Gears of War 3 is the final conclustion to the blockbuster franchise.
Epic Games had promised Gears of War 3 to be the best in the series, and after finally getting my hands on it I can say they have certainly succeeded. Not only does it offer a fantastic end to the trilogy but it holds many memorable moments that will stay with your for a very long time.
Gears of war 3 takes place 18 months after it's predecessor. The planet Sera is all but destroyed and the COG marines continue their fight against the Locust horde. It's a more personal story this time around and can be very emotional at times. One part in particular might even bring a tear to your eye. It's defiantly the strongest plot to the series and it does an excellent job in showing you how time has moved on since we last saw them. Apart from your familiar faces there's also some new ones introduced. And whilst it doesn't elaborate much on their past they are still strong characters that fit in perfectly with the series.
If you've played the previous two games, and I'm sure you have. You will notice the controls are very much the same. But they do feel to have been tweaked up a notch. Switching from cover to cover and shooting enemies at a distance feels tighter and more responsive than before. The visuals also look to have improved and are much sharper and slick compared to Gears of War 2. It's extremely polished and you feel how much work must have gone into making this the best Gears yet.
The weapons from it's predecessors have once again returned. The classic Lancer Assault Rifle is just as fun when cutting through a Locust's body and there's a bunch of new execution moves to feast your eyes on. You will also find a bunch of new kick-ass weapons. One new addition is the Retro Lancer, similar to the original. But instead of a chainsaw it holds a long pointed knife attached at the front, allowing you to charge and stab your enemies. The Digger is also a new gun entirely. This fires a small creature that digs underground and then shoots out from underneath and explodes.
The entire campaign can be played in four player co-op for the first time. You might think four is a crowed but Epic Games have done a great job in pacing it out for everyone. Just like in previous games, you will come across options to choose a path. This splits the group up into two and gives you a totally different gameplay experience. It continues at the same time but you will witness different events and locations to the other players. It works extremely well and sets a new standard in how you play online co-op.
Once you've drained out all you can from the campaign there's still the multiplayer offering. Your standard team deathmatch and Horde mode etc is back but Beast Mode brings a whole new experience. Beast Mode is similar to it's Horde mode but instead of playing as the COG's you get you hands on the Locust's instead. It's not just the regular Locust's though, you can play as the Tickers, Berserkers and even the Kantus Priest's. It's sure epic!
Gears of War 3 is a fantastic end to the trilogy. It's lengthy campaign, high polish and new multiplayer features make this one of the best Xbox 360 titles of all time.
Review by Gareth Smith