Sunday, August 28, 2022

Gears of War (PC) Review

I finished this game on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 10:09:00 PM. This review was first published on GameSpot on June 27, 2009.

Gears of War is a 3rd person shooter developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios. It was first released as an Xbox 360 exclusive, and it went on to become one of the most successful games for the console. It was later released for the PC with some added content and better visuals to support the high end graphics cards.

You play as Marcus Fenix, a former COG soldier who was imprisoned for abandoning his post, and reinstated into command and asked to join the Coalition to fight Locust. The game is quite different from most 3rd person shooters in that, it relies heavily on cover mechanics. You take cover behind various objects during firefights, and stand up to shoot and duck back out of sight.

Even in the casual setting, there is some frustration to be had. Difficulty climbs quite steeply in these sections; I felt there should have been at least one checkpoint during these parts, instead there were none.

The sound track is good, but it could have used more variations. Every time there an action sequence, the same music kicks in throughout the game. Granted that the game itself is not very long, yet, listening to the same tune over and over again tends to get monotonous, and however good it might be. The effects are top notch, weapons pack a punch, especially the top gun and the six-shooter.

Weapons are fun to use. I especially loved the torque bow it reminded me of Rambo. In fact, the whole game feels like a big Hollywood movie. It's very slick and fast paced. The melee combat has some great moments. The chainsaw to the machinegun was a great idea; when you get a chainsaw kill on an enemy, the game takes over and it shows you slicing an enemy into half. As cool as this might be, it could have been implemented better, because sometimes it doesn't work like it should.

The best in the game for me are the visuals. Gears of War uses Unreal 3 engine, and it looks fantastic. I played the game in DirectX 10 mode at 1920x1200 with all settings on maximum on my EVGA GeForce 260GTX, and it looked out of this world. There is something about the art and environment though, while they are beautiful and unique, most of the game the environment is various shades of dirt. This can seem monotonous after a while. This could have used some lush green jungles as seen in Crysis. It would have looked beautiful in Unreal 3 engine.

Technically speaking, there is a nasty savegame bug that causes the savegames to disappear after exit. This happened a few times even after patching it. If you are playing offline, there is a fix, and also a way to backup the save games.

Over all it's a fantastic experience. Gears of War is an excellent port. It has all the qualities of a good port should have and some bad ones too. Controls are very well optimized for the PC. I have no hesitation in recommending this game.

+ Graphics
+ Sound effects
+ Level design
+ Fast paced game play
+ Cover system
+ Weapons, especially torque bow

- Savegame bug
- Repetitive soundtrack
- Uneven checkpoints on two occasions

Verdict - Must play

No comments:

Post a Comment

Had to include word verification to prevent spam.