Gears of War 3 Co-op Review
I have been to many mid-night releases at Gamestop in my life, but I've been to only one that I was not actually purchasing the game; Gears of War 3. I was only there for moral support for my friend who didn't want to wade through the many familiar faces. Waiting in line for 30 minutes, I casually observed the 50 or so people in line and all my assumptions of the GOW fan base were shattered. I expected to see what the world has labeled “Bros” crammed in line belt buckle to butt as far as the eye can see, while there was a simultaneous unofficial Honda car show in the parking lot; to my surprise there was many sects of society there; The single parent and their spoiled son, the tall-pasty-bearded 20 something with an uninterested attractive girlfriend, some Bros, loud obnoxious attention-mongers, and me and my friend. It was a melting pot of culture and it was beautiful. When my buddy obtained a copy we proceeded to play for seven straight hours until we beat the game and it was um.. fun.
Completing both iterations in the GOW series and I would not consider myself a fan. I have never enjoyed the the story line of the original or the first sequel. I could never put it in actual words why GOW has never clicked with me, all I know is that never cared for it. GOW3 is the game I started caring.
Playing the third Gears game I enjoyed moment to moment gameplay; moving from cover to cover, shooting, rolling, running, but it's the context of the gamplay that I don't approve of. Objectives like holding off an attack while someone opens a door or both items you need are unconventionally located just to milk out the game left me feeling bored and disappointed that there wasn't more innovation in the game design of Gears. It felt like “been there, done that”, for most of the chapters of the game, for yours truly. I am not a fan of turret sections in games and GOW3 turned vehicle sections of the past and put you on the mounted gun. For the most part these sections break the pace for the better but I feel like they over stay their welcome at bit longer that I would have liked. The meat of the story kept me interested the whole way through, which is all I ask and at points in the game I actually felt something on an emotional level. If you are deeply invested in the serious I'd recommend not looking at the chapter names and turning off achievements.
The hope of mysteries being revealed and what was to become of the COG members kept me playing through the monotony of some of the boring and safe mission contexts but the overall story and moment to moment gameplay kept me happy enough to give Gears of War 3 a positive review.