Critical Essay #3 – Koontz


Gears of War is a brutal video game of a humanlike race combating creatures from below their planet’s surface. This game is a third-person shooter game, where you can see the characters and control them in a third-person view. Gears of War takes place on a planet called Sera. The planet’s inhabitants were fighting a 79-year war called the Pendulum Wars over a natural energy source called Imulsion that was found under the planet’s surface. Two major governments were fighting this war: Coalition of Ordered Governments or COG; and The Union of Independent Republics or VIR. The Coalition of Ordered Governments soon turned to a weapon of mass destruction called the Hammer of Dawn, which was controlled via satellite, and used it to wipe out most of the Union. The COG soon attempted at peace with the Union when they found themselves fighting a more destructive foe, the Locust. These creatures came up from under the planet’s surface and were fighting to take over the planet. The Coalition of Ordered Governments then turned to the Hammer of Dawn again to destroy these creatures. They found it extremely difficult to destroy these creatures and where they came from. The Government sent out a Military Unit called Gears to travel into the planet’s surface wipe out the Locust creatures. This primary team of the game has characters named Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago.

The aesthetic qualities are very dark. Most of the game takes place underground or outside at night in the rain. Even with the dark qualities and the hard to see boards the graphics are pretty good. They have very smooth and functional transitions during gameplay. The rain scenes are very well executed and even though it’s difficult to see, lightning helps light and guide your way. Where the quality of aesthetics is poorest is in the people. You can see the pixels in the faces during the story mode and sometimes there is a lag in gameplay.

The user experience is really cool. Even though the game is dark, it enhances the game and can be scary when a Locust jumps out at you. Gameplay has three main modes to select from; story mode, online battle, or horde mode. Story mode is great and takes you through the entire story of Sera and its inhabitants. Story mode is basically like playing a game through an entire movie switching as characters Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago. Online battle is where players can join in on battles among others from all over the world playing as people of Sera or the Locust. The online battle is set up on small maps that are randomly selected from parts of the story mode. Each battle is about 10 minutes per battle. Horde mode is probably my favorite way to play this game. It too is played online with others. However you are grouped together with a select team and you are attacked wave after wave by the horde of Locusts. The Main weapon of the Sera people is a machine gun with a chainsaw on the bottom of the gun.


There are minimal positive values of this game. Even though the characters are fighting to keep their race alive it is a very brutal and vulgar game. The chainsaw gun can saw through the opposing characters along with shooting them. The violence in Gears of War is pretty brutal. There is lots of gore with bombs, guns, and chainsaws. There are a few female characters in the game, however the females that are in the game are leaders of the Governments and also the Queen Locust. The language in this game is very vulgar. Even though this is a harsh brutal game the characters are fighting to keep their race alive.

Overall Gears of War is a great game that has a fantastic story line. The gameplay overall is a lot of fun and the characters are very dynamic and have plenty of activity to keep you on the edge of your seat wanting to keep playing to find out what will happen next. The dark quality of the game also helps keep the player disoriented on what might pop out in front of him, catching him off guard. This is certainly not a game for children.



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