Tomorrow is a day enthusiastically scrawled in the diary of many a gamer, as Gears of War 3 finally hacks its way onto store shelves. Now I know there are many of you who are overwhelmingly excited, but there are still a few who have not yet been converted. Now, I’ve not been paid for this generous slab of promotion (although I will subsequently tweet this article to Mr. Cliff Bleszinski, so Cliffy, baby, if you’re reading this, call me); I’m just your everyday fanboy who is dissatisfied when others don’t share the same view as me.
Here are 5 reasons why you should buy Gears of War 3.
5. The Rave Reviews
If you don’t believe my expert-yet-completely-uniformed opinion, then why not consider those of the people who have actually played the game? Such as Crave Online’s very own Erik Norris, for instance, who gave it an unblemished rating of 10? Or if you’re feeling a little fancy, consider The Guardian’s 5 out of 5 review, or the usually pretentious Edge Magazine’s 9 out of 10.
With comments such as “Gears of War 3 is the ultimate realization of the Xbox 360 console” and “Epic’s epic epic ends epically”, you’d be a fool to turn a deaf ear to the overwhelming praise practically projectile vomiting its way out of gaming journo’s mouths.
4. It’s beastly...
The greatest part of Gears of War 2 was its surprisingly compelling Horde mode. Just you, 3 other buddies and wave after wave of enemies somehow kept players gripped for months on end, and it is a feature that has wormed its way onto many other titles since.
Gears of War 3 introduces new “Beast mode”, that works much in the same way as Horde mode except that it puts the players in the shoes of the Locust as they take on 12 rounds of enemy humans. Players unlock different Locust characters as they progress, with everything from the Ticker to the Berserker at your disposal, with each kill that you earn granting you a token that will allow you to upgrade.
3. It’s flying the flag for “Hardcore” 360 gamers
It was a difficult E3 for 360 owners this year. While Sony ran off giggling maniacally with a bunch of quality exclusive titles under their arm, Microsoft were pushing low quality actors onstage to play tech demos of third-rate Kinect games.
The only thing Microsoft had to show that wouldn’t leave them skulking offstage with embarrassment was Gears of War 3 and, as hardcore-appeasing titles go, you really can’t complain. It’s GEARS OF WAR for god sake. You couldn’t get a more hardcore game on Xbox if Master Chief painted his armour black and went on a bunny killing spree with Scorpion.
2. What happens to Carmine?!
Now the Gears of War series hasn’t exactly been a master class in storytelling. The plot has thus far done its job but after the second installments po-faced narrative it’s no secret that the exploits of Marcus Fenix & co. aren’t Gears’ strongest selling point.
With that being said this year Epic have added a hook into proceedings that I am more than a little curious about, as they have allowed fans to decide whether Carmine lives, or whether Carmine dies. The ill-fated Carmine family has seen two of four brothers die during the war against the Locust, and now Clayton Carmine’s fate hangs in the balance for Gears of War 3.
After releasing two avatar t-shirts via Xbox Live Marketplace, one saying “Save Carmine” and the other “Carmine Must Die”, Epic announced that each purchase of these t-shirts would help towards either protecting Carmine from certain doom or, y’know, throwing him straight in the way of doom’s path.
Personally, I want him to live. What can I say; I’m a sensitive kind of guy.
1. Horde Reloaded
Gears of Wars’ multiplayer has always stood head and shoulders above the rest. The original had me playing for months on end with its intimate 4-on-4 bloodbaths, and played a big part in getting so many to drop the cash for an Xbox Live Gold subscription.
By the time Gears of War 2 came around it was a little case of the over familiar, and it somehow lacked that connection with gamers that the first one had. But even though the main multiplayer component may have underwhelmed us, it was the Horde mode that once again ensured that GoW didn’t leave the disk tray of our 360’s for months.
Now in Gears of War 3 we have Horde 2.0 which is bigger, badder, and reportedly better than ever before. With the additions of bosses, in-game currency and the ability to purchase everything from decoys to turrets, Horde 2.0 ensures that we’ll be buddying up to take on waves of Locust all over again. And again. And again. And again...