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Gears of War Review 214

Posted by Zonk
from the more-than-zero-innovation-less-than-total dept.
Reaching for perfection is a funny thing. By aiming for a high mark of quality, you ensure that your end product is as good as you can possibly make it. The reality is, of course, that perfection is unattainable. Every work of art, be it book, painting, movie, or videogame, is going to be flawed in some way; this is the reality of being human, after all. Gears of War, on that note, is far from perfect. The much-hyped and highly anticipated Xbox 360 shooter from Epic suffers from some truly terrible AI, a brief single-player campaign, and some unfortunately rough storytelling. Just the same, the flaws in this particular gem make the whole gleam that much brighter. Gears may just be the best game to be released on the 360 this year, and deserves the attention of anyone who enjoys holding a controller. Read on for my impressions of CliffyB's masterpiece, spots and all.
  • Title: Gears of War
  • Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
  • Developer: Epic Systems
  • System: Xbox 360
You pretty much know what you're getting into just by looking at Gears of War's box art. Four tough-looking hombres stare back at you from the cover, wearing heavy armor and wielding badass weaponry. Series protagonist Marcus Fenix doesn't wield a gun-sword, like some other videogame heroes. No, his gun has a chainsaw right there on the end. That level of subtlety should convey something, and really says all you need to know about the world Marcus lives in. To a greater or lesser extent, that chainsaw gun is all the exposition you'll get in Gears, and that's a shame. The game's plot centers around Marcus and the three other members of delta squad, as they make their way across the blasted remains of the planet Sera. Sera was once a beautiful jewel of human civilization, a fact you can reflect on as you traverse its now hulled and ruined corpse. The aliens came from below, not from above, with armies of creatures bursting up from below to threaten humanity. In response our species leveled our own weapons against Sera's cities, denying the invaders an easy win.

When we pick up the story, Marcus is just being retrieved from rotting in a jail cell by his long time friend Dom. He was imprisoned for some unknown transgression (we're told nothing more than 'cowardice'), but what with the war on everyone has gotten a 'get out of jail free' card. Dom and Marcus flee the jailhouse, and hook back up with members of the tough-as-nails members of the 'Gears'. The squad Marcus hooks up with is on a mission: take the fight to the enemy. They do so, again and again, in some incredibly varied and rich locales. Act 1's broken city-scape turns deadly at night in Act 2, and is followed in Act 3 by a haunting factory and mining complex. The only real dissapointment is the somehow more brief Act 5, which takes place very quickly on a speeding train. The story that follows those acts raises far more questions than it does answers, with a sequel obviously in mind at the game's conclusion. What's surprising is that, even with this bare-bones story and somewhat stereotypical heroes on screen, Gears of War is actually a fairly grippy tale. A combination of looks, cinematography, and genuinely likable characters accomplishes what less technically advanced titles have failed to do; for once, shiny tech actually does somewhat compensate for weak storytelling.

The likable characters are probably the weightiest of those three elements. As much as George Lucas would like you to believe otherwise, a good camera angle won't make a boring character interesting. Aside from some swear-laiden and utterly predictable dialogue, they've almost always got some interesting commentary on a given situation. Strong vocal performances give you a clear sense of who these guys are. While we don't get to know any of them well, we are given at least some sense of what they did before the war. As much as your average nerd may dislike a ropy-armed ex-football player on principle, it's hard to feel that way for long when he jokingly refers to himself as 'The Cole Train' ... and then proceeds to pepper the next ten hours or so of gameplay with references to his nickname. It's all weirdly endearing, and Epic's ability to make you care about these guys is a big selling point for future chapters in the series.

What's not endearing is how profoundly and utterly stupid these likable fellows are during actual gameplay. It is almost impossible to get across how totally unhelpful your AI assistants are during most of the game. The game's unique and highly enjoyable 'cover' system makes for high survivability in firefights. This trait is almost entirely negated if you take cover on the side facing your assailants. By the same token, mindlessly mantling back and forth over a wall while people shoot at you is not helpful. Wandering aimlessly back the way you've come while skittering horrors assail the human player is not helpful. Running straight into the fire-line of a blazing mounted weapon so that you can engage in melee combat with a grunt ... well, it's a wonder you make it to the end of the game with any AI helpers at all.

Why this aspect of gameplay was so grossly overlooked is beyond me, but most others easily surpass it in terms of polish. The 'stop and pop' playstyle suggested by the cover system works wonderfully, for example. Touted as the main attraction for the game, it's effortless to move from one area of cover to the next. Pulling the left trigger raises you up out of concealment, allowing you to lay into your opponents and quickly disappear to safety. You can no-look fire from cover as well, affording you almost complete safety. Not only is it thematically appropriate for the war on Sera, but the system almost requires some degree of forethought. Questions like "Where do I go from here?" "How can I flank him?" reveals a level of tactical depth not usually seen in console FPS titles.

In fact, most other elements of the game allow a level of tactics that has been sorely missing from the genre. The reload mini-game was questioned as a waste of time by several people I've spoken to, but extended play shows the damage boost and time savings you get from playing accurately to make a huge difference. Essentially, when you hit the reload button a slider moves along a horizontal bar. If you hit the button again in a small window along the bar, you'll reload faster. Hit it in the exact right spot, and your reloaded bullets do extra damage. In tight situations, this extra damage can mean the difference between taking on several enemies at once (almost always a losing proposition in this game), and going one-on-one. It's a small element in the overall gameplay, but a good example of how the designers have managed to make the game more thought-intensive without being clumsy.

The game's multiplayer modes allow these strategic elements to come to the fore. I've had the most experience with co-op mode, which is available both in split-screen and via Xbox Live. As the enemy AI suffers none of the abject stupidity your squad mates are cursed with, pitting yourself and another human against the might of the Locust is an incredibly satisfying experience. Flanking enemy groups, planning out routes through a given map, and discussing which weapons to use in a given encounter makes the final piece of the puzzle fall into place. Co-op multiplayer over Xbox Live in hardcore mode may just be the finest experience the Xbox 360 has to offer. It's challenging, seamless, and deeply engaging. This is the best way to play Gears of War, and has to be tried at least once by everyone who owns the disc.

More combative multiplayer is something of a mixed bag. It's quite a bit of fun ... when you can get a good group together. The problem is that, unlike the extremely robust multiplayer system offered by Halo 2, Gears of War has an almost primitive matchmaking system. Consistent teams are not allowed by the current setup. There are also currently only three gameplay types, meaning that you're going to be playing a lot of team vs. team deathmatch and not much else. Given the game's overwhelming reception there are sure to be improvements and additions to the multiplayer component, and despite the lack of variety Gears' multiplayer is already very popular. Last week Gears finally dethroned Halo 2 as the most-played title via Xbox Live. Just the same, it's frustrating that what could have been another slam-dunk element of the game is so comparatively weak.

The game's biggest slam-dunk, of course, is its graphical presentation. The beauty Gears of War offers has been endlessly discussed, and can be seen in the screenshots included here. Suffice it to say that everything you've heard about the game's beauty is spot-on. Gears looks perfect. It's even more breathtaking to behold while in motion, and Epic very kindly allows you the opportunity to stop and smell the roses every once in a while. Pre-launch fears that the entire game would be a never-ending slog through greys and browns were unfounded. The game offers a differing palette of colors and effects from act to act, with the rain-soaked and subterranean portions of a factory in Act III probably getting my vote for most vivid locale. Even if you're not a console shooter fan, or hate Microsoft, or despise videogames, the visual feat that is Gears of War is just not possible to dismiss. This game is the first title I've seen to really deliver on the promise of 'next gen' graphics, and I can only hope more titles like it mark the rest of the 360's run.

So, again, we're back to the concept of perfection. The synthetic beauty on display in Gears of War is as close to perfect we've yet seen from this no-longer-next generation of consoles. With elements like innovative movement controls, subtle tactical elements, and an extraordinarily gripping co-op offering, it's hard to fault outlets that have given this game a 10 out of 10. Just the same, it's impossible to overlook the controller-tossing frustration of the AI or the lack of modernity in the game's multiplayer component. If you haven't bought the game yet, probably the best thing you can do is find out if you have a friend that already has it. If you do, you've got the recipe in place for co-op, which is the way this game really should be played. And, after all, there are sequels on the way. If nothing else, Gears of War makes you feel confident in owning a 360, and hopeful for the future of the system.
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Gears of War Review

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  • by javelinco (652113) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:02PM (#16937870) Journal
    Didn't Oblivion come out this year?
    • by antek9 (305362) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:22PM (#16938300)
      I'm not a Zonk hater or anything (though I don't exactly like his tendency towards anti-SONY marketing; but if he likes to look like a MS puppet, he is free to), buut this review abstract really reaches for some new low.

      So, the game is full of flaws, yet a masterpiece? Masterpiece, eh? He keeps using that word. I don't think it means what he thinks it means.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by chrismcdirty (677039)
        Full of flaws, yet a masterpiece? He must be interviewing for a job at one of the big name game sites. They all said pretty much the same thing.

        I guess it's hard to let the hype die down.
      • So, the game is full of flaws, yet a masterpiece?
        I really don't care for shooters all that much I bought this game and it really is fantastic. as for the "full of flaws but a masterpiece" you'd have to imagine a Ferrari that's been keyed and had the upholstery ripped. The Experience is still the same but there are lots of nagging flaws that might bug you but don't really detract from it's greatness.
        • by antek9 (305362)
          Valid point. But would you call that very car still a masterpiece if the upholstery were ripped out and you can't lock it by default? Just wondering, because that's what Zonk's sequitur is essentially saying.

          I've got a little exercise for Zonk: load up Wikipedia. Look up 'shiny'. Now load another instance of wikipedia in another tab and look up 'masterpiece'. Read. Compare. Now write down - in your own words - any striking differences between the two. And no, editing the articles beforehand doesn't count.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by keithburgun (1001684)
      Oblivion sucks. Morrowind is better in every way, except for combat and (arguably) graphics.
  • by Kenja (541830) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:09PM (#16938046)
    "The much-hyped and highly anticipated Xbox 360 shooter from Epic suffers from some truly terrible AI, a brief single-player campaign, and some unfortunately rough storytelling. Just the same, the flaws in this particular gem make the whole gleam that much brighter. Gears may just be the best game to be released on the 360 this year,"

    Sounds like a bad game (not saying it is) yet its the best game on he 360. Dosn't this just say that the platform has few good games?
    • Why don't you play it and find out?

      It is by FAR the best game out this year.

    • Zonk's review sucks. This game really is awesome. I think he falls somewhere in the very very small category of people who won't be pleased no matter what you do. I have *never* seen better graphics in any other game, the AI isn't nearly as bad as he imagines, and the multiplayer is great. Your comment is true in a sense that most other games on the 360 look so "first gen" after playing Gears of War.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Jahz (831343)
        . I think he falls somewhere in the very very small category of people who won't be pleased no matter what you do.

        I believe that is a required trait of a reviewer... mentioning what is good and picking on what is not.
    • http://xbox360.ign.com/index/reviews.html [ign.com]

      Doesn't look that way to me. An awful lot of 8+ scores in the recent releases. Could have been more clearly worded I suppose.
    • You can certainly read his review that way, but that's not an accurate conclusion. The game is excellent, among the best FPSes I've ever played, and certainly the best on a console.
  • Greys and Browns (Score:3, Insightful)

    by corby (56462) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:10PM (#16938066)
    Pre-launch fears that the entire game would be a never-ending slog through greys and browns were unfounded. The game offers a differing palette of colors and effects from act to act

    OK, I believe you, but the three screenshots you chose to attach to this review look like a bunch of greys and browns. I look forward to seeing the game myself.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tgd (2822) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:11PM (#16938086)
    How does one play a game enough to give a review and not know that you're Delta squad FINDING Alpha squad in the game?

    Plus, I'd swear I read nearly the identical review somewhere else...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Osty (16825)

      How does one play a game enough to give a review and not know that you're Delta squad FINDING Alpha squad in the game?

      The same way in which one writes a review without running it through a spell checker ("laiden"?), grammar checker (please make sure your nouns and verbs agree on plurality), or even understanding common turns of phrase ("grippy story"? I think you mean "gripping"). I gave up halfway through because it hurt too much to keep reading.

      Oh, yeah, after the first Act you end up finding Alpha

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Pollardito (781263)
      maybe he has Alpha Delta Delta
  • by mrjb (547783) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:11PM (#16938090)
    ... just wait until Duke Nukem Forever is released!
  • by cplusplus (782679) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:15PM (#16938174) Journal

    Wow, spending most of the review focusing on supposedly crappy AI and crappy plot, only to barely mention graphics and the end and some multiplayer action as being great. Personally, I think Gears of War is awesome. The AI really isn't as bad as Zonk makes it seem. The folks on your side duck and cover and flank left or right, and the enemies do, too. On occasion they do pop up for too long, or run for different cover, and go down. If the AI were absolutely "perfect", you could simply hide the whole game and let the bots kill everything for you. Instead, you find yourself running to save them during a firefight. Multiplayer is a blast, too. Co-op is seemless, almost no lag, and deathmatch is the same. This game really shines.
  • Really? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by fonix (1030338) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:16PM (#16938206)
    I thought that the AI in this game was more than terrible... I was impressed by the amount of interaction and co-operation by the AI. At one point, my buddy and I were being pinned down by four AI, and could not get out without being owned, because they were cross-firing and pinning us down. IMHO the AI was one of the strongest points of the game.
    • The enemy AI is, generally, pretty damn good.

      The AI running your squadmates, however, is significantly less than ideal (Dom, in particular, often does some crazy-ass shit that gets him killed and forces you to run out of cover to revive him).
    • He was talking about the friendly AI, which definitely left something to be desired. I would have enjoyed a co-op mode with four players making up the entire team.

      *drools*

      Maybe it'll come out with that capability for the PC.
    • by Fr33z0r (621949)
      From the review:

      As the enemy AI suffers none of the abject stupidity your squad mates are cursed with, pitting yourself and another human against the might of the Locust is an incredibly satisfying experience.


      It's just your squad's AI that he's saying sucks - and it does, horribly. It's not that uncommon to be forced back by the enemy only to find yourself next to one of your squad-mates who's frantically firing at his own feet.
  • Gears of MOAR??? (Score:3, Informative)

    by decipher_saint (72686) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:21PM (#16938290) Homepage
    I don't have an XBox 360, but the people I know who do all bought this game they have all finished it (multiple times). I hear that there are some new maps for it coming soon, but the game seems kind of short, with little replay value.

    Anyone care to correct me on that?
    • The enemy AI on GOW is excellent. They vary their strategies even if you play the same level over and over again. Insane level is, insane. It is almost impossible without a good human coop partner.

      Between the multiplayer and a pretty good single player game, I have spent about 70-80 hours since the game came out (stopped playing all other games) - so, yes, I would say it has GREAT replay value.

    • The game is around ten hours (or so) on low difficulty, and there isn't much presented in the way of choices as you go through. The combat mechanics are interesting enough, though, that I'm very interested in going through it again on higher difficulty settings (something I seldom bother with).

      In one sense yes, it is short - but in another, it's simply matching what seems to be a pretty standard length for these titles on consoles. It certainly isn't outlandishly short compared to Prey, CoD2, or Halo 2.

      It c
      • In one sense yes, it is short - but in another, it's simply matching what seems to be a pretty standard length for these titles on consoles.

        Well, the new Zelda is 70 hours long. Development for these high-end consoles takes so much time and money that the game itself ends up falling short because so much effort is spent on stuff like graphics and marketing. Nintendo's got it right with the Wii (and Zelda still looks gorgeous).
        • Sorry, I should have been clearer - when I said "these titles" I was referring specifically to FPSes. There are plenty of games outside that genre that are far longer than 10 hours. Zelda is certainly one example (and I can't wait until my Wii shows up).
        • I have logged WELL OVER thousands of hours on Halo MP (yes, it is sad) and will have spent well over 100 hours by this weekend on GOW.

          By that standard, games like Zelda where I RARELY every play over again (definitely not enough to reach 1000 hours) falls quite a bit short to FPS like Halo and GOW.

          • By that standard, games like Zelda where I RARELY every play over again (definitely not enough to reach 1000 hours) falls quite a bit short to FPS like Halo and GOW.

            Not really. You're comparing to things like multiplayer. If you take into account all the sidequests in Zelda, including the fishing (which could sell as its own game), you could log up to hundreds if not thousands of hours in Twilight Princess. Since the Wii Messageboard records your game activity, it should be easy to see how many hours tot

    • I'm not big on rewatching movies. Even less so with replaying games, but this is probably one of the few games I want to replay with my buddies. Single player isn't quite as much fun in my opinion, but co-op is a BLAST.
  • hmm (Score:3, Interesting)

    by LeRaldo (983244) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:22PM (#16938306)
    it's hard to fault outlets that have given this game a 10 out of 10.
    I disagree. The game can be finished in under 6 hours, and that's on your first time through. It's a very linear game as well, so it's not like you're just powering through, skipping a bunch of stuff. I'll admit that what's there, is amazing fun, but it's just WAY too short to get a 10 out of 10. As for the multiplayer, I believe having only those 3 modes or whatever works well just because in GoW it's so fun to kill people. That's what a lot of FPSs (or shooter games I guess, since GoW isn't a FPS) seem to be missing lately, is that there's nothing unique in the way you can murder your opponent. Gears of War manages to make it a ton of fun in the different ways you can obliterate the opposite team. All the while keeping it fair/balanced.
  • Spot on review. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Control Group (105494) * on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:22PM (#16938314) Homepage
    The visuals are, indeed, stunning. The only things that don't look practically raytraced are splashing liquids - and, unfortunately, the contrast between the blood spray graphics and the rest of the game make the blood spray stand out as disappointing. That being said, I'm unaware of any other title that does such particle effects better. One other caveat, it has some of the "shininess" to it that is characteristic of the UT enginge (IMHO), and which will certainly be familiar to JRPG fans.

    At the same time, the allied AI is mind-bogglingly bad. Perhaps this can be offset by issuing squad commands; that's a game mechanic I haven't really exploited at all. But watching Dom race from off screen behind you into your rifle fire to go hand-to-hand with a Grub is a singularly frustrating experience, right up there with following Isabela in Dead Rising.

    The story itself isn't real thoroughly developed (it falls short of Halo, and certainly of HL), but the exposition of the setting is fantastic. You really get the grittiness of the world, the futility of the war, and the deep-seated cynicism of the soldiers who have managed to survive this long. It does the best job I've seen since FreeSpace 1 of putting you on the losing side of a war.

    Unfortunately, it does suffer from what all console FPSes that I've played suffer from: pretty much complete linearity. It's not that I look to the FPS genre for massive environments to free-form explore, but it doesn't even bother having significant alternate and/or dead-end paths. You miss out on the worry of deciding which way to go, trying to figure out which way is the way into the level, and which way is the way to the powerup. Again, though, that's hardly unique to this game (or even limited entirely to consoles - it's just that the only FPSes I've seen that don't have you on rails are on the PC).

    Collecting the COG tags seems a tacked-on afterthought; the game isn't exploration-oriented enough for me to find it entertaining to try to track them all down.

    It's worth noting that this is also the only FPS I actually wouldn't rather play with a KB+M setup - but then, I'm not one of the KB+M jihadists that are running around, either. Rather than trying to replicate the KB+M interface on the console as so many shooters do (and always lose in the translation), the game is designed from the ground up with the controller in mind.

    But the game does what it does very, very well - in my opinion, this is, without a doubt, the high-water mark for campaign-mode FPS titles on the console, and rivals some of the best campaign-mode FPS titles on the PC (with the caveat that I haven't played Resistance: Fall of Man). If you have any interest at all in single player/co-op FPSes on a console, you're doing yourself a grave disservice if you don't play this game. By the same token, of course, if you have no interest whatsoever in that style of game (if you only play FPSes for multiplayer, for example, or if you don't like the FPS genre at all), then there's nothing here to interest you.
  • Multiplayer Weakness (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mkajbaf (953790)
    The multiplayer is seriously flawed. It gives constant "connection to host lost" errors, and you can't have 2 people on the same xbox on live without 2 live accounts (who the hell does that). The games are very short as well, and there aren't a lot of game modes! I really hope they release something on the marketplace that will give more multiplayer options, it must be doable and for once it would be worth it. Having said that, the game is amazing and the maps are incredible. Lets just tone down the da
    • Really, I guess all of those gamertag and gamertag1 parings are my imagination. I do get a lot of connection to host lost errors when the host is losing, but not a consistent problem. Oh, you have to aim with the shotgun.

      The storyline is pushed lightly in this title. I think that was a choice in how much Marcus would truly know. I have to admit, the solution via his father to mapping the tunnels seemed a little too much of a plot hole. Even so, I find myself attempting to play this game on insane. The desc

    • by Fr33z0r (621949)
      There's a workaround for the "connection to host lost" bug - look for custom matches instead of quick matches, and when it pops up the "searching for matches" window hit X a few times. It'll show a list of available servers, just pick one that doesn't have a lot of people on it and you should be fine.
  • by aplusjimages (939458) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:32PM (#16938526) Journal
    There aren't many dislikes to this game. The big one is that this game is too short. Also the enemies shotgun range seems to be longer than when I use the shotgun. There are scenerios that don't playout well or aren't as exciting as they could be.

    First example is when Marcus and Dom need to retrieve a vehicle. Well I never thought that once we got the car that we would drive it. To my surprise you do drive it. The vehile looks tight and drives pretty well, but the game play just blows and feels out of place. It does break up the game play a bit, but when you play it the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th time, it becomes a hurdle to get back to gunning.

    The 2nd example is when you go underground and have to find the carts to get to another section. Well the cart scenerio could have been exciting and fun, but it was boring and you rarely have to get up from your cart to do anything. This should have involved high speed chases and shooting Locust who chase you in other carts. Co-op could have been great on this scene, but like I said it was boring.

    Other than that I rate this game great. I'm currently playing through on INSANE using DOM on Co-Op to unlock my achievements. I would recommend getting it or going over to a friends house who has it.
  • Misread (Score:4, Funny)

    by panaceaa (205396) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @03:34PM (#16938566) Homepage Journal
    Wow, reading the third word incorrectly really changes the entire context of the article:

    Reaching for protection is a funny thing. By aiming for a high mark of quality, you ensure that your end product is as good as you can possibly make it. The reality is, of course, that perfection is unattainable. Every work of art, be it book, painting, movie, or videogame, is going to be flawed in some way; this is the reality of being human, after all.


    I've always respected Slashdot's uncanny ability to overanalyze, but about putting on a condom?? Oh, and too funny that it's on a gaming article.
  • by null etc. (524767) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:22PM (#16939470)
    Reaching for perfection is a funny thing. By aiming for a high mark of quality, you ensure that your end product is as good as you can possibly make it. The reality is, of course, that perfection is unattainable. Every work of art, be it book, painting, movie, or videogame, is going to be flawed in some way; this is the reality of being human, after all.


    Except, of course, for this perfect exposition into the nature of reality and perfection! I copied and pasted your text right into my Master's Thesis, and I got an A++!

  • I finished the game just about an hour ago, and I liked it. It is true that the AI is stupid at times. But it only bothered me a few times. One time was when a lot of enemies were rushing into the room and the AI guy was just standing there taking hits.

    But the only thing that bothered me is that I think the game was too short, and I made a effort not to rush through it. The games are so expensive that I feel that I should have gotten more out of it, also because the multi player can be fun, but think that i
  • This is a rental. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Viewsonic (584922) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:29PM (#16939628)
    I bought the game, and thought it was awesome. But the length of the game was just far too short for the $60. They cheered how this game only cost $1 million to make instead of 10 million. Now you know why, because they didn't bother putting any content into the game. I would have rather they had spent $10 million and given us 20 hours of solid game play and a functioning multiplayer.

    Dont get me wrong, the game was awesome. But in the end it seemed like a $60 tech demo, rather than a game. The multiplayer Versus is just too buggy and limited to even bother with. If they ever add in Capture The Flag and up it to 40 or so players, then I might pick it up. But 4 vs 4 straight DM is just lame. The Co-Op should have also allowed up to 4 players as well. It was hard to play this game with all your friends wanting you to join in. Only two at a time stunk.

    Basically, I played through the campaign twice over the weekend it came out and haven't touched it since. It should have been a rental.

    • Sorry, it cost 10 million to make instead of 20-30 million. In any case, it's a moot point. They should have spent that extra 10-20 million on hiring more level designers to make the game longer.
      • by trongey (21550)
        So would they have charged $120 - $180 for the fully fleshed-out version, or are they ripping off customers by charging full price for a game that's one third of what it could have been?
        • by Viewsonic (584922)
          I would have been fine with paying for this at $30 to be perfectly honest. Thats about what I feel I got out of the game, content wise.
  • by kinglink (195330) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @04:57PM (#16940158)
    Seriously everyone seems to love it, but Zonk has problems with it... ok. But he's faulting stuff that people love. I find it odd when this is one of the first games to beat Halo 2 in popularity and he doesn't like the multiplayer? Well apparently people do like it? Faulting the AI and all and then giving one paragraph to the fact that this has Co-op, and not just a tacked on one but one of the finest co-op sessions yet?

    Personally I found the characters to be lacking, and the story to be abysmal but that's because me and my bud were laughing our asses off making fun of them because we where hanging out together online. We were saying stuff like "He said What? what a loser". The simple fact this is the perfect game not because of the sum of the parts but because of the sum to each player. I don't know many people who like any type of shooter who doesn't enjoy this one. It might not have brilliant AI for partners, but the enemies are so intellegent you're in trouble on hard core, and the co-op gameplay give an experience over live not found in many places. If you two are hard core gamers, insane will challenge you, if you're good gamers you'll enjoy casual and struggle through hard core. But the challenges the game presents will keep you riveted.

    But then again Zonk is the editor so his opinions are what matters here I guess, lets keep fileting this game even if he's one of the few people who find faults with it.
  • Series protagonist Marcus Fenix doesn't wield a gun-sword, like some other videogame heroes. No, his gun has a chainsaw right there on the end. That level of subtlety should convey something, and really says all you need to know about the world Marcus lives in.(emphasis mine)

    the first thing that came to mind was William Shatner on Saturday Night Live: "GET A LIFE, will you people?"
  • by Fantastic Lad (198284) on Tuesday November 21, 2006 @07:35PM (#16942736)
    Seriously?

    What are we programming ourselves for with this kind of media?

    If your focus determines your reality, then it pays to take care in where you point your eyes, heart and mind.

    --Which is not to say that all lessons aren't valuable, but chainsaws on guns? Sheesh. Sounds like a nasty time to me. At least you wouldn't have to spend much time alive in such a world.


    -FL

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

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