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Gears of War

Platform(s): Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games

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4. 'Gears of War' (X360)

by Rainier on Jan. 1, 2006 @ 1:30 a.m. PST

<em>Gears of War</em> thrusts gamers into a deep and harrowing story of humankind’s epic battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the bowels of the planet.</p> <p>In this third-person tactical shooter, gamers live and breathe the role of Marcus Fenix. A disgraced former war hero, Marcus seeks personal redemption as he leads his fire team against an onslaught of merciless warrior fiends. Gamers immerse themselves in an experience so intensely emotional and gut-wrenching that playing will be like controlling a blockbuster action movie.</p>

Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: TBA

Mark "RumDragon" Bolin: Gears of War is probably what will convince me to finally buy an Xbox 360. The concentration on teamwork by the developers is impressive, and hopefully, it will play out well. From the trailers I've seen, the world looks immersive, and the A.I. seems rather brutal. The ability to use cover just about anywhere also looks quite interesting. I can't wait to get my hands on this stellar-looking shooter; I need only to find one of my friends with a lot of free time to sit down and conquer this intriguing world.

Chad "Wudi" Crawford: Gears of War piques my interest because of its survival-horror atmosphere and third-person shooter gameplay. It also has quite a pedigree, coming from the Epic Games folks and Cliffy B himself. I never really enjoyed the Unreal Tournament games; they moved a little too fast for my liking. Gears of War's pacing seems to be a little slower and tactical, which is right up my alley. Plus, who could turn down the wholesome good time of bullets whizzing inches from their avatar's head as he makes a beeline for cover behind an overturned car, all the while deliver a flurry of bullets himself? No one, that's who.

Thomas Leaf: Cliffy B of Unreal fame has something for you. I'd like to meet this guy and talk to him about stuff because his concept for Gears of War sounds like something I'd come up with, and here he is turning it into a game, just as I would've liked to do. In any event, Gears of War is going to be built around the brand new Unreal 3 engine, which will most likely dominate the middle-ware market, as Renderware was bought up by EA. Gears of War is a science-fiction tactical shooter that promises not only-in-your face action with beautifully rendered models in amazing vistas, but also "Oh my God" set piece moments that drive a strong narrative. Add to the mix a strong cover and shooting system that provides a more realistic experience than sidestep-out, shoot, sidestep-in gameplay, and you've got yourself a serious dose of post traumatic stress. Word is right now that Gears of War is so big it's going to stretch across not one, not two, not three, but four DVDs. Either this game's so huge it's ridiculous, or someone at Epic forgot how to use WinZip. Either way, you know that Gears of War, while aiming to be a knock-down-drag-out Halo killer, will not only deliver the goods in single-player but multiplayer too. After all, this is coming from the guy who brought you the original Unreal and Unreal Tournament.

Matt Mefford: Expect great things from the makers of the Unreal Tournament franchise. Their first title for the Xbox 360, Gears of War, is by far the most visually compelling reason to buy the new console. For those who have been closely following the capabilities of the new Unreal Engine 3, expect to see it in all its beauty on a console title. This may very well be the "killer app" that gets people to buy the new X360. Looks aside, Gears comes equipped with killer AI, outstanding squad-based teamwork, and a highly refined weapon arsenal (including a new HUD which shows the trajectory arc of grenades). What Half-Life 2 did for the PC, Gears of War will do the Xbox 360.

Tony "OUberLord" Mitera: The fact alone that Cliffy B. is behind the helm of an Xbox 360 title should garner enough attention as it is, but Gears of War looks like it's shaping up to be a really interesting take on the "Monsters as seen in urban places" scenario. On the one hand, you have the ghoulish-looking creatures that have little else on their minds other than ripping humanity to shreds, and on the other, you have a few soldiers decked out with thick armor and big guns; both will be battling it out in a distinctly familiar-feeling urban environment. The title has progressively gone from looking good, to great, to close to tearfully joyous, but it's the feel and mood of the game that probably has me the strongest.

Corey Owen: Are there people out there who don't have Gears of War at the top of their lists? It's arguably the best-looking game ever made, and the developer's track record speaks for itself. The single player promises to offer a new flow of gameplay with lots of intense battles that require cover and strategy rather than run and gun. As a selling feature, co-op is a vital component to any shooter. Since the co-op gameplay was a focus from the beginning, not something thrown in at the last second, it's sure to be a strong component. The combination of the action and survival-horror genres is relatively new, but is one that needs more attention. Gears of War should be the one to put it firmly on the map.

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