Gearing up the for the end

Brian Bertrand

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[media-credit name=”Courtesy of Epic Games” align=”alignnone” width=”400″]Gearing up for the end[/media-credit]

Marcus Fenix kicks a dying Lambent down a pit just before the enemy explodes into oblivion.

When you think of third person shooter video games, especially on the Xbox 360, you think of the Gears of War franchise. Epic Games, makes of the franchise, have finally closed this amazing trilogy and ended it with a major blaze of vibrant colors and more of that gritty action that made the series a flagship for developer Epic Games.

The single player campaign picks up where Gears of War 2 left off. The Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) must leave the main land to reach a remote island that houses a research and repopulation facility, away from the Locust. Meanwhile, another threat, named the Lambent, is using their infecting emulsion to invade the bodies of Locust and humans alike. The twists and turns within the story will keep you hooked and wanting more every time you turn on your console.

With more of a refined emphasis on graphics, Epic made a major effort not only making colors more bright and open, but darker shadows mixed with fine detail. Every stage is a feast for the eyes even with enemy brain matter splattered all over the walls. It’s beautiful but still very gritty.

Gameplay has ben slightly improved, making it easier to perform melee kills with the Lancer’s chainsaw and Retro Lancer’s bayonet.

The controls don’t deviate from the previous games either. No major overhauls or changes but there are some additions, especially a new weapon called the digger.

This monster of a grenade launcher will burrow underground and jump up at the closest target before exploding in the air. It adds a new perspective in strategy against your enemies.

Online gameplay has also been given a nice incentive for gamers. Rather than follow the Modern Warfare style of rewards, Gears has many unlocks that can be grandfathered in from the previous games, similar to Microsoft’s Halo Waypoint system for the Halo franchise. It feels nice to have a gold weapon unlocked when I chainsaw 100 Locust in Horde!

Gears has made a major overhaul with Horde mode (titled Horde 2.0), which not only pits up to six players, via Xbox Live, against the Horde, but offers up a nice defensive strategy element, allowing you to add spike belts, command posts, turrets, and other defensive pieces to the map, which maximizes kills and lifespan of the players.

One unique mode added to this new title is Beast Mode. It’s exactly like Horde 2.0  but from the perspective of the Locust (enemies of the human soldiers). In this mode, players pick to play as Locust soldiers from the insect-like tickers all the way up to the unstoppable berserkers. Your objective is simple: kill all humans within the time limit.

This game is an amazing game, hands down. I did notice some minor glitches but  that’s all it was, minor. The campaign is gripping and the multiplayer is down right F-U-N fun in every sense of the word. Gears of War 3 by Epic Games gets five item boxes out of five.