Due to the fact that I’m quite the pauper at the moment I now rent my games from Boomerang. Because of this I played Gears 3 on casual, which quite likely removed much of the excitement and substance from the experience. I still enjoyed the game, but it’s likely because of playing it in co-op as I found the actual single player underwhelming.
It felt a little dull compared to those that preceded it. Not in terms of action, but structure. It felt like a long string of fetch quests rather than missions built around an exciting story. I’m not going to spoil any of it for those who haven’t played but I just wanted more from the chapters and it felt quite dull by the end. Having said that, the actual set pieces were great fun and the larger scale fights still enthralled me.
The story was wrapped up nicely although it was never really the plot or writing that brought me to Gears, to be honest. Personally the main narrative that I enjoy in Gears in the story of Dom, which I thought was handled brilliantly. As an aside to the story, I thought the cast had evolved very well from Gears 2, though the voice acting hit a low with this iteration.
There are some great additions too, things that really elevate the game. A particular favourite being able to swap weapons with AI and human teammates and despite not using it a lot, being able to mark up enemies on screen for your co-op partner is brilliant.
Away from the story, Horde is better than ever with the ability to set up bases and fortify it by earning cash from kills. It was this mode alone that made me GNNNNNGH as I popped the game in the post this afternoon. I would really have loved to spend more time with this mode as, for me; this is where the legs of the game are (because I have no interest in competitive multiplayer).
Beast mode is also quite lot of fun… at first. I found myself bored by the thought of playing it again. The idea of controlling Locust and their ilk was great and the mode works out very well but is limited. Once you’ve played as all of the Locust, ramped up the difficulty and tried more than a few maps, what else is there? I think if DLC bulked this up in the future I would be perfectly happy to pick the game up cheap and explore this again, along with more time into Horde.
Overall I thought it was a great experience and I’m sure if I played the competitive multiplayer I would love it and rate the game even more. As a single player who occasionally jumps into co-op it didn’t seem to offer me enough… yet. There is no doubt that I’ll grab it once it drops in price and finish the game on insane (did so with the first and got halfway on the second) and play more Horde.