Gears of War 3 Reviews

AuthorReview
Joe Cares
94,339 (46,860)
Joe Cares
TA Score for this game: 1,825
Posted on 20 September 11 at 22:30, Edited on 08 October 11 at 10:28
This review has 112 positive votes and 43 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Let me start this review by saying that I am a big fan of the series of Gears of War, that this is my first review and that I am sorry if I come across as biased etc.

I got really in touch with Gears of War 2 although unfortunately due to getting my xbox in 2009 I played Gears of War 2 before Gears of War 1. However I've done both campaigns and I loved every minute of them. The campaign for Gears of War 3 is no different and the campaign for me personally was stunning. Just like the previous two games I felt really close to the characters. I could really empathise with some of the scenes involving certain characters and there are a few scenes where you genuinely feel like you know what the specified character is going through and I love that.

The levels of the campaign are pretty decent, adding a new and exciting feel to the campaign, there are some levels which are really new and vibrant scenes compared to the previous games, and some cinematics which I found brought a mixture of emotions for me personally and I wonder if it will do the same for you. I also like the fact they added avatar rewards, that was a nice suprise.

The new four player co op is a blessing meaning that you can have fun with even more friends through the campaign and also Epic have made it very easy to drop in and out of campaign sessions. If you play with a few people up to Act 3 and then people leave you can just search for people doing the campaign on Act 3 and if people are doing that act and there is a space available you will join. If that fails you can start hosting that level on the campaign and people can freely join it. Seems like a good thing to me.

The new addition of arcade mode also makes it easier for the casual gamer as you can play one chapter and it will tell you when you're finished and then you can leave it and come back to it. Also in this mode you can join with other people and if you die, as long as one person on your team is alive, then you will respawn. Although I will point out that that person that is alive must be another player, if you are the only player and you are with three bots you will be asked to restart from your last checkpoint when you die. However, I still believe this is a blessing when completing the game on Insane or if you are trying to adjust to the game or you are new to it.
(cruelboyman points out that Gears 3 would be a good place to start for newcomers because of this casual game mode)

The new mode, Beast mode is a joy to play. Taking control of the locust and trying to kill stranded and 'heroes' (the main characters in gears which are tougher than normal stranded and cog soldiers) is exciting. I can imagine it being fun for quite a few hours, especially with friends. Trying out different locust and playstyles can be fun if you can get past the nuisances that come early on.

Horde 2.0 mixes the old horde which is you and up to four others facing wave by wave of increasingly more difficult enemies with tower defence allowing you to use cash which you get from mobs to fund your reinforcements and turrets etc. They've done this really well and I thoroughly enjoy playing this with friends.. The bosses every tenth wave adds increased challenge as opposed to just breezing through the same first ten waves five times in a row to get to wave fifty. Epic have also added team challenges (Certain amount of headshots, kill 10 enemies in 30seconds etc) which make a nice addition to horde mode also. Its good fun!

The graphics are definetly better than its predecessors at least in some ways. The characters look genuinely like they've done something since Gears of War 2 instead of just waiting for a sequel. There seems to be the odd few levels that seem really refreshing, but on the other hand there are other levels where you just think of old maps (Subway, mansion e.g). Also you would have thought that they may have made things like floors, doors, bars etc look a little different but I guess that kind of stuff doesn't really bother me. There isn't any problem with loading times, however if you like to run out into tons of enemies with your shotgun, once every now and then it'll 'jitter' for a second or two, I didn't find it annoying but others might,.

The music really gets you into the mood of what is happening, the sound effects seem sharp and although mostly the same from the previous games, they are the sounds I've grown to love and so I really enjoy hearing them.. The voice acting is beautifully done, I feel like I would be able to lip read the characters and the expressions in which go with the voice acting in my opinion is amazing. The sounds the weapons and bullets make is almost as satisfying as the generic headshot noises and as always the noises made by the monsters are familiar but great none the less.

The multiplayer has improved a lot since Gears of War 2, everything seems to run a lot smoother, I dont get frustrated with people being host anymore and having a huge advantage.. Its fun, im not sure if its just because its a new game but I genuinely feel the multiplayer experience on Gears of War 3 is a new and fresh experience. They have gone to town on many of the issues of past multiplayer and fixed them. The levels come fast at first, as with any other game and then it gets slower..
There are a variety of things to keep you interested in multiplayer, 6 different game types, a whole variety of different maps, and its great how a-symmetrical they are and how they've fixed a few things since the beta (like thrashball spawn and not being trapped in a single room).

FedderTheGun has informed me that his rank has been reset and that he has been on a forum where a lot of people are complaining of the same. This has happened in the previous two games and appears to be causing problems in the third too! This is just a heads up although it has not happened to me in any of the games.

Weapon skins, medals for killing in certain ways and exp bonuses for consecutive ranked matches are just a few nice things that they have put into Gears 3 to keep players glued to their screens, its also a nice treat for the casual gamer too, as they can keep track of what they've earned and what they need to get easily available in the stats screen.. New weapons and grenade types keep people from camping and the retro lancer seems to be a good enough weapon to give THAT ONE PERSON who runs round with the Gnasher equipped a run for their money..

Overall I think the presentation of the game is great although Epic have not really thought about changing the environments of some levels on the ground, other levels beauty etc more than make up for it. The graphics look stunning and the gore is shown very well. Campaign is a thrilling ride to see how it ends with various different emotions occuring but the ending is mediocre in my opinion. Multiplayer will be fun for a long time and keep gamers busy for a good few months and multiple game modes allow for extensive gameplay and lasting appeal also with such a variety to choose from..

I'd give it 4.5/5 But thats not an option..

Thanks for reading this far and i'd appreciate constructive criticism in the comment section or messaged to me, thank you.
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CrimsonGaidin
191,323 (123,070)
CrimsonGaidin
TA Score for this game: 2,531
Posted on 28 September 11 at 18:15, Edited on 29 September 11 at 11:28
This review has 42 positive votes and 9 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Gears of War 3 Review

I bought Gears of War 1 on launch day and have loved the series ever since. There may be some love for the game that leaks into my review but I will do my best to keep it as unbiased as possible.

Story

This review is Gears 3 spoiler free (except in the comments, minor spoiler there so don't read if you don't want to know). Gears 1 and 2 spoilers can be found here though so enter at your own risk.

In Gears of War 3, you take control of Delta Squad for the third, and supposed final time. Marcus, Dom, Cole, Baird, and Anya are all back for another round. Sam, Jace, and a third member of the oh so unlucky Carmine family have now joined the squad as well.

The story goes on to answer many questions the series has left open until now. Why was Marcus arrested before Gears of War 1 and what does it have to do with his father? Has the Horde threat officially been put to rest? What are the lambent and where do they come from? Most importantly, will the new Carmine live or die? All these questions are answered in this third, 10-15 hour installment of the Gears of War series.

Overall Gameplay

Not a lot has changed as far as gameplay goes from the previous two Gears of War games but there are some differences. Everything moves a little quicker and there are several new weapons as well as tweaked mechanics to the weapons we've come to know and love. A whole laundry list of executions have been added to the arsenal as well.

For those who have never played a Gears of War game before, it is a third-person action shooter centered around taking cover. You take cover behind walls, pop out to shoot, move to the next cover and repeat. That is unless you get in close combat and then it is all about the shotgun dance. The shotgun is a staple in the Gears of War series and is always a quick battle of who owns the quickest shot and surest aim. The victor more often than not pieces the enemy's body into chunks.

Horde Mode

Horde mode (2.0) is the bigger, faster, stronger version of the Horde Mode that was born in Gears of War 2. Horde Mode started as a group of up to 5 teammates fighting for their lives on a map against wave after wave of enemy that constantly grew more difficult.

Horde 2.0 is still that with mountains of new greatness piled on top. For starters, there is now a money rewards system for kills, assists, etc. You can use this money to buy barriers, turrets, decoys, and even the dreaded mech like silverbacks. With each buy, you earn experience on that particular type of defense and can eventually level up and make them bigger and better. This adds a whole new level of strategy to mix. Money is also used during matches on ammo and new weapons.

Along with the added defenses, there is now a mini boss fight every 10th wave and they feel epic a lot of the time! Be prepared to face off against berserkers (Horde and Lambent), baby corpsers, brumaks, and more!

Beast Mode

Beast Mode is a brand new game type to the Gears franchise added for Gears 3. In this mode you play as the Horde. There are 4 tiers of characters and you continuously unlock each tier after destroying so many barriers and killing so many COG. You start with some of the weaker creatures and by the end you are a raining destruction with enemies like the berserker. (If you play well enough to unlock the 4th tier) There are 12 waves to go through and each gets more difficult. You will be up against regular joe cog soldiers and stranded that can easily be killed however you see fit. The more waves you do, there are also more and more Cog heroes added to the fray. The heroes consist of key COGs from the game and not only are they tougher, but must be killed execution style up close or with power weapons.

The key is to take down all the COG and do it within a time limit. It tends to be chaos but very fun. I thought the short length of 12 waves would be an issue at first but it a actually feels like a good amount of time once you get into it and adds to the challenge of unlocking the big boy 4th tier horde beasts.

Versus

Versus is the biggest change in the game from previous entries I think. There are 2 main reasons why and each are very important. One, there are dedicated servers now which means the end of hosts that have giant advantages over the rest of the players.

The second is that the weapons are more balanced than they have ever been. You will often hear people complaining about one weapon or another, but in the end you will hear each weapon called noobish or cheap. This is the result of every gun being powerful if used correctly. The days of nothing but shotgun battles are over because rifles can do some work now!

The versus game modes have gone through some changes as well but are still pretty close to the standard.

Team Deathmatch has been added which gives each team 15 lives and then a last ditch effort once the lives are depleted. After the lives are gone and the last man has fallen, the other team declares victory.

Execution and Warzone are still around and haven't changed. There are 5 on 5 with no respawns. Last team standing wins. Only difference between them is that enemies must be splattered (blown up, head popped off, etc.) or killed up close to be finished of in execution.

There is Wingman where it is several teams of 2 all fighting each other. First team to get 15 kills wins.

King of the Hill is the same as it is in most shooters. 2 teams fight for possession of the "hill" and maintain it for a certain period of time. The detailed rules are a mix between the old King of the Hill and Annex from Gears of War 2. Annex has been removed from Gears 3.

Finally, there is Capture the Leader which is a combination of Guardian and Submission from Gears 2. In this mode, each team has a leader the other team is gunning for. Which ever team downs the leader, picks him up as a meat shield, and maintains their hold for an alotted time wins the game.

Co-op

For the first time in Gears history, there is 4 player co-op for the campaign. It use to be only 2 player so this is a pretty nice addition. It works very well and everyone gets to play their own character because there are such a rich amount of characters in the game.

Graphics

Gears of War has always been known for its above average graphics and Gears 3 is no different. The character models looks great. The environments are more colorful than they have been in the past but I must admit their is still an abundance of grey and brown. It still looks phenomenal overall though. There have also been weapon skins added to the multiplayer this time around and the graphics on them are quite interesting to look at.

Sound

The voice work, music, and sound effects in Gears 3 is all top notch! All the actors do a great job and I don't once remember thinking they sounded cheesy or out of place. You can tell Epic took great care in choosing their voice actors. The sound effects are similar to Gears of past but still sound crisp and dead on to what you'd expect from each gun, explosion, etc.

The music is where the game shines the most. Intense moments are heightened by adrenaline inducing music that fit the situation perfectly. There are some highly emotional moments in the game and the music will move you more than you ever expect. Clearly, I was very impressed with the game music.

Achievements

Most of the achievements in the game are easily obtainable and really force you to explore every facet of the game. I felt they were very well done. There are campaign achievements that range from beating it on insane, gather all the collectibles, and beating it with a full 4 player co-op team. Horde mode has achievements such as defeating all 50 waves and completing special challenges. Finally, versus includes achievements for leveling up (can also be done in campaign and Horde) and earning certain medals.

As with all Gears, there are a few insane achievements. They are always named appropriately and as a person on an achievement website, I'd find it hard to believe any of you don't know about the dreaded and famed "Seriously..." achievements. In Gears 3, it requires you get to level 100 and earn every onyx medal. To give you a taste of what this means, each starting weapon has an onyx medal especially for it which requires 6000 kills for each one. That is 6000 kills for ATLEAST 4 weapons.

Rating

Story: 9/10 - Couple cliches and overdone moments but close to perfection.
Gameplay: 10/10 - Improved on an already great formula
Horde: 10/10 - New additions make for countless hours of fun
Beast Mode: 10/10 - Very fun getting to play as the Horde and a great challenge on higher difficulties.
Versus: 10/10 - Finally balanced and now on dedicated servers
Co-op: 10/10 - Works great and increased to 4 player co-op from the old 2 player max
Graphics: 9/10 - Great but there is better out there.
Sound: 10/10 - All the sound in this game was perfect IMHO
Achievements: 9/10 - Seriously 3.0 is a bit much but excellent passed that

Overall: 9.5/10

If you like third person shooters at all, this game is a must buy!
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archer devil
67,513 (51,432)
archer devil
TA Score for this game: 513
Posted on 26 September 11 at 18:48
This review has 29 positive votes and 11 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Well, hello there fellow gamers.

For the past week I have once again been immersed in to the beautiful destruction that is the war-torn planet of Sera. I’ve been roving with Delta squad, battling Lambent and Locust alike. Yes that’s right, like approximately 1.3 million other gamers around the world, I have been lost in Gears of War 3.

Now, let me be perfectly frank, and say the Gears series is without a shadow of doubt my favourite shooter series… ever… BAR NONE! And I don’t care if people disagree and say, “CoD is the better shooter, it actually takes skill to play” (I shit you not someone actually said that to me on launch day) because industry consensus is that CoD is a game for kids. It’s all good pointless fun and no challenge. But Gears is a game for adults. If you can hold your head up and say you’ve beaten the Gears games on insane people look at you with mixed awe and concern for your mental wellbeing (seriously, they’re a challenge. I’m playing insane on 3 now and yeesh… it’s tough).

The gameplay is more of the same from the franchise… which I actually like. If the mechanic of the game isn’t broke, don’t fix it. It is what it is, an epic sci-fi military war story with real emotional depth. My friend and cohort, Codename Valeforia, hasn’t played the first 2 games to any great degree, but I dragged him to the midnight launch where we got to play the improved Horde 2.0 for an hour before I handed over my cash and received my new shooter standard, because like it’s predecessor, Gears of War 2, it seriously does raise the bar for all shooters.

The story picks up some 2 years after the events of Gears 2 and things on Sera have gone from shit to worse for Delta Squad. Returning in their roles as professional soldiers are Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole, but a few new faces now join them. First amongst them, and probably the most familiar, is Anya. She has been a recurring character throughout this trilogy but now she is no longer just a controller. Oh no, she’s a gear. And let me just say, she kicks ass… seriously. But she is not alone; joining Anya is Samantha Byrne, who is also amazingly kick ass.

Before I go on about the other new addition to the game, I’d like to just say that Epic have really, honestly, set an impossibly high standard for shooters with these additions. Never have I seen females in shooters that were playable who weren’t Lara Croft or Samus from Metroid. It really is an astounding addition and it opens up the series in a multitude of different ways and I have to wonder, if Karen Traviss hadn’t written the game, would they be there at all. Thank you Karen and Epic for showing what a vocal number of gamers have been saying for years… female characters actually work in storylines of war.

The next new guy in the roster is Jace. He’s cool, he’s funny (at times) he’s basically filler for when Carmine isn’t around (yes there is another Carmine). And for some reason I find myself getting so emotionally invested in the lives of the characters (this has only really happened before with Red Dead Redemption and Assassin’s Creed) that I actually found myself with tears in my eyes during one point of the game. If you’ve played then you’ll know what I mean, if you haven’t I’m not spoiling it… It’s too powerful. And it takes a lot to bring me to tears.

Visually, as always, Epic have pulled out all of the stops with their flagship, it’s a gorgeous world of massively destroyed proportions. The skybox and backgrounds feature fully animated smoke plumes and the light rays are beautiful. Yet inside all this beauty is a deeply disturbing sense of tension crafted into the build of the actual game, which comes from the suffering of the humans inherent in the storyline.

Again, like with the previous chapter of the trilogy, there have been innumerable little efforts from Epic in the finer details of the game. The armour, again, has numerous independent light sources, the detailing and personalisation of the characters’ colours is an intricacy that is so often washed over by shooter developers, namely Activision and Treyarch. During fire-fights, if your screen is of sufficient quality, you can watch new dings and scratches appear in the detailing of the weapons and armour.

Not only with the offline have there been many improvements, but also with the other gameplay modes. Horde, which others have copied, and quite frankly failed in emulating, is back with a vengeance. In the new Horde 2.0 you get rewarded with cashy money for each kill, assist and/or revival of a downed teammate and bonuses for wave completion. And with the cash come the improvements… purchasable, upgradable fortifications, turrets and decoys to draw the fire and slow the Locust… however they wouldn’t do this if they hadn’t also changed something else of the horde would they?

Now not only after every tenth wave does the difficulty increase BUT also on every tenth wave you have to face a “boss” Locust… i.e. a Brumak, a Lambent Zerker, a Corpser… this not only increases the challenge but actually makes the progression more satisfying… Kill a Brumak, difficulty goes up… feel a sense of accomplishment for doing it well.

However, as much as I love this game, and I really do, it can’t be said enough, it is not without it issues. Sometimes on coming out of a cut scene the textures take a few seconds to render. It can take a while to find a match, but that mostly due to the NAT settings of gamer’s Internet connections (if the NAT isn’t open it’s restrictive of players). I also feel it’s a little bit cheeky of them to charge so much for the weapon skins but the season pass for the big DLCs is a good idea so I suppose it balances out. The other problem isn’t Epic’s fault. It’s parents: there are 12 and 13 year olds playing this game, and it goes to show that a lot of parents still don’t understand about the age rating system of games. But that’s just me apparently thinking that 12/13 is a touch young for Gears (when it’s given an 18 overall).

This is the perfect conclusion to this story arc. It nicely wraps up the loose threads left from earlier in the series; it has a depth and story that is rare in anything other than RPG’s or novels. I recommend playing the games from the 2006 debut and giving the story the attention it so rightly deserves. Then once you’ve beaten the story, go out and prove yourself in the multiplayer modes. It’s not a game for everyone but if, like many others, you have grown tired of FPS titles like Cock of Dookie... sorry habit... Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor and so many others, then Gears 3 is the game for you. It really is a master class in quality shooter builds and I applaud the efforts of the team and I just need to say… Thank you Epic games for building a sci-fi military epic with emotional depth.

Happy Gaming and be careful you don’t end up swimming in glowy gravy,

Archer
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SpazCool
70,050 (39,185)
SpazCool
TA Score for this game: 1,888
Posted on 17 October 11 at 13:46
This review has 23 positive votes and 5 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Where I’m Coming From

To start, let me qualify that I’m an old school “Halo” fanboy so, “Gears of War” always felt a little bit “off” to me. Being a third-person shooter with an advanced cover system just seemed too cumbersome; I missed the ability to jump over my enemies while blasting them away with a rocket-launcher. Despite my failings at third-person shooters I have always loved both the story and the set design of the “Gears” games. The spoiled ruins of a futuristic Romanesque metropolis has always appealed to me, being reminiscent of Gotham’s cityscapes and set design in Clooney’s “Batman & Robin,” minus the Bat-nipples. Perhaps it was due to my looking at all of the pretty architecture that caused me to fail every time I tried the multiplayer…..

So, while I wouldn’t consider myself the biggest Gears-head, due in part to the level of suck I reside in the MP, I still have very much enjoyed the franchise; which should place me somewhere in the middle between biased fanboy and the unbiased casual gamer.

Story

Compared to its predecessors as well as most other shooters, actually, “Gears 3’s” story is quite a triumph complete with subplots, some character development—the little bit that could get past the steady stream of steroids present in Delta squad’s circulatory systems—and most importantly to “Gears” fans a sense of closure.

Despite the limited depth shown to the gamer, “Gears’” characters have always appealed to me, however stereotypical the macho marines of “Gears” are they have considerably more personality to offer than Master Chief ever could; probably being stored in the extra flesh around their necks.

While the first “Gears” introduced the gamers to the characters and the Locust situation on Sera and the second “Gears” widened, if not deepened, the plot with the introduction of the Lambent, the Sires and the destruction of the last human stronghold, Jacinto; the third “Gears” really shines in its fleshing out of the characters as well as bringing about much needed closure to the series as a whole. The gamer is presented with the real costs of war by seeing what these characters have lost; friends, fame, and family all torn asunder in the war with the Locust. Nowhere is this more evident than in the “Ashes to Ashes” level showcasing the lives lost frozen in terror for decades as macabre ashen statues.

Granted, this is still a shooter so, there is a bit of an uncomfortable contrast concerning the emotional toll of warfare and the fun had killing things that Epic is trying to create for the gamer. Perhaps this betrays the inherent difficulties with video-game storytelling….

Setting

Compared to the two previous titles, “3” is positively bathed in colors. Gone, or at the very least subdued, are the grey and brown palettes that were exclusively used in the making of the first title.

No more bad nights with the Kryll, no more spelunking to be done in the Hollows, leaving just the ruined surface of Sera for the battle to continue on. Which means that this battle is now taking place in broad daylight, with some spectacular set pieces to feast one’s eyes on. Again, I don’t want to hint too strongly as to spoil some of the surprises but, I will tell you that you’ll be battling on land, sea and air and it’ll look spectacular everywhere.

Control Freak

If you’re familiar to the series the control scheme should feel right at home, though I still haven’t quite mastered the active reload on the newer Hammerburst. “A” still does everything depending on the contextual queue and I’ll say that its use is a bit less sticky than in “Gears 2” but, you’ll still find yourself, every so often, stuck to a wall when all you want to do is sprint forward. There are a couple of other minor changes (e.g. execution prompts) but, really, they’re changes for the better and they’re rather small so, I won’t bore you with the details here.

Rooty-Tooty Point n’ Shooty

The guns! The old standbys are still there, pistols, Lancer, Gnasher and Hammerburst with small alterations that aren’t a big deal. There are, however, other weapons that have never been seen in the “Gears” universe till now. The list includes the Retro Lancer, Cleaver, One Shot, Vulcan Cannon, Digger, Incendiary Grenades and the Sawed-Off Shotgun. All of the newer weapons pack-a-punch. There is a visceral thrill felt when downing an enemy with the Retro Lancer that I can’t get enough of. Thankfully, it seems that however much fun one can have with the newer weapons Epic still kept everything balanced.

Multiplayer

Remember how I wrote that I’m an old “Halo” fanboy? Well the reason for that allegiance is because I can actually kill people when I play “Halo’s” multiplayer. I’m not the best but, I’m above average, or so I tell myself to stem back the tears.

“Gears,” unfortunately, has never been as forgiving to me. Every time I have the Lancer equipped I get rocked by the Gnasher and every time I have the Gnasher equipped—thinking to myself “I’ll show that little bastard what I’m made of.”—I still get rocked by their Gnasher. I know it’s their mastery of the cover system that is granting them (i.e. the positive K/D gamers) the victory but, I am helpless to stop them.

To some extent, this is still the case in “Gears 3.” The inclusion of the Sawed-Off Shotgun and the Retro Lancer to the initial weapons loadout may help restore some balance to the Gnasher-wins-all problem or there could just be a lot of n00bs running around, given the game’s popularity, making it easier for me to look good in “Gears”’ MP. Either way, at the present time (i.e. less than a month after its release) “Gears 3”’ MP is a blast to play even for me who positively sucked at the previous two titles’ MP.

<3

Perhaps the best part of this game is the fact that I could really feel the love that Epic put into “Gears 3.” From the music, to the setting, in the characters, Horde mode and even the multiplayer the gamer knows that this is not a rushed product—I’m looking at you “Crysis 2” and “Homefront”—and that every game mode, every God damn pixel has been labored over endlessly to make the biggest game possible. This is truly a beautiful swan song for the series that is well worth the retail price. The extra care taken to map true emotions onto the characters’ faces, the hiring of a comic book author (i.e. graphic novel for those with an axe to grind) to create a cohesive story that really ties together all of those loose ends left in the wake of the active reloads in the previous titles all adds up to a great game, regardless of what Ben Croshaw might say.

The graphics and the plot aside, one will notice all of those extras added into this game designed to keep gamers coming back for more. From the weapon additions that will help stem back the monotony of shotgun spamming to the ribbons and awards system that runs across both the campaign and multiplayer, “Gears 3” is bursting at the seams with extras that both the hardcore Gears-head and the “Gears” novices will love and appreciate.

Achievements

The majority of the achievements are easy enough to do, especially if you’re a chronic achievement hunter; you’re on TA so you’re in that camp whether or not you’re ready to admit it. There’s the kill with a specific weapon, beat the campaign on a specific difficulty, collectibles, online rankings and co-op required achievements. All pretty straight forward and you’ll get most of them done in under 24 hours of gameplay. Then there’s the Seriously 3.0 achievement….

I have only one thing to say to Epic about their Seriously achievements: “Fuck you!”

Good, now that’s out of my system. With that said, Seriously 3.0 puts the previous Seriously achievements to shame. No longer requiring just a large number of kills like in “Gears 1 & 2”—perhaps Epic thought kill pooling 100,000 enemies was just too much fun—if one is going for Seriously 3.0 one is going to devote one’s life to “Gears 3.” Others have more succinctly phrased the level of determination required for this so, I’ll leave it to them:

The Toughest Xbox 360 Achievement You Can Get, We Think
http://kotaku.com/5845476/the-toughest-xbox-360-achievement-...

$ ? <3: Extreme Capitalism

Like the schmuck that I am I signed up for the season pass, assuming that there’ll be some achievements attached to the DLC that I’ll want to complete anyways. DLC is a bit of a contentious topic in gaming circles where some see it is an appropriate addition to games given that gamers often get bored of the same old, same old original content. And the others see it as just a money making ploy by the developers where they’re essentially double charging the gamers for a single game. I suppose, like many, I fall somewhere between the two camps noting that some developers are all about the money where others are actually just making extra stuff at the behest of their community.

Anyways, we’ve all seen those TV ads that pull at our heartstrings and then ask for our money (e.g. Save the Children). I have yet to be so moved by these ploys as to part with my finances, in this very particular context, but, I’d like to think that when my financial situation goes from “in the shit” to “above water” I’d be willing to save a puppy. I’m sure I’m not alone in this possible self delusion; after all, we all like to think of ourselves as nice people.

Moving along, in a similar vein I refuse to buy XBL avatar items. Yes, these items are fairly cheap, between 80 and 200 Microsoft points—another psychological ploy used to part you with your money because “it’s just points not cash”—where 200 points is about $2.50 or £1.70. So, for the cost of a candy bar I can dress up my avatar as a Cog fighter while dear five year old Aaloka dies of some odd combination of starvation malaria and Western Civilization’s apathy, but who cares? I’m not here to make anyone feel guilty for decking out their avatar in all of the seasonal/digital fashions, that’s a job for your conscience; no I’m merely pointing out my political position on the matter concerning ridiculously frivolous items in a world where there are more pressing concerns.
Still not exactly at the point but, we’re closer now. Not only is there plenty of useless crap on XBL to buy for you avatar but, now “Gears 3” has taken it upon itself to include similar for-sale items for the in-game characters in the form of custom paint jobs for the weaponry. The full set of paint jobs, or skins, would cost someone 3600 points if bought in bulk, that’s $45 or £31 in real money; equivalent to buying a new lower-end title or a pre-owned AAA game. Granted, I imagine that most gamers will only be buying one skin or one of the smaller skin packs—awkward title, I know—but the sentiment would still remain; spending real money on digital clothing. What an awful gimmick that preys on the psychological need to differentiate oneself from the “pack” while sucking up loads of money that could be spent on just about anything and be “better spent.” Anyone want a real candy bar?

I know that “Gears” isn’t the only game to do this—“Dead Space”—nor shall they be the last but, there’s just something about the enormity of 3600 Microsoft points going toward pretty colors that really pisses me off.
Granted, the weapons skins are not related to the achievements nor do they change how the weapons function at all but, I just can’t help but think “douche bag” every time I see someone running around with a flaming rainbow Lancer.

I’ll get off the soap box now….

Final Thoughts

While the story ties together many of the loose ends found in the previous titles, thus making references to past events, the game manages to come off as exceedingly accessible to gamers new to the series. I suppose one need only know that there was something called Emergence-Day and then a boat load of fighting between the Humans and the Locust proceeded from that and, the gamer finds him/herself in the middle of said fighting.

Accessibility notwithstanding there are many moments that’ll bring a grin to the face of the gamer well versed in the “Gears” trilogy. The ever present threats to Carmine’s life, the “Mad World” theme during a particularly heart wrenching cinematic as well as the simple banter between Delta Squad members will tug at the memories of those of us who have played the original titles.

The award and reward systems in place allow for players to always have something more to reach for in both the campaign and the multiplayer, perhaps ensuring a hardcore group of steady “GoW3” gamers to buy up all of that DLC and those weapon skins. Either way, the psychological effect of the ribbons, ranks and prestige is just short of addiction as anyone who has played any modern shooter knows all too well.
If you’ve played and enjoyed the previous “Gears” titles you owe it to yourself to purchase this one. If you’ve always been interested but never bothered picking up the others, don’t bother with them and just get this one. Lastly, if you’ve never liked “Gears” steer clear, it hasn’t changed so much that you’ll fall in love with it this time around.
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The Wanderer877
194,805 (113,767)
The Wanderer877
TA Score for this game: 3,916
Posted on 07 October 11 at 08:20
This review has 21 positive votes and 4 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
headspin

Gears of War 3 Review!
Small Spoilers Only

This is my first ever review of anything! Please be gently as I will properly have misspelt things and put my own personal feelings into something that is suppose to be a unbiased report, but hey I wrote this so I will put in what I want and what I think !!!!!! Please comment and message me any suggestions, praise or FAIL messages!!!!!!!!

Well well well epic what have we done? Made the best addition to the series so far? Without a doubt! Made the best game of this year? I would find it hard to think of anything that can beat this game.

Granted I am a huge fan of the GOW series and loved and played both the other games until I could no longer feel my fingers but I believe this sequel is just far beyond the last two. The new modes and additions to an already Stella formula makes this a must have for any Xbox gamer!

Differences from the Previous Titles

Any good sequel needs to have a certain checklist of improvements over the previous titles, for example BIGGER bosses/More firepower/extra locations/carmine to die...or survive...../Cole Train's insane taglines that you sometimes find yourself using inside of Asda and then see if anyone laughs....they don't facepalm

To start off with is the locust army has increased with the addition of a few well thought out characters. The armoured Kantus for one is a huge player in the newly created beast mode (mentioned later) as well as a pain in the backside in the horde mode. Like a normal Kantus he has the ability to scream like Fergie from the black eye peas and revives injured or fallen locust but he is now carrying two pistols which pack a punch and to top this power house is the shiny new armour which deflects most bullets and needs to be dealt with using explosives or turrets! (There are other additions but I am just covering one to save on the spoilers)

As well as the additions to the locust we now have Lambent enemies to blow up/destroy and laugh at as they explode across the screen, these guys can bring the pain if caught in the explosion of its death! This army is completely new to the series (shown a little at the end of two) with many advantages over the Locust/COGS but for me the best of the group is the Lambent Berserker! Not only is he just as powerful as the locust berserker (making a great return from GOW1) but he has the ability to leave behind a trail of poison immulsion that can slowly and painfully kill anything that goes near it! These guys only weakness is a hole in the chest which only opens when it is charging/jumping so you only have a set window to hit him and make quick your escape from his path of destruction!

Next up is fire power! Sadly Epic have brought in a new shotgun called the sawn of shotgun angry ......this is the vein of my multiplayer life! The amount of swearwords I use when I get killed by this is unreal! Some of them I didn't even know existed!! Overpowered is an understatement but as the chief of GOW said it was a chance to give the noobs a chance! So there you go....only people who use it are what children? That’s right noobs......ONLY JOKING! roll
As well as the SOS there is the new Retro lancer (Tyrox's new charging weapon....any excuse to yell CHARGE YA B@ST@RDS) / the one shot and digger to name a few. Personally I love the idea of the digger, anyone camping behind cover will soon get a nice grenade jumping up from the ground right into their mush!
This in my opinion makes the game move quicker and less time hiding behind walls!

As usual for any sequel all Graphics/Music has been changed and polished to look the best it can which comes off really well through the story and each mode. As well they have new multiplayer maps and a few old ones from the series :) personally I hope they bring back Day one map!

The final major difference is the new modes and upgrades to existing one which I will cover in a bit more detail below:

Story/Arcade Mode

A new feature of the Story mode is upping the limit of Co-op players from 2 to 4 which is a great call in my opinion, AI is not that great when on the harder difficulties and it is always better when you have a party on headset and someone shouts cover me and everyone hides leaving him charging up alone…… laugh

Story mode is the bread and butter for any good FPS or TPS. Yes many people play the multiplayer but before LIVE/Network a game was bought for the story and game play! GOW3 certainly doesn't disappoint on either of the two points! The story comes in two years after GOW2 and shows how COG has been forced onto the sea…. There are comics to fill in the gaps left in-between the two games but if you haven’t read them you can easily piece together what has happened. So the Locust has gone quiet and the Lambent are taking over slowly but surely. You again are Marcus Fenix and are in control of Delta Squad. Even the story at times is a little bit thin the majority is good hardcore, grub stamping action! The config is pretty much the same but as the saying goes if it isn’t broken don’t fix it! The graphics are of a great standard throughout and music is very well used to build the suspense and action of the game. If I had to find a fault with the game is at times the AI can be a little bit slow and make strange decisions, for example on Hardcore they seem to hide behind cover a little to long, I had chance on many occasions to get to them chose my shotgun take aim and blow them to bits before they have moved. With that being said this was me nit picking to find a fault in what appears to be a near perfect game. Through the play through you meet up with other COG’s from previous games as well as new stranded (people left behind to die after the hammer strikes.) A lot of the unanswered questions get explained in the story as well as one moment of true OMG mouth left opened WTF! shock Again not spoiling it but Brothers to the END. All in all the story is a great ending to a well thought out and original game, yes you can point out a few plot holes and inconsistentsy but they can’t take the shine away from it.
A new option this time is the Arcade option where players can run through the story getting points and multipliers through each act/chapter. This can make the game very competitive and each “stolen” kill can result in a smack down in reality angry but this does add another side to the story mode. ANOTHER BIG point is there is an option in story that says “coming soon” which means (hopefully) there is a new story mode option coming out soon on DLC! Anyone care to guess?

Horde Mode

Personally this is my favourite mode. This mode pits you and 4 other players against 50 waves of menacing grubs! This style has been copied by many other games now for one reason…..It rocks out with its @ock out! It pulls all the great things in from GOW2 horde and upgrades them to make Horde 2.0! Each wave increases with the amount and verity of enemies ranging from tickers to boomers and more. At the end of every 10 waves there is a boss wave which will have the COG facing a powerful “boss” locust/lambent usually including Brumaks/Berserkers/Reavers ETC as well as some common grubs. After each boss wave a stipulation is added, for example double health or more accuracy ETC. This makes each wave more taxing and the need to conserve ammo a necessity. Every four waves where no person has died there is a “bonus” stage where the COG’s have to hit certain targets to get extra money for fortifications and ammo, these can be anything from 8 headshots to execution kills to finishing the wave in a set time which makes each run through different. Another big improvement in 2.0 is the inclusion of fortifications, this range from unmanned turrets to razor wire to the new Silverback assault weapon. These can help with the more difficult rounds and even turn the tide of a wave. Even though it has received mostly praise a few have said it takes longer to complete now due to the 30 seconds in-between each wave to build up you fortification but I think this is a lot better as it is just enough time to build up your defences and ammo without getting blow to hell! The final improvement is the ability to “buy back in” during a wave, this allows the player to use their money to buy back into the wave they was killed which can be very useful in the boss waves.

Beast Mode

This is a completely new game mode which was heavily requested in the GOW3 dream list. To play as the grubs and destroy Marcus and Co. This mode is pretty similar to horde but with the roles being reversed, you are the locusts who are attacking the COG in attempt to win 12 waves. You start off in this mode with a little money and tier one beast unlocked only (tickers/wretches/drones/butchers…..no not pat butcher, a big Grub with a shit stick and war paint….hey actually they could be one and the same…) and you need to clear a wave of human defenders. Once you have killed a certain amount of people you can unlock tier 2-4 of other locusts each more powerful then the last but costing more money. You have one minute a round to kill the wave but this time increases by 6 seconds for each kill. The idea is very thought out and can be played for hours using each different grub, but be warned the stronger locust cost a lot so you need to kill a lot each time to afford one of the big guys!

Versus Mode

Good old versus mode, with 6 different types including wingman/capture the leader/exection/teamdeath match/ warzone/king of the hill. With this selection every gamer should find one mode that they like and can play without to much difficulty. Each has plus and negative points but with this many selection it adds loads onto the replay value of the game. Each have slight modifications just as capture the leader is required to capture the enemy leader and hold him for a set amount of time compared to GOW2 version of killing the leader then cleaning up the rest of the team, least this way if the leader is rubbish the team can bail him out. The main difference and major plus is the introduction of dedicated servers! This was the one major flaw at the release of GOW2, the online would often hang and crash or when the host leaves it would quit the game and lose everyone’s gamer score which resulted a vast amount of abusive emails sent to that player...often from me compute Overall another good plus is the versus mode as it gives everyone an option.

Biggest Plus

For me a much underrated part of the new GOW3 is the Stats section where players can view medals/ribbons as well as stats about each game mode and weapon. This makes the whole game more enjoyable for me and many others I have spoken to, working towards them hard onyx medals and trying to achieve more ribbons then your mates adds a more competitive side to the game. The medal come in the style of bronze - silver - gold - onyx with the latter being in nearly all cases VERY hard to reach but with each comes a different medal and caption to add to your tag for everyone to see in multiplayer! This clever option has been put in by epic so that every weapon and every mode will be played many times (each mode and weapon has there own medal IE 6000 kills with a lancer) to achieve the medals as well as the hardest achievement I have ever seen, more on that later. The stats cover multiple records such as kills in a certain game time and kills with a certain weapon and money spent in horde/beast modes. This can be very useful to anyone who is interested in their Kill to Death ratio and other info. They also have a unlock section which shows exactly what you have unlocked and what is required to unlock new characters/weapon skins/achievements. The only downside to this is for people who never sadly participated in the BETA (damn holiday!) or completed GOW2 as they will never be able to 100 percent the medals/skins listings as 2 medals/skins require BETA testing/GOW2 completion, personally I would have put a small price on each medal but let the people who have completed GOW2/BETA have it for free then everyone can complete the listings.

Achievements

If you have played the previous GOW titles you will know the layout of the achievements. The main story has about 1/4 of the full score as well as more for each difficulty that you complete the game on. Again clever move by EPIC as it makes the completionist play through the game at least 2-3 times to unlock the later difficulties and arcade mode run though. This time however they have added another stipulation of completing the game with 4 human players which can make it a bit more difficult arranging to get 3 of your mates together at the same time to do this (granted you can just host a chapter and get 3 randomers to help but I prefer to know who I am swearing at....I mean playing with..... wink ) The final and huge MASSIVE stupidly so time consuming is Insane 3.0, anyone who has played the other games will know insane 1.0 and 2.0 which was manageable but this new one is harder then hard! It’s like the Chuck Norris of achievements! You have to level up to 100 (not that hard) and obtain 65 ONYX medals....yes that's right every medal to Onyx! This includes playing each mode 4000 times! Killing with the first 5 guns 6000 times and many more! As many people who read this are using the TA website which means they will try and get 100 percent on any game will have their work cut out for them and will receive a big WELL DONE from everyone on completion! (If you haven't cheated which I know some has!) Many say insane 3.0 is to hard but for me that’s what makes it fun! Especially when you have a bet going who can complete it first wins a free night out! (Yes Tyrox I will walk this then you can get the beers in toast )

Summary

Well as you can tell I am very impressed with the game, you can tell Epic put a lot of serious thought and consideration into each part of the game and didn’t just pump out the same old crap with the odd difference to just to spin more money out of it (yes COD and FIFA I am looking at you!) The story ties everything together well and has ups and downs which makes it great. Each mode has different aspects to it and makes the replay value good for everyone from first timers to veteran gears. The graphics and sounds make it more believable with great back drops to all battles and fine details bring each character to life. The achievements are difficult but that is just the thing that makes me want to play it more. Overall 10/10 5 stars and whatever else you can put on it and I just hope the new DLC will be just as good! clap

BTW have been told of EPIC developing a new game of gears with the E-day being the main center point and how the team came together here's hoping! smile
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joedahoc93
97,205 (69,375)
joedahoc93
TA Score for this game: 844
Posted on 01 October 11 at 21:59, Edited on 04 October 11 at 20:45
This review has 19 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Gears of War. Truly one of the more important franchises to make its way into Xbox exclusivity. Lately I've noticed the popularity of the Xbox dwindle. But this game reaffirms that the Xbox can still give us one hell of a game.

Campaign: Forgive me, I heven't written any reviews in a long time, as I've had along time to reflect on my writing capabilities. I probably will misspell a few words And I'm just apologizing ahead of time.

The game opens with a ghastly scenario for our protagaonists (whats left of the C.O.G.). The world is being consumed by the Lambent infestation. Both sides of the long running war are feeling the affects of this new threat, however since niether is willing to compromise, this leads to more fighting. Which of course is just fine by me. The Locust however are shown in different light then in the previous games. Towards the end it kind of gives off a "two sides of every coin" kind of situation. All of our favorite characters are back and with changes of course. Dom (now showing off a new bearded look) has fell into a hole, and his character does progress throughout the game, Marcus still has his bandana, Anya shoots, plus many new characters have been added. The formula for the first two games wasn't going to work a third outing, so Epic games implemented change, and it does work out for the better. Our characters have changed, what about the plot? The plot is definitly feels alot more human then the previous two games (not to be misinterpreted that the last two games weren't great by thier standards). The plot does take you places, what you think is going to happen probably won't. Which gives the game a real authenticity to it. Now I've kept this review spoiler free for the sake of anyone who hasn't played it yet. The plot I was imagining was much different from the final product. Not to say I wasn't happy with the final plot and how it was played out, but I was a bit off the marker due to the ad campaigns used to put the game on the market. The trailers provided (I'm refering to the Ashes trailer) didn't really paint how the product was going to end, which is a bit frustrating I think, but learn to forgive and you shall recieve.

Gameplay: The games shooting mechanics stayed pretty much same, minus new weapons (Digger, Saw-Off, Retro are just a few I think of off the top of my head) an improved pick-up system and a more over-all fluid transition from cover to cover. The game definitly improves in this area. The vehicle missions in the game are wildly better and more of a blast then in the first two Gears. I don't know if you guys remembered from the original gears, but remember those things that only came out at night and you had to shine a big light on them in order to kill them? I wasn't a fan of that level, and to this day I have trouble trying to beat that on insane. The vehicle levels in this game are actually FUN, which was a suprise.
Horde mode is definitly better. It starts off slow, but as you progress into upgraded fences and turrets you'll definitly be coming back for more. Horde mode is just better and offers more of a challenge for players new and old to the franchise. Beast mode is just horde mode in reverse. I'm not to into the additional play type but from what I played it's a harmless addition to the game, and can be fun when playing with your friends online.

Mutiplayer: Fun. That's a good word to describe how I felt during a majority of the game. The online has not only improved but actually proved itself to be worhty contender for my favorite multiplayer game of the year. The game modes are fun and addicting. Capture the leader pits players into one of the hardest obsticle to conqure: teamwork. If you get lucky and land your self a good team, it means absolutly nothing unless you can communicate with your teammates (I've always found this to be difficult take considering most people aren't so willing to work as a team). King of the Hill and just about all game modes are improved and solid. If your looking for a good Non-First person shooter, you got one right here.

Final Verdict: A great addition to the series. With good voice acting, solid gameplay, a kick ass soundtrack, and a awesome array of multiplayer outings, this game has it all
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Altergigo
51,169 (31,834)
Altergigo
TA Score for this game: 1,371
Posted on 25 November 11 at 09:12, Edited on 27 November 11 at 15:28
This review has 18 positive votes and 2 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
.:Gears of War 3 - The Review:.

The Gears of War franchise has been at the forefront of the Xbox 360's “must have” gaming experience since its release in 2006. With the latest addition and final installment of the trilogy, Gears of War 3 can only be described as that high school kid who completely excels in a sport at such a high level, that he skips college, scouts, combines and goes directly to the draft and is the overall #1 pick. Yes, this game is that good, and if you read on, you will think so as well.

Gears of War 3 exceeds expectations in so many areas that it is difficult to know where to begin. With that said, I will start with my favorite aspect of the game...

.:The Campaign:.
EPIC does a wonderful job of summarizing what has happened up to this point in the game and explains your objectives and why you are where you are in the story within the opening scene of the Prologue as well as by watching the “Previously in Gears...” cut-scene. They give you a synopsis and make it easy for anyone to jump in and play even if they haven’t played either of the previous installments. With that said, let’s jump right in. I will say that the campaign in this game is absolutely exhausting and I mean that in a good way. Right from the start, you are thrown into battle, and it literally does not stop until the credits roll.

The story or more appropriately noted, the stories are very well written and completely engaging. I have yet to play a game where I felt so connected to the characters’ struggles and triumphs until I played Gears of War 3. Without spoiling any plot lines, there are certain story points that make you laugh, feel joy as well as deep sadness. You finally find out what happened to certain characters in the past that brought them to where they are now, as well as the fate of characters who struggled with loss and guilt in the previous installments. Initially when I watched some of the teaser trailers where the developers conveyed a personal attachment to the story, I got a sense of what they were trying to tell us, and as I finished the campaign, it became quite apparent what they meant. I too had similar experiences to their story and by the end of the game had connected with their message. However, you don’t need to have a similar background as myself or the developers to enjoy the story and feel the emotions of the characters. I don’t mean to sound cryptic, but I am doing my best to review without adding any spoilers to gamers who have yet to play the game or trilogy.

Moving on to Arcade mode, It’s a great way to play through solo or with friends (up to 4 co-op) racking up XP, ribbons and working on medals. Arcade mode also keeps track of your kills and compares your record with that of your friends which keeps the competition level high. Another great feature about Arcade mode is the ability for other players to seamlessly join your session based on your preference settings. I also have to mention the introduction of Stats, Ribbons and Medals which are awarded for performing certain tasks throughout all the game modes. There are also plenty of unlock-ables to obtain such as game mutators, weapon skins, characters, avatar awards and executions. These features definitely add to the replay-ability value and fun factor, and are a must for any perfectionists and those who have their eyes set on the Seriously 3.0 achievement. The campaign is lengthy and with the difficulty achievements in particular, as well as the addition of Arcade mode, the campaign can be a very fulfilling game all by itself for the price.

.:Multiplayer and Co-op:.
I will start by saying I’m not a huge fan of multiplayer in general. I am more of a story driven/campaign style “old school” gamer. With that said, the multiplayer experience which includes modes such as Team Deathmatch, Warzone, King of the Hill, Execution, Capture the Leader and Wingman, is truly fun. With the addition of new maps, the use of the environment in certain maps to your team’s advantage, as well as the addition of some serious and diverse new firepower at your disposal, the multiplayer experience absolutely delivers. Add in the optional “Gears Events”, your multiplayer experience will stay fresh for a long time coming. The other point I’d like to bring up for us gamers who are less inclined to dive into the multiplayer modes, is the ability to enjoy those game modes solo, as well as grind for that seriously-serious Seriously 3.0 achievement.

Moving on to Co-op, let me add that I’m a huge co-op fan, what can I say... Horde 2.0 is addicting. EPIC seems to continually raise the bar with the introduction of Horde mode in Gears of War 2, to it’s sophomore and current version, as well as the newly introduced Beast mode. The addition of fortifications, 10th wave boss fights and the emphasis on teamwork, Horde 2.0 is absolutely brilliant and a lot of fun with friends. In addition to that, putting my “old school” gamer hat back on, with the new functions to Horde 2.0, mainly fortifications, you can now solo all 50 waves of Horde. You want a satisfying gaming experience? Tackle that head on, and I promise you won’t be disappointed. Be warned however, the higher levels tend to get quite hard especially if you move up the difficulty. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun and sometimes frustrating experience, but hey, who doesn’t like a challenge?! Beast mode is the new brainchild, and what a brainchild it is. Who wouldn’t get satisfaction from running around as a Ticker on a suicide mission, or crushing your way through the map as a Berzerker with blurry tunnel vision.

.:In Conclusion:.
There are a few kinks in the game but none that would hinder its cemented greatness. A few I noticed where the fact that sometimes ribbons weren’t awarded for certain tasks performed, as well as kills not recording in Arcade mode and other such minor bugs which could easily be fixed with a patch. The one thing that surprised me and disappointed me at the same time, was the fact that the game did not include a “cut-scene theater” option. I felt as great as the story was presented, not having this option to look back on, really took away from being able to replay the cinematic experience without actually replaying a particular chapter.

Gears of War 3 boasts a fantastic conclusion to the story, a lengthy and engaging campaign, a plethora of multiplayer and co-op options, as well as the introduction of Beast mode. Coupled with a great soundtrack and graphics, seamless controls and gameplay, a talented cast of voiceover actors, very high replay-ability value and just an overall satisfying gaming experience. For the gamer who really has to pick and choose what to spend their hard earned money on, or any gamer for that matter, Gears of War 3 will not disappoint and with its multi play mode functions, will more than pay for itself in many hours of fun and entertainment. Buy it, play it, love it!
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Stefan Leroux
369,662 (207,595)
Stefan Leroux
TA Score for this game: 2,468
Posted on 30 September 11 at 13:53
This review has 21 positive votes and 6 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
After month of hype, GoW3 has come, and for me it's lived up to all expectations. I loved the previous games: they have a good storyline, great game mechanics, fantasic visuals, and an adequate amount of gore to keep my fractured mind happy.

The first thing I noticed with GoW3 however was the difference in the graphics. While the first 2 games were very gritty and realistic looking, Gears 3 has a slightly slightly cel-shaded appearance instead. This has absolutely no affect on the game itself: it still looks outstanding and isn't a strong enough shading to look cartoony, I merely found it to be an odd change to the series.

As always the game campaign was my main focus. I'm not the biggest multiplayer fan going, but I love co-op gameplay, and Gears really knows how to do that. The campaign storyline for the game was written by Karen Travis; the author of the Gears novels; meaning that the storyline actually keeps a consistency with the novels, not that that has any importance to all but the geekiest of gamers who have also read the books.
The story this time revolves around the lambent; a mutated species of lambent; as was alluded to at the end of Gears 2. This gives a whole variety of new enemies in the game, and requires you to actually adapt your gameplay style a bit as the old methods don't always work the same. I found my tried-and-tested method of chainsawing everything in sight just didn't cut it anymore.
The campaign also has the new Arcade mode, which is a little more laid-back than the full campaign mode. You still work through the storyline, but Arcade allows you to enable mutators, and gives a bit of friendly competition as you work to get higher scores than your friends both live and via leaderboards, which will frequently update you of where you stand in the grand scheme of things.
I've only briefly played the versus modes, but found them to be incredibly fun and highly enjoyable. While this may sound like the usual spiel about a game, it is about the highest I can say on it, as I am really not a fan of PVP modes. Every player has the same chance, and the game doesn't seem to scale so badly with difficulty (or else I'm actually good at this one). The only obvious distinctions are the weapon skins, and the Medal shown with player names. Neither of these have any affect on gameplay, although some weapon skins make your character slightly more visible. The medals are a sort of in-game achievement, and you can choose your favourite to display with your name, and broadcast your greatest in game feats.

For me, horde mode in GoW2 was the best, and I eagerly awaited the new Horde 2.0 which GoW3 has. Unfortunately I'm not as sure what to say regarding this mode. While is is great in itself, and the new fortifications and boss/bonus waves make it a bit more tactical than the GoW2 hordes huddle in a corner together and hope not to run out of ammo. The only real problem I have with this mode is that it now takes longer, due to the extra 30 seconds at the start of every wave to build and repair your fortifications. While this isn't really much, it does mean a lot more waiting while I'd rather be killing grubs.

Another new addition is "Beast Mode": effectively another version of horde where you play as the Locust instead of Gears. Again this is a nice addition, but it feels more like a gimmick than an actual game mode., and I can't see myself playing it much except to earn medals or mutators.

The mutators are another new addition, although not a new idea in games. Simply put they are the skulls from Halo, which can be enabled in Arcade mode or Horde. Each mutator gives small gameplay changes to ease or burden your gameplay, and will give experience modifiers to help (or hinder) you on your way.

Sadly though, there have been a few problems with the game. I can't elaborate on all of these, as I've only experienced the one, but it is a big one as far as I'm concerned. I played in the Beta back at the start of the year, and unlocked all of the exclusives available, however due to a bug, or mistake on Epics end, none of these have unlocked in my game. Although this isn't really a huge mattr, is does mean that I'm missing my flaming weapons, and Thrashball Cole. Granted these are small things in the game, but they took some effort and I really should have gotten them.

Despite a minor bug, the game itself is fantastic. The story is full and pretty immersive, and the mutliplayer modes work great, even getting rid of all the problems of previous installments. It's likely to be sitting in my drive for quite some time.
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CRAZE KILER
1,049,846 (640,123)
CRAZE KILER
TA Score for this game: 4,893
Posted on 16 October 11 at 22:45
This review has 14 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Gears of War is known to be one of the best XBOX exclusive series available (could also be the Halo series), the question is how does Gears of War 3 maintain the greatness the previous entries.

The latest entry has changed compared to the other entries. The campaign for the most part is the same style play but this time there is the addition of 4 player co-op and arcade mode. Both are nice additions, having four players will help greatly and bring more fun for anyone that has several friends wanting to play the campaign. The main differences that arcade mode brings to the table is a score multiplier when you kill enemies, you muliplier drops when someone gets downed and dies. The addition of scoring adds a competitive nature to the campaign, it encourages players to get as many kills as possible in order to get the high score during a round.

As far as the story goes I am not going to give any spoilers but I will say that in my opinion Gears 2 had a better story. There is the addition of new enemies that are much stronger. This includes a new race of Locust called the Lambent. The Lambent enemies explode when they die, I like it becuase it discourages people from being shot gun happy. There are also several new teammates for Marcus and his crew.

There are also new weapons available this time. You have the one shot, which does what the name says. If you shot someone in the toe he/she will die. The digger, which digs til it gets to an enemy than it explodes in his/her face. You also have the widly popular Sawn-off shot gun, super powerful but only has four rounds. If you miss with the Sawn-off run or you will die, you have to reload after every shot. The retro lancer is more powerful than the regular but it is less accurate and has a bayonett instead of a chain saw. To do an execution you have to run and impale your victim. There is also a new grenade, the incendiary grenade is basically a fire granade. The final weapon is called the razorback, this is only available in horde and a few occasions during the campaign. Very powerful vehicle weapon that has unlimited ammo, but does overheat like the Mulcher.

Gears 3 has the massively popular Horde mode returning but there are improvements made. As you earn kills you'll earn money, which is used to purchase map based weapons and to fortify your position. What is fortify you ask? Well, this time you start off by building a command post (in designated areas) and you now can purchase upgrades such as barriers, decoys, turrets, sentry units and the silverback. The more money you spend on each fortification the higher level you will unlock. These fortifications will help you defend against the Horde. Like before wave ten is boss round but now it is much harder. Instead of just boomers, grinders, bloodmounts, etc. you have to fight brumacs, corpsers and bezerkers.

Gears 3 offers a new mode called beast mode. Beast mode is 12 rounds of playing as locust attacking the humans, which includes the heroes from the Gears universe. It should also be mentioned the humans will be fortified in thier positions so there is some startegy and teamwork needed to succeed. There are four levels of locust you can play as, you have access to the higher level based off of how much money you earn. To play as your locust of choice you have to have enough money. So if you playing as a bezerker and you die quickly odds are you will have to play as a less power locust until you build your money back up.

There are some changes to the vs. this year. Annex and King of the hill are combined and simply called King of the Hill. Its basically the same thing as Annex from the previous Gears games. Epic brought back warzone, wingman, capture the leader, execution. The main change is the addition of Team Deathmatch. Each team starts with 20 lives (including the 5 players that you start off with). As I am sure you know the team left standing wins.

If you a fan of unlockables than Gears 3 will do more than satisfy your urges. The are more executions this time around but now you have to unlock them by meeting a certain kill criteria for each weapon. There is the addiiton of mutators, this will change your gaming experience in arcade and horde modes. Some of the mutators will be unlimited ammo, flower blood and laugh track. There are a total of 14 mutators available. You also can earn service ribbons and medals (four levels of each). These encourage you to play every mode. The final things you can unlock are playable charctors in vs. matches and weapon skins.

The graphics and sounds are similar to the previous Gears games but there are much more areas included in Gears 3. The backgroud is absolutely beautiful.

The final area I am going to touch on my review is the achievements. They are exactly what you would expect from a Gears of War game. This years seriously achievement is possibly the biggest grind ever in a game. You have to reach level 100 (which is not to bad becuase you get XP for everything) but you have to get every onyx (level 4) medal. Just to put this in retrospect you have to get 6000 kills with each starting weapon or get 1000 captures in capture the leader.

At the end of the day I would say if you like to play games than this is a must have. Epic built upon what they were already did well in the previous to games. With the addition of the extra modes and collectable shows that Cliffy B wanted to end the saga by giving gamers more than they possibly could have asked for. So far this year, if not on the entire 360 library, is the best game I have played to date.
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Balsin Fase
158,763 (104,053)
Balsin Fase
TA Score for this game: 859
Posted on 19 January 12 at 01:18
This review has 14 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Gears of War is the game that sold me on the Xbox 360, a system that I never once in my life expected to buy. With fun co-op and a terrifying need to avoid being shot, it was something that grabbed me harder than I thought was possible. After playing it for a weekend with a friend, I had to have it for my own. The second one was also great, adding lots of new creatures and weapons, doing all of the stuff I expected from a decent sequel. Gears of War 3 is a satisfying end to the series, but seems to lack some of the strengths of the previous games.

Right off, one of those things is the difficulty. I might have been terrible at the game before, but I really don't think I've improved so much at the games that I should be barely dying on hardcore difficulty. My controller is probably quite thankful that the game never got me furiously angry at it, but there is something to be said about a hard mode that isn't hard at all. I could understand this level of ease on the lower difficulties, but I expected there to be some kind of challenge on hardcore mode.

I'm seriously doubting its because of skill, that's for sure. My main reason for believing that is due to how much time I spend outside of cover. In the first game, even on lower difficulties, taking a few hits meant you were in pretty big trouble, and you wouldn't dream of aimlessly sticking your head out if a mounted gun was shooting at you. Taking the time to snipe its user would get you killed each and every time. In this game, I can poke around and take my time aiming as much as I want, given the absurd amount of health I have. You can take a huge amount of punishment, even on hardcore, and still bounce back. It gets to the point that most of the time, I don't bother with cover unless I'm about to die.

Compounding that trouble is the three AI characters that follow you around for the whole game. They change characters constantly, but that still never takes away from the fact that you have three computers backing you up at all times. If you go down, there is almost always someone within arm's reach who will pick you back up again. If you get sidetracked and go in the wrong direction away from the enemies, they will start killing them for you. There were a few times in the game when I got turned around trying to figure out where to go, only to find that the computers had beaten all of the enemies in the area. Now, this never happened during an interesting fight, but it still annoyed me that the computer had essentially played itself for a few minutes.

I'm sure they're trying to steer the game away from its heavy emphasis on cover to keep it more interesting for complainers, but this game pretty much invented sticking to cover. It's basis is in terrifying gun combat, with each shot you take being an actual threat. You might have regenerating health, but it didn't take long to drain it all away. By trying to give people more of an ability to run and gun, it's taking away a bit of the spirit of the game. It loses a lot of its careful tactics and clever cover movement to try to appease people who didn't like the series to begin with, and in doing so sacrifices challenge. I might like to be able to run around a bit more, but to be fair, the series used wretches and tickers to accomplish this stuff before. The run-and-gun points were already in place. The shooting parts didn't need to be dumbed down to appeal to people who wanted more running around and less strategy.

Despite that, the game is still a lot of fun to play, and being at the end of the trilogy, it is going for broke. One thing I always wanted to see was an actual fight with many of those huge, dangerous creatures I saw throughout the first couple of games. I wanted actual one-on-one combat with Berserkers, Corpsers, and Brumaks. These were all things I'd seen in the previous games, but hadn't really been allowed to fight. Sure, you could kill them with the Hammer of Dawn, but that never gave me any sense of satisfaction. I wanted to actually mix it up with these creatures, something Epic Games must have realized, because every single big monster from the series is a boss. Nothing is spared, and I was extremely happy to get to finally fight these beasts. The low difficulty put a damper on each battle, but I was still glad to fight them all the same.

Well, not every battle. If you take the time to play this with multiple people, you will find that the difficulty does rise quite a bit in places, especially against the aforementioned giant bosses. While the single player campaign skews toward being a little too easy no matter what the difficulty is, having more than one person to worry about increases the dangers. When you play with another person, you get to see more of the game the way its developers intended it to be. Playing with four people in the campaign is a real treat to do, often leaving you literally gasping once you've gotten through some of the tough spots. If you're worried about losing some of the experience of playing it, bring a few buddies along to get the real deal. It doesn't make me happy to have to play multiplayer for the game to challenge me properly, but at least it's co-operative. Playing with a friend makes any game sweeter. Well, maybe not the last boss on hardcore, though.

The music is as amazing as its always been, considering it is still quite rare that I notice the music in today's big budget games at all. Gears of War 3 has many of its own themes and approaches to the music, making it a real treat for the ears. I highly recommend going through the options and turning the sound up, especially during the final chapters of the game. The music really clicks with the game's content, and does wonders for sweeping you up along with what's going on in-game. The sound quality is great as well, with each shot making a sound that is bone-crushing. All of the effects lend power and weight to what you're doing, each crunching blow and explosive shot seeming to ripple through your ears. You can feel the power from every gunshot, making pulling the trigger a real event.

The environments are all quite nice, as well. There is still a lot of brown, as the game takes you through worn-down cities and through cliffs into the desert, but there are some really colorful spots near the end of the game. Fighting in a mostly-intact, vibrant city during daytime is a pretty nice change of pace for most realistic shooters, and the attention to detail really makes it come alive. Seeing statues, fountains, and carved stone on almost every surface takes away some of the attention you might be paying to the lack of color. It's brighter and more colorful than past games, but still not all that much more.

The series has always looked and sounded good, though. Is it still fun? Well, of course it is. If you enjoyed one of these games in the past, you'll still get a big kick out of it now. There aren't a lot more new guns to give you more ways to beat back the locust, but you probably won't care. It still has an extremely robust amount of weapons in the game, and if you like frantic shootouts, this game will have you covered. There is a lot of creativity in environmental design, almost always giving you and the enemy many different hiding spots and approaches to use. If you ever find yourself at a bottleneck thinking things will be easy, more dangerous enemies will often be coming through with weapons to counter it. Each fight was carefully put together to keep it interesting throughout, with clever and strong monsters always keeping you on your toes. Even if this game does fall into a spot where you're trapped behind cover for a long time, it will throw something your way to keep you moving.

As for the plot, it's not as impressive as some reviewers were making it out to be. I was a little disappointed in it, given how much hype had been going into how good the story was supposed to be, but it does tie up a lot of loose ends. I was surprised at a lot of the plot twists, but to be honest, that was only because I thought they would go for something extremely interesting, but didn't. I really thought that what went on in those tubes the locust placed humans into would be dealt with and explained, as I couldn't see why a certain character would kill himself after getting stuck in one in the second game. As it turned out, I would never know. I also thought that some of the connections between the humans and the locust would turn out to mean something different than what they did, but I was also disappointed there. They did manage to finish the story and I commend them for it, but I really did feel like they always just about to touch on something really interesting, but never did.

All the same, I enjoyed this game. The lack of difficulty in single player took a lot away from what it could have been, but that will probably broaden its appeal to some people. Even so, I got to fight all of the monsters that I wanted to, basically fulfilling my wish for the last game in the series. Its story may not have been what I expected, but it was still interesting and brought the whole cast back together. It could have been a little bit better with a few tweaks, but it is an otherwise solid game and a good ending to one of my favorite series'.

Until the prequels start, which they already have.

If you liked Gears of War 3, you might like...

Gears of War – In what I can only call shooter/horror, this game will have you genuinely afraid to get hit. There is an extreme emphasis on placement and cover, something I'd never seen before in a game. Also, the enemies take a lot of hits instead of weaving around all the time and only needing a few to be killed, so you actually get to hit things most of the time. Every checkpoint is satisfying, if only to get away from certain unskippable sections of dialogue.

Dead Space - It's quite lonely, comparatively, but it makes up for it with the terrifying creatures that will keep you company. It manages to capture that same feeling of always being on the brink of being overwhelmed that Gears of War 3 has during many of its better sequences. It's also the only game that comes even close to it in the gore department.

Like what you read? Visit www.joelcouture.com, www.fanboyscloset.com, or follow Joel_Couture on Twitter for more video game ranting, as well as free monthly fantasy short stories!
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Skycaptin5
671,303 (426,760)
Skycaptin5
TA Score for this game: 3,095
Posted on 29 October 11 at 17:51, Edited on 29 October 11 at 19:15
This review has 14 positive votes and 3 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Brothers to the End…..

The Campaign
-This is the end, the final in the trilogy. Rejoin Delta squad, two years after the second game where the COG is no more and everyone is stranded. The game puts you perfectly into the shoes of each of the players you play as, with the deep desperation they are all in scavenging and trading for whatever they can get in terms of ammunition and food. The game opens in a dream of Marcus’s where he’s going back the jail at the start of the original game, then to the stairs where he lost his father. Only to be awakened to the emergency for the ship. From there you are re introduced to the characters and then the new lambent forces meet up with you. An interesting set of enemies that mutate and change as you shoot them. One of the most interesting new part of the campaign besides four player is the switching up between teams, where you get to go back to Cole’s hometown as him and relive a memory or to. Aside from the COG’s problem, you can also tell the Locust are going through tough times against the lambent, using whatever they can to build their weaponry or where they set up camp.You will be taken all over and across Sera to all sorts of locations talked about in earlier games, but never seen until now. Face armies of new enemies, some of which you never expected to be fighting and venture through the lambent infested world that’s spewing of emulsion. In the deepest and most emotionally pack Gears yet, won’t spoil anything, but there will be a few deaths involved that may be quite depressing. Anyways the campaign carries the special parts of Gears from splitting off into different teams or holding areas until something happens and introduces some different playing aspects.

Arcade
-A new side addition the campaign is arcade mode, similar to the Halo score mode you play campaign as normal, but you are scored on performance. The goal is to get low deaths and achieve a high multiplier, but its nice that if you die you are given a respawn after some time, but that does leave room for your competition to take the lead! Also like skulls in Halo there are mutators unlocked by various game tasks that change how you face your enemy, from lack of ammo drops to tougher enemies adding an extra multiplier to your score.

Multiplayer
-The online game of Gears features five versus five featuring a variety of game modes that either are from past games or are multiple past game types made into a hybrid. In the game modes there’s something for everyone whether it be objective, deathmatch or doubles. You are able to choose your character, starting guns, the skins for the guns and a little tag that represents what you do in the game. The guns are well balanced in terms of rifles, but I still believe the sawed off may be a tad overpowered. Featuring many maps that are based off of the campaign, but are completely uniquely setup are all well down and great to battle on. Aside from the in game, Gears has many menus for checking out tons of statistics of what and do or use in the games. These all go towards medals which are unlocked with larger stat counts and are your little tag. The multiplayer is basically what Gears has been about, but amped up to perfection.

Horde
-Fighting up to fifty waves is back! Horde has been modified from the simpler version of running around fighting the waves of enemies to a game of building defenses from walls to turrets and Cole Train cutouts! Which are bought and upgraded with the money you make from destroying the countless enemies. Aside from having to pay for the upgrades, you must also gain enough experience to unlock the next upgrade tier by fixing the various defenses. The horde waves are set to send out random groups of units, its actually quite neat as if the locust and lambent are out they will engage with each along with you. There are a variety of challenges that your team will try to complete giving you ammo or a bonus weapon care package. Aside from challenges there are many bonus waves thrown in and even boss rounds with as deadly an enemy as the Brumak!

Beast Mode
-Ever thought when you playing the original Gears that you would ever play as the awesome creatures you trying to destroy?, well now you can. In this game mode you have a set time to destroy the COG troopers in your way using the different beasts you buy with the money you make by destroying COG. As you progress, more tiers of beasts are unlocked all the way up from Corpsers to the ultimate Beserker, the beasts of beasts. This is defiantly a something you want to check out.

Gameplay
-Gears of War 3 is the balance of the series, it features a more grounded game with a higher balance and beautiful dedicated servers. The polish is absolutely fantastic to ridiculous points. The playing feels smoother than ever and movement is easy. Every game mode plays well with no problems and the enemies are mostly new and redone.

The Conclusion
-This, is the end. One awesome intense end. This is what everything has been leading up to, from the campaign to the multiplayer and the added aspects. Everything has been polished to perfection and game is completely balanced. All the levels looks amazing and every character is beautiful. The campaign is packed with emotion and action, bringing in extra players and massive levels. The campaign brings you to areas you never thought you would see in massive detail and scale. The multiplayer has been upgraded and hybridized to something that feels right. With dedicated servers, everything is smooth and with no lag. Horde is back with upgrades that change the style of play and gives it a great tactical feel. Beast mode is a sickly awesome game mode that gives me the ability to finally be the awesome creatures of Gears. This is the fantastic finale to the Gears of War trilogy. Brothers to the End.

Written by me on Gamerheadquarters.com
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IansLuck
184,007 (123,100)
IansLuck
TA Score for this game: 1,168
Posted on 25 September 11 at 01:28, Edited on 25 September 11 at 20:58
This review has 22 positive votes and 14 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
There is no exact way to describe this game but one word. That word is epic. Every moment of it was just outstanding. Beautiful graphics, beautiful audio, and not to mention beautiful but emotional times. If you are one of those gamers that take their time in stories and want to smell the roses, this game is pretty long in length. I say the campaign will take you approx. 30 or so hours to complete. During most of the campaign, you have squad members that are with you almost every chapter, so you never have the feeling of being alone. The A.I. this time around are actually very smart. Some of the best A.I I've seen since Republic Commando on the original Xbox. If you are a fan of third-person shooters, you will most likely love this game. Overall, the campaign is just phenomenal. (I can't tell too much about the campaign without giving spoliers so you will just have to play it yourself! wink)

The multiplayer is really great too. Lots of ribbons, medals, and achievements waiting to be earned. Quite a selection of maps to play on they are all balanced from when I've played on them. The weapons aren't too overpowered but they aren't too under-powered either. You can get frustrated at someone for using a Sawed-off shotgun, but you can end up blasting them in the face with grenades or a Gnasher shotgun. laugh As for the ranking system, you can rank up in just about anything. Campaign, Beast, Horde, and Multiplayer modes will all rank you up in one way or another. Characters and weapon skins are a thing not just in multiplayer but anytime you play Gears of War 3. Characters you can earn by ranking up or earning ribbions, medals, and achievements. Weapon skins are the same way but you can also purchase extra skins from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. You can play as characters you unlocked by simply pressing Start, going to the Multiplayer option and selecting your default C.O.G character and default Locust character. From here, you can also choose your default loadout and skins you want on your weapons.

Horde mode has really improved since GoW 2 and other games have taken their view of Horde and made their own. Examples include Zombies in Call of Duty and Firefight in Halo. Nothing can compare to the original Horde mode in Gears of War though. smile What's new in Horde mode this time around though is, the money and building systems. You earn money from killing Locust/Lambent and also by completing special bonus waves which require you to do certain objectives such as, kill a set number of enemies with headshots this wave. With the money you earn, you can buy weapons, ammo, fortifications, turrets, and much more. Fortifications slow the enemy down, manned turrets are turrets you can control and you can mow down enemies with them, and sentry turrets are automatic turrets that shoot the enemy when they are in range. There is much more but let's move on to Beast mode.

Beast mode is incredibly fun as well. Beast mode is basically the opposite of Horde mode. You play as the Locust and you have to try to kill all the humans within a certain time. Like Horde mode, the humans have fortifications, turrets, and plenty of ammo to try and stop you. As the Locust, you earn money for destroying all of the above and for killing the humans. With the money you can buy new Locust to play as you unlock them. Playing as the Locust army and blowing the crap out of C.O.Gs is always a blast. laugh

I highly, highly recommend this game to anyone. With all the modes and variety, you won't be bored with Gears of War 3 for a long time. Casual or hardcore gamers will be impressed and in love with this game. I hope you enjoyed reading my first review and I plan on making many more so keep in touch! - Ianclapcompute
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