publisher: Xbox Game Studios / Microsoft Studios
Game mode: single / multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: local network / Internet, players: 1-8
Gears of War for PC and X360 is another game by the creators of the legendary Unreal series. In contrast to Unreal Tournament and Unreal Championship, developers decided to focus on the single player campaign. However, there is a multiplayer, offering an interesting cooperation mode, for example. This third person perspective game combines the best elements of action games along with survival horror aspects, so in a way it resembles Doom 3 and the memorable System Shock series.
Tactics are an essential element of the game; the tactical-cover system allows taking cover during shootouts. Even though the arsenal seems quite conventional – assault rifles, shotguns, grenades etc. – the game is kept in a futuristic stylistic. The action is taking place on Sera, a planet resembling Earth. You play as Marcus Fenix, who wears a heavy combat armor that makes him unable to run like a sprinter, so frontal attacks and constant dashing are out of the question. Yet, the direct contact with the enemy allows using physical violence. The action happens both during day and night.
From the technical standpoint, Gears of War features high quality 3D graphics powered by the third generation of Unreal Engine. Not only does it generate convincing interiors and enclosed spaces, but also renders vast open areas in real-time. Additionally, the AI of both the enemies and your allies is very good.
In comparison to the almost a year older version for Xbox 360, the PC edition is definitely richer. The developers introduced five new chapters into the single player campaign, among them a battle with Brumak – a gigantic monster. Multiplayer is enhanced with new levels and a new mode – King of the Hill. Epic Games provided players with a level editor, so players can create their own locations. The game for PC / Windows also includes every add-on from the console version.
Microsoft Xbox 360
Uses: Xbox Live + additionally (X360): link-cable
PC / Windows
Recommended: Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 1 GB RAM, graphic card 128 MB (GeForce 6600 or better), 12 GB HDD, Windows XP/Vista