Ok, so I have brought a couple of games recently, Gears Of War 3, Formula 1 2011, and CSI: Hard Evidence.
Lets start with Gears 3. I remember reading in a magazine that the chances of Epic (the game developers) messing this game up were slim to none. Spot on, about 3 years to develop this, plenty of time to decide where they want to go with the story, which is important to me, but not to much to other gamers. Remember that originally with Gears Of War 1, Epic were taking a big risk, as all game developers take with all triple aaa titles. There is no guarantee that the game will sell well. Therefore in my eyes the story has to be...
a) intriguing, the game has to stand out, especially in the shooter genre, with is fairly saturated with some rather decent titles. with the three big franchises of Halo, Cod, Battlefield, already being established with some great sale figures out there. granted CoD and Battlefield were at this time big sellers on the Personal Computer market, and still are to this day. Halo was huge on the original Xbox console, with Halo two racking up loads and loads of money for Bungie and Microsoft. Gears of War originally felt a little like Halo, in its format of human against a species of which are different and trying to kill the humans.
Another Unique Selling Point was the use of the cover throughout the game, and Cliff Bleszinski really emphasises this point a lot, placing a small speech about it in the first page of the instruction manual. What this system actually achieved, i think, was a (well it wasn't really brand new) but the use of the local enviroment in a battlefield as cover felt brand new to me. The cover system here felt smoother, and well developed, not a lot of games have adopted a good cover system over the 5 years since this release, but it did introduce a new element to online multiplayer, with lots of guys who like to stay in the same spot, looking for that perfect spot with good cover. Before Gears of War, I probably would of gone straight into the battlefield and probably of gotten my arse kicked. To be fair, I still do, if I dont play smart.
In fact since this game was released, i have seen cover based systems pop up all over the place, and infact games like battlefield have developed graphic engines where you can destroy cover.
b) the story has to be important, as originally, that is one of the selling points on the back of the games casing. Firstly it would have to be a story that appeals to the audience you are gunning for (i think that was bad for a pun but whatever) otherwise they wont buy it. I mean if Epic had made a game almost essentially the same as halo, not a lot of people would of brought this game, as they would essentially stick with halo and not make the mistake of wasting £45 on another game essentially the same.
The story was quite similar to halo with some themes like the survival of the human race, (mass effect series, halo, gears of war, among other game series all encompass this theme of fighting for the future of the human race as a main theme. But there was a significant story to it, that felt different enough that it helped in my own opinion.
But the main unqiue selling point of this game was the chainsaw with a gun attached in the lancer assault rifle, not only does it look the dogs bollocks, but it was one of the most reliable guns in any gaming series. good firing rate, great accuracy, good damage, the trifecta of what makes a good gun.
I essentailly think you need to have this game. It is one of the better games of all time. To be honest, this series would have to be to hit the $1 Billion in game sales.
As a rating, it gets a full 10 out of 10. Superb.
Other Gaming Tidbits.
Playing Gears of War 3 online with a couple of friends in the actual multiplayer, not co-operative campaign. playing on a map called Mercy, in team deathmatch. (read first to twenty kills win) and so me and my mate Hirad85, held down one of the two major points on the map. One is the elevated platform with heavy weapons, But it is open, to flanking, and fire from all over the map. The opposition had not only won the first round, but had this location on lockdown, and the other three teammates were being destroyed. Me and Hirad had the church locked down, with me covering both entrances to the church. Hirad taking control of the Boomshot (grenade launcher).
So a round down, (with two rounds equalling a victory) and with three teammates being destroyed, and our respawns depleting fast. 3 minutes left to hole out. or 7 kills to take the victory.
Two people come in, one boomshot, and shotgun shell later and both are eliminated, leaving every player remaining in the game, just one life remaining each. and the only advantage we have is the boomshot, of which we have one shot left for, before it respawns just two more shots. The other team have every other weapon on the map available, including smoke grenades, and killer grenades, and two entrances leaving a flanking maneuver or even a flushing out maneuver as me and Hirad discussed.
One more moron (and i use that term loosely as he came in on his own) comes and goes without too much fuss. I go to cover the Left Hand entrance. Hirad moves up on the right hand entrance and opens fire taking out number 4. taking us from a 2 on 1 handicapped match, to a straight up fist fight, up close and personal on this game means there is every chance of getting a one shot kill.
We see the other team starting to disjoint, and seperate ever so slightly, Hirad (after recollecting his boomshot ammunition) fires and with about 1:15 left in the game, takes out a third man leaving two left. (I was covering and providing intelligence to my team mate. The other teams star performer, is we think/thought collecting ammunition, as his sole remaining team mate comes in and is dispatched with our final boomshot. 45 seconds and counting.
We both leave the safety of the church to take the fight to and hopefully at the time end this fight. we head towards the platform but our opponent is not there. we spot him with about 8 seconds ago, and open fire downing him with two seconds to go, and my only kill of the round, :) comes about a quarter of a second from time, winning the round, and to just take it to a deciding round. We win that next round 20-3. needing just two kills to win, they essentially lost the match 27-3.
This is exactly what a good game does, whether playing with friends, or against your enemies, the pace at which my heart was beating throughout that 5 minute stretch in round 2 was unbelivable, and the satisifaction of the result, was fantastic.
This is just one small mode of the entire multiplayer of Gears 3. the pace may have felt quicker throughout the majority of the gameplay. which is one major worry i had for this game, is that the multiplayer would lose the tactial battles, which gears of war 2 fantastically created, in one such mode guardian, you could essentially create a mini fortress to protect a leader, the pace of modes like this was much slower and had a tactial element to it, do you rush the leader, knowing there will defintely be a grenade or two tagged, resulting in a lot of pain for you, but at least will create an opportunity for your teammates to attack. Do you sit back, and protect your leader, adding extra firepower to the defensive fortifications your leader may have already set up. or you sit in the middle of the map and stop opposing forces from getting close to your leader, remembering that they could respawn nearer to your leader than where you killed them.
Another big game release came up last friday, Fifa 12, i havent quite picked that game up yet, intend to, although next week on the 14th, Forza Motorsport 4 comes out, which one do i go for?? hmmm, not to mention 11 days later Battlefield 3 comes out, whats a gamer to do???
Regards to all my readers, keep gaming and producing moments like the one stated above, email me or contact me at twitter, i have had to completely change my email and twitter accounts as my email was compromised and that leaves me unable to check emails, resend password details, etcetc.
Keep Gaming, MasonCooper42