STAFF REVIEW of Gears of War 3: Brothers to the End (Xbox 360)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011.
by Brent Roberts

Gears of War 3: Brothers to the End Box art WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO yeah motherf***ers, the train is back and it's on like Donkey Kong! Grab your pair and hold on tight 'cuz baby this train is bringin the official review of Gears of War 3 straight from XboxAddict to your front door! You think that those pieces of $hit Locust were done, well so did we until these ugly @$$ Lambent creatures decided they wanted a piece of the train! You know what I think? F**k that $hit! It's time that we put the final nail in this b!tch and send her @$$ packing! You got a pair? Then grab your gun b!tches and let?s go hunting!

Gears of War 3 from Epic games is the final story of Marcus Fenix and his fellow COG team. The humans have been decimated and mankind is now riding a knife's edge, teetering between victory and extinction, and it's up to you to ensure that humanity sees the light of day and prevent the total annihilation of every last man, woman and child on Sera. Gears of War 3 will start you off like a rocket, launching you right into the action, and it never lets off the gas. Your only hope for survival is to shoot everything until it dies then hang on for dear life as the story screams you through it in one amazing moment after another. A journey that started years ago is finally coming to an end and what a ride you're about to have.

The Gears of War series has set benchmarks for its gameplay and thankfully Epic games has decided to take everything that it's community has been asking for and inject it with tons of steroids, smack it in the face, stomp on its toes, and then unleashed it to the world. A new innovation that will change the way battles and wars are won is found in the new cover system for Gears of War 3. Before in Gears of War we were limited to just blind firing or peeking around corners or over obstacles to hit enemies, but not anymore though. Now when you are in a standoff with an opponent on the other side of cover, you now can leap over the obstacle which causes your character to do a sliding melee move which knocks your opponent back, stuns them, and opens them up for a close range lobotomy. No longer are you safe under cover for now your cover can gain you a tremendous advantage in combat. The same active reload system that we all know and love remains and now every weapon gains additional bonuses by executing a perfect active reload which range from faster fire, more powerful rounds, increased range, and more.

To say Gears of War 3 is beautiful is a gross understatement and one that should immediately get you sent to the eye doctor for an exam. Epic really took their time and used it wisely in this field as every aspect of this game is done to perfection. The level layout, attention to the smallest detail, and even the total environment completely immerses you in the world of Sera and does a wonderful job portraying the last dying prayers of mankind. Pausing for a few moments to take in your surroundings can be some of the most satisfying moments you have in the game and your eyes won't believe the quality that this latest and greatest Unreal Engine 3 provides. Every turn brings your eyes another visual orgasm and every moment shows why Gears of War 3 is one of the best looking games we have ever played.

While the visuals are breathtaking and every moment is optically stunning, they would be for nothing if it wasn't for the sounds of Gears of War 3. Deep ominous cellos make for surreal and uncertain moments while fast paced drums, trumpets and more help raise your heart level while facing the Lambent in epic storyline instances. In the opening level you find yourself on a ship that is being overrun by the Lambent, and while that is going on the music is pumping fast and furiously and you have the sounds of the commander shouting over the intercom trying to direct you to where you need to go to provide assistance and to eliminate the Lambent threat. All of this drives and pushes you farther and faster as you scour every inch trying to save everyone on board, and just when you think everything is finally under control, then the music bursts through, something big happens and all hell breaks loose, get ready to hear what is coming next.

While the single player story delivers one of the best experiences we have ever played on the 360 console, the core of Gears of War 3 is its multiplayer. The multiplayer of Gears of War 3 is everything we have come to love from the series and it adds a wealth of improvements and innovations that exemplify the high quality of gameplay that will leave you playing for days, weeks and months at a time. For starters your loadouts now are what you want them to be. Instead of locking into a loadout and being forced to switch out weapons from dead enemies, now you can switch after each death to ensure that you have the weapon you want, when you want it. The levels that you get to enjoy in multiplayer vary from the beautiful, to the industrial, to the downright nasty and offer a variety of avenues to explore, fight, and gut the opponents that stand in your way of victory. One of the greatest innovations in Gears of War 3's multiplayer is the introduction of credits and new game types named Beast and Horde 2.0.

In the multiplayer gametype Beast you take on the role of the Locust as you try to eliminate as many human opponents as possible and in doing so earning medals, ranking up your character and even earning credits. What do we mean by ranking up your Locust character? Well the short and sweet of it is that the Locust is divided up into tiers of characters and all range in various malicious forms. First tier starts you off as a wild ticker, but if you do well as a wild ticker you can become upgrade to a regular ticker, then wretch, savage drone, then finally for tier one, a massive butcher. Don?t fret though because there are more tiers that offer more destruction and more gut ripping power to tear into the humans. Second tier consists of enemies such as a Kantus, Bloodmount, and Mauler. Third tier is comprised of a Giant Serapede, Savage Corpser, Savage Grenadier, and the infamous Boomer. Fourth and final tier of Locust include such enemies as a Berserker, Armored Kantus, and the mighty Savage Boomer. Get ready to tear limb from limb in an effort to put an end to the human resistance once and for all and in the process earn tokens, medals, and even credits.

One of the other iconic multiplayer modes makes a triumphant return in Gears of War 3 and that is Horde 2.0. To say you're getting paid while knee deep in the sh!thole would be a really accurate description as now fortifications become your best friends (aside from your teammates of course). Throughout Horde 2.0 you will get options to upgrade various defenses such as decoy dummies, laser grid tripwires, turrets, and more. How do you upgrade these defensive saviors you ask? Why kill everything you see and earn credits of course. As you progress you will earn credits which will enhance various fortifications that will allow you a brief glimmer of hope before the all-important "Boss round" where death is an almost certainty. Credits though can be used for more than just upgrading and fortifying your position, they can also be used to buy your way back into the game if you should happen to meet your maker at the underside of your opponents boot. Should you feel generous, you also have the ability to give your teammates credits as well thus helping the team as a whole and showing everyone that you're not a stingy motherf***er.

Weapons are essential to determine whether or not your @$$ meets angels in the clouds or victory amongst the dead in Gears of War 3's multiplayer, and this time we come loaded to the teeth with classic weapons and some new ones as well. For starters our classic lancer returns along with our favorite gnasher and pistol, however, now we have new weapon choices such as a retro lancer where instead of a chainsaw, you sport a dirty and vicious bayonette blade that is perfect for taking the heads off and impaling your nearest foe. Also included in these new weapons is a lovely and deadly sawed off shotgun which should really be called the paste maker because any opponent you hit with it will become just that, a bloody smear and a memory. One of our new favorite map based weapons has to be the "Oneshot". Its name says it all, just line up your cross hairs on your opponent, pull the trigger, and watch as you vaporize them in a violent and explosive death. Oneshot, one kill, no exceptions.

Hands down Gears of War 3 is going to bring you not only one of the best stories you ever went through, but one of the best and most addictive multiplayer experiences ever to hit consoles. If you haven't played Gears of War 1 or 2, then do yourself a favor and play through them first because to jump right into Gears of War 3 first is robbing you of one of the greatest gaming journeys you will ever have. From the amazing story, beautiful graphics and sound, to the innovative new multiplayer, Gears of War 3 has not only set the bar, but turned it sideways and shoved it right up the competition's @$$.

Overall: 9.4 / 10
Gameplay: 9.0 / 10
Visuals: 9.8 / 10
Sound: 9.5 / 10


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