Did Gears 3 drop the ball?
There are a lot of mixed emotions in the Gears of War community at the moment, with the impending release of the fourth instalment in the Gears franchise the fans appear to be split.Some are craving the change of direction that Gears of War Judgement could be bringing to the multi-player aspect of the game and the other half are not so much so. This is understandable due to the amount of changes thrust upon the Gears world. Did Gears of War 3 drop the ball when it was supposed to be the touch down we were all hoping it would be?
Now let me go on record as saying that, shouting and screaming on the Epic forums, or your YouTube channel, about how bad you think the developers are or how bad they were for not sticking to promises, is no excuse.
However saying that Epic is not totally to blame in this situation simply wouldn’t be true. The biggest gripe the community has is clearly the broken promise of dedicated servers. We all saw the videos of Cliff Bleszinski and Rod Fergusson promoting the game with this feature and at launch they were true to their word. No less than two months after launch the servers were gone, only to be seen again if you purchased DLC or played certain game modes.
After speaking with dozens of Gears fans over the last twelve months, it has become abundantly clear that dedicated servers were the only real key feature the community really wanted adding to the game. Instead Epic went all out in trying to appeal to more people (accessibility rears its ugly head again) by adding more weapons like the Sawn Off Shotgun and the Retro Lancer, which made the game totally lose the focus Gears of War 2 had on balance.
Active reloads on certain weapons also encouraged sitting back and lancering (big hint there) down your opponents, which took away from the Gears spirit. Why does there even still need to be active reload? If you can’t balance it why put it in? Other inconsistencies litter the game, for example, the ink stun delay lasting too long in some instances, and the radius affecting you at certain ranges, the list goes on.
The introduction of female characters also spoilt the nice balance previous Gears game always had, mostly due to the fact that female characters have smaller hit boxes. This meant playing as an Anya, Sam or Mira gave you an advantage and gamers will always look to take advantage when it comes to their kill death ratio. I am not saying the Gears universe doesn’t have a place for female characters, just not in multi-player in the interest of fairness, at least in their current setup.
I haven’t even touched upon the mantle kick and while I like the idea of the mantle kick, as it doesn’t break the game. Instead it adds something different even if the mechanic itself isn’t totally executed to perfection.
The levelling system was also a nice touch and added tonnes of re-playability, something previous Gears games lacked. It is nice given the obscene amount of hours you would have to put in to get your wings in Gears 2. Everyone knows you’re not a “Gear head” if you didn’t have your wings!
Could Gears 3 multi-player have been saved? Did it need saving? Or were Epic to proud to admit they got it wrong?