The year is 2012: I'm 17 years old, sitting in my dark bedroom drinking Mountain Dew: Code Red and playing my newly-acquired Xbox 360. As I sat there playing [Gears of War](movie:671276), my jaw dropped seven stories, for I was in shock at how well-produced this game was. Everything, from the storyline, the characters, enemies, weapons, and overall experience was enthralling.
The plot is pretty simple: Life on the fictional world of Sera is pretty hellish. An underground race of monsters known by the humans as the Locust horde emerged on Emergence Day (or E-Day, by the humans) and decimated millions of humans, bringing them to the brink of near extinction. Those that survived E-Day joined the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) and fought against the masses of monsters. Fifteen years later after E-Day, the COG is conscripting from the dregs of humans consisting of the sick and imprisoned. That being said, such an example of a prisoner would be Marcus Fenix, a former decorated war hero with a promising military career who made a rash mistake to disobey orders and rescue his pops. He is rescued by Dominic Santiago, a childhood friend and fellow brother-in-arms, and upon rejoining the COG army, a Player 1-and-2 friendship was born.
Back to the matter at hand, Marcus and Dom traverse the ruins of Jacinto, the HUB of humanity's remnants. Along the way, they meet a colorful cast, such as the optimistic, former athlete-superstar and adrenaline-junkie Pvt. Augustus "Cole Train" Cole and the pessimistic, wise-ass tech-wizard Cpl. Damon Baird. With the latter pair of aforementioned characters folded into Delta Squad, the four bros embark on a quest to defeat the Locust once and for all.
Plot synopsis aside, the game did an excellent job of capturing not only the sepulchral, nightmarish, post-apocalyptic atmosphere the game tried to display, but as well as the enemies inhabiting such grisly world. The Locust embody the ideal of what a monster inside the closet or under the bed would look like, on multiple fronts. But by far, the only Locust monster to bring me to the point of peeing myself with fear would be the main antagonist and final boss, General RAAM. As the leader of the Locust army that successfully wiped out a grand portion of humanity, you'll need more than just your wits and raw firepower to put this 9-foot behemoth six feet under. I mean, really, if you saw this ugly face, you'd probably have reason to sleep with a fully-loaded Lancer under your pillow.
All joking aside, the satisfaction one gets from completing this game on whatever difficulty one has set never ceases to amaze. For those who just enjoy the story, Casual mode is up your Kryll-infested alley. If you're looking for a great gameplay experience, crank it up a notch and play it on Hardcore mode, and you might as well crack a six-pack of choice, put on some Motorhead, and call it a night. If you've got nothing to lose, and you wanna put yourself to the test, then play it on Insane mode, and you're looking at the road to O.G. status right there.
Moving along, I find it imperative to discuss the controls and weapons within the game. As a third-person shooter game, the controls are very squad-based and heavily reliant on what Marcus Fenix would say be the Golden Rule of the Gears:
"Take Cover, or Die."
That being said, if you don't believe me, just watch the following clip in the link below for further proof.
You'll be emptying a lot of ammo from simply blindfiring most of the game, but it shows how even in future games that can make the difference between a killstreak and a Game Over screen. The weapons span a wide arsenal of assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles, and shotguns to be used. By far, the only top 5 weapons in Gears Of War are best characterized by everyone's favorite wise-ass Gear, Damon Baird.
It's also important to discuss the multiplayer experience in this game. Since its' release in 2006, this was one of the few Xbox games to come from the ranks of highly-esteemed, O.G. multiplayer games such as Halo, Far Cry and Doom. That being said, you had the luxury of choosing from various modes such as Capture the Flag and Team Deathmatch, just to name a few. At the very least, you had the sure-fire pleasure of ensuring that your enemy, be it COG or Locust, is met with a well-placed curb stomp to champion the game.
Well, that pretty much sums up my two-cents on the first Gears Of War game. All I can say is, if you're looking for a solid O.G. Xbox 360 game, then look no further. This is the kind of game you'd plunk down a good $20 bucks on, call up a few friends, order some Papa John's (yum!) and call it a Friday or Saturday night well spent!
Johnny's Game Rating Scale: 0-2.5 = What the hell?
2.6-5.0 = Not bad, but I've seen better!
5.1-7.5 = It's not horrible, but it's close to awesome!
7.6-10.0 = This baby is a gem worth collecting!
Final Grade: 9.4
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