The cover system and active reload shine brightest in terms of gameplay. The ability to shoot blindly from cover while not running the risk of being shot was an added bonus that was well utilised on higher difficulties. The chainsaw on the lancer, although visually pleasing to see in action, cannot be utilised as much on higher difficulties because of the unreliable hit/cut detection. On numerous occasions, I successfully ran up to an enemy, pressed and held B, watched my character rev his chainsaw right next to the enemy and nothing happened. Instead, I got a shotgun to the face. It must also be stated that I played the game on Xbox Series X for the purposes of this Retro Review. In my opinion, there was a clear bias towards gameplay over story and characters in this game and it’s apparent. Marcus Fenix is a one-note grunt as he seems incapable of expressing any emotion besides being angry or slight annoyance throughout the game, while Dom is Marcus if he was of South American descent. Cole is your generic loud-mouthed black guy and Baird is a generic blonde, blue-eyed, sarcastic engineer. The entire team starts and ends the campaign the same people they came in as.
By today’s standard Gears of War is a AA hit at best, the graphics are not impressive and the story is shallow but the gameplay remains top tier. It was a groundbreaking game at the time and for me, it was a masterpiece of modern gaming. It ushered in a brand new way to do battle and move in a third-person action game while also creating a new universe worth investing millions of hours in. We haven’t had a movie based on it, but we’ve already had several books, so a motion picture is just a question of “when” and not “if”.
Developer: Epic Games, Coalition
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Initial Release Date: 7th November 2006
Platforms: Xbox Series X and Series S, Microsoft Windows