Over the past couple of weeks I was able to finally finish the Gears of War trilogy with Gears of War 3. I wasn't a big fan of the first game as I think I came to it too late. When it first came out it was pretty original but I think by the time I got round to it I'd played a few imitations that meant it didn't seem as imaginative as it should have. The second game was much better for me and I think will be my favourite in the series. It expanded greatly on the original and offered so much more, along with a cracking story from what I remember. The one thing I've always loved about the game is that it's a game that seems tailored to exactly what gamers want. If I made a game it would probably be something very similar to this.
I've never had much love for the characters apart from Cole as they all seem pretty generic and not exactly a character you can relate to or find much love for. I was really pleased to be able to control Cole for a section of the game and I think that was definitely my favourite Act. The rest of the game was good but this was a standout for me.
I'm not a fan of big set pieces as I don't always feel I'm completely in control of what's happening so the game play is not to my liking. Every time you clear an area you move along until you come to the next carefully constructed area for another battle. While the scenery is great it's a bit jarring to then come across an area set out with barriers and boxes that look totally out of place and are purely for cover in a fight. This removes any element of surprise of what's coming next. Luckily the enemies come in their droves and aren't totally incompetent. I don't feel as satisfied shooting aliens as I do soldiers in warfare games. Sounds strange to write that and I find it's true unless you get a head shot there's not much reaction from the Locust/Lambent until they die.
The story did a good job of finishing off the trilogy and it was pretty epic in parts. Breaking a game up into different acts allows for multiple big finishes which were brilliant. This game was a lot more colourful than the previous two and although I cannot remember specifics, I'd say this has as much variation with the locations as the previous game.
It took me a bit longer to complete than I expected but it was enjoyable throughout. I couldn't decide whether to give it .5 less but when I thought about it thought that although it didn't move the series along as much as Gears of War 2, it was equally as good so deserved a 9.0.
I also finished Dante's Inferno during which I spent most of my time deciding whether or not I hated or like the game. I started off finding it a bit too monotonous and not very engaging. Although there are some combo moves (if you can call them that) it just felt a bit too much like button mashing. Punishing/absolving enemies was also pretty dull as the smaller enemies mean you have to do them one at a time which added a fair bit of time to a battle compared to just blazing through it. As the game progressed though it definitely improved, with the middle third being a particular highlight for me.
The game play, whilst simplistic ended up being a lot more satisfying that I first though. Combat was definitely action packed and plentiful and to begin with there was a decent array of enemies to get stuck into. The different enemy types dwindled off towards the end but having introduced enough to begin with I didn't feel that was too much of an issue. The game play between the action was fairly traditional platforming but towards the end it did feel like they'd run out of ideas and then were just reusing past sequences with a different colour scheme. There were a couple of sections that made me swear more than the average man should more because of the sheer stupidity of the game mechanics not letting me do what I wanted to. For most of the game they were fine but in just those couple of situations I was properly annoyed.
I have never liked boss battles and don't think I ever will but I definitely tolerated the ones in this one more than I would usually. None of them were particularly rage inducing once you got the hang of what you needed to do. For a change they added a nice change of pace rather than slowing down the game which is what I usually find.
The story was actually really good and I like the differing areas that represented the nine circles of hell. The cutscenes were all worthwhile and the comic book style ones really impressed me. I don't like the fact it ended with to be continued as that just feels like it was half a game and I doubt it will get a sequel. Still, it ended pretty well and wrapped up this game as much as it could so suppose I can't negatively score it because of that.
Overall I think the game achieved what it needed to and was a decent God of War imitator. Having never fully played those games I can't comment on how much originality there is in Dante's Inferno but it kept me happy enough for the duration. My only annoyance is missing out of the silver coins and missing out on the achievement for it. Didn't think it would matter as I was sure I'd miss others down the line but that wasn't the case! I couldn't decide on a score for this game but looking my scores for other games I felt it ranked similarly to the games I'd given a 7.5 so that's what I settled on in the end.
Next up is Battlefield 3. Having only just finished MW3 I'll be able to compare the single player pretty clearly and I have a feeling B3 will come out on top for me.
Sometimes it can be tough to score a game. I mean there are different aspects to the game and it's hard to just give a game "one" score.