Gears of War 3 offers action-movie like play

Gears of War 3 offers action-movie like play

Gears of War 3 is a gamer’s game. This award-winning third-party shooter plays like an action movie with superb graphics and realistic special effects drawing both the old and the too young!

Although rated M for mature audiences, tweeners can’t seem to stay away from Gears’ aliens, chainsaws, tough-talking macho men, guns, blood, guts, decapitations and curse words — f**k, sh*t and a**hole, specifically.

In this Xbox 360 sci-fi combat game, players assume the role of Marcus Fenix, a former soldier with the Coalition of Organized Governments who is in prison for alleged treason. (Seen Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol? Ethan Hawk is busted out of a Russian prison in the opening scene.) Our character Fenix, a rough, aggressive brute and natural leader, gets set free from prison by bud Dominic Santiago, another ruffian solider. The big difference between Hawk’s escape in “Impossible” and Fenix’s is that Hawk has to fight off other prisoners on his way out. Santiago tells Fenix there are no other prisoners; they’re gone. And herein is the problem. There’s a war going on, and the prisoners have been killed.

Dom and friends are fighting a force called the Locusts. There are more characters (16), for certain, like Fenix’s dad, Adam Fenix; Berserker, a disgusting, ugly, enemy; Samantha Bryne, a brute beauty; and Aaron Griffin, a businessman turned leader in one of the campaigns, but the storyline isn’t must deeper than running and gunning, hiding and shooting, kill or be killed.

What is missing in deeply meaningful character development is compensated for in physical detail. Friends and enemies are incredibly creative and visually appealing. Fenix and Dom, who is the character controlled by player two in the co-op mode, are both massive men fully covered in even more colossal leather-metal armor — except for their biceps, so as not to hide their tattoos, and their heads, revealing their square, GQ jaw lines. Solider squads are pretty, overly muscular people in tight metal clothing.

The aliens, or the Locusts Horde, as the story goes, emerged from the depths of planet Sera, the setting, and eat worms; they’re humanoid to a certain extent, but there are plenty of gnarly, creatures among the ranks.

The thrill of this game is two-fold, according to my tweener game insiders. First, they love the hide-and-seek aspect of the game. The minute they move from behind a blown up car or a concrete wall and reveal themselves, the enemy attacks. With every showing of their heads, arms, legs, etc., there is the possibility of being hit and wounded.

Second, the Gears of War fanatics love the weaponry. There’s the snub pistol, boltok pistol, lancer assault rifle, the hammerburst, longshot sniper rifle, frag grenade and smoke grenade, gnasher shotgun, hammer of dawn, torque bow and boom shot. The lancer seems to be the most favored weapon. It’s not only a fast-firing machine gun but doubles as a chainsaw. These weapons of mass locust destruction are all uniquely designed to deliver some kind of deadly trauma, which results in splatters of blood, dismemberment and the like. Fenix and friends of the Delta Squad can even step on a locust head until they’ve been eliminated. Pretty gruesome because it’s so life-like.

There are three difficulty settings in Gears of War 3. Two levels are available from the get-go, and the other can be unlocked as you progress. There are five acts in each of the levels. You can go solo or play with a partner either with split screen or LIVE. Game play at each level is estimated to be about 10-12 hours. Cost of this game is $59.99 (new).