Gears of War was one of the first games I played on my XBOX 360. That game got me back into shooters, and eventually back into FPS games. The cover system was new back then, and it was an interesting element to the game. Fast forward to 2011, and we are at the third game of the trilogy. I enjoyed the story in the first two games, so the third one was a must buy. I knew that I wouldn't be getting into the competitive multiplayer side since its so dominated by the shotguns, which sadly still is the case today. But I knew I'd still play the campaign at least twice, and do a lot of horde mode.
The campaign this time is done very well, a lot of emotion in the story, especially for those who have been closely following the series. The developers took time to really give each character the look and tone of being "tired" and a bit worn down because of the war. Like the previous two games, the campaign does feel a bit short, the game could've been longer, but the pace is good, and you get a decent variety of environments. You also get a bit of back story to some of the main characters which really makes you feel for their struggles in this world. Right down to the heroic sacrifice of Dom, to the end with Marcus sitting on the beach. They really ended the whole story now, since they've killed off their enemy in order to save the rest of the world. Only thing left is to visit the world in the early stages of the war with prequels and maybe some side stories with other characters. But it truly is the end of delta squad, but mostly because there's nothing left to fight.
This time around, I got to enjoy the campaign in co-op, which was fun, and the addition of arcade mode made things more interesting. I liked the fact that in arcade mode, if you are dead, your game doesn't stop, and you just have to sit and wait to respawn. As long as one person is still alive, you don't have to restart a checkpoint, which makes things a lot easier when compared to the standard campaign mode.
Multiplayer, unfortunately, still felt the same. Shotguns rule the world there, so I didn't care to put much time trying to get used to that playstyle. Maps were nicely modeled as always, but wish there were a few more in the rotation, or at least some dynamic features to them. Only one map had the sandstorm roll in once in a while, but thats about it.
Horde mode makes its return, back with some new features to freshen up the formula. Now you can build up barriers and turrets to help you survive all the waves. The need to keep using and repairing them to level up to better barriers and turrets do add quite a bit to the replay value. Not to mention the various difficulty levels and the mutations (aka modifiers) you can add to spice things up. It takes a lot of levels of horde to max out everything, so for the die-hards, they will never run out of things to do.
Beast mode is the new addition to the game, its the reverse of Horde mode. You play as the locust and you have to beat 12 waves of humans (some levels include the story's characters as heroes in this mode). I had lots of fun with this mode, and really wish it lasted longer than 12 waves. The armoured kantus is so bad ass with the dual weilding gorgon pistols (also interesting that they changed it to fully auto vs its 5 round burst in the past).
This game is fun, but there's still some inheirent issues that keep this game from being played as much as I'd like it to be, and like the previous two titles, it'll sadly get traded in.