So, this is the the very first time I’ve ever done a First Impressions article, and it’s a bit different for me. Usually, I like to withhold judgement until I finish a game, and many times my opinion of a game will change by the time I reach the end of the journey. However, this time, I thought I would change things up a bit. As you may have read in my last article, I’ve started playing the original Gears of War. I’ve had this game for a long, LONG time now. I bought this game probably about 9 months ago along with the original Dead Rising, which I couldn’t stand. Anyhow, then one thing led to another, I had games come out that excited me more than GoW, so it sat in my stack of games as the only game I hadn’t played. Well, after playing through the rest of my PS4 and 360 games, I’ve finally pulled it out and popped it in the drive. So far, the game is pretty decent, and I’ll definitely play it through to the end if it keeps up like this.
The first matter of business is to bring one important point to light: Gears of War is almost seven and a half years old. It was one of the first major exclusives for the 360, so it’s a bit dated. Therefore, I can’t judge things such as graphics based on today’s standards. I realize that concepts that were revolutionary then are just ho-hum now. With that said, there are games that stand the test of time better than others, the original Halo being one of them.
Given its age, the graphics in Gears of War are honestly quite good. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away, and it’s a good thing, because I haven’t been. Even still, there’s more detail than I had imagined there would be. Occasionally, I’ll stumble upon something that isn’t loading or texturing properly, like one large door that I came across that just appeared to be a blurry brown rectangle with no texture at all. But, like I said, the game is a bit old.
I’ve only played through the first level, but so far there isn’t much of a story. I know that my character, Marcus Fenix, was rescued from prison by his friend (presumably his friend) Dom. Apparently, I did something wrong, was labeled as a traitor, and that sent me to the prison cell. Now that I’m out, I see that the war is still raging, and that’s about all I know. I don’t know why I’m fighting, or whether the enemies (dubbed Locusts) are alien, mutant, or something else. I don’t know my backstory, or anything like that. I’m hoping that this is simply an example of in medias res and then it’ll take a step back and let me see what happened to lead up to this moment; I’d like to know what’s going on, so I’ll withhold judgement on the storyline until I’m another few levels into the game.
I’m not a huge fan of the color scheme to this point. There have been several times where it seems so washed out that I think my contrast level is messed up or that I’m playing the game in black-and-white. Honestly, there’s very little color in this game’s palette, and that saddens me. There’s a lot of white, gray, and brown, with hints of sickly green, but that’s about it.
The weapon selection so far has been pretty good. I’ve been introduced to a couple different pistols, some sweet machine guns, a shotgun, and this satellite guided laser called the Hammer of Dawn, which is pretty epic. There’s a mechanic in the game where if you hit the reload button at just the right time while you’re reloading your weapon, it cuts the reload time in half, and if you’re precisely on the money, it even gives you a damage boost. But, hit the button at the wrong time, and it takes even longer to reload; your character curses as he un-jams his weapon. It’s cool because it adds a sense of realism to the game; not every reload is perfect. Alternatively, you can not press any buttons at all during reload for it to do its job at the default speed.
Finally, I like the controls so far. The gunplay is decent, but not perfect. There’s a nice duck/evade/dash/tuck ‘n’ roll button that’s great for hopping from cover point to cover point. I truly love this feature so far, and I wonder why it isn’t implemented in more games I play. It seems so revolutionary that it’s almost a shame it isn’t replicated more often. Or, maybe it’s a third-person shooter exclusive move; I usually play first-person shooters. I found a decent sensitivity level, and aside from the fact that equipping grenades takes too much work, I have no major issues with the control scheme.
Well, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’ve enjoyed! Leave a like or a follow if you would, and check out the LP channels in my “Links” tab if you would like.