Gears Of War PDF Print E-mail
Written by bobdog   
Tuesday, 19 February 2008 09:02
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Gears Of War
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Hey Ma!! Where’s the Joystick on My Keyboard?

Yes, unfortunately GOW is a blasted port of an Xbox game, but generally, it’s pretty good at translating joypad actions to the keyboard and mouse. The designers have of course had to simplify things for the Xbox crowd, which thus makes it more difficult to those of us with working crania, but, nothing to do about it.

My main complaint is that one button does your special moves, including running, mantling objects, rolling and getting into/out of cover. For those of us who have practiced for years to run and duck with two separate buttons, this takes a significant amount of getting used to. It does look cool, but leads to many frustrating battles since you are locked into one position and sometimes can’t unlock yourself from wherever you are taking cover at the time.

You also can control some squadmates, but I found the commands limited. Time and again, your idiot squad would go out and kill themselves because you can’t tell them to hold position. You can bring them back to you, but then they just rush off again into enemy fire. Idiots.

To assist you, you’ll sometimes be prompted to “view” certain objects, such as wormholes, your squadmates, or areas of interest in the general surroundings or on enemy weaknesses. This is a sort of “hint” system if you get stuck on what to do next.

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Get Rock-Hard Abs and No One Will Kick Dirt in Your Face Again!!

This game is hard, and by hard, I mean “kick you in the teeth with a steel-toed boot” kind of hard. I consider myself an experienced shooter and gamer, and generally play everything at the mid-level. Well, in this case, I went down to the lowest notch (Casual – you play an occasional shooter) and I still died. A lot. And by “a lot”, I mean, about every 45 seconds! And when you get to the big enemy cutscenes, expect to play it over for dozens of times until you get it right. I admit, I couldn’t finish the final boss scene after 40+ attempts. And with no “god” mode, the only way I got to see the final cutscene was to go to YouTube.

That’s right – there are no quick saves in this game – just console checkpoints. Generally, they are not so far apart that you have to redo everything, but still, I would love to have control of my destiny – not some computer program. And the error I mentioned up top to lose all my checkpoints?? Unforgivable. If there hadn’t been the last chapter open, I would have quit in disgust right there.

The other “hard” part about this game is the gore and language. This is a Mature game and you are playing a tough-as-nails Marine getting his butt whipped by bugs. How do you think you’d feel? This is not a Dr. Phil moment – the only thing to do is get out there and get stomping!

I do have to give major props to design of the characters, who are some bad-looking dudes. Your character Marcus is all scarred up and not very pretty. But the best is the “Cole Train” – one bad mamma-jamma dude with biceps like fire hydrants. Plus, he’s funny as hell.

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Want to See My Gun Collection?

Your Gear has four arms slots, of which one is dedicated to grenades, and one to sniping; the other two are generally for a machine gun or a shot gun, but can be interchanged with various guns that you’ll find along the way. One of these is the Hammer of Dawn, which allows satellites to send down a fusion beam and fry whatever is targeted. This little beauty of course can only be used in certain locations due to satellite coverage. You’ll know when you need it because you’ll find them on about a dozen corpses on the way.

The designers have opted not to give you a targeting reticule unless you zoom in, which means you are blindly firing from the hip most of the time, as the zoom is only good on far-off critters. However, you can also “blind” fire from cover, meaning you can aim your weapon over your cover source to hit incoming targets. That is way cool.

Also, the grenade can be “zoomed” to tell exactly how and where it will land. I found this cool as well. And if you get in the mix with some buggies, you can use the melee chainsaw on one of your guns to slice through the opposition. Get it? “Slice” through the … never mind.

Finally, the game integrates an “active reload”, where if you hit the sweet spot on a bar, you’ll reload your weapon quicker and gain additional power and accuracy for the next round of shots. If not, you get an “Aw, c’mon!” comment and have to wait it out.

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