This feature contains potential spoilers for the Gears of War games and series.
Gears of War: Judgment
I recently reviewed Gears Judgment and came to the conclusion that it was the worst game in the series. And I don't mean that it is just my 'least favourite'; it is actually just an average game generally.
Receiving a rating of simply 6/10 from me, Judgment is far from the continuance of the franchise that the much-loved series deserved. While it offered some good add-ons, like the more accessible and enjoyable multiplayer, there were also some very hard to understand changes that were made. Its biggest flaw was its totally lacklustre campaign that tried to combine different elements of the game (like horde) into one as well as make it faster paced and less tactical. This didn't work well in the least, as you might have guessed (or already known if you read the review).
The story was also very mediocre, offering little emotional motivation and a fairly shallow cast of characters too.
Judgment is without doubt the worst Gears of War game and is an easy choice for fourth place.
Gears of War 3
Gears of War 3 wasn't perfect, but the changes made to the campaign were more necessary for the sake of the story than what people thought about it. To really make you feel the emotion and game world, to really appreciate how much things had changed over the years, to progress the actual plot, Epic Games had to switch things up and make it fairly different to the older campaigns. It worked, as well. I actually enjoyed it more on my second playthrough and there are some truly incredible, epic moments that stick with me today. In fact, despite not being my favourite GoW, it certainly has the most amount of these moments than the other games.
Some of my favourite parts are when you are defending Anvil's Gate - that entire section is a blast.
The Old Town was eerie and had that awesome inclusion of zombie things as well as the infamous finale.
Earlier on when you are going through the desert; that section of the story is also incredibly awesome.
Sure, it took some getting used to, but Gears 3's varying environments and far more emotionally driven story were all necessary changes that did the game a lot of good.
It might not be the best GoW game, but it sure as hell is a brilliant one. When I reviewed it on an old website I used to own and run (which is no defunct) I gave the game a 9.1/10 score.
Gears of War
Ah, the game that changed it all. Gears of War didn't create cover based shooters, as many touchy, hardcore, retro gamers will let you know within seconds of you suggesting that the series had something to do with that genre of video games success; however it did set the path straight and the ball rolling in the right direction. Cover based shooters had never been as easy to use or accessible until Gears came along with its near perfect cover system.
Admittedly games like Tomb Raider are now proving we don't even need to use buttons to use cover anymore and it can be fantastically implemented in a more open and flexible way.
Anyway, I digress. Back to Gears of War.
Obviously you know which game is going to be first, and it wasn't an easy choice. Gears of War 1 has a certain magic about it. Something that the most recent game, Judgment, lost. As with GoW2 and 3; Gears 1 has an absorbing, brilliantly laid out, campaign. It is dark, brutal and unforgiving and totally immersive. Wandering through streets while Krill zoom around in great hordes above your head is something that I will never forget. Just like when you first encounter the Lambent Wretches at the Imulsion Facility. that too was an awesome, suspenseful part of the game.
Gears offered a shit ton of things that you couldn't get anywhere else. The cover system, the shooting, the story and the setting; everything about it was immaculately brought forward and organised. It remains a modern classic; one of the greats of this generation. It is 'technically' not the best game, but the memories I have of playing it rocket it into second place with ease.
When I reviewed this game on my old website, it was given a score of 9.5/10. A truly incredible game.
Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2 takes the crown as the best Gears game of all time (so far). It really is one of the best games I have played this gen.
The thing that makes GoW2 better than the first game, is that the level design is improved, the environments are better, the game has even more epic moments and, most of all, the gameplay itself was tightened up. All those things I got annoyed about in the first title, like getting stuck into cover here and there, or getting rushed constantly by enemies and dying instantly; they were gone.
This really felt like the ultimate Gears experience and still does to this day.
The game was awesome from the start. When riding along on one of the Derrick trucks there is an awesome moment of awe when you look out at the view as you are bumbling along. And then the locust start coming. And it just gets better and better.
A great thing about the game is actually Ben Carmine, who is my favourite character not only in this title but also the entire series. He is funny, interesting and a great person to have in the story. That said, he was killed off way to quickly and wasn't elaborated on enough.
There is an awesome mix of cinematic moments, like cutting yourself out of a worm from the inside with chainsaws and even riding on a Brumak, and brilliantly worked combat situations and battles. It is a perfect combo that really works well. On the one hand you have the far from serious, over the top, extreme violence and craziness, and then you have the serious gunfights and emotional story moments.
The entire game is a blast from start to finish and is a true representation of not only how a sequel CAN better the original, but also shows that full-scale change isn't necessary (*cough*Judgment*cough*) to continue a series.
Gears of War 2 is the best Gears game so far, and is one of the most awesome games of this gen. When I reviewed it on my old website, it was given a score of 9.7/10.