Gears of War 3 is the first real ending to a videogame trilogy that I’ve ever seen. So many videogame series call themselves trilogies, but when it comes time to actually say goodbye, most refuse to go. They start to pack up their things, begin to tie up their storylines, but then they smile and nod at you and whisper, “Wait, I can still suck more money out of you! Let’s not tie up everything, okay?” Gears doesn’t do this, either with its story or its gameplay. This is the end of the Gears of War trilogy, and it feels like an ending, and that is the highest praise that I can bestow on it.
The gameplay is tighter than it’s ever been. I played through the game solo, on hardcore difficulty, and it never felt unfair. Every time I died, I earned that death, by doing something really really stupid. Gears of War has always forged a constant push and pull between taking cover and running directly into battle, and sometimes taking cover for too long will let a Locust get the drop on you, and sometimes running into battle will get you blown to bits before you can chainsaw your foe in the face. Gears 3 does a better job than any shooter before it of making you feel responsible for your death, not by punishing you, but by never cheating you. In Gears 3, you earn your success, and you earn your failure, every time. Continue reading