By Vinny_Says 1 Comments
I recently took it upon myself to play the original Gears of War and see why this series exploded into the phenomenon it is today. This series has always been written off as nothing more than a good 3rd person shooter with no story but the franchise has somehow ended up with 3 games, 4 books, graphic novels, DC comics and a wiki with over 1500 pages. There has to be something about the first game that caused all this. So I drove down to the video game store and bought the terribly named "Triple Pack" after being unable to find a copy of the original (It would look way nicer on my shelf that way but whatever....).
I've finally completed the game and here's part 2 of my thoughts on Gears of War.
As I was playing throug the game I could not get over the fact that Marcus can't roll and switch weapons at the same time. Such a trivial thing resulted in so many deaths because each time a Wretch charged me I tried pulling out a shotgun while rolling back but nothing happened and I got killed. The controls are smooth and work well but the sequels improved greatly in this aspect. This was one of the only things I found lacking in the game (besides Horde mode).
Seriously, why the fuck did I jump on this train? Like out of nowhere I'm in a train station and have to get onboard a train, no explanation at all. Why was the bomb on a train headed for the locust tunnels? Maybe I missed out on a conversation with Anya during a firefight about how the bomb was already on its way, I don't know. At least in the sequels I could follow along and know why I was suddenly underground, or in a submarine.
Again, the music and score are absolutely awesome. I've already talked about the music in part 1 but I just wanted to say: the combat music on the train level is some of my favorite video game music ever.
I know the game isn't promoted as a horror game but a whole lot of the middle part seems like a horror game. An abandoned refinery, scary beasts you can't see, spooky rain, eery music....sounds like a horror game to me. I was genuinely startled in some spots of the game. I wish the sequels had some of that but they were good enough as is.
Difficulty and Final Boss
I'm just going to claim that "hardcore" is the default difficulty (most of the achievements are for the hardcore difficulty) and say that the final boss isn't that bad. I died a few times but then I found his pattern and defeated him. As long as you're quick on your feet you can avoid his troika. There were much more difficult parts in the game and even though I died countless times I was never frustrated, it's rare that a game can do that. Getting killed by a lonely locust after taking out his entire squad might seem frustrating but not to me. The game never felt cheap; if I died it was simply my own fault. I wish more games were like that.
I was not a big fan of Gears multiplayer until the third game. Everything GoW3 did to make the multiplayer accessible and fun to play for a newcomer isn't in the prequels. You will either hate or love the multiplyer in the original game, there's no real way of knowing until you play. Luckily this isn't an EA game so you can still play online 5 years later. Also there is co-op and it is very good because the game is designed for it.
Playing this game answered all of my original questions. I now know why so many people enjoy the series: the first game is fantastic that's why. Epic built the franchise on a solid foundation. Playing through this felt like playing through the original Halo, or the original Splinter Cell, both games laying a strong foundation for their respective categories. If you somehow haven't played any of the Gears of War games this is a good a place to start as any.
Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed. I want to do this for another older game I come across and see if it holds up as well as this did. Maybe I'll pick up Kameo: Elements of Power and do this again. If you have any suggestions feel free to tell me.