Personal review on GOW3's 3D

#1 Posted by Mocca_Bear (60 posts) -

I was surprised to find that most, if not all of the GOW 3 reviews downplay the game's 3D aspect.

Now I know that there is a lot of discussion going on about wether or not 3D is good or bad, or "do games really need 3D?" But there are people out there who for some reason have a 3D enabled television set. I fall into that category, now let me be perfectly clear that I am not endorsing the use of 3D in any way. This post mostly consists of my own personal feelings towards the quality of 3D in GOW 3.

First of all, Microsoft has not pushed the entire 3D bandwagon with the same ferocity that Sony has. The entire part of turning the feature on feels kind of backwards: you have to go into the visual option menu to turn on the feature. Whereas most 3D enabled Sony games "see" that your TV supports 3D and immediately optimize the system, GOW 3 asks you to manually switch on the option and then switch on the 3D function of your TV. This is not that big of a problem, but it is part of a larger one. I will elaborate on this in a bit but for now just remember that the 3D is not as "integrated" as some other 3D games.

The first time I switched on the game I was surprised (not in a good way) at the 3D quality. The game starts with an introduction fmv and small things are really noticeable here. For instance this is the only time in the game where the subtitles are a real distraction, they fizzle in and out of focus and as a result are hard to read. The rest of the video surrounding the subtitles feels defiantly blurry and nauseating. The visuals just don't feel tight. Needless to say the first 4 minutes of the game are very hard to swallow when viewed in 3D. Luckily Epic has not fumbled their 3D experience. The problems I described above only apply to the cutscenes. The gameplay in 3D is just unbelievably tight. Bullet trails are "lifelike" and the open area's feel more vivid with an actual depth element. Effect's such as rockets coming at the player, or charging enemies are rendered beautifully and more importantly they don't take the player out of the experience.

When most people think of 3D they have 2 sub genres: one is the "pop-up effect" where objects are thrown at the viewer to create a 3D effect, and the other is more of a view box, where the image extends into the wall behind the screen. GOW 3's 3D can be described as the latter. As far as gameplay goes it is a fantastic experience that is worth looking into. A couple a levels really felt more engrossing when played with the added depth and I cannot help but have a deeper appreciation for the level design.

However, as a complete package, GOW3 fails, for me at least. During my play through I constantly felt "lost" when the game switched between cutscene and gameplay. This feeling of disorientation does not help the otherwise excellent visuals and cinematography the game displays. The absolute worst problem however lies in the fact that 3D support is not built into the Xbox system itself. This problem goes beyond manually turning on the feature itself. Thing is, no matter how intrusive you think achievement popups are, you have no idea just how annoying they are when seen in 3D. The update itself doesn't pop out of the screen, that's not the problem, the thing is the actual message itself is enlarged to the point where it fills up 1/3rd of the screen. The message depiction itself is not updated to 3D either, so it literally hovers somewhere in between the physical screen and the 3d effect. This is really off putting, seeing as this is probably the only effect that is annoying to the eyes of the viewer. The same goes for friend requests and message updates, everything that notifies the player shares the same visual style of presenting. When playing in 3D you really dread when the moment you hear that intrusive "bleep" and on a subconscious level your eyes immediately brace for the worst.

Nevertheless as I said an amazing gameplay experience, just remember to turn off Xbox Live during your play through.

*Game was played on a Samsung 3D enabled television set (2011 series television and glasses)

#2 Posted by Venatio (4482 posts) -

I had no idea that Gears 3 had 3D

#3 Posted by SithToast (165 posts) -

I'll do you one better: I had no idea that the 360 had 3D :v

#4 Posted by TooWalrus (13135 posts) -

I didn't know either- and I'm not even going to read the review (because I totally don't care.)

#5 Posted by Swoxx (2988 posts) -

I also had no idea that GOW3 had 3D, wow. Granted I haven't followed it too closely.

#6 Posted by siblers (41 posts) -

Thak god, I thought I was the only person alive who doesn't like the poor transitions from gameplay to cut scenes in the Gears series.

#7 Posted by Ares42 (2570 posts) -

Ye, I'm another one of those that have a 3D TV for no specific reason and was surely surprised when I saw it had 3D support. Only got one 3D HDMI cable though (as ps3 seems to be the only console that really puts out 3D titles), but I guess I'll give it a shot and see how it is. If it's actually good it would be cool to actually have some good 3D content :P

#8 Posted by Mocca_Bear (60 posts) -

360 does do a 3D, developers just need to implement the feature if they want. A 360 can output a 3D signal just fine right out of the box, but as I stated above the experience does not feel streamlined. Black Ops is another one of those games with an optional 3D feature.

@Ares42 Do special HDMI cables exist that are marketed for 3D use? If memory serves right any old HDMI cable will do, provided it works of course.

#9 Posted by awesomeusername (4153 posts) -

Am I the only one who knew GOW3 had 3D? Maybe it's because I check GameInformer daily. 3D=LAMEEEE

#10 Edited by Ares42 (2570 posts) -

@Mocca_Bear said:

360 does do a 3D, developers just need to implement the feature if they want. A 360 can output a 3D signal just fine right out of the box, but as I stated above the experience does not feel streamlined. Black Ops is another one of those games with an optional 3D feature.

@Ares42 Do special HDMI cables exist that are marketed for 3D use? If memory serves right any old HDMI cable will do, provided it works of course.

Hmm, can't remember what itteration of HDMI it is, but there is a difference in cables that support 3D or not. At least that was what I was told by my associates when I bought the TV.

Edit: http://www.highdefdigest.com/news/show/Industry_Trends/HDMI/3D/HDMI_13_Will_Support_3D_After_All/4002 guess it's 1.3 vs 1.4 cables.

#11 Posted by Mars (310 posts) -

While not perfect, I was pleasantly surprised with GOW's 3D. I don't plan to play the entire campaign in 3D, but it is a neat addition. In my opinion, GOW3 3D is the best looking gaming 3D I've seen so far ... admittedly ... I've not seen much though.

#12 Posted by SpudBug (633 posts) -

meh, it seems like it was an afterthought, which also seems appropriate for 3D support.

#13 Posted by ColumnBreaker (1159 posts) -

The second I turned the 3D on the menus got incredibly laggy and so did the game. I didn't even know it had 3D support until I put it in the Xbox.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.