Gears of War
This is one of those games that defines the industry. Of every game I have ever played on the Xbox 360 console Gears of War is by far the most creative, fun to watch, hard to put down and just plain old entertaining.
Gears of War offers an entire new spin to any Combat game you have ever played. The words that best describe the difference between this third person, over the shoulder shooter, are personal combat. When in the heart of battle you are able to feel the breath of your opponent as he reaches out and touches you. Unlike most combat games of the genre cover is your life line. This simple yet intuitive cover system utilizes the "a" button in ways most games can't even conquer entire controllers. Once you have felt the safety of a block concrete you may never want to leave. Soon after playing Gears all other games without the same ability of taking cover seem obsolete and childish.
Your life in Gears is not measured by any bar but rather a crimson omen. As the skull and COG sign become a deeper red you time left alive becomes shorter. If you take too much gunfire you may even be dropped to your knees only to hope that one of your teammates will help you back up before an enemy can violently execute you while you are exposed.
As you run out of ammo in the chamber each time you see a small bar slide across the top right of your screen. If you are able to hit the "RB" button timed perfectly you get whats called an active reload. Your ammo is filled faster and your bullets pack even more of a punch than before. However if you miss you weapon is jammed and you leave yourself vulnerable to the barage of gunfire that insue.
The campaign mode within Gears of War brings the player submerged into the World of Sera. A human inhabited planet that while once was beautiful is being ravaged by the Locust horde. Vile and vicous creatures who find pleasure in destroying everything in their path as they borrow deeper and deeper into the earth. You play as either Marcus Fenix, a soldier of the COG army, Sera's last line of defense. You and your team face what seem like insurmountable odds as you finally work to balance the scales of War. There are three levels of difficulty each offering their own set of achievements, including those for completing the story with a friend. The easiest setting, casual, offers just that; a great story that can be enjoyed by the casual gamer. While insane offers a true test of skill for even some of the most experienced players. The main, if not only, complaint being that it ends too soon is still not enough to bring down the game.
Gears of War however does not end when the final boss falls. The reason so many players have bought this game on release and have yet to turn it back is its Multiplayer action. An all out brawl in which you can play as either the COG or Locust in pure carnage. All weapons seen in Campaign become available as well as multiple game types. The multiplayer action vary from straight deathmatch style to Annex and Assassination. Each game type requires its own set of tactics and game style in order to win.
Once you think your ready Gears of War offers Ranked online play in which the best of the game come to set the score and see who is truly the master. With specific weapon achievements and map achievements there will be many factors pushing you to put your skills in every type of arena that the game offers. Online leaderboards and statistics allow you to compare yourself to friends and strangers just adding yet another way to prove once and for all that you are the master of your craft.
All in all the game is combat masterpiece that you will come to adore. Even when all the achievements are filled you will still find yourself playing this game into the wee hours of the morning reving a chainsaw and hoping you hit that next active.