Gears of War 3 is just as much fun as you expected it to be. For longtime fans, Gears 3 is the satisfying conclusion to one of the most popular series on the Xbox 360, and one that has spawned book series, comics, toys and even board games.
The game follows Marcus Fenix and the other members of Delta Squad as they search for Marcus’ missing father. The human government on the planet Sera has been disbanded, and humanity wages a brutal war for survival against the alien Locust and Lambent forces that threaten to overwhelm them.
The game gives a neat summary of the events of the first two games, but players new to the series may be more than a little lost regardless. Even as a longtime series fan, I found myself a little confused by certain elements in the story. I feel like the developers expected returning fans to have read the accompanying book series in order to be up-to-date on certain events and happenings in the Gears universe. But even if you are confused by the narrative, the game is nevertheless bloody and brutal fun.
The game has the largest single player campaign to date, and offers up more of the same action and excitement that fans expect from the series. Players can take on the single player campaign online with up to four friends, or in split-screen multiplayer. A bonus arcade mode lets players compete for high scores both online and off, which adds replayability to the campaign.
What makes Gears of War 3 really shine is the variety of game play modes for players to choose from. Online multiplayer features favorite modes such as team Deathmatch and King of the Hill, as well as 10 new multiplayer maps to explore. Gears 3 features more cooperative modes than ever with Horde mode and Beast mode included.
The improved Horde mode allows players to work as a team in order to build their own fortifications and defend against waves of enemies, and is definitely more fun with friends. Beast mode lets players destroy waves of humans while playing as enemy creatures. All of the game modes let players level up their character, which unlocks new character skins, weapon decorations, and ribbons to show off your skills.
Multiplayer modes like Team Deathmatch have been tweaked to allow new players to have more fun while competing with experienced vets. Online multiplayer is no longer as frustrating for newbies, but remains challenging enough that experts won’t get bored with the new settings.
New players also have the option to play exclusively with other inexperienced players before playing with the rest of the online community.
Bottom Line: Gears of War 3 is a great game in all aspects, and features a wide variety of single-player and multiplayer modes. With beautiful graphics, bloody combat, and the promise of more maps and modes in the future, Gears 3 is the perfect holiday gift for shooter fans.