If this was a list of the most influential games of this generation, the original Gears of War could very well take the #1 spot. It’s take on the third person shooter and cover mechanics became the blueprint for third person action games. However, despite enjoying it enough to beat the campaign 3 separate times (including on insane difficulty), I felt like that game was rough around the edges. Some of the action outside of its core mechanics felt sloppy, the last boss encounter wasn’t fun or satisfying and its dumb story felt tacked solely as a means of justifying the gameplay scenarios rather than being integrated at a root level.
Gears of War 3 cleans up all of the mistakes of its predecessors to finally reach the franchise’s full potential.
Choosing a game of the year is never easy. Each year, we’re blessed with tons of great games, and to choose just one above the rest is very tough. Case in point: I copped out last year and picked two games as my “games of the year” for different reasons, but never definitively picked one over the other. I’m sure that the process for selecting a game of the year can be even harder for major gaming publications, who have to weight out multiple opinions before coming to a ‘definitive’ conclusion.
Having played many of this year’s biggest releases, I did a lot of soul-searching in order to choose a game I feel is worth of the game of the year distinction. When it was all said and done, I came to a conclusion. Was it Batman: Arkham City? Uncharted 3? Portal 2? Could it be another big release I haven’t listed here? Or maybe I went completely out of left field with my choice?
Without further ado, In Third Person’s 2011 game of the year is…
Do you remember the Gears of War Mad World commercial? Up until that point, the game had been presented as a ‘dudebro’ shooter with all of the emphasis on its revolutionary cover mechanics and stop-and-pop shooting. Then the Mad World commercial hit television and it presented the game as something more emotionally charged. Unfortunately, it was all for the sake of advertising, as none of that Mad World feeling ended up making it into the game. Gears of War 2 sort of tried to capture that, but those few attempts came off as unintentionally funny.
While Marcus and company weave through bombastic firefights and kill all varieties of alien lifeforms in Gears of War 3, it actually manages to capture that Mad World feeling in a number of spots. In one particular case, it literally captures it, but that’s going way into spoiler-territory. Let’s back up and talk about this new, improved and somewhat more emotional Gears of War 3.
If you’ve been holding your a breath for my Gears of War 3 review, you can exhale. No, this isn’t it and no, I’m not close to having one ready. Though my progress through the game was stilted by my practice for T12: Toronto Fighting Game Championships, I’ve now got some time to make progress.
It’s time for Gears of War to finish the fight with the third installment of the series, which hits store shelves today. Will you be running out to stores this week to show those Locusts whose boss?