They did it to me again...they suckered me. Here I was thinking that Gears of War was gonna give me a Lawnmowerman style virtual mindfuck. And although I did play it for two hours and had a great time with it Becca summed up my feelings when she said, "You know...I'm feeling a little disapointed with this game." First off let's start with the positives. AMAZING graphics. I mean this is craftsmanship. These levels are well designed and obviously well playtested (althogh Becca found a pretty easy to fall into section of one level where you basically fall out of the game world...luckily she was able to figgle her way back onto the main section, I swear Becca would be one hell of a game tester...she's got a sixth sense for poorly built holes in levels). And it has Co-Op game play!!! I love Co-Op gameplay.
Said Co-Oppery...does introduce a problem though and that the split screen in this game is somewhat disorienting for some reason. I'm not sure if its that the game is lite on HUD or what...but the camera and viewing angle are somewhat hard to come to terms with.
The funny thing is though that the tutorial is a bit week. First off throughout the whole game so far objectives are extremely vague...things like "Make your way to the Cell Section". There's no HUD indicator to tell you where to go or anything like that...all the on screen prompts are sort of stylized clip art mean to convey meaning without words (similar to the Walking man icon on a walk sign). There's no green arrow pointing towards a door...and I'd say that Becca and I spent a good 40 minutes of our total playthrough time wandering around going..."is this where we're supposed to go?" does this look like a cell section to you? And eventually we'd hit the trigger for the next cut scene and be off.
Which brings me to my next point...the story line. Becca said, "I was hoping it would be like Halo, heavy on the back story". And that my friends is not a good thing for Becca to say. Becca, for those of you who don't know HATES Halo. She thinks its lame and over-hyped...I tend to agree as far as the single player mode is concerned....I think Halo is what it is cause of multiplayer. Anyway the problem is that if Becca's saying that the story isn't even as good as Halo...then that puts it into Pariah territory..another game we slogged through just cuase it had co-op...
I hope we skipped a cut scene or something cause all of the much ballyhoo-ed "sweet" storyline, hasn't materialized. And considering that this is the same company that brought us Unreal II for Xbox, there hasn't been THAT much that is fundamentally different about the enemy design in principal...I mean Gears of War has enemies that are huge and scary and awesome...but so did Unreal for the time it came out...
I spent way to much time reading up on Gears of War, so I know about whats going on...but Becca, who hasn't was sitting next to me saying..."Wait, who are these people and why do we care?"
My verdict is still out...I'm hoping that the story picks up and I can write back later recounting how wrong I was...but for now it looks like my eventuall Killzone vs Gears of War blog will still come down on the Killzone side of the fence.