The start of the game takes place two years after the events of Gears of War 2, and it's clear that things have changed a lot since then. The game starts off aboard one of the vessels that had to leave the sinking city of Jacinto, (You flooded it at the end of the last game.) and right away you notice that the Gears are somehow in worse shape than before. They are eating nothing but what they grow, and they are running low on supplies. And of course, in classic gears fashion just when they think it can't get any worse, the enemies show up.
The dialogue, as you probably expected, is very cheesy. What you might not have expected, is that that the story itself, has some very interesting twists and turns. So many in fact, that I actually got very invested in the story and couldn't wait for what was going to happen next. I'm not saying that you should go into this game expecting a story that would stand on it's own if the gameplay wasn't extremely solid. However, it is enjoyable in more than a "Wow this is laughably stupid" kind of way. That is, in my opinion, a first for the series.
Much better than the story of course is the gameplay. The enemies you will fight in this game are called the Lambent, or "Glowies" (A term you will have to get used to) and they have changed the complexity of the game immensely. The Lambent, as you might remember from previous games, are a lot like the locust in a lot of ways; they take cover, and they use the same weapons. However these enemies will explode every time you kill them, and more importantly, they mutate on the fly. This means that you will have to be alert every time you go up against them, because you never know what they will change into next. That, mixed with the occasional need to scrounge for ammo, really add a lot of much needed tension to each firefight you have with the Lambent.
There are however, still Locusts in the game. In fact, about halfway through the game the Locusts become pretty much the only enemy that you fight. They are still just as fun as they have ever been to fight. The story states that they have become more desperate, but they really are just a reskined version of the same old enemies.
Overall, the Campaign is extremely well made, and the addition of four player co-op is fantastic. All minor gripes aside, this is the best Gears campaign yet.
This game doesn't just look good for a console game. The game uses the new Unreal 3.5 technology and looks great compared to all other games. The lighting is amazing and there is little to no texture loading or pop in. Steve Jablonsky, known for composing the god awful Transformers movies, did the composition for Gears 3. I was interested in seeing how this composer would do when composing on a project that isn't completely artistically bankrupt. Thankfully, he actually did the game justice with a score as big as Cliff Bleszinski's ego.
Overall, Gears of War 3's presentation is solid, even though it can be a little bombastic at times.
There are plenty of modes in Gears multiplayer, but much like it's predecessor, Horde mode takes the cake. In Horde, the player works with a four other players to fight off wave after wave of increasingly difficult Locusts, until they are all killed. (Or until the server disconnects) As the players kill enemies they gain points, which can be spent on upgraded defenses, ammo, and guns. The mode takes a lot of teamwork and skill, and is easily my favorite thing about the game as a whole.
There is also a new mode called Beast which is the the opposite of Horde, in that you play as the rushing Locust against a group of dug in humans. In Beast mode you have a time limit to kill every human each round. Just like horde, you gain points to spend, except this time you are spending points on new Locusts to play as. If you don't want to spend much you can play as a ticker. If you want to play as a Berserker however, than you will have to spend quite a bit more. The only thing i don't like about the mode, is that it ends after only twelve rounds. This really gives beast mode a lot less replay value, and really makes feel more like a tacked on gimmick, than a full fledged game mode.
And who can forget about Versus Multiplayer. I am very happy to say that this mode has finally grown up. It started in the original Gears, as a tacked on throw away game mode. The mode was then somehow even worse in Gears of War 2, which was one of the most laughably broken Multiplayer games I have ever played. Fortunately though, Multiplayer is Gears 3 isn't just good, it's great. There are finally dedicated servers, and the weapons have been rebalanced so that the shotgun is no longer the only usable weapon, even though it still seems a bit to powerful. There is a variant on Team Deathmatch, where teams have a set number of respawns. Once those respawns are depleted the game becomes a no holds barred fight to the death. There is still the Execution game mode, which is a lot more like Counter Strike, where players have only one life per round. All modes seem well balanced and fun. The movement and controls still aren't the best for a multiplayer shooter, but the wealth of content and inclusion of dedicated servers make up for it big time.
This game will keep my Xbox 360 company for many months to come. There are a wealth of modes in Gears that have excellent replay value as well as a campaign that clocks in at around 11 hours.
This game has an excellent campaign with an unexpectedly entertaining story, and a four player co-op mode that makes it the best Gears campaign yet. It has great multiplayer that holds up with some of the best multiplayer games on consoles. The Unreal 3.5 engine's lighting effects are unrivaled. And it's co-op modes are some of the most fun I have had with a game ever. I can't recommend this game enough.