Gears Of War was the first release in the huge series. Developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios to the Xbox 360 in November 2006 and PC in November 2007. It found a release on Xbox One in August 2015.
On the land of Sera, the humans wage a war against the terrible subterranean species known as Locusts. It’s been 14 years since they appeared, and the war is still in full tilt. Marcus Fenix is in prison, but soon finds himself being busted out by his old friend, Dominic Santiago. The storyline of the game is all very basic, but it helped set up the universe that is home to a huge amount of lore nowadays.
The squad that Fenix finds himself part of, Delta Squad, has one mission and one mission only. To take a sonic resonator underground, and use it to help map out all of the tunnels that the Locusts have, so that the COG Army can deploy the lightmass bombs and wipe out the opposition! The one thing I hated about this whole story set up the very first time I played it, and that I still hate, is that it never tells you what actually happens to Marcus. We know he was in the Pendulum Wars, and part of a battle in Aspho Fields, then gets put in prison, but it never tells you why. So this time I decided to look it up. Turns out it gets put into a book for lore.
You see the big bad General Raam a couple times throughout the game, but you also never truly get the reasons as to why he’s a bad guy. It feels like Marcus and Raam have some back story, but you never truly know. So when the big battle comes at the end of the game, it never feels fantastic to take out the big bad, as there was no motivation other than “he’s big and mean!”. I felt like they could’ve put a bit more back story into it all.
The gameplay was revolutionary for third person cover based shooters. The game is completely linear and when you come up against locusts, you usually have to hide behind cover and wait for your chance to shoot at them. The cool thing the game actually does, is that when enemies spawn, they crawl out of holes in the ground. You can either kill enemies until the hole closes up, or you can throw a grenade in it to stop the spawning of enemies early! This was the very first time I’ve actually played this game solo, as I’m used to playing co-op, and I can say that it did not age well. Most of the time in battle, I was left to defeat all the enemies myself, as my AI teammates either just stood behind one piece of cover, or died. A whole lot. It made it even worse at the points in the game where it made me split up for my partner, by making me go down a path I chose, and the AI went down the other.
When you die in coop, you get a bleed out timer. If your partner gets you up, you can keep on going. In single player, you don’t get a bleed out timer. You’re just immediately dead. This made for a lot of anger in a few sections. Or when I needed a big enemy to break through doors, and the AI partner would just die over and over because they’re standing still, was another point of anger. There are only a handful of weapons in the game, so unfortunately I would only stick with two. The lancer assault rifle, that had a chainsaw on it for cutting enemies in half, and the longshot rifle, which was a sniper. This carried me through the game, as I was covered for every situation with this setup. It was really annoying though when I could see a piece of the enemy sticking up over a wall while they’re in cover and yet my bullets still wouldn’t actually hit them.
The game did look absolutely beautiful with the ultimate edition. The cutscenes looked like they were upscaled and the character models looked completely redone. If you were to ever play the first Gears Of War, the ultimate edition is definitely the way to go!
- Great Start To A Huge Universe
- Looks Beautiful
- Fun Gameplay
- Marcus’ Backstory Isn’t Explained
- The AI Companions Are Terrible
- Not Much Weapon Variety
Even though I’ve played this game a bunch of times, I still had a ball. Sure playing it solo was a much different experience than I’m used to, I still made it through. I highly recommend this game for anyone who wants a fun time with a friend, especially if you want to turn your mind off for a fun and linear shooter!
Game & Developer Information
Images – https://www.igdb.com/