Gears of War 3 Raams Shadow Downloadable Content

January 4, 2012 at 3:29 am | Posted in Articles, Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Click here for full review.

The second of Gears of War 3’s downloadable content is upon us and oh boy is it a biggun. Sitting in at an exact 2GB, Raams Shadow brings new single player to our Gears of War desires.

Gears fans and sharp eyed readers may be confused as to why its labelled Raams Shadow, since this juggernaut tower block of a locust general died (albeit stubbornly) back at the climax of Gears 1, so what’s Raam got to do, got to do with it?


Gears of War 3 Horde Command Centre DLC

December 8, 2011 at 3:43 am | Posted in Articles, Xbox 360 Reviews, XboxLiveAddicts | Leave a comment
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Click here for full review.

So, the beginning of November has brought us the beginning of downloadable content for franchise giant Gears of War 3. With the second batch of downloadable content already announced and on its way, lets take a look at DLC pack one. The Horde Command Centre.

The main focus of this map, being called the Horde Command Centre is non surprisingly, a Command centre available in horde mode. A new form of defensive upgrade, the command centre allows you to call in some aid in the shape of sniper fire to hammer of dawns to clear out those pesky waves. Other upgrades have also appeared on the horde scene with a new decoy which turns your defence into an Onyx guard bot, a new auto turret which will have better use against Berserkers and the Silverback upgrade which lets you fire rockets. These new upgrades are great to use. When you actually get to use them. Unfortunately, your going to have to put in a lot of work to get these, as standard, you’ll need to have maxed out the decoy, turret and silverback in order for you to be able to access the new upgrades, and if you want to get your hands on that command centre, you’ll need to have spent a whole $360,000 on turrets after you’ve purchased the content, meaning anything earned before the downloadable content, isn’t going towards that ultimate defence upgrade. Sigh, it’s a tough job, but we have to get there at some point.

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Gears Of War 3 Multiplayer Beta

December 8, 2011 at 3:34 am | Posted in Articles, Preview, XboxLiveAddicts | 2 Comments
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Click here to see full review

Two weeks in and the Gears of War 3 multiplayer beta is booming with customers. With the VIP’s and Bulletstorm code owners having chainsaw’d, shotgunned and executed their evenings away for the past two weeks, those of you who pre-ordered a copy of Gears 3 will now be allowed to join in the masses and try out the beta for yourself, so what’s new in the world of Sera and what can you guys expect from one of the Xbox 360’s biggest trilogies ever?

Gears of War 3 was originally planned to hit us this month however due to the dates being pushed back to September, this gave Epic the perfect chance to try out the new additions to the gears competitive multiplayer to make it as balanced and iron out any bugs ready for day one. The beta has been going for a few weeks already but as the beta progresses, more and more game types and maps will become available, currently only Team Deathmatch, this standard game type is familiar to all, however the Gears take on it gives teams a pool of lives, once those lives are depleted, its one life left for each on that team, bringing back those tense moments of being the last man standing from Gears 1 we all knew and desperately wanted to avoid. The other game types are Capture the Leader, a game type similar to Assassination and King of the Hill, a territories based favourite from Gears 2 fandom.

Eurogamer ’10 Preview – Gears of War 3

October 11, 2010 at 5:13 am | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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Eurogamer ’10 Preview – Bulletstorm

October 11, 2010 at 5:11 am | Posted in Events | Leave a comment
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Gears Of War 2 Dark Corners DLC Review

August 13, 2009 at 1:34 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Dark Corners or ‘All Fronts Collection’ depending on your already purchased DLC. Is Gears of War 2’s most recent package of Downloadable joy. This packs a little bigger than usual, containing 6 new maps, one from Gears 1 and a deleted scene from the Gears of War 2 story campaign, that’s 8 new things to cure your Gears shakes in one lovely package.

The deleted scene is probably what most people have been more excited about since the announcement, primarily due to all the hassle Epic got for including a similar ‘additional act’ in the PC version of Gears 1. The scene ‘Road to Ruin’ is set between Acts 4 and 5. Following on from Dom’ tragic relevation and the pairs travel towards the Locust Queen. It follows from the cutscene with Marcus suggesting a certain route to sneak past straight to the Queen. From there, your given the decision to take the stealthier route or go in all guns blazing. From there, its all up to you.

When it comes to making the choice, its very easy to start off sneaky and find yourself gunning like a maniac not long after as the ‘stealth’ aspect is as simple as keeping away from the Locust. In true Metal Gear Solid style, the Loctusts are given liner and repetitive paths to follow. You and Dom in your special disguises have to get past being sure not to get to close to the Locist to prevent them from sniffing you out or unmasking you. Whilst going all guns is more fun and more…Gears of War, taking the stealth route rewards you in showing you how the events further unfold in a different way, the routes you take, and hell, it’s a little funny seeing Marcus dressed in Theron Guard gear with his little hat. Awww.

The deleted scene is fully playable online and offline on all four difficulties.

Now with that, comes all the multiplayer goodness of brand new maps.

The maps include Allfathers Garden, Memorial, Sanctuary, Highway, Way Station, Nowhere and Gears 1 favorite War Machine

Each of the 7 maps are well planned out and unqiue, with a fair mix of above surface areas and Locust/Nexus areas to ensure a variety of levels when playing online or with friends, certain levels also have environmental issues including dust storms and earthquakes due to nearby Brumaks.

After having a good session online with them, each map are just as fun to play with as the old ones, just adding more variety and fun with each map!

A respectively well priced piece of downloadable content. At 1200 MS points for the Dark Corners collection and just 1600 for the All Fronts Map pack, which includes Flashback, Combustable and Snowblind along with Dark Corners. Bargain, and just what everyone needs to get right back into Gears of War 2. Heres to hoping for a few more map packs and hell maybe some more deleted scenes?

Dark Corners and All Fronts Collection will be available on the 28th July.

Gears of War 2 Review

August 11, 2009 at 2:11 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Are you there Marcus? Sera needs your help again…

Gears of War returns with its eagerly awaited sequel, quite possibly 2008’s most anticipated sequel. 6 months after past since the we last left the fight for survival and its time to take the battle closer to the Locust home, sacrifices will be made, new problems will be uncovered and is everything with the Locust underground as well as it seems?

Welcome back to the stage Marcus Fenix. From Act 1, Delta squad is thrown right back into the horde action, after the lightmass bomb had a lesser effect as planned, the Locust are pushing harder and faster, their attacks are less coordinated and predictable as before, but just as brutal and ruthless. Is something else going on deep in the Locust hollow? And will Dom finally find what he’s been fighting for?

Gears 2 takes us deeper into the fight for humanities survival, we’re also given a more Dom orientated sub plot following his search for Maria, his wife, with a moving, tear inducing twist, to really add character to Dom besides him being Marcus’ friend.

‘You take the big guy and Ill err…stand and watch…’

Sticking with tradition Gears 2 follows a story over 5 acts. These acts are a fair amount longer with more varied tasks. Much of the original gameplay is still there, just fine tweaked to ensure seamless movement throughout the maps.

Pretty much everything that wasn’t tweaked has been added to however. We see a series of more entertaining executions, weapons varying from new pistols, to heavy weapons like mortars and moves like being able to take a downed enemy as use their body as a shield.

All these extra abilities, whilst may have worried many from fear of it being too much is still as easy as ever. Most are assigned to the A button again, with the exception of the new executions which can be X, Y or B, depending on your preference.

All the weapons old and new have been revamped, new lights, sights and designs have been improved on making the weapons look that much better. The Hammerburst, a previously ignored 3 burst rifle has now been switched to a single shot assault rifle which fires only as slow as you can pull the trigger. The game also takes a page from Halo 3 introducing heavy weapons which your characters can lug around. Mortars and Mulchers will be your best friend in the fights with larger locust, but your worst enemy when your foes have them instead.

The game is as clear and crisp as Gears 1, but just a lot juicier, battlefields stretch out to the horizon, the characters look better and a lot more detailed, and the armor and body wear on everything has been greatly improved on so much so you wouldn’t believe until you compared shots.

Size is definitely everything in this comeback, whilst keeping tight areas for intense close combat, the game has a lot of wide open areas, not always areas that are accessible, but just to be able to look over and edge and see a whole background, alive with things happening really intensify the scale of the war going on.

One thing that’s definitely straight off the mark to notice is most of the weapons have been altered, some not as noticeable but some have distinct changes, having said that, they all still have that feeling of power behind them, making each shot even if it misses, count.

Also known from Gears 1 is the banter between Delta squad; this again appears here and adds to break off some occasional tension and to ease the mood with some of their comical phrases, great voice acting throughout.

‘One Chainsaws bad enough, but two? Man, you just greedy…’

Whilst the games 5 Acts are longer, it wont take a hardened veteran long to get through on the easier of the two difficulties. Hardcore and insane however will definitely have you pinned to a checkpoint for a long time, definitely time to call in the co-op buddies for those campaigns.

Multiplayer has plenty more to keep people entertained, with the new improved lobby system, allowing you to take your teams through different game modes easily. Not to mention the new modes including Meatflag and Wingman.

Playing with your friends has become a lot easier with Gears 2, with a simple click of the LB button on the menus you can bring up a menu showing your entire friends list online and currently playing Gears 2, telling you exactly what they’re doing. From here, you can invite or join their matches making jumping from lobbies with friends so much easier.

‘And in the left corner, Dellllllltaaaaaaaa…’

With all the new lobbies and being able to bring your friends online also brings a slight problem. Match making. Many of you remember matchmaking from games like Halo 3 and remember the wait you and your friends may have had when trying to find a team to play, 5-10 minutes, on a good day. Unfortunately this follows suit, however we can’t greatly dent the online shine for this as it’s possibly an easy fix for a later patch.

Also online people will immediately notice the guns have been tweaked in order to allow a more fair playing experience, whilst many may complain, the battlefield is a lot less shotgun orientated which is a great thing to see, this encourages more team work rather than a team of lone soldiers with a powerful weapon.

If the campaign co-op and endless lists of multiplayer game types aren’t enough, there’s still the Horde mode to work through. Take on 50 waves of grueling locust in a multiplayer map, teamwork is key to make it through the relentless attacks. This game mode is one of the most fun modes I’ve played in a long time, taking myself and 4 other friends into fights amongst the Locust can get very intense when ammos running low and your finding yourself pinned, you can have some great moments.

The achievements this time round are less focused around ranked matches, and more encourage exploring what the game has to offer online and offline, whether it be getting all 41 collectables or inching slowly to the killer ‘Seriously 2.0’ of getting 100,000 kills collective throughout all game modes! The game also has an achievement tracker which pops up when you’ve done something which adds onto your progress for a certain achievement. Something very useful for those high counters cheevs.

A sequel Epic definitely should be proud of, being this the main ‘arc’ in the story it definitely leaves a hell of a lot of questions, some raised in G2, and some remaining from Gears 1. A game not only for the Gears fans but those still to come. Gears of War 2, definitely the game to watch out for this Christmas season!


Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: Epic Games
Release Date: November 7, 2008 (UK)
Genre: Third-Person Shooter

Gears of War Review

August 5, 2009 at 3:14 am | Posted in Reviews, Xbox 360 Reviews | Leave a comment
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Link to review

Gears Of War:

Published by: Microsoft
Developed by: Epic Games
Genre: Third-Person Shooter
Number of Players: 1-8
Release Date:
US: November 7, 2006
Europe: November 17, 2006
Features: 16:9 Support, 480p Support, 720p Support, Dolby Digital 5.1, Xbox Live, Memory Unit, Custom Soundtrack, Downloadable Content

I think we have an emergency…

-Overall: Finally, after much anticipation throughout the year, Gears of War hit our shells mid November, questions were answered, and more were raised. And did it really live up to the hype? Oh your damn well right it did.

With the game being already nominated for Best Game of the Year before it had even gotten to the retailers, Epic had a big hype and demand to fill. And for the first time in a long time, a game really has delivered everything to feed the ever growing desire held by all gamers. And the needs to be able to chainsaw your opponents into chunks of meat always have been a request by even the sanest of players.

-Music/sound: No real heavy metal songs to this, which is good. The game was made and set out to be almost like a movie. The occasional orchestral score for battles and to point something out is good enough, the banter between the four COG’s can be amusing at times which also releases a little bit of tension in the game and can also make you lower your guard.

The guns sound…well, pretty damn good. Each sounds as if it really is the kind of sound that weapon would make, and even hearing the chainsaw’s revs will strike a chord in your heart, either in glee at what your about to do to some poor locust, or that strange thought normally recognized as ‘Oh ****’ followed by watching your character squirm and struggle against a cheerful looking Locust thrusting his Lancer at you. The sounds of your surroundings are precise and when mixed with some surround sound also give a nice bit of extra detail in your gaming experience.

One thing which I hope was added for comical reasons and the production team having a laugh is a rap song sung by one of your team mates in the credits, unfortunately, the song is pretty pants, but It’s something to listen to through the credits.

-Graphics: Clearly, it’s a game using a lot of the 360s true potential. Fires dance with embers falling to the ground. The light, shines off your armor and even water bounces off you as you pass under it. This game has the environments details to the best they can currently achieve. Each play through you find yourself noticing something new about your environment, whether it be the destroyed cities or the underground caverns of Act III. I personally find the final level on the train a great example of all the detail, with all the Nemacysts coating the sky almost like a sheet of black. If you’re buying purely for graphical excellence, look no further for the games of 06.

-Gameplay: The gameplay is simple yet unique. The controls were specifically designed for any gamer, so a new comer to these kinds of games can play at get the hang on it easily, but even the die hard Third Person Shooter hard cases can pull off some fancy maneuvers with that lovely cover system. All cover moves and extra movement is simply one direction and A. Cant get any more easier for control.

A new thing that games are doing now is incorporating the use of cover more. There finally taking away the ability to just run in with a handgun with 10 rounds and take out a room of twenty by running like a maniac. As fun as this can be, to a more serious gamer, realism is a key feature. And as for you who don’t like the cover and shoot idea. You don’t have much of a choice.

Health (although being gradually regenerative) is short, take too many hits and one time and you’ll be down on your knees, or depending on your game mode, dead. Weapons like shotguns at close range, rocket launchers at any range and other weapons can have one hit kill affects like your usual suspects your all familiar with.

The story is quite linear, paths are usually following through the areas that haven’t been destroyed completely or inaccessible, the player will often get a chance to go two ways. The team of two or four will then split into 2 or 1 and they will go both ways, all with areas to help the other group out from a distance and vise versa.

The way the game was visually created for the way you play is also unique to the game. It was purposely made to have a cinematic style to the game, with things happening in your surroundings, the camera positioning and even the impressive ‘Rodeo Run’ when you run in a crouch position, making the camera go to ground level, bobbing up and down as if someone was running behind you filming it. The HUD is simple, but it’s all you really need. When aiming, your current weapon, ammo and a aiming reticule will appear on the screen, when not aiming, there is nothing on the screen other than occasional small diagrams to tell you what button to press (like to go into cover or to look at a point of interest) This makes the action easier to see and adds more cinematic feel to it.

One thing I’m not to impressed with however, is your team A.I. Although it being great, with them taking cover almost as much as you do and using good tactics, occasionally, I’ve ran out into an area filled with locusts, and Dom’s miles back, still in cover of a place that we’ve already emptied. Thankfully, I’ve only had this problem once on Insane. So nothing to worry about too much. The enemy A.I. is great; they use tactics and also use cover well. Occasionally trying to push us back with a few locusts running at our positions, but its always a different experience whilst playing, which is great.

-Storyline: The story, in my honest opinion is (excuse the lack professionalism) absolutely awesome. With a world not far from us, humans are gradually fighting each other. This is known as the ‘Pendulum Wars’ whilst this is all happening, deep underground an army of Locusts is building their army and awaits for the perfect time to attack. By the time of emergence day, some say it was a little too late. The conflicting humans were forced to become allies as a new problem had emerged from the depths. After much fighting and slaughter, the final few humans took refuge in a city, and stowed away in a city currently impenetrable to Locusts from underground. They then released a weapon which destroyed every city and corroded every inch of land, killing surviving humans not in the protected areas and Locusts alike. Unfortunately, Locusts still kept on coming…

14 years later from emergence day and the war between the remaining COGS is still going on. Your prison cell door is burst open and an old friend is there to greet you. All people, even prisoners have been pardoned and made to fight in the war. You’re the last one left in the prison. And with your military experience, you’re a good asset to the COG’s. The game then starts from there, and to save spoilers I’ll leave it at that.

-Replay value/play time: The game is, relatively short. With 5 acts and a small training mission all together the game will only keep you in one place on the harder difficulties and only because your trying your damn best to survive. The achievements for playing it through on every act in each difficulty may make you go through at LEAST 3 times, purely because it’s some of the easiest gamer scores to get. After completing it the first time on either Casual or Hardcore, you unlock the final difficulty Insane. Insane AND Hardcore are quite challenging, but its not one of those frustrating things, its fun to me at least because I enjoy a game that really makes me work and think proper tactics to win. This certainly does the job.

For the online play, I’m not a huge fan, but the maps are really fun and its good when you find your self with a good set of team mates. The achievements for each weapon are 100 kills for each weapon. It’s not an easy feat with the ranked matches, and will keep you going for a really long time. One problem I find with online matches is the fact that a key to winning, is keeping contact with all your members, staying relatively close and informing your team of your position and what you can see at all times, and them doing the same. I’ve played through with a few people who do this and we win each time. If you have a player who doesn’t have a microphone, or spends his time blabbering about what he had to eat last night and not about the game at hand, you’ll find yourself losing sorely.

There is only three match types, all basically death match orientated, with the winner always been the team who’s killed the other first. Sadly, for all hardcore death match fans. No respawns at all, there are chances to be revived, but unless a fellow team member is around, prepare for a shot to the head with their weapon of choice, or get ready for your face to meet the pavement, with head popping results. So once you’re dead, you’re dead for the whole match. Which can be extremely annoying and tedious when the final two people on the map decide to ‘wait for the enemy to come to them’ with both of them waiting on opposite ends of the map till the time runs out. You can observe the match through cameras or following the surviving players, but it can become irritable having to wait so long, especially if you die early in the match.

The Co-op is also something that brings life to the game. Either online co-op or offline co-op is just as good. I’ve helped quite a few friends on acts they struggle on with an online co-op game, and it also makes the game a little easier. Since as long as your character hasn’t been blown to pieces or cut into pieces, the other player can simply run over and revive you, which makes large battles easier, but on parts where your split up with the paths, you have to look after your own hind. As the team mate A.I. can’t revive you. Typical, eh?

-Conclusion: In a nutshell, if you haven’t got this game. Where the hell have you been? I bought the collectors edition on emergence day, I even allowed myself to be tricked into buying an ‘exclusive to this shop in my town only’ faceplate. I knew what they guy said was a load of rubbish, but I gratefully turned down the walkthrough offer and couldn’t help but have to buy the faceplate, purely because it’s Gears Of War. And I got to say, my 360 looks the dogs with this faceplate on. Maybe ill post a picture or two. I read the book ‘Destroyed Beauty’ on the way home and could get the disc in the drive fast enough after I arrive home. It’s the one game for the 360 that’s had me like that since I was a kid.

If the news about this game hasn’t had you thinking ‘God I cant help but be strongly interested in this game’ then your either mentally ill, too young to understand or one of those people who only play sports games and arcade games. Still, I bet even they try new things once in a while.

The game appeals in everyway. If you want the best graphics…its here. Best sound? You can’t get much more of a crispier sound here than real life. Compelling storyline? Damn, having played through it enough times, I know for a fact Epic Games aren’t going to miss out on a Sequel or 2, perhaps even a prequel too.

For those not interested. You got this far down to the review, you might as well check it out a little more. For those of you who are. Get it, there’s no demo on the marketplace and no plans to put one up there. Perhaps if your still not too sure, rent it out? Borrow it from a mate. But at least give this game a shot, after all, it is the best game of the year.

My Rating 9.6

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