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Review: Gears of War Ultimate Edition
Gears of War is synonymous with Xbox just in the same way that Halo is. It is a tent pole franchise for the system that has spawned four games in the time frame of ten years and now you can add one more to that list. With newer and more powerful systems out we are in a time where we are seeing a lot more collections and re-masters hitting the shelves. It is a good idea but it is a little annoying as once you are done with the nostalgia factor over these classics, it all becomes a bit bland. That can't entirely be said about this installment as Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, while being a re-master, it still adds more then just a graphical increase. The increased frames per second to the action makes it all seem much smoother and the added content on to the campaign as well as the multiplayer helps make it all feel fresh.
The plot is simple and a bit bombastic much like a Michael Bay movie but that is all a part of it's charm while also what separates it from the pack. The game takes place on a planet similar to Earth known as Sera that was colonized by humans and after some time had been overrun by sentient creatures that came from underground and wiped out a vast amount of the population. This day would go on to be known as "Emergence Day." The "COG" forces do their best to fight off the overwhelming force but are seemingly failing in their attempts. The game picks up as we see a squad free Marcus Fenix from a prison cell that is about to be overrun by the Locust. Marcus was imprisoned for abandoning his post to protect his father from a Locust attack, he was put on trial for this action but we are led to believe his trial was a sham. Marcus and his friend and savior in this instance lead this small group of soldiers against the Locust forces and try to drive back their forces, for good.
The game made it's mark originally back in 2006 all the things that made Gears so enthralling and fun remains the same today. There is something truly rewarding about revving up the chainsaw bayonet and ripping your opponent up into pieces online or the constant yells for hitting a perfect reload to give you that added damage boost on your next clip. All of these things are bombastic and over the top but again that is all a part of the charm that is Gears of War. It is over the top but in a very positive way that'll make you come back for more each time. The real draw to the game and strength of it is it's campaign which has a lot of memorable moments from the blind screaming maniacal Berserker running through walls in an attempt to rip you to shreds and even the final climatic battle on a train. The campaign has a lot of memorable moments that any fan will love reliving in much improved graphics.
The only true disappointment with this is the fact the Gears 2 and 3 were not also re-mastered but considering how substantial the graphical improvement as well as performance upgrade is it is completely understandable. The ninety minutes of added content on to the campaign adds some more punch as well as a memorable fire fight for fans that did not play the PC version of the game. The multiplayer added similar things from the PC version in terms of game modes and maps. All of which is nice for the players that didn't play the PC version. The improvements are terrific as are the additions to the original game, but understandably some may not be enticed enough to buy the game based off of it all.