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Gears Of War 3 Review

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Hording it up

★★★★★

After a teary six-month delay and plenty of reassurances from the mighty Cliff Bleszinkski on the Jimmy Fallon show, Gears of War 3 has finally found its way onto our Xbox 360 – and the end result is a bombastic finale for what is arguably the manliest gaming series our joypad junky generation has ever played.

Proving that developer Epic Games is the master of the fist-pumping third person shooters, Gears of War 3 delivers, and delivers BIG. Series tropes are present (chainsaws, space marines and the Locust) but nestled underneath are a gorgeously crafted world and a deftly woven storyline that’s filled with numerous emotional payoffs – all rolled out with consummate panache, easily erasing the disjointed attempts the team desperately tried to execute in Gears of War 2.

Picking up where its predecessor left off, GoW3 sees Marcus Fenix and the remaining COG soldiers eking out an existence onboard gargantuan sea-barges, constantly locked in chaotic skirmishes with the Locust Horde and a new, more dangerous enemy called the Lambent. With this new breed of foe comes a fresh way to fight – brawls will sometimes unfurl into three way shootouts between you, the Locust and the Lambent, before you’re hurled into yet another of its jaw-dropping set pieces throughout the 12 hour campaign.

It’s a master class in game design, and despite the odd stumble in Marcus Fenix’s swansong, Gears of War 3 is the series’s finest moment that, in pulling together everything that made the first two games so memorable, ties up numerous loose ends while at the same time leaving you frantically craving more. Mix in four-player campaign co-op, five-player online co-op, stacks of achievements, medals and a wondrously crafted roster of multiplayer modes and you’ve got Epic’s crowning achievement on Microsoft’s box of tricks. Cue the fist-pumping.

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