The dreaded embargo has now disappeared and reviews galore went up at midnight PST, basking Gears of War 3 heroically in the light of supremacy. The Metacritic score rests at an astounding score of 92, with seven different reviews grading the game as perfection. Mixing the grittiness and evolved multiplayer from the first game and bar-raising cooperative modes struck from Gears 2, "Gears of War 3 knows exactly what it is: a badass simulator," according to IGN. Joystiq so daringly wrote: "The word polish is bestowed often, but Gears of War 3 is embarrassingly well assembled." The Escapist praised met expectations: "The final game in the Gears of War
trilogy is everything fans expect - massive explosions, gravelly voiced
soldiers, surprising enemies, and, of course, an abundance of
chest-high walls." The game, sufficient to say, has been a massive hit with reviewers, which combined with the valued response from fans over the multiplayer beta, sets up magnificent things for next Tuesday.
Of the many oddities shrouding any finale of a successful series, Gears 3 will be critiqued and criticized, possibly mutilated, by the rabid fan base. CVG posed a major concern: "Has Gears of War 3's 'wow' factor been killed off by its own impressive predecessors?" And that's the big question. Could Gears 3 overcome the superior gameplay and transcendental storytelling of past iterations to cap off the series nicely? Bookending a metaphor comparing the Brumak to the T-Rex, Edge answered the concern eloquently: "The conclusion of the Gears trilogy exhibits a similarly accomplished blend of might, scale and evolutionary rightness." Simply, the game kicks ass.
Many reviews praised the four player co-op and how Epic rid any battlegrounds of enclosed spaces to allow malleable encounters. The studio also took a page from Bungie's book, adding a scoring system and altering gameplay options to add bonus experience. VGChartz wrote: "In addition, the campaign is now playable in four player online co-op
for the first time. It’s genuinely the most impressive campaign in the
series in scope and variety."
The campaign is primarily focused on instilling emotion within the player, closing many character chapters. X360A explained this well: "It’s the togetherness and that sense of being part of a brotherhood that gives Gears’ campaign so much pull." 1UP reacted negatively about the construction of the campaign, criticizing the execution of appealing emotionally to the player: "Consequently, the game's attempts at pathos fell short of the mark." Reading through many reviews, I didn't anticipate Epic would go too far into the characters' mentalities. Just being a fan of the games, the expectations are slaughtering hundreds and hundreds of Locust. Obviously these characters will be distraught about the state of the world, particularly Dom and his somberness toward his wife Maria, but the core is still defending the surface of Sera.
The now idolized and oft copied mode from Gears 2, Horde gets a welcome upheaval. Money is the source of protection, used to purchase fortifications, weapons, and even the chance at life once more. Joystiq highlighted the formula: "The rampant incentivizing of everything in Horde and the more forgiving
nature granted by its economy – die during a round? You can buy back in,
if you've got the dough – change Horde's priorities from basic
survival, which got old after a while, to success." Improved matchmaking, Beast mode, and a wealth of multiplayer modes surely will delight many fans. GamesRadar enthusiastically raved, writing: "Despite our slight disappointment with the campaign, Gears of War 3’s
multiplayer has never been better. We’ve already raved about the
cooperative aspects, but the competitive maps and modes are equally
This is just a highlight from many reviews that popped up last evening. When the game drops Tuesday, I'll have my own comprehensive review up by the weekend. May Tuesday come sooner. Jeff out.