Review: Gears of War

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Gears of War
Epic Games/Microsoft Game Studios

Reviewed On: Xbox 360
Street: 11.06

Gears of War was the action game of 2006 and one of the most popular games to be released on the Xbox 360 to date. Not only does the game look great and have some hair-raising action but it steps beyond the typical run-and-gun shooter and requires players to use their environment for cover and strategy. This does not, however, mean that you can sit back and play it safe. The action in Gears is relentless; every room, every corridor and every courtyard become a kill-or-be-killed blood fest. Most of the environments look like they have seen a fair amount of action before you get there and the rendering and detail is really quite impressive; picture a futuristic ancient Rome after World War V. The cover system allows you to not only hide and peak but also to blind shoot and progress between cover opportunities with quick rolls and jumps. At first there were times when I would get stuck between taking cover and trying to get out of cover to move, but once you get the rhythm of the game the flow becomes very natural. Another great thing about Gears is how difficult this game can be. From the very beginning, you are thrust directly into very trying battle. With multiple enemies constantly unloading on you it’s very easy to wind up another corpse for the surviving fighters to step over. The weapons are mostly conventional with a few interesting twists like the chainsaw bayonet and the ability to call upon satellite weapons using an aiming device called the Hammer of Dawn. I think the name says it all. Although this game is only an introduction to the abilities of the next generation consoles, it represents a very strong title from Epic Games and will not soon be forgotten. 4.5 out of 5 blood splatters. – Jesse Kennedy