After digesting all of the linked reviews in this roundup, Gears of War 3 meets and perhaps exceeds almost all expectations laid before it. For a series with as much cachet this one, that’s an extremely tall order and it’s exciting to see the start of the fall and holiday gaming season kick off with such promise.
The reviewers are mostly unanimous in that the new Beast mode adds an exciting new multiplayer option; the color palette is much more palatable; the cover system and gun play has been refined and tightened up to be much more responsive and what was broken has been fixed, and what wasn’t has been improved.
While I am admittedly not a huge Gears fan, having only played the first in the series, I am excited to perhaps give this a go if time permits, and from what I have read you should too.
Casey Lynch at IGN covers Gears 3 (9 - 10) - “Gears of War 3 represents state-of-the-art design and gameplay where you become the king badass among a gory world of bad-asses. Every third-person, cover-based shooter from here on out will likely be compared to Gears 3, and it provides a fitting and poignant-- if sometimes cheesy -- closing chapter to the trilogy.”
Joystiq’s Arthur Gies has a bro-mance with Gears 3 (5 / 5) - “But it isn't just those meat and potatoes aspects – or the beautiful, colorful visual palette on display, a marked departure from Gears 1 and 2 – it's the entire package. Nothing in Gears of War 3 feels like an afterthought. “
Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstman is in Beast Mode for Gears 3 (5 / 5) - “It's a joy to play, and the game's expanded set of multiplayer options will give you plenty of things to keep you busy for a good, long time. Oh, and Ice-T's pretty great in it, too.”
Ben Kuchera from Ars Technica is living the dream (Buy) - “On balance, the game does far more right than it does wrong. The ending battle is long and hard, and I can't imagine trying it on the higher difficulties. By the time the credits rolled, I was satisfied with everything I had done and seen, and I was impressed that the game came to such a conclusive end.”
Jim Sterling from Destructoid wants to join to COG ( 8 / 10) - “Gears of War 3 is the long-awaited conclusion of one of this generation's most defining sagas, and Epic wants to end big. With more modes, more features, and a longer campaign than ever before, Gears of War 3 aims to be the ultimate way to end Marcus Fenix's journey through the Locust-ravaged world of Sera.”
Ben Kuchera’s sequel at GameLife/Wired (Buy) - “This is a well-designed and executed final chapter to one of the best franchises on the Xbox 360. We know there will be more sequels—no series this popular spends much time in mothballs—but the team at Epic will have to begin an entirely new story after this game. And that’s the way it should be.”
For further reading about the art, design and development of Gears read Tom Bissell’s account of getting caught up in the machinery of the Gears of War.