Gears of War: maps and gameplay

Syracuse022Syracuse022 over at the Ascendant Justice forums was picked to play Gears of War at Six Flags New England. Then he wrote about his experiences. Since we’re only a few days away from the launch of Gears of War, we thought we’d write an article based on what an honest gamer has to say instead of what Reuters or execs have to say. This is part 2 of 2. The other part is over here.

The maps are amazing. Syracuse022 played on all ten mulitplayer maps, and he has three things to say.

  1. The maps are “amazingly atmospheric and beautiful.”
  2. The “tactical possibilities on most of the maps are endless” and “this game is going to be in our 360s for months to come.” Why? There is cover everywhere. (Remember when we said that Gears of War is a “slower” game because it’s not really a run in, shoot, die, spawn, run in, shoot… It’s a strategy game – oh, yes, it’s really fast-paced, but you have to mentally take the time to take advantage of the cover!)
  3. The A button is context-sensitive.

The context-sensitive A button and gameplay. The A button will take a while to get used to. It lets you do impressive rolls and jumps (impressive to look at and impressively effective when trying to maneuver around the map). But it can be frustrating.

  • Hesitation. There’s a bit of a pause before the character rolls. The pause is really obvious when you’re trying to get your character to jump off a ledge.
  • Better for Halo? “About halfway through the night I came to the realization that I would be enjoying the maps a lot more if I were playing Halo on them.” For Syracuse022, “Gears of War is [email protected] amazing,” but “movement is just so much more free and varied on a Halo battlefield.”
  • Confusion. Syracuse022’s character would SWAT-turn instead of roll away. (Yeah, we see how the context-sensitive A would require a bit of getting used to.)
  • Slow. Movement across the map is “a slow jog.” (We can see how this could be annoying, but this gives time for strategy, planning, and leetness.)

We’re glad we got this unbiased look at Gears of War. After reading all of that, we’re not ready to say that Gears of War will be the greatest game ever, but we’re still not changing our first opinion: years from now we will look back on this game and say, “Yes, this game made the Xbox 360 great.”

Syracuse022Syracuse022 over at the Ascendant Justice forums was picked to play Gears of War at Six Flags New England. Then he wrote about his experiences. Since we’re only a few days away from the launch of Gears of War, we thought we’d write an article based on what an honest gamer has to say instead of what Reuters or execs have to say. This is part 2 of 2. The other part is over here.

The maps are amazing. Syracuse022 played on all ten mulitplayer maps, and he has three things to say.

  1. The maps are “amazingly atmospheric and beautiful.”
  2. The “tactical possibilities on most of the maps are endless” and “this game is going to be in our 360s for months to come.” Why? There is cover everywhere. (Remember when we said that Gears of War is a “slower” game because it’s not really a run in, shoot, die, spawn, run in, shoot… It’s a strategy game – oh, yes, it’s really fast-paced, but you have to mentally take the time to take advantage of the cover!)
  3. The A button is context-sensitive.

The context-sensitive A button and gameplay. The A button will take a while to get used to. It lets you do impressive rolls and jumps (impressive to look at and impressively effective when trying to maneuver around the map). But it can be frustrating.

  • Hesitation. There’s a bit of a pause before the character rolls. The pause is really obvious when you’re trying to get your character to jump off a ledge.
  • Better for Halo? “About halfway through the night I came to the realization that I would be enjoying the maps a lot more if I were playing Halo on them.” For Syracuse022, “Gears of War is [email protected] amazing,” but “movement is just so much more free and varied on a Halo battlefield.”
  • Confusion. Syracuse022’s character would SWAT-turn instead of roll away. (Yeah, we see how the context-sensitive A would require a bit of getting used to.)
  • Slow. Movement across the map is “a slow jog.” (We can see how this could be annoying, but this gives time for strategy, planning, and leetness.)

We’re glad we got this unbiased look at Gears of War. After reading all of that, we’re not ready to say that Gears of War will be the greatest game ever, but we’re still not changing our first opinion: years from now we will look back on this game and say, “Yes, this game made the Xbox 360 great.”

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