enjoyed it every time I played it. The game seems to shine its brightest when forcing me to sneak around and shiv Clickers in their freaky throats. It is at its most frustrating when it wants me to shoot things; although I have gotten more used to the gunplay it still is frustratingly unresponsive at times. I don’t know if the kick on the weapons is supposed to work the way it does or if I am just super terrible at the game—I am not willing to rule that out—but any time that I have to use guns in that game I get a little sad inside. The story, however, is enough to keep me going through the shooty bits.
I think my favorite part of this game is the silence. More than any other game I’ve played, The Last of Us really nails the feel of an empty, broken world. I could wander around an abandoned and overgrown downtown Boston for ages. I’ll keep plugging away at this game, even though I’m sure I’m not more than ¼ of the way through it.
I think the next game I try I will pick out of my Steam library. There’s a ton of stuff in there; maybe I’ll record some of it.