Gears of War Series: In Retrospect

Prodigious Jay explores his past mistakes and tries the series Gears of War out.

Prodigious Jay explores his past mistakes and tries the series Gears of War out.

Game series come and go, sometimes like passing fads. Some people love these series, while others have mixed emotions and tend to stay on the opposite side of the fence.

Some gamers even have a tendency to stay single minded and never change views on certain games they didn’t like the one time they tried to play it.

I was one such gamer, I never particularly realized this until I got my feet wet in the video game journalism scene. I still cringe at the idea of even going back to try certain games again, which isn’t a quality I admire about myself, but I am fortunate enough to be more open minded than when I was younger. 

Which is where this article comes into play. Years ago when Epic Games first released Gears of War, I was unimpressed, which was partly due to Halo 3 being out around the same time and it felt like it was just a copy cat game.

Going back though, I realize just how wrong I was.

Never Judge a Book by it’s Cover

I have many friends who just absolutely love the Gears games, so naturally I was always wondering how they could love such a game. The graphics were nice, the mechanics felt just a bit like Halo 3 (which I was into at the time), and it just felt rather clunky at times when I would play it with my friends.

I had the opinion that Gears of War was just simply another shooter where the world had turned topsy turvey and it was my job as the main character to straighten things out. 

So when I announced my dislike of the game to a friend recently, I found myself accosted and sitting on the bad end of the argument. As I had aged since my last playthrough of the first game, I challenged said friend to convince me otherwise about my Gears disapproving. 

A challenge they immediately accepted.

It’s Game Time: Getting Back to Gears of War

My friend sat me down with both Gears 1 and 2 in hand, saying we would play through them both and I would see just how amazing they were. I was skeptical but willing to try to see their view, as I had proposed the challenge and all.

Going through my Xbox Live Achievement, I had shown that I had played and beaten the first Gears of War already. So I was given a refresher on the story, and given an idea of what was going on so I wouldn’t be lost going into the second installment.

The memories flooded back as I saw the main menu, I could feel my dislike growing. Holding back any preconceived notions I had from an ignorant mindset, I signed into my account and was ready to play.

Lessons Learned

As we began, I remember some of the games story that I had been clued in on. We started the tutorial as I hashed out some of the concepts the game had to offer. The third person action wasn’t hard to get used to, I’ve played enough 3rd person games to know how to function properly. Guns and movement were simple enough, something we all should know from Cover Shooters 101.

It was simple and familiar to control the character, I began wondering where the challenge was. I soon found it when I went to reload, seeing the marker for a perfect reload in the top corner and the reaction I had when the gun jammed for not hitting it on time. It’s something small, but it was definitely an innovative feature for me. My interest was piqued as we moved through the gritty world filled with Locust hordes and COG Soldiers.

As we progressed through the story, I felt a sense of regret wash over me. I had felt like I missed out on a phase of gaming history that wasn’t bad at all. I soon found more and more enjoyable things within this game. The characters, my favorite being Baird, were interesting and actually had some sort of substance to them. The weapons began getting more and more powerful as well as creative.

Within two days, the game was beaten. The excitement had washed over me like a cleansing rain. And then I stopped and smiled as I thought to myself “I need to get the Third one”.

Open Your Mind

In the end, the entire experience had opened my eyes. It made me feel both ashamed for who I was before and happy for the open minded person I had become. It was a great feeling to know I have come a long way.

I suppose the moral of the story is this: No matter what you think something is, video game or otherwise, you should not dismiss it until you have tried it.

Being open minded has allowed me to experience something that years ago, I missed out on.

As a lesson learned, I believe I will be going back and playing older titles I shunned in my youth. I will keep all of you up to date as I move along down a very long list. 

About the author

Prodigious Jay

An up and coming gaming journalist looking to make his mark on the world and help gamers along the way.