Gears of War is a third person shooter developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios for the Xbox 360. Receiving tremendous critical acclaim and various awards from multiple publications, Gears of War quickly became one of the most successful titles on the Xbox 360, selling more than 4 million copies worldwide since its launch in November of 2006. The game was later released for the PC with Games for Windows LIVE support along with new game modes, multiplayer maps and other additional content. A sequel titled Gears of War 2 was released in November of 2008 and the rights to a film adaptation have been acquired by New Line Cinema.
Prior to the events of Gears of War, the humans of Planet Sera knew the illusion of peace. Humans thrived, for a time, but a lack of energy sources led to battles for 'Imulsion', a valuable fluid found deep within the planet. These battles, called the Pendulum Wars, continued for years among the various civilizations until a military body called the Coalition of Organized Governments took control of the population.
Unknown to the Coalition, an allied civilization of monstrous subterranean species were living in secret beneath the surface, plotting the ultimate destruction of mankind. Known as " The Locust Horde," the fearsome creatures revealed themselves, attacking the planet's largest cities and slaughtering billions of people. This event is known as Emergence Day.
Gears of War begins 14 years after Emergence Day. The player controls Marcus Fenix, a former COG solider who has been imprisoned for abandoning his post in a failed attempt to rescue his father, scientist Adam Fenix. Loyal friend and former squad mate Dominic Santiago discovers that Locust forces have begun an assault on the maximum security prison at Jacinto where Marcus is being held. After helping Marcus escape, the two join Kim and Carmine to form Delta Squad, a unit with the special mission of deploying a "Lightmass Bomb" to destroy the Locusts and their underground habitat. First, however, they must find a mapping device called the "resonator" so that the bomb will work properly. Delta suffers casualties along the way, with both Kim and Carmine being killed in action, but members of nearby Alpha Squad, Augustus Cole and Damon Baird, join Marcus and Dom. After facing such tasks as killing a female locust and fending off the Kryll, the group arrives at an old Immulsion extracting facility to put an end to the Locust Horde once and for all.
Venturing through the locust ridden facility and arriving underground, Marcus and Dom are separated from their new comrades. After defeating a large spider-like locust creature called a Corpser, the two squads regroup and finally deploy the resonator. Minutes later they are informed that the resonator failed to map all of the tunnels. Later though, they discover that the data necessary to deploy the bomb rests in a secret laboratory hidden within the home of Adam Fenix.
Delta team heads towards the Fenix estate and encounters much Locust resistance along the way. At one point during the long trek, the team has to take a detour through an old abandoned greenhouse, in which they encounter another Berserker. After a trying battle with the behemoth, the team exits the greenhouse and makes their way to the Fenix estate, only to find that Locust have infested the mansion. After defeating the Locust, the team find a secret passage into Adam Fenix's laboratory, where the tunnel information lies. Leaving Jack to download the info, Delta defends against a small Locust siege on the mansion. Jack finishes the download and the squad rushes towards their vehicle. They make a desperate escape, as they are chased by a gargantuan Brumak (a large, dinosaur-like form of Locust)
In the PC version of the game, a few chapters are added to the storyline, at this point, which eventually leads the Delta battle in a harsh battle against the Brumak. This upset many Xbox 360 owners that purchased the game but Epic's excuse for not releasing the chapters as downloadable content over Xbox LIVE was because of changes to the Unreal Engine that wouldn't be supported in the 360 version of the game.
Outrunning the Brumak, the team heads towards a train station. This station is running a train that the COGs can use to deploy the lightmass bomb, which will eradicate all Locust in the tunnels in that sector of the planet. Unfortunately Marcus and Dom are the only ones able to make it on the train. They battle their way from car to car, encountering many Reavers, and yet another Beserker. When they make it to the end of the train, they find the Locust General RAAM lying in wait for them. After an epic battle with their extraordinarily powerful foe, Marcus and Dom deploy the lightmass bomb and barely make it on to the COG rescue helicopter. The train crashes into a lake that connects the tunnels, and the lightmass bomb explodes, exterminating the Locust in the tunnels. The game ends as a mysterious female voice promises that the Locust will not stop until every last human is destroyed.
Gears of War features an over-the-shoulder camera which makes for a more intense in-the-action perspective. The game makes heavy use of a cover mechanic, allowing players to hide behind objects, fire blindly from safe positions, or pop out to take aimed shots at the opposition with the pull of a trigger. This cover system, while popularized by Gears of War, appeared in previous games such as Namco's kill.switch (released in 2003 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox) and Omega Force's Winback (released in 1999 on N64 and 2001 on Playstation 2). Regardless of its origin, its use in Gears of War has further popularized the third person, over-the-shoulder mechanic. Also, the lead designer and producer of Kill.Switch, Chris Esaki, was also a lead design director for Gears of War, making it in some ways a spiritual successor to Kill Switch.
The game's lead designer, Epic's Cliff Bleszinski, has stated multiple times he was inspired to incorporate this form of camera system from Capcom's Resident Evil 4, itself a hugely successful game. He also revealed that the name Gears of War was inspired by Hideo Kojima's Metal Gear series.
The checkpoint-based campaign can be played alone or with an additional player, either locally or online. This online-enabled cooperative play remains popular two years after its original release and along with other games released in the same time frame, has helped usher in a resurgence of interest in cooperative gameplay.
The game originally featured 5 chapters, however the PC version, released after the Xbox 360 version, featured an extra chapter in which the player were being chased by a Brumak. This was originally intended to be in the Xbox 360 version, but due to time restrictions, was removed. Gears of War also has a complete multiplayer component for up to eight players; two teams of four. The multiplayer mode utilizes this same style of cover-based combat, but with weapons such as the shotgun and the ability to chainsaw enemies in half, encouraging players to get up close and personal. Multiple map packs have been released for the Xbox 360 version. These maps, along with some additional campaign sections found their way into the PC version of the game, which included mod tools.
Multiplayer Game Modes
A typical deathmatch with rounds similar to those found in the Counter-Strike series. The players spawn as either the Locust or the COG on opposite sides of the map. It works with a last team standing mechanic; the team of the last man alive wins. Rounds can be called a draw by having players kill each other at the same time or running out the time limit. The team that gets to the host's preset round win count wins.
Execution is similar to Warzone in that combat is identical. The difference is that a player has to be near their target to kill them. The simplest way to do this is by chainsawing or head-stomping an enemy. Unlike the other modes, self-revival is possible, though after being downed three times, a player will die and be out for the round.
In this mode each team has a player controlled leader. Those players will be made into "Colonel Hoffman" for the COG team and General RAAM for the Locust. The goal is to kill the leader of the opposite team for the round-win. The player who killed the leader of the opposing team will be the leader for his team the next round while the highest scoring member of the losing team become the leader for the next round. Also the leader of the team is the only one who can pick up the more dangerous weapons like the Longshot Sniper Rifle and the rocket launcher. After a leader equips a larger weapon he can drop it for the usage of the other members of his team.
This mode was added with a patch. It has a King of the Hill mechanic where the teams must capture points around the map, within the game unlimited respawns apply unlike the other game modes, making it a more fast paced game type. Only one location will appear at a time. Once your team has captured the location with no other enemies in it, the capturing team will gain points. If a member of the opposite team tries to capture it your team will no longer get points until that enemy is removed. 60 points are available in each location and after those are taken, the location will reset. Once the host's limit is reached the round is over.
- Gridlock- Once a bustling city square full of life and activity, now lies in ruins after Emergence Day.
- Canals - Rivers will run with blood as the battle takes place from both the running waters and from the bridges above.
- Mansion - Thanks to Emergence Day, the once glorious Fenix Estate now lies in ruin.
- Escalation - Bullets echo along the many staircases leading towards the Fenix Estate, bloody massacre will be dealt before the stormy night is out.
- Tyro-Station - Not only will you have to watch for incoming fire, but for a high speed train as well!
- Clocktower - The doom bells are ringing, heed their call.
- Mausoleum - There's always room for a couple more bodies, in the Mausoleum.
- Fuel Depot - See that petrol pump over there? Yeah, shoot it.
- Rooftops - Ever had that feeling that there's a war going on inside your house; Try having one ON TOP of your house.
- War Machine - Please, mind your step. Oh, and the turret.
The standard assault rifle used by the Locust. This gun packs a punch although it only fires in short bursts.
|Lancer Assault Rifle The standard rifle used by the COG. This gun can send a steady of bullets and is fairly accurate. Instead of just a regular melee attack this rifle has a chainsaw bayonet at the bottom which makes it a versatile weapon. It has good range and is deadly up close.|
|Gnasher Shotgun At close range this shotgun is devastating and can blow enemies to bits.|
The torque bow is carried by the Locust Theron Guard. Holding on the fire button causes the bow to tighten and gain power allowing it to pierce enemies and stick to them, after which the arrows will explode.
Carried by the massive Locust Boomers, this grenade launcher does what it name implies. This gun does not get dropped often and so there actually only a few times it can be used and even then there is often not enough ammo.
This is a very powerful magnum pistol and with a few well placed shots can totally annihilate the enemy and split them into pieces.
|Hammer of Dawn|
When the gun is fired, a laser is dropped from a satellite overhead and will devastate anything unfortunate enough to be hit by it. This weapon is the only way to damage some of the larger creatures such as the Berserkers and the Seeders. Although this is very powerful weapon it can only be used when outside.
|Longshot Sniper Rifle|
This sniper rifle is extremely powerful but has a very slow reload rate and so can leave you at a disadvantage if you miss. Head shots will often result in the enemies head exploding into tiny pieces. Also the active reload instantly downs you with one shot above the waist.
Act 1: Ashes
- 14 Years After E-Day
- Trial By Fire
- Fish in a Barrel
- Fork in the Road
- Knock Knock
- China Shop
Act 2: Nightfall
- Tick Tick Boom
- Lethal Dusk
- Dark Labyrinth
- Powder Keg
- Burnt Rubber
- Last Stand
Act 3: Belly of the Beast
- Coalition Cargo
- Darkest Before Dawn
- Angry Titan
- Tip of the Iceberg
Act 4: The Long Road Home
- Campus Grinder
- Bad to Worse
- Close to Home
- Imaginary Place
Act 5: Desperation
- Special Delivery
- Train Wreck
- Pale Horse
The Gears of War soundtrack was released on July 31, 2007 and was composed by Kevin Riepl who has previously worked on Unreal Tournament 2003 and Unreal Championship.
- Gears of War
- 14 Years After E-Day
- Jacinto Prison
- Attack of the Drones
- Embry Square
- Fish in a Barrel
- House of Sovereigns
- Minh's Death
- Entering the Tombs
- Tomb of the Unknown
- Erhyra Streets I
- Erhyra Streets II
- Miserable Wretches
- Stay in the Light
- Chap's Gas Station
- Fill 'er Up at Chap's
- I Will Kryll You
- Locust, Wretches & Kryll
- Imulsion Mines
- East Barracade Academy
- The Fenix Estate
- Locus Infestation
- Hidden Lab
- Running with Boomers
- Oh the Horror
- Train Wreck - Locust Theme
- Train Ride to Hell
- Gears of War Reprise
On November 7th, 2006, alongside with the regular version of Gears of War a special limited edition version of the game also was released. This limited edition version of the game's retail price was $69.99 and it came in a glossy black metal tin with the Gears of War logo on it. The limited edition version included the actual game, a DVD about the making of the game, a small book filled with art from the game, the game's manual, and a 48 hour trial for a Xbox Live Gold Membership.
In June of 2008, Epic later re-released Gears of War for the Xbox 360 game at a suggested retail price of $29.99. This version contains two discs: The first one is identical to the original release, while the second disc contains:
- All of the downloadable maps that had been released through Xbox Live
- Gears of War Themes
- Gears of War Gamer Pics
- Gears of War 2 Preview Video
PC System Requirements
Minimum System Requirements:
- Operating System: Windows Vista or Windows XP
- Processor : 2.4GHz Intel or 2.0Ghz AMD
- RAM : 1GB
- Hard Drive : 12GB free hard drive space
- Video Card : NVIDIA GeForce 6600, ATI X700 equivalent or above
- Online Multi-player: Broadband Internet Connection, Games for Windows Account (Free)
- Keyboard & Mouse
- DVD ROM Drive
Recommended System Requirements:
- OS: Windows XP/Vista
- Processor: Any Intel Core 2 DUO or AMD Athlon X2
- Memory: 2GB
- Hard Drive: 12GB Free
- Video Card: nVidia GeForce 7600, ATI X1900
- Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
- DirectX: 9.0c
- Online Multi-player: Broadband Internet Connection, Games for Windows - LIVE Gold Subscription
- Keyboard & Mouse
- DVD ROM Drive
Xbox 360 Game Installation
Gears of War requires 6.3GB of space to install on an Xbox 360 HDD.
The game has several achievements that reference other films and various pieces of pop culture in their titles,
- My Love For You Is Like A Truck - Clerks
- Purdy Mouth - Deliverance
- I Can't Quit You Dom - Brokeback Mountain
- Inconceivable - The Princess Bride
- The Nuge - Ted Nugent
- A Series Of Tubes - Former United States Senator Ted Stevens description of the internet