April 12th 2012
So i completed GOW3. I enjoyed it, overall, but did not love it. The game struggles for 3 big reasons, which I'll come to, but there are also some big moments that really do define what the series is all about. So, I'll start with the positive, and go to the negative...
1. The Guns - yep, the guns are great. the game allows you to adapt your playing style on the move, hunched in cover, midfire and active reloads ratchet up the game speed with a direct focus on the gun play.You get a generous choice of weapons and multiple ways of using each. Some offer great full front combat where you want to punish large enemies (retro lancer), others present challenges - the main way to defeat a fast, armoured and agressive enemy is to use the slow to aim torque bow.
GOW3 always maintains a great sense of fun its weapons, both old and new. The last great thing is that often the great gameplay makes deliberate use of simple weapons spawns to make for some great battles. Faced by a large enmy, you can use your grenades, lancer and basic duck and cover tactics to take him out. Routine, but not great. How about you dive out of cover to pick up the mortar and use that instead - your now out of sight of the enemy so you have to estimate the distance, in metres, that you want to launch the mortar. At the same time, close range enemies are closing in so you probably have to drop the mortar after the first shot of it. Honestly, genuinely fun, but also intense.
2. The "Big Moments..." : GOW 3 packs in some huge moments, big reunions, big fights and Huge amounts of macho growling. It's great, and the big fights generally deliver with one glaring omission, and the big plot moments are great. Yes, there are deaths, but also the way the deaths are played out. Each significant death is given ample story time in this and previous gears games to ensure they have meaning and impact.
3. The Online games: Great experience when playing - slick interface, great game set ups, matchmaking usually smooth. And, horde mode is a pure minigame - take the best components of the main game and play them out. over and over again.
1. The Plot :Too short, no opportunity to explore interesting sub plots, over macho characters dont quite handle the deeper emotional scenes and, finally, what happened to Sera. The first game really painted a beautiful picture of planets last days, where as this game ignored the first games beauty and, while it upped the ante on the gunplay, forgot to make it set against a beautiful background and left us with generic arenas to run and gun.
2. The difficulty & variety: Too many battles can be solved the same way. The game tries to offer tactical variety through larger arenas and enemies which explode, but the fact that you areable to be recussitated by computer buddies is a massively generous way of lowering the games difficulty. It is great in the territorial and fast paced online game, but in the single player it makes veteran difficulty comfortable. Add the fact that your larger arenas actually make the game easier becasue there are more areas to retreat to, and you get a game that presents ultra violence with ultra reviviable abilities. Mamy skirmishes, even late on, can be won through simply grinding down the generally poor AI enemies and avoiding dying.
3. The final boss : I didnt like any of the bosses in the game, but the last boss is flat and dies, without reason. Its not hard, it is very repetitive and felt a very lazy way to end a series that could be explosive. Also, the final boss invokes 1 key weapon that miracroulsly becomes usable. Like i say, lazy...
So yeah, a solid 8 rated game, and I loved bits of it, and elements of it but the long and not too fun stretch towards the end of the game basically meant that while bits of the game were great, these were too far spread out to mark it as a classic.
Minecraft thoughts coming soon... and I am playing ME3. Fuck its great.