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First Person Shooters (Games) XBox (Games) Games

Gears of War 3 Released 69

The third installment of Gears of War was released yesterday, ending the story arc that began almost five years ago. Early response to the game has been favorable, and most reviews agree that it's the best of the series. The Guardian's write-up says the story and the voice-acting got some needed attention this time around. Eurogamer praised the improvements to multiplayer and highlighted the intensity of the action sequences, but also mentioned the "annoyance" of being rather rigidly limited when it came to exploring and deviating from scripted events. The Digital Foundry blog examined the tech underpinning Gears of War 3, finding all the advances you'd expect out of a big-budget title, and a few spots where it bumps up against the hardware limitations of the aging Xbox 360.
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Gears of War 3 Released

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  • Comparisons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @06:37AM (#37465928) Journal
    I just got back from the US on Monday morning and, having the rest of the week off work, I've been catching up on the three big console shooters that were released while I was away (or immediately after my return); Gears 3, Space Marine and Resistance 3. So far, I've sunk about 3 hours into each of their campaign modes (maybe a little more into Space Marine) and it's been interesting to note some of the similarities and differences.

    What really struck me about Gears 3 so far is the insane level of polish that's been applied. This isn't a game that has given any indications (so far) that it plans to do anything that Gears 2 didn't. Weapons, situations, characters and gameplay mechanics are all changed in only the tiniest and most subtle of ways. What's happened, however, is that each of them have received a few little tweaks and minor improvements. Whereas the first Gears of War felt like a really good idea in need of polishing, the third installment is all polish and no ideas. That's not really a criticism - this is an excellent game - just an acknowledgement of the limitations inherant in what Epic decided to do.

    Space Marine, on the other hand, is trying really hard to throw some new ideas into the third person shooter space - or at least to do away with some of the recent conventions of the genre. There's no cover button - indeed the game generally seems to regard cover as for wusses. As befits the fiction it's based on, the correct playstyle seems to be based around near-rabid levels of aggression. There's some really neat stuff in there; the transitions between ranged and melee combat are flawless, the animations are excellent and it's nice to have intelligent, articulate characters in one of these games rather than the usual grunting troglodytes. That said, there are also problems; despite the aforementioned animation, the graphics are a bit basic in places. Worse, there isn't really much variety to the enemies and combat tends to feel quite samey - not helped by the generally imprecise feel of the ranged weapons.

    And Resistance 3... if Resistance 3 had mouse and keyboard controls and a quicksave button, it would be an old-school PC shooter. Seriously - its an fps where the player character has a high movement speed, can carry as many weapons as he wants, has a health bar that doesn't regenerate until he grabs a health pack and umpteen ludicrous secondary fire modes. I love it. This is Insomniac at their insane best - rather than Insomniac trying to force themselves to be sensible (which ruined Resistance 2). If the game were on PC, it would be near perfect.

    What's really amused me is the review scores controversy [destructoid.com] that Gears 3 has generated. I mean, you do expect fanboys to get upset over review scores for games which are strongly identified with a single platform (it's not just on the MS side - check out some of the Killzone 3 review comments). But CliffyB really does come over as a prize arsehole through those comments. Particularly since the Eurogamer review in question felt... well... perfectly fair to me.

    Obviously, I can't score the games properly myself yet, having not finished any of them. But on the basis of what I've seen so far, I think I'd say that Space Marine is a 7, Gears 3 is an 8 and Resistance 3 is a 9. What playing all three games side by side has really brought out to me is how desperately the industry needs to shed some of the cliches that have dogged shooters in recent years. Gears 3 is the absolute embodiment of those cliches - 2 weapon limit, regenerating health, cover based combat - but it feels to me like that's about as far as that particular subgenre is going to evolve. I'd love to see a Space Marine sequel that brought some more polish to the first game's new ideas. And I'd really love it if more devs could follow in Insomniac's footsteps and allow themselves to just go crazy a bit.
    • Space Marines, Gears of War, Resistance... they are nothing - N-O-T-H-I-N-G- compared to Halo 3, Reach or Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition (november 2011). Not to mention about Halo 4, next year. Just my humble opinion :) suit up Spartans and brace for carnage!
      • I think you forgot to mention Halo 1, Halo 2, Marathon, Halo and Halo. Oh and don't forget Halo.

        • I think you forgot to mention Halo 1, Halo 2, Marathon, Halo and Halo. Oh and don't forget Halo.

          Nope, I did not. About Halo Wars too. And Halo book, Fall of Reach, Halo First Strike, Halo Contact Harvest, Halo Cole Protocol, Halo Ghost of Onyx, Halo Evolutions... there are sooooo many Halos.

      • I confess to having played - and completed the campaign of - every Halo game released and still not "getting" the series in the slightest. Low detail graphics, silly, imprecise weapons, bland level design and a few interesting plot ideas marred by dialogue so terminally stupid that it makes my ears bleed just listening to it (yes, even worse than Gears's). Oh, and a serious fixation with instant-death mechanics, which is seriously irritating in a game that has no quicksave and as as checkpoint-averse as mos

        • I've enjoyed the Halo games more than any other console shooter except Lost Planet. Keyboard and mouse forever! But on the console, for some reason I can be basically competent at Halo after only a few days of thrashing (not enough for multiplayer, but I have a dodgy WAN link anyway) whereas most other titles I just get massacred. I'm perfectly competitive on the PC, so there must be something different about Halo. I really enjoy the enemies, too. Maybe it's just because I played Marathon as a child and the

          • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

            The Wii's controls are pretty close to mouse controls, playing Golden Eye in multiplayer is like playing Modern Warfare 2 on the PC with a weapon balance that's more fun.

            • Even with motionplus the Wii jitters like a mad bastard. So even if I agreed with you (and I don't) it would be an inadequate input device for a first person shooter.

              Sorry, I never got into Goldeneye. I had already been playing good FPSes with real input devices for years.

              • "Even with motionplus the Wii jitters like a mad bastard. "

                Motion plus does nothing to the pointer. If you are getting Jitter you are probably in a room with too much light (sunlight's the worst) washing over the front of the Wiimote. The sensor bar is nothing but 2 lights the wiimote uses as fixed points to calculate where it is in relation to the screen, if there are too many lights near it (or a window), the wiimote can't properly distinguish where those points are an jitters.

                To test this Try playing

        • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

          When Halo 1 first came out, it was the first game that I had ever played that controlled like that (left stick look/turn, right stick move--and you could do both at the same time). Of course now just about every game does that. But I remember being blown away at the time by how natural it felt. I also was blown away by the open spaces. Having played so many hall-running shooters to that point, the wide expanses were pretty awesome.

          Of course, I'm sure that FPS enthusiasts can point out earlier console games

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        Bullshit. Halo is tired. Halo Reach was the one release that pissed everyone off as it's a 20 minute storyline game and the rest is just for online play.

        Black Ops kicks Halo's butt so hard that Master Chief is crying under his bunk wanting his mommy.

        • Bullshit. Halo is tired. Halo Reach was the one release that pissed everyone off as it's a 20 minute storyline game and the rest is just for online play.

          Black Ops kicks Halo's butt so hard that Master Chief is crying under his bunk wanting his mommy.

          well, apparently I am not everyone and I know few people who actually feel the same about Reach. Just great game. And black ops... well, it's just a game...

          • I agree. Halo Reach may have been a bit shorter than I would have liked and they overdid it on the hunter enemies a bit, but it was a great game and a great end to the series at that point.

            I have played through the entire campaign about six times now and looking forward to the anniversary release of the original Halo game.
      • >>Space Marines, Gears of War, Resistance... they are nothing - N-O-T-H-I-N-G- compared to Halo 3, Reach or Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary Edition (november 2011)

        Halo sucks compares with Gears of War. And by that I mean both entire series, which I've beaten. Except for the one that's not out yet... which kind of makes it obvious you're just fanboing.

        The plot is like the graphics, bland and muddy. There's a few moments of brilliance in each game, which is why I bother playing and beating them. But the

      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

        Really? I didn't enjoy Halo 3 at all with the two hits you can take before you have to hide and recharge your shields (i.e. downtime). Space Marine, on the other hand, is good fun. Especially in multiplayer with the way the assault space marines switch everything up (and that has to do with the specific jetpack implementation, jetpacks in Space Marine are FAST with their ground pound move but they don't allow hovering so they're a quick repositioning tool). There's also Hard Reset for the people who just wa

    • There's no cover button - indeed the game generally seems to regard cover as for wusses.

      A 40k Space Marine doesn't need to "take" cover; he's already wearing it.

      • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

        And that is the answer. the latest WH40K game utterly kicks the butt of the ENTIRE halo series and Gears series hard. Sorry, but when I can give up on the high tech partical weapon picking off enemies at a distance and then spend 20 minutes swinging an axe in the middle of a horde heading for me and end up painting everything on screen red.... that game wins, it UTTERLY wins.

  • "Sony to include Unreal Engine 3 in PS3 dev kits
    Published: July 21, 2005 11:01 AM PDT
    by Punch Jump Crew"
    http://news.punchjump.com/article.php?id=1118 [punchjump.com]

    Epic demonstrates Playstation 3 power (video)
    Published: May 16, 2005 8:02 PM PDT
    by Punch Jump Crew
    http://news.punchjump.com/article.php?id=803 [punchjump.com]

    This is what should have been Gears of Wars for Playstation 3.

    Unfortunately, Microsoft took over the role as the publisher, and one doesn't have to be too surprised that the PS3 was no longer pursued.

    Those 2005 images fro

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) *

      Unfortunately, Microsoft took over the role as the publisher, and one doesn't have to be too surprised that the PS3 was no longer pursued.

      I've got a newsflash for you, Sony does the exact same thing with the development studios they own. You see Killzone or Resistance on the 360?

  • by chill ( 34294 ) on Wednesday September 21, 2011 @07:36AM (#37466154) Journal

    Interestingly enough, when I pointed out to my son that Gears 3 was out his comment was "I really can't get into a game where all the characters look like they munch steroids for breakfast, lunch and dinner."

    IMHO, part of a good game experience is immersing yourself in the fantasy and identifying with the characters. If the characters are too far removed, it makes it harder.

    • Hmm. I don't buy it. I never had much in common with an overweight plumber in red overalls, but I had fun with the game. I've played as a monkey, a tentacle, a werewolf/dragon/bear, numerous aliens, whatever pacman is supposed to be, and a square. I've played as an "@" for longer than I care to recall, and I have felt terror when that "@" was threatened. I've played as Michael Jackson for crying out loud.

      The easiest characters to identify with are probably those in the GTA series, and that's not my cu
    • I found the game incredibly immersive because you can relate to the humanity of the characters and their struggles. Quite frankly, the game deserves its "M for Mature" rating not because of the violence, but because kids simply won't appreciate the mature themes throughout the game. Your son's comments indicate as much.

    • IMHO, part of a good game experience is immersing yourself in the fantasy and identifying with the characters.

      Other than Cole, who is a former pro athlete, the other characters are so encased in body armor I don't think we even know what they look like underneath. And, wow, professional soldiers in some army of the future are buffed out. What an unrealistic idea!

      Never got the whole identify with the character thing. I'm a boring person. I want to play a character totally unlike me. I'll often build female c

      • by KDR_11k ( 778916 )

        You can see their body shapes pretty clearly in Gears 3, they're pretty much just wearing vests. Their arms are exposed and inhumanly thick.

        • Yeah saw that today. OK, so they're super future soldiers. Not sure why that's a problem. This is another world and we don;t know how far in the future this is. Maybe Sera has higher gravity.

      • by trdrstv ( 986999 )
        " I'll often build female characters if it's an option, or other species, like the Kajiit, Argonians and Orcs in the Elder Scrolls series. " Personally for Every 3rd person game where I build a character (Including elderscrolls since I play most of it in 3rd person) I prefer to have a female avatar, because given the choice I'd rather be staring at a chick the whole time than a dude. The only exception is Rock Band, my voice coming out of a woman is just weird, but for the rest of it yeah... I'd rather spe
    • Well that's what it takes when you have to administer steroids orally. Why do you think injection is the method of choice?

      At any rate, steroids are both overrated and their negative effects are overblown. Used in moderation, they can be part of a solid training program, but they're not going to miraculously transform anyone into Mr. Universe. Neither will moderate usage give you bitch tits or "roid rage," (the existence of which is largely anecdotal to begin with).

      When potentially beneficial drugs like s

    • GoW 3 does have the best character acting and development of any game on the market. I mean, when Dom's wife died in GoW 2 to the emotional scene with Cole in the beginning of GoW 3 at the supermarket. I'd like to see call of duty or halo do that. And that doesn't even take into account the action and suspense the game add during combat. All around these games are some of the decade (Behind Fallout 3 and Half-Life 2, of course). A definite must buy.
  • I like the Gears series, but still can't get over the fact that they don't wear helmets?!?! (yes I know real life special forces don't wear them so they can hear better). One bullet to the head and they should be finished.

    • You don't realize that's artistic license so you can see the character's faces?

      Mass Effect 2 had a bunch of special armors, and people complained that they couldn't turn off the helmets and see their character, especially during cut scenes where suddenly you were Boba Fett all the time.

  • I think I'll stick to TF2, the game that's STILL barrels of fun four years later, and never, EVER gets old.

    Ya'll console people don't know what you're missing. :)

    • True to that TF2 is amazing for never being a standalone multiplayer shooter, on the contrary, GoW 3 makes TF2 look like Dora Saves the Magic Mermaid.
  • Since I don't have the time (or the extra money) to try every new game that comes out, I've tried to use reviews to give me an indication. Let me explain: 1. Games that get good professional reviews are usually the large-budget "blockbusters" that often disappoint the actual gamers. When I see a game with high professional reviews, but low user reviews, I tend to steer clear. 2. Games that get terrible professional reviews but good user reviews, tend to be the "hidden gems"... hidden because for some reas

You're using a keyboard! How quaint!