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Games That Nobody Plays Anymore: Gears of War Double-Whammy

Sigh.

Horrible writing, an obsession with chest-high walls and enough forced depressive themes to make even My Chemical Romance scream in anti-happiness fashion.

Gentlemen and ladies, Gears of War.

Gears is one of the few franchises that I hate and want to murder while it’s asleep, but it’ll probably reflex with a forced emotional moment or lag out due to server disconnection (we’ll get to that). It’s all based around the idea that aliens from outer space (well, the planet’s core but shut up Sci-fi cliches) invading a planet and it’s all sad and heroic and we’re not going to make it and lets have ‘Mad World’ as the trailer music. Because obviously, that’s how you create a depressive utopia. Sarcasm aside, Gears tends to ignore central character development and just concentrate on its frowning animation or gravely voice acting. It feels way too forced to get into, you’re never a soldier in the fight, turning back the unfightable fight. I hate to compare to my most hated of franchises (Halo) but there’s never a sense of epic that saved Halo for all of its falling graces. Okay so you can’t exactly capture epic, but Gears does do some set pieces and environmental changes quite well, just please stop trying to make me cry or frown or get sad/mad. I’m not going to get angry just because you kill a character I didn’t care about or you wrote a line such as “We can’t make it! We’re going to die!”, or you even kick in a unnecessary horror element. It doesn’t scare or provoke any of my emotions.

Gameplay is fine, if slightly both awkward and casual. You’ll press A to Velcro yourself to a wall, peek out, wish for the music to stop swelling up with the same melodramatic melody you heard three minutes ago, and then start shooting things. There’s lots of things to shoot, but there’s also a gigantic puzzling element. By puzzling element I mean something that the developer showed off at one point and said they were ‘really excited about bringing a whole new genre into the Gears’ melting pot’, it turns out to last just one section. Oh and it involves shooting things, clever, clever Epic Games.

In fact, am I the only one who finds it ironic that Epic Games never actually make ‘epic games’, but rather linear and central with pathetic excuses for character development.

What we’re left with then is a hollowed out ball of visually depressive (but opposing to the actual story) but downright ‘illusion’ of a shooter. I never feel like I’m fluidly dashing around the battlefield, popping my clips and then chainsawing the guts out of the aliens from outer space. Three things there. Dashing in the first game involved the character hunching himself over, the camera too, and heavily breathing as he ran across the battlefield. They called it rodeo run, I called it “Marcus’ sex race”. In the second title, Marcus suddenly realizes he can move his limbs even while he is hunched over (gasp! A scientific breakthrough!) so now you can reload even while your thumb just sits on the A button probably growling at you in another universe.

Second thing. Reloading. While you’re reloading, you can take part in a comedy panel quiz show. The aim of the show is to stop your flicking thinger when it goes over the nice juicy white bits, or the bright bits for extra brownie points, otherwise your assault rifle will jam and you will be shot to death. That is unless you hide behind your mum. Yeah I went there. The whole mini-minigame comes across as a distraction, as new gamers will totally keep failing, pros will nail it and just laugh at how awesome they are and people like me will just pull a quizzical look. Reloading did not need reinventing, it did not need improving. Press square to reload. The end. Not press square to reload BUT only when it goes over the white bits. All the while you’re taking part in Epic’s little reloading experiment, the aliens are either shooting at you or the stereotypical black guy is telling you to “GET YOUR ARSE DOWN MARCUS!”

Third thing. Gore. There’s a whole lot of gore, some of it coupled with actual satisfaction and some of it just not needed. Case in point: I was defending a mansion in the first game (the Fenix estate), I took cover behind a small dresser as a galleon of aliens came up the stairs. One was just behind the dresser I was taking cover behind, standing right there with his juicy big yellow teeth. Almost in a comical fashion, I tapped the right shoulder button to fire my shotgun, Marcus popped out right there and in three seconds there was nothing left but red bits of alien. It was a nice reward for the player to see his true style rewarded in such a way. But if we go up with a lancer machine gun, the trademark weapon of the game, and hold down the B button. We can rev up a chainsaw. Pretty useless in a full frontal war with aliens with giant assault rifles. But we can chop aliens in half; in the sequel we can even have chainsaw duels with them. KEEP TAPPING B TO WIN. KEEP TAPPING B TO WIN. QUICKTIME EVENT. OUT OF NOWHERE. KEEP TAPPING B TO WIN.

Gears is not a bad game, it just has a lot of problems which keep it from being a great game. It’s a good one, I love the shooting most of the time and for all the excessive and dull “depressive” moments in the game, the characters still keep me through. What I really love about it, especially the sequel, is the level design. One minute I have to stay in the light so I don’t get eaten by night-bats, the next I’m on a speeding train trying to defeat a giant, blind alien. In Gears 2 you go from a generic urban setting to the insides of a giant worm. To say it’s disgusting would be an understatement, but there’s a level of detail found inside that just makes it all worthwhile.

Multiplayer is horrendous, especially in Gears 2, not because it’s bad; Horde is great offline or in Private matches. I just can’t get a game, maybe it’s the servers, maybe it’s my connection being too awesome or maybe it’s even ME being too awesome! I just can’t get into a public match with lag or disconnection. It had a lot of potential, but I just hop on to COD4 afterwards to make myself feel better.

If you want to sum the entire Gears franchise in 7 seconds, here you are:

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  • IChainsawUAnytime

    Go ahead, suck acti dig make yourself feel better ASSHOLE! Gears (2) is still in Top 8 on XBL but “Nobody plays it anymore”? Do you homework stupid punk!

    But anyway, keep on crying/wining like a bitch & run home to mommy if this games to hard for you. plus they kinda fixed the broken multiplayer, but some people are just to dumb – even for the story of it …

    • Nathan Hardisty

      YEAH GAME IS TOO HARD FOR ME

      full 1000/100 GS on both Gears 1 and Gears 2.

      They didn’t fix the multiplayer in Europe.

      ”People are just to dumb – even for the story of it…”

      Nice to hear from a guy who loves clichéd action dialogue and forced depressive narrative.

      The ‘Nobody Plays Anymore’ column title isn’t meant to be taken literal. If you took the took to look around this place you’d see that I review titles that people play but may have forgotten.

  • gears rules

    I hope that the guy who wrote this aricle gets murdered in his sleep. He is such a fucking idiot. Gears of war 1 and 2 are both amazing games and you are a worthless piece of shit if you think otherwise. Yeah like IChainsaw U anytime said, it is still in the top ten on xbox live and i play it all the time and there is never any lag or any shit like that. So to you the writer of this article FUCK YOU and die!!!

    • Nathan Hardisty

      “I hope the guy who wrote this article gets murdered in his sleep.” Nice.

      “Yeah like IChainsaw U anytime said” Ok?

      “FUCK YOU and die!!!” People sure are passionate about videogame these days.

  • pp

    U pathetic Sony ass hole Gears of War is still the most played game.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      Last I read it’s 13# most played title on XBL.

      The column title isn’t meant to be taken literal.

  • MetalGearRising

    Man u are so stuck up Sony ass and your a loser go play with your ps3 and try finding a match on psn which u will hardly find.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      Nice that I prefer the 360.

      Oh and it takes me just 3 seconds to find a game of COD4 on my PS3.

      Glad you’ve done your research.

  • gr8 1

    Hahahahaha pathetic Gears of War everyone still plays. Go play LBP loser.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      The column title isn’t to be taken literal.

      Yes I will go enjoy LBP.

      And not be a loser.

  • Cage

    I loved this.

  • ash

    haha you guys suck, theres only one thing thats more ovverated than halo and that is gays of war. uncharted ftw

    • Guy

      Gays of way is definitely overrated. I understand you are talking about the PS3 exclusive coming this month with that half-nude gay dude name Kuntos, right?

  • Ian

    How many terrible articles do sites like these need to write a day?

    Get a life. Holy shit.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      Expressing my negative opinion through a written article is terrible?

      • Scott Gartland

        ha ha I thought the review was great, although you pointed out the bad points, you sure know how to convince a guy to play it 🙂 Nath ftw

  • The game

    Haha, someone once said imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I’ll go Tell Yahtzee he has a very big fan.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      Oddly enough I despise Yahtzee’s writing style.

      I take in Anthony Burch and Charlie Brooker has key influences.

      They’re quite similar.

  • Guy

    Wow, your parents must have dropped you down quite a few stairs.
    “Reloading did not need reinventing, it did not need improving. Press square to reload. The end. Not press square to reload BUT only when it goes over the white bit”

    You DO know that you don’t have to do a double button press when reloading, right? It will do a regular reload and nothing will jam if you only press it once. The active reload only gives you an added punch and faster reload if you CHOOSE to attempt it an do it right
    Try starting with the tutorial missions next time…

    I won’t even comment on your other invalid points. They make this one actually not sound all that stupid in comparison…

    • Nathan Hardisty

      I’m sorry but whenever I just protest against the reloading system, it takes a full four seconds for Marcus to pop the clip in.

  • Decreeofj

    I actually got myself an xbox resently and played GoW 1&2. This article pretty muchs sums it all up xD

  • TruthBeTold

    Why all this hate? It’s just a game.

  • K!ng

    HAHA…asshurt trolls r all over this huh ?

    I dont really agree with this whole article,but yeah I can see y somebody feels this way.

    Fanboys r fags ignore’em.

    Peace,man

  • Mrlife

    LOL this has to be the most ridiculous article i’ve ever read.
    Gears of War 2 and 1 were both amazing games, two of the best games you can find on xbox.
    If you wanna show your fanboyism to sony, then you have to find another way

    • Nathan Hardisty

      Gears 2 and 1 were massively overrated game, two of the mediocre you can find on the Xbox.

      Yes I have a PS3, but I prefer my Xbox.

  • Dwayne Scott

    I don’t understand how he was pressing square to reload and right shoulder button to fire lol.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      I just came off COD4 for the PS3. Right shoulder isn’t just the term for the SIXAXIS thingy, it’s also for 360. I would put square/X and RT/R2 but I’m lazy.

      I had a friend who got confused when I said “Press square to reload.”, he was looking all over the controller and laughing to myself.

  • ur a fag

    loooooooooool you are such a noob, youve pretty much written a huge article on how much you are shit at playing gears of war. a paragraph on how you cant reload. a paragraph how you cant tab b and are a pussy about gore, go watch some fuckin my little pony you cunt and go back to eatin out your sister

    • Nathan Hardisty

      looooooooooool you are such a fanboy.

      I never said, quote me if you want, that I was ‘shit’ at Gears of War. I nail the bright spot everytime.

      I can hold down B, but the violence isn’t necessary. It’s way over the top, which feels out of touch in such an environment.

      Oh and thanks for talking about my sister. She died when she was four years old by the way.

  • Hempknight3000

    I agree with the guy who wrote the article. The rest of yous little fucks can go blow your own mothers. And buy a decent game while you’re at it! Snoogens.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      People can get so angry over so little.

      • Hempknight3000

        Looks that way man, for sure.

  • Dirk

    Can’t we all just get along? In order for Gears of War to be a horrible game an awful lot of stupid people had to buy it. Umm… nevermind.

  • PS3 Troll Exposed

    Gears Of War not played anymore? You kidding me? Its still played and its in top ten xbox live activity? Are you a retard.

    Oh Yeah it completely destroyed Resistance 2, And revolutionised the gaming industry.

    Yes it has more players then Flopzone 2. You should instead write a article about that. Its got dead servers.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      No I’m not a retard, thanks anyway. I saw it was in Xbox Live activity and that’s why I left my multiplayer thoughts until later.

      ‘Revolutionised the gaming industry’, I think not. In fact, Gears pulled an Uncharted and combined all the great ideas of the last few years. The cover system from Killswitch (but less awful).

      Why do you Xbox players always attack Sony exclusives? I don’t care for Resistance 2 but I don’t care for Halo either.

  • PS3 Troll Exposed

    This guy is a noob he can’t play games properly he skills are so amature that he can’t even reload. Go play your trash LPB.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      I can reload perfectly fine, I always nail the bright white bit if that’s what you mean. I’m complaining that it exists, I know I shouldn’t complain about Halo multiplayer because I know I’m not good at it.

      And thanks for sharing that Littlebigplanet is a trash game, I’ll just enjoy it along with me and my friends.

  • VIPER-G1

    You are entitled to your opinion m8 but some of these replies are not from REAL gamers. Remember, play games regardless of format. Microsoft Sony or Nintendo aren’t going to treat you better just because your a fanboy. Anyway I feel some of your points are valid like for example when Tai shot himself I didn’t really care… I don’t think its because I’m a heartless shrew but rather he was just thrown into the game. If the coletrain died I’d of been pissed off. Overall not a bad game but I think theres much better games on the 360 other then the two giants Halo and Gears.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      If Cole had died I would have probably shed a man tear. He really breathes some life into the lifeless dialogue.

  • Hell-Reaver

    Hey, don’t lump this retard in with sony fans. I can admit i’m a sony fanboy, i have both consoles, and the reason i have a xbox is for gears and halo franchises.

    This guys just got his panties in a bunch because he doesn’t know how to pay games. retard.

    I really hope they announce gears 3 at GDC and i’m stoked for Reach. Although my little white box has 3 red lights currently. I’ll be buying a new elite in the coming months.

    • Nathan Hardisty

      Nice, apparently I’m a retard. I can’t play games either even after playing them for ten years and joining ten competitive Call of Duty 4 leagues.

  • REDHULK78

    Agree halo lousy franchise not fun. Gears not bad game but yeah kind of glitch. But part one wasn’t a lame urban setting. It was actually way better than gears 2. Gears one had much better graphics, a faster jog and roady run, and less laggy multiplayer. Gears 2 was cool because you could choose between cog and locust guns, and you could plant grenades on wall, still very glitchy and pretty bland maps. Gears 1 not enough maps. Would love to see both gears on blue ray on ps3 they’re only 6 gigs. Except fix glitches. I think epic stands to make alot of money. I know they don’t want to betray Microsoft for “promoting gears and making it a big hit” stand up guys at epic,but would microsoft take cash over hurting a developers feelings..uh yeah they would. Put it on ps3 cliff butinski, better system bigger discs. Hulk go now!

  • A. Shuttlezworf

    Gears pf was 2 is still played because there inst SHIT to play on 360… i have one, and it props up my PS3… 360 is trash