Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Late Night Final Impressions of Gears of War

Gears of War, the single most hyped and hotly anticipated game on the Xbox 360 to date. It’s been called a number of things, ranging from “The next Halo” to “The reason to buy an Xbox 360 this fall”. Who could blame people for generating such a buzz? Apparently, there is much to be praised, from the excellent graphics (probably the best you’ll see this year, on any platform), to the exciting tactically based “stop and pop” gameplay, Gears of War seems to have the total package. Well, I guess I’ll know soon enough, as I’ll be picking up my copy of the game around 3 PM Tuesday.

When Gears of War was first revealed, I was only mildly interested in it. It looked like it had potential, but didn’t look all that great to me. That quickly changed as the months passed, and more information regarding the gameplay, multiplayer and oh so sweet graphics emerged. While I’m no graphics whore, I don’t think I would feel quite the same if Gears didn’t look so damn good. But I digress…

(Click the image for a larger view)

As the months passed, drawing ever closer to the release date, my anticipation grew exponentially. The previews that have popped up in nearly every gaming related periodical or website I’ve seen. It’s pretty amazing. One preview in particular that got me the most excited was the 14 page spread (not counting the advertisements thrown in on just about every other page) in the November 2006 issue of Electronic Gaming Monthly. It revealed a lot about the game that I had previously been unaware of (the curb stomp in particular) and clarified some things I had been confused about. It left me with a newfound interest in the game, one that has only grown since then.

Since reading that preview, I actively sought out any and all Gears of War information and media on the net, and found my fair share. I stumbled upon some videos of Gears of War multiplayer (which have subsequently been removed for some reason but were uploaded again by users) on GameTrailers.com. Videos Four and six are my current favorites of the 12 or so that were once up there. An almost ten minute video preview over at Gamevideos.com made by the 1up crew, also has my interest through the roof, particularly because they discuss just how fun the game is and how all their worries about the game becoming repetitive have been put to rest. One of the speakers said something that really got me going. “This is probably the most polished game Epic has ever put out.” Wow. That’s certainly saying something, considering the Unreal Tournament series that has received pretty much rave reviews across the board. There's also the "Mad World" TV spot that popped up on the Xbox Live Marketplace a few weeks ago which managed to whet my appetite for all things Gears of War, if only for a short while.

Well, that’s my two cents regarding this massively hyped game for the Xbox 360. If my preorder turns out to be good, I might have a video of my initial impressions up soon (possibly Thursday or Friday). Well, if I can manage to tear myself away from the game long enough to set up and shoot the video.


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