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Modern Bromance

Gears-of-War-3-Box-Art-280x356It's been five years since the first Gears of War was released on the original Xbox. The war between the humans and the locusts on the Earth-like planet Sera have been waging for years. Humans found Sera's energy resources were insufficient but discovered a new energy source deep underground, Liquid Imulsion. With that discovery came the emergence of the subterranean race called the Locusts, who are hell bent on exterminating the human race. Now, the trilogy finally comes to its epic conclusion in this exclusive for Xbox 360.

At the end of the last game, Marcus Fenix and his team sunk the last remaining major human city, Jacinto, deep underground to prevent the spread of the Locusts, and the more dangerously mutated Lambent Locusts. Now, the game focuses on fighting the ever-growing scourge of the more dangerous lambent breed. Plus, a new revelation comes when a message from Marcus' father arrives, thought to be long dead. No doubt, there's enough material here to fuel ten Jerry Bruckheimer movies.

The Gears of War series is one of the first major shooters to popularize the cover system. Through three games, gameplay stayed fairly consistent, but was refined with each sequel. To those series virgins, it's a fairly linear third-person shooter where you need to utilize cover to survive. On harder difficulty settings, strategies like flanking your enemy become vital to success. Gears of War 3 has definitely learned from past mistakes and controls the tightest of all the games. You feel less like a lumbering tank helplessly hitting walls. Moving the character around felt a lot more solid and the aim was more accurate. There's something viscerally satisfying about moving fluidly from cover to cover, then hopping over a low wall to kick a Locust in the face.

Story has never been a strong point of the games, but who really remembers action games for their award-winning story? Action blockbusters are about big explosions, big guns, and seriously unnaturally big muscles. That being said, I surprisingly got attached to the characters. And there was even one poignant moment that brought a tear to my eye. I never cared for the huge political back story regarding the human governments on Sera, but the main characters and their personalities definitely shined. I did like the social commentary on humanity using up Sera's resources and profiting off a dangerous, new energy source. Humans are greedy, who knew?

My favourite feature in the Gears of War is the ability to play through the entire game with a buddy. I'm a huge fan of co-op games and in this game, it definitely didn't disappoint. A friend and I actually finished the entire series on co-op and it's what everyone should do. You can go online and massacre Locusts with up to four players. Multiplayer at its finest.

Graphics-wise, the game is eye-poppingly beautiful and again in this department, is the best out of the three. Textures looked sharp, and animations were smooth. I was happy to see more colour since the series has been known for a drab gray palette. There were moments where I actually stopped and enjoyed the mountainous scenery and was impressed at the distance shown. Plus in HD, it makes the Locusts look ugly... real ugly and that much more rewarding to launch a grenade at.

Gears of War 3 is the pinnacle of the series. The controls, the graphics, gameplay, sound design and epic music all work together to deliver one amazing conclusion. If you were hoping for a grand finale to the trilogy, then this certainly doesn't disappoint. There are hugely impressive blockbuster movie moments that make you say, "Fuck yeah!" With that, I warn you: the game might make you speak like a douche. You can't help it, but don't worry, you will enjoy the game. One more thing, play it with a friend. As I always say, life's more fun when you play with friends.

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