Serving in the Coalition of Ordered Governments’ Army 3 years later.
Gears of War 3 came out back in 2011 and was at first rumored to be the last Gears of War game to be released onto the market. Later on in 2013 Gears of War Judgement appeared onto the scene, which turned out to be more or less the same. Now earlier this week there was a sudden interest to hop onto the console and power it up to get a bit of “retro-gaming” into the day – not really that old, but seeing the rate of progress gaming technology is going, it will eventually wind up as a classic/buried treasure. Back to the old COG military it was; the usual Mark 2 lancer, or the earlier Mark 1 lancer (retro-lancer) plunging into Locust infantry all the while mortar rounds were raining down from the heavens. Indeed Gears of War 3 is no longer the fresh new beast it once was, but the game still has its entertainment value.
Now sadly there is still half a level left before Colonel Hoffman is unlocked, but the progression system for unlocking characters, as well as the medals and ribbons gives a bit of a placebo affect in that it felt good to be earning decorations for your actions in combat. The arena-style fighting still had its appeal, and soldiering for the COG is quite nice once you get back into the swing of things.
Graphics-wise, after you plug in the HDMI (at least that is what I think it is: not the standard television cable) cable, there really is little difference in the way of graphics; for all the arguments thrown between the various fanbases of their respective consoles, graphics alone never make a game good – it is only a piece of the puzzle. Getting back to GoW 3, game play-wise even after a year and a half to two years away from any controller-based combat, it was surprisingly easy to hop back into action and rack up some kills. Ribbons kept pouring in, and the bullets kept flying like there was no tomorrow – though melee executions are now reserved for when the target is closer as recklessly running out into the field to get that visually impressive execution can come back to bite thee in the rear end. Now why is it that a game like Gears of War 3 is being pseudo-reviewed all these years later? What is the point of talking about a game that seems to have no branching story arc towards it after the final cutscene rolled?
Gears of War 3 represents an improvement on the Gears of War formula not just in game play but also in story telling. Indeed the author for most of the Gears of War novels Karen Traviss was the one who wrote the script, hence the good story telling, but what is important to note is that it marked a new beginning for the title: a new beginning that could ladder off into the previously established story arc that – if done right – could add a whole new layer of entertainment to the series.
This story arc is the Pendulum Wars: the 79 year-long conflict that ended approximately six weeks before E-day, sparking another 15 year-long conflict. Adding it all up, this is effectively 94 years of continuous conflict – 6 weeks of peace not withstanding – that families like the Fenix family had to endure just to live on Sera. Karen Traviss is a good writer, her books were amazing to read, and her ability to bring video game characters to life on paper and give them a greater emotional depth than what is on screen is what will make the Pendulum Wars all the better. Should Traviss be given the opportunity to continue her work with the Gears of War franchise, there is little doubt that the Pendulum Wars story arc will be something worth experiencing. Thus far no new titles have been announced, but if there is anything to gauge from Microsoft’s purchase of the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games earlier this week, it is that Gears of War as a series is far from finished.
Imagine witnessing the siege of Anvil Gate, rather than just reading about it on a memorial in Gears of War 3, or in the novel. Imagine going through Operation Leveler, and seeing the young Marcus Fenix lose his best friend Carlos Santiago, Dom’s older brother. Imagine watching a cutscene of Tomas Dalyell as chairman of the Coalition, making key decisions and ordering troops into various countries as part of the greater conflict. Finally imagine seeing a younger Adam Fenix going off to serve his next rotation when Marcus was still a boy, fighting alongside Anya’s mother Helena Stroud as they fight to secure a town against the Union of Independent Republics, or UIR for short. 79 years of warfare gives plenty of stories to be told – assuming it is done correctly of course.
Ultimately Gears of War 3 was done right, and hopefully the level of detail put into the story arc will also be given to later titles as well – it would be a shame if the game ended up like a Call of Duty franchise where one edition came out every year just to rake in the money. This game should be virtually dirt cheap now that Xbox One is out on the market, so pick up Gears of War 3 and give it a whirl, you might just find yourself immersed into the universe. Thanks a lot for reading, and I will see you next time.