Gears of War
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10

We shouldn't have to stand for this tripe.  It may be acceptable on one of those Xbox toys, but not on our PC's.  No, we have machines capable of great things (colour, for example), with high-tech mice using eye-blistering resolutions, and a keyboard to make movement quick and easy. Hell, we even have monitors so we can actually see things in glorious, hi-res, clarity.  I should probably point out now that this is possibly my least favourite game ever (considering I only really buy games I think I'd like. Just like this one).  I despise pretty much everything about it - it's a slow, ugly, cumbersome, idiot of a game, and I thank God every day that its sequel hasn't sullied my favourite machine.

You see, I like my action games.  I like my action games to be fluid and fun, I like to feel in control when I play them, I like them to work properly, and I like them to look good too.  Gears of War fails horrifically at all these points.  Fluid and fun?  Don't make me laugh - a game that forces you to look away from your crosshair to reload, and punishes you if you don't get the Tiger-Woods-golf-swing-alike-mechanism right?  No thanks - let me press "R" once, and once only, to reload my gun.  Feel in control?  Your character lurches around like a disabled tramp looking for his White Lightening, sticking to precisely the piece of scenery you didn't want to hide behind.  Work properly?  You mean by asking you to press a button to look at an important part of the screen (instead of just making you look there like, well, any other PC game I can think of), and then showing you absolutely nothing at all with the word "Sniper" written on the screen?  Look good?  If by looking good you mean using every shade of grey known to mankind and giving everything a ludicrously indistinct outline, then, yes, it's lovely.  Me?  I like colours and distinction.

The third person view doesn't help.  I always feel it's harder to immerse yourself in a game when you're constantly staring at your characters arse (yes, even Lara's), and when that arse is bland, grey and fuzzy, it's even harder.  I'd say it was the Unreal 3 engine - look at the parent game, it's Quake all over again - but Bioshock was written with this engine and that has pretty colours!

The game just screams "console" at me.  Call me elitist (you wouldn't be the first), but I expect PC games to work better than this.  The cover system is horrendously clumsy - I never hide behind anything that I intend to.  The "break from cover" moves simply send me spinning to another useless chunk of rock.  The targeting system is clearly designed for one of those plastic things that you have to hold with both hands, and is a constant source of frustration.  Switching to mouse and keyboard just reinforces the lack of PC friendliness - it doesn't feel smooth.  It doesn't feel right at all.

But it's the sodding reloading mechanism that can drown in the majority of my bile.  Why make you look away from the action?  Why use a stupid timing mechanism?  Why punish you for not getting it right?  This is WAR for crying out loud, just let me get on with the slaughter.  It just doesn't make sense - all action games since the dawn of time have let you reload by pressing one button.  You know why?  Because it works.  It lets you concentrate on what you're going to plug once the cold steel is back in the chamber.  Gears of War's system is just plain retarded.

And asking you to press a button when you need to look at a specific part of the scenery!  JUST SHOW ME!  If it's that important, don't break my flow; just gently and unobtrusively swing the camera at whatever you need me to see.  Other 3rd person games manage this easily.

God!  Look, I just can't play this toss.  It's an appalling mess of a game and one not deserving of your time, effort, or money.  Actually, even if it was free I wouldn't touch it with a bargepole. Even the stupidly over-the-top muscle men characters rile me, so dull and immaculately dislikeable are they.  And it doesn't get the weapons right - they feel like papier-mâché spud guns.

Surely I must like something about it?  Ummm… Well, I suppose the desktop icon's quite attractive.  Jeez, I can't talk about this anymore.  Gears of War?  Utter shit, more like.