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Game Review: Gears of War 3

Gears of War 3 was released exclusively for the Xbox 360 on September 20, 2011. Gears of War 3 is the third and, supposedly, final installment in the Gears of War series. Humanity is on the brink of total extinction in Gears of War 3, and it’s up to Marcus and his muscular pals to save everyone. Most of the last remaining humans have been driven back to an island off the mainland by locust and lambent forces where a counterattack is being calculated by the humans. Not long into Gears of War 3, the action picks up, and it never really lets up until the end credits roll. That doesn’t mean there is no storyline in Gears of War 3. Actually, Gears of War 3 has an excellent storyline that is far superior to the previous titles in the series. You spend most of the campaign searching for Marcus’ dad who presumably died in the original Gears of War. It seems not only is the professor the inventor of steroids, but he also may have an answer to the locust/lambent problem.

Campaign in Gears of War 3 is awesome to put it simply. The storyline is fun and intense, and the action rarely stops. It does get repetitive at times; you’ll occasionally  find yourself clearing a room full of enemies, opening a door with two players and repeating this until the chapter is finished. Gears of War 3 does a pretty good job of mixing it up though, and you’ll never stay bored for long. Except for the very beginning of the game, there are always at least four members in your group, and that allows Gears of War 3 to be completely played with four players online over Xbox Live. There are also new weapons, characters, enemies and vehicles in Gears of War 3 campaign. You can also play Gears of War 3 campaign in arcade mode which is campaign that keeps track of points players earn for kills, and it has its own leaderboards.

Versus mode will be the biggest attraction for many Gears of War 3 players, and it’s back and better than ever. There are new maps and new characters to play as, and a few of the new weapons are available for use in Gears of War 3 Versus. There are also new game modes in Gears of War 3 Versus. Team Deathmatch is just what you think it is, but teams only have 15 lives to share. In Capture the Leader, each team is appointed a leader that the other team must capture and hold for 30 seconds. King of the Hill is the last new Versus mode, and it’s very similar to Annex found in previous Gears of War games. Teams must stand on a certain position on the map for the pre-allotted time to win. Gears of War 3 has new dedicated servers for its online modes, but I still had trouble getting into games quickly.  Gears of War 3 Versus doesn’t do enough new things to bring in a new crowd, but dedicated Gears of War fans will still love it.

Horde mode is back in Gears of War 3. Horde 2.0, as it’s called, is very similar to Horde from Gears of War 2. Horde 2.0 puts up to four players against 50 waves of increasingly difficult enemies. Every 10th round is a boss round, and the human team will have to defeat randomly generated bosses to continue. You gain money as you get kills, and money can be used to fortify your team’s defenses in between waves and to buy weapons. You have an unlimited amount of retries should your team die. Horde 2.0 is similar to Versus in that it doesn’t do enough new things to draw in a new crowd, but if you loved Horde, you will love Horde 2.0.

If Horde 2.0 isn’t quite your style, Gears of War 3 has a new multiplayer mode called Beast. Beast is very similar to Horde 2.0, but players’ roles are reversed. You are now the Locust team trying to destroy a team of stranded and COG soldiers. Beast only goes 12 rounds of increasingly difficult human waves. You gain money for getting kills in Beast as well, but your money is spent to purchase more powerful locusts. Once you’ve earned enough money in Beast, you will unlock a group of even stronger locusts to take out the humans with. You can even play as a Berserker! Beast mode is really fun, and it really gives a unique game mode to Gears of War 3 that you could only find something similar to in a game like Left 4 Dead.

Gears of War 3 is a great game, and it should be checked out by everyone that owns an Xbox 360. Gears of War 3 is a fun game, and there are plenty of different game modes to play even if you don’t like some of them. There is a lot to like with Gears of War 3, and there isn’t much to hate, except maybe the sawed-off shotgun.

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