Gears of War Review
Gears of War box art
System: PC, X360 Review Rating Legend
Dev: Epic Games 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Microsoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Nov. 6, 2007 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-8 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Mature 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

Tactical strategy and use of terrain cover comes into major play at every step of the way. Well-placed barriers, debris, and other scenery elements must be used to protect your hide. It's a lot of fun to dive from one barrier to the next, jump over a wall, or pop up from behind cover to send a stream of gunfire flying towards foes. If you're in a tough spot the ability to stick your gun out from the safety of cover and blind-fire is great. Your squad-mates have your back sometimes, but most of the time they'll get in your way of your shots or rush head-first into enemy fire only to be taken out.

Gears of War screenshot

Through the Game for Windows Live service, players will be able to get their frag on in all of the multi-players levels from the Xbox 360 version in addition to three new maps and a new King of the Hill gameplay mode unique to the PC version. The inclusion of online co-op play is also a nice touch. A built-in game editor will also allow players to craft their own levels for maximum tactical carnage. Multi-player combat is always a good diversion, but if you've got a hankering for a lengthier solo campaign then this PC port delivers.

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Overall, the best addition to the PC version is the new content worked into the single player campaign over the course of five new chapters located at the start of the game's final act. While the bulk of the main game is linear, forcing players to move along a fairly rigid path, the new chapters allow for greater flexibility in choosing how you get to where you need to go. The big highlight of this new section is a series of ongoing run-ins with the Brumak found originally at the end of Act 4. Brumak is a giant walking tank-beast of a monstrosity, and the new chapters let you get up-close and personal with the big guy. Needless to say, he doesn't take kindly to having pip-squeaks with guns all up in his business. The new content culminates in a crazy, action-packed showdown with the brute.

Gears of War screenshot

Gears of War is all about breaking apart the status quo, and the port to PC succeeds masterfully in this endeavor just as the Xbox 360 version did. It's a heavy hitter on every level. If you missed-out on the first go around, definitely pick up the PC version for the extra goodies and - mostly - improved controls. It's the best Halo alternative around, and if you're looking for something a bit different, you might even find Gears of War to be ultimately superior.

By Nathan Meunier
CCC Freelance Writer

Features:

  • Engaging and disturbing cinematic story. Massively scoped worlds, memorable characters and an epic story line play out like an intense and unsettling blockbuster action film. Dramatic in-game camera work and a compelling story bring the brutal, emotionally charged experience to life. Gamers control Marcus Fenix and his fire team as they pit advanced human technology against the overwhelming and horrific Locust Horde.
  • Fire team co-op action. All game modes, levels and scenarios are designed for cooperative fire team play (AI or human). For the first time, AI teammates are indiscernible from human players. They move intelligently, take orders effectively, and seek cover and defend themselves when necessary. Gamers will experience richer cooperative gameplay than ever, through unique characters that require cooperation to survive.
  • Unprecedented visuals in next-generation gaming. Gears of War ushers in the next generation with unprecedented visuals. The Unreal Engine 3 technology pushes high-definition visual designs and brings out the smallest details in the largest battle. Gamers will experience a rich dynamic world with an unprecedented level of detail. Characters come to life with unbelievable model quality and a physics-integrated animation system that has them truly reacting intelligently to events as they unfold around them.
  • Hyper-realistic and intense combat. In Gears of War the battlefield is a lethal place - to foolishly stand out in the open is to die. To survive, gamers can create and take cover using interactive and dynamic environments, suppress the enemy with blindfire, and use their weapons and teammates to outwit and outfight their terrifying enemies.
  • Next-generation Windows Live action. Gears of War will embody the next-generation Microsoft Windows Live experience and extend it even further. Gamers will be able to experience individualized matchmaking, view player statistics, earn player achievements, customize their games, and build and personalize their gamer profiles.


    RATING OUT OF 5
    RATING DESCRIPTION
    5.0
    Graphics
    Eye candy, only of the dismal post-apocalyptic variety.
    4.4
    Control
    Improved mouse aiming is balanced out by slightly awkward keyboard controls for certain actions.
    4.8
    Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
    Super epic soundtrack, great combat and voice effects, and entertaining character dialogue.
    5.0
    Play Value
    A dynamically paced mission with numerous twists and turns. Tactical elements greatly improve the game design. The addition of extra campaign content packs a few great extra hours into an already lengthy and satisfying title.
    4.9
    Overall Rating - Must Buy
    Not an average. See Rating legend above for a final score breakdown.
  • Screenshots / Images
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