An essential game for any 360 owner
With the emergence of Gears of War 2 coming near, I decided to invest in the first game to get acquainted with the series. I can say that like me if you missed out on this game the first time around I implore you to get this game for yourself.
The one quality of the game that resonated with me the most was the gun play and cover mechanics. While the total arsenal of weaponry is rather small, you can tell that each one was painstakingly crafted and tuned. You have your standard assault rifles, shotguns, snipers, pistols; however there are some unique ones in the mix. By now you have obviously heard of the chainsaw bayonet which shreds your foes in a spectacular display of blood and gore. One of the more unique weapons is called the Hammer of Dawn, this gun uses satellites to rain death from above; this is quite a funny sight to see. Each weapon feels extremely powerful and devastating; it makes you feel bad for the foes at the business end of your gun.
The other game play aspect that is integral to the experience is the use of cover. This differentiates Gears from your typical run and gun method of play. On the Casual difficulty, you can easily plow your way through the enemies without much consequence. However on the Hardcore and Insane difficulties cover becomes essential to surviving. The cover introduces a light tactical consideration but also does not clunk down the intense gunplay.
Both of these game play aspects make playing the campaign extremely entertaining to play. While it is fun by yourself, the best way to experience this game is to play co-op with a friend. Having your friend as a competent partner can mitigate the normal stupidity of your AI controlled allies. Co-op play also improves the experience because you and your friend can revive each other in order to lower the amount of game over screens you'll encounter.
The last aspect I want to address is the competitive online modes. This late after the games release means that only the most elite players are left. This means that it is extremely hard to get into the multi-player. I tried to play a few games but ended up being completely decimated by the competition. This might just mean that I am terrible at the game but since I do play a lot of games I think that a lot of people will be even worse off than me. I'm not saying that it is impossible but unless you are ready for an extremely steep learning curve I would avoid online play.
With the new reduced price of Gears you have no excuse to play this game. While the online play is fairly out of reach, the campaign is so fun to play that it is worth the price of entry. Gears of War is one of the best shooters that any fan of games should pick up.