Gears Of War

Oh dear! This game stands in start contrast to the last. Hidden And Dangerous was (or at least looked) a really good game that was very badly executed. Gears is the exact opposite, a really bad game design executed to the highest standards. I mean I seriously can’t fault the quality of the workmanship here. I just wish the developers spent all that labour time on something with a bit more depth.

Unfortunately what we have here is a game where you walk away feeling like you’ve played yet another generic first person shooter aimed a very certain audience. And if you are that 12 year old boy who likes the testosterone leaden design ques then you probably come away happy. For everyone else it’s probably not what you’re after when you think of playing a third person cover shooter.

The moment to moment gameplay is just far too simplified and bland. Run, hide, shoot, run, hide, shoot. There’s nothing about the enemies or the locations that break up the pace or offer any meaning variety in experience. It’s really just a fairly generic run’n’gun that isn’t a million miles away from Metal Slug or Virtual Cop. And that would be all fine and dandy if the art direction and story pulled what little is on offer together.

The location design is stunning. The world you are running through, while littered with cover locations that would feel at home in an Operation Wold remake, feels like a decaying old world empire that you can almost feel at home in. This is then overlaid with a character design and dialog that is cringeworthy. It’s all overly macho and the product of steroid abuse. These square jawed meat head Schwarzenegger types descend far to quickly into parody for a game that feels like it wants to be serious.

And it’s this unfortunate combination of stagnant gameplay mechanics with locker room jock characters that just kill all the developers hard work stone dead.

2/5

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