Lets Talk About The Gears of War 3 Finale Right Now

Illustration for article titled Lets Talk About The emGears of War 3/em Finale Right Now

Welcome back everyone! During today's meeting of the Kotaku Game Club, we'll be discussing the later three acts of the Gears of War 3 campaign. Warning: For all you Gears players who haven't finished the campaign yet, there will definitely be spoilers below.

Last week, the KGC spent a lot of time discussing the plot of Gears 3: Many of us were taken aback by the more robust plot and increased attention to the game's characters. Having finished the game now, do you think the story stays strong throughout?

Starting next week, Kotaku Game Club will start digging into Gears of War 3 multiplayer! Next thursday we'll be talking about the Versus modes (Team Deathmatch, Capture the Leader, etc), and the week after we'll take a look at Beast and Horde modes. Make sure to come back to Kotaku next Thursday, October 6th, at 4pm Eastern.

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You can contact Mike Epstein, the author of this post, at michaelepstein@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.

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DISCUSSION

Carmine lived. I am happy. I am so happy. The ending line was a tad cliche, buuut you know what? I really got myself into the characters' heads. Like Marcus, I was devastated by Dom's and Adam's loss. The huge wave of relief that washed over me at the end... it felt right.

The only things I would have changed, other than the desire to know who the hell Myrrah was, were...

Well, I wanted an exhausting slog of a level like The Library (which everyone hates) or that Metal Gear Solid button mashing sequence with the radiation hallway (which everyone hails as genius game design). I could have used feeling a bit more weary by the end of the game, but Epic's biggest trait is that they can't make games that aren't fun. It's impossible for Epic to make a bad game. So my gamefeeling, that it was fucking fun, clashed with my storyfeeling, which was that war is hell.

I also would have liked the game to have been more cinematic. I don't want it to have taken control away from the player... just. Hm. Alright, so there's that sequence where your blimp crashes, right? I would have liked to have been the player on the ship as it crashed, been flung forward, and then have the game cut to black. I'd cut to the cutscene as Marcus regains consciousness. In the game, you get "we're going down!" and suddenly the game cuts to a cutscene. I think a good rule of thumb in game design should be "if you can do it in-game, do it in-game." Having the characters wake up, get in cars, and drive to the base can be a cutscene—it's mundane. Being there when your vehicle crashes, though, that should have happened.

They did the same thing in Bulletstorm. When the Hekaton chases you into the skyscraper, there's a cutscene when there should have been gameplay. You could have done the running away from the critter while shooting mutants in the face. The game didn't need to do that for you.

Minor improvements in things like Cole's thrashball flashback or the difficulty of tracking with the one-shot's zoom would have been nice, and I encountered a bug or two that annoyed me a bit.

The graphics didn't blow me away. :( The art design, however, was amazing.

Overall, though, that was an incredibly satisfying experience.

One thing that blew me away was the storytelling.

The game felt very much like a war film. The characters might have seemed over the top, but there's a lot of deeper psychology and things that's extremely rare (like, Deus Ex 3 and Marathon Infinity come to mind, and that's about it) that was quite prevalent in Gears. While the art style might go BWAHAHAHAHA MUSCLES YAY!, and Cole might be over the top, there's a lot of subtlety that drives the game.

It's in no means blatant and one-dimensional, like a good number of games (Uncharted, Red Dead, Mass Effect 2, etc) that get praised for good writing. Gears may have an extremely overblown presentation, but its storytelling is very tight and understating. It's amazingly good.