Gears of War
Gears of War (sometimes abbreviated as GOW, not to be confused with God of War)(also known as Thick Necked Refrigerator Armor Marine) is a military simulation experience where the player is assigned control of Marcus Fenix, leader of Delta squad. Gears focuses on portraying Marcus and his team of grizzled backing vocalists fighting against the horde of reptiles currently abiding on the planet Sarah. While some critics have argued that this would lead the main protagonists to be viewed as invaders, the evil nature of the 'Locust' has proven obvious (as seen in the thumbnail to the right). Developed by Micro-'we're slowly screwing you over'-Soft and 'Not so Epic Games', Gears has been acclaimed for its compelling and awe inspiring story and its vibrant color palette which ranges from soft to dark browns.
The GOW franchise debuted in 2008 with the commercial launch of Gears of War, which wowed audiences with its impressive visuals. Focus on textures allowed players to appreciate the level of detail that went into the dirt and rocks which feature predominately throughout the game. Other gameplay implementations also impressed critics, such as the ingenious concept of attaching a chainsaw to a gun. This idea eventually made its way into the American Military for its practicality. The idea of wearing cars for armor instead of bulletproof vests also impressed audiences.
Gears 2 debuted later in 2009, and managed to succeed in changing absolutely nothing in the beloved formula. This would become a re-occuring theme throughout the franchise, with the idea to not tinker with anything becoming a smart move on Epic's part. Gears 3 launched in 2011, adding a few, safe features such as a sawed off shotgun. In Gears of War: Judgment (2013), the producers made a dangerous decision to add TWO rounds into the sawed off instead of one. Simple additions such as this kept long time fans intrigued as to what their 80 dollars would be buying them.
GOW has been hailed as being universally kid friendly, and is recommended for children aged 8 and up.
Gears of War is a third person 'chest high wall' cover based shooter. The series focuses on using cover to tactically engage the enemy in battle to avoid taking damage (which essentially means spending half the game crouched behind a rock). As the player takes damage, a crimson skull appears on the screen (yes, it's as dumb as it sounds). Your character can regain health by hiding for a few moments, providing an example of what real soldiers do on the field. Should you take too many bullets, your character will become incapacitated. Incapped players can be revived by others, who simply have to touch the downed player's chest lightly to get them back on their feet (realism is a big thing in GOW).
Gears of War
The plot begins 14 years after A-Day, when all the grubs emerged from their A-holes to wreak destruction on planet Sarah. Marcus Fenix, former COG soldier and voted 'most likely to die of throat cancer' during his graduation year, has been in jail for the last 4 years for being nice to his father. After having four years to consider, Colonel Dustin Hoffman concludes this was probably not the best of ideas, and pardons all those imprisoned. For some reason, Marcus with his sporting IQ of 37, concludes that he should probably go hang out with the guys that put him in the slammer for four years. He helps assist Delta Squad (composed of Dominique 'My wife ;_;' Italian, Damon 'Sir Whinealot' Baird and The Coal Train) to retrieve a Lightbass Bomb, an instrumental fish that would echo the coarse, guttural tones of Fenix to the Locusts, eventually rupturing their eardrums and killing them off.
Some stuff happens...
...before Delta manages to kill 32GB RAAM and drop the bomb, which fails on 'epic' proportions.
Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2 opens up six months after the Lightbass bomb failed. The Locust begin to re-appear with new force, and the natural byproduct of the planet, The Cog forces are weakening and Emulsion (a mixture of two or more liquids that are normally immiscible, example being milk), a byproduct of the planet, begins to cause widespread health problems in the remaining humans. These include Rustlung, which cause similar symptoms that align with Fenix's (difficulty speaking, course verbal enunciation. Famous example includes Bruce Wayne). To counter this, Colonel Dustin Hoffman brilliantly decides exploding their biggest city will drive back the Locust forces.
Gears of War 3
For some reason everyone is living on a boat now. Dom is a turnip father, Fenix is wearing considerably less clothing (it has been rumored he adopted a stripper position as entertainer on the boat), and the Coal Train is bald. Anya has a man face and we have Jace, the new token black guy. Everything has disintegrated in the past few months thanks to Emulsion, which has turned the Locust into Lambent. The difference being they explode in anger.
Fenix's dead father, Adam, turns out to be not dead, and instead of bailing his son out of jail, has spent the last few years on a resort island. It is also revealed that Myrrah (head of the Locust army) was actually Adam's lover (which kinda explains her human appearance), and Marcus is their bastard child. In a strange turn of events, he releases another bomb (because that's been going so well for the COG lately), which kills all the Locust and Lambent, including Adam himself who contained trace amounts of 'who the fuck wrote this shit'.
Gears of War: Judgment
Judgment is the standard 'we've run out of ideas, let's make a prequel' game that follows a franchise. Set 30 days after A-Day, it follows Damon Baird and his team 'Kilo Squad' as they try to prepare and drop a bomb against the Locust horde (noticing a re-occurring theme here?), disobeying direct orders.
That's about it...there's really not much plot development or diversity. Just...let's go find a bomb, here's the bomb, drop the bomb.
Gears of War
Reception for Gears of War was initially positive, people praising the voice talents of John DiFaggio for grunting consistently. The graphics were a major highlight, as people tended to ignore the weak plot and gameplay in favor of staring at the favorite shades of dirt.
Gears of War 2
Players praised the introduction of the new 'Whored' mode, which allowed the p[layers to simulate sexual intercourse between Dom and Marcus. The worm segment throughout the campaign, where the player gets to perform a vasectomy on a giant worm retrieved from a stray dog's stomach, was also highlighted as being fresh and original.
Gears of War 3
A few notable changes arrived for the game's weapon component. The 'Nigger', a unique, single shot, magazine loaded grenade launcher that shoots an angry black man through the dirt before exploding. The 'One-shot', a lever action, recoiless, heavy sniper rifle which sported surprisingly, a single shot before becoming totally useless. The COG also decided attaching a large laser beam and allowing it to have a ridiculous wind up sound was a smart tactic.
The 'Retro-lancer' was introduced. Previously a lancer with a pointy fork on the end as opposed to a chainsaw, it was discarded at the beginning of A-Day for being impracticable. Colonel Dustin Hoffman, in his infinite wisdom, decided to re-introduce it for reasons unknown. Most of these changes were well received.
Gears of War: Judgment
Very poorly received by the fanbase, on account of quick weapon switching and only one primary on loadout. A quote from player 'IpwnThEN00bs' sums up the reaction at the time:
'FCKign EPic fuckign with ma game whats this 2piece shit that dont belong in my game fcking COD clone now, but YOLOO right? LOL'
TV issue - Many players of the game returned their television sets, disgruntled because of an apparent widescreen setting that they couldn't turn off. Many thought that perhaps some widescreen ratio setting had been altered with. Microsoft eventually came out and stated that it was simply the character models that appeared unusually large and unrealistic, and apologized by offering everyone a 0.5% rebate on every $100000 spent in the ingame store.
Health problems - The series is notable for its four player co-op introduced in 3, which was an effective ailment for those tripping on bad acid and whose only method of staying sane was boring themselves as efficiently as possible. Dynamic camera movement when sprinting in the game as if the camera is at a Meatloaf gig is also known to cause severe migranes.