Sunday, December 17

Game: Gears of War (Xbox 360) Click for more info

My first Xbox 360 review? Well only because I get to nab a mate's while he's on holiday. And to be honest, I wouldn't have bothered if he wasn't giving away GoW with it too.

Technically, this is just a third person shooter. The camera is planted off the shoulder of your character, Felix, and you have shoot, aim, reload and "take cover" buttons. Although having said that I kinda got confused by all the different buttons and I was continually tripping myself up over them; someone's getting old, I think.

Shooters don't usually have buttons that would make you take cover, and fundamentally, this is what makes the basis of GoW's game mechanic. Ultimately, all you're doing is finding cover, popping your head out to shoot a few bad guys, and then taking cover some more.

Sounds shallow, but it's not. This simple context makes for some brilliant scenarios and set pieces - you don't work alone in this game and for one the NPCs are pretty good. If they tell you to flank, then they expect you to. Likewise, the badguys are also smart, dealing with their own adaptive strategies. It's actually pretty cool for a game that just allows you to take cover and shoot.

And of course GoW made waves with its presentation. It's been in development since well before the 360 was released, and a lot of time and money has been spent making this look and sound like one of the best games ever on a home console. And that's via composite on my SD television.

But, this game isn't about the graphics or gameplay. GoW is definitely something that is more than the sum of its parts, and well worth a go even if you have to borrow someone's to play it.