So I’ve decided recently to try to figure out what my Top 10 games of all time were. These are just my opinion, and most of the games I’ve played a lot of tend to be fairly newer, so keep that in mind. Without further adieu, here we go.
9. Gears of War (series)
Platform: Xbox 360, PC (only the original)
Developer: EPIC games
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date(s): 11/07/2006, 6/11/2007, 11/07/2008, 10/20/2011
Reasoning: Gears of War is one of Microsoft’s core “blockbuster” exclusive series, and it certainly lives up to that title. With an entire trilogy of games (and a fourth on the way) that focus as much if not more on cooperative play rather than competitive, EPIC certainly caters to fans of everything, to the compelling (for a shooter) story to the first big survival mode (there’s a reason they’re called Horde clones) to extremely unique competitive multiplayer to four person cooperative campaign. The gameplay is also top notch, with its innovative cover system and creative weapons, among other things. The cover system allows for fast paced movement and quick, simple cover changes. The weapons include the Torque Bow (which shoots explosive arrows), the Lancer with its characteristic chainsaw baronet, the unique grenade tagging system (as well as the different types of grenades), and many others. Gears is the definitive third person shooter on this console generation.
Cooperation is a big theme in Gears
The campaign in Gears is what originally stood out to me. Set on the planet Sera, the story is about the emergence of a bug-like species from underground (the Locust) who start slaughtering humanity for seemingly no reason. The main character is Marcus Fenix, who was court marshaled for deserting the army to attempt to save his father. He is later released as the COG (Coalition of Ordered Governments) is running out of soldiers to combat the ruthless Horde. The story goes much deeper then that, with several twists, but I won’t go into more details here. Each story is made up of five acts, with several boss fights in each game. All three fully support split-screen cooperative play, as well as online campaign. Gears 3 is the lone game with the support for 4 player campaign (and only online), but Gear’s support of local play is still exceptional in the current market.
Speaking of Multiplayer, the Campaign is not the only thing that receives the online treatment. Versus is the competitive multiplayer mode and has been since Gears 1. Featuring fast play, shotgun fights, and of course the series’ trademark gore and violence, the competitive multiplayer tracks an insane amount of stats and is frequently supported with various map packs, in all 3 installments. Connectivity has been an issue in the past, but Gears 3 is much improved over its predecessors in this regard. Competitive is not the only multiplayer aspect, as players can hold out as a team of five against 50 waves of the incoming Locust Horde in the Horde Mode, introduced in Gears of War 2. Horde mode 2.0, present in the third installment, has a system of buying fortifications such as Barriers, Decoys, Sentries, etc… with money earning from killing enemies and completing various objectives. Beast mode, new to Gears 3, places players in the role of the Horde, being the relentless onslaught on humanity. All of these modes are some of the best places to enjoy Xbox’s best third person shooter.
So with all these positives, why is it only 9? Because I 1. Am not the biggest fan of shooters and 2. It has to deal with LIVE’s shitty userbase. It has also had problems with lag, overpowered weapons *coughsawedoffcough* and unbalanced maps. The overall experience, however is great and Gears of War is a series that any serious gamer should play.