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Gears Of War!

The highly anticipated latest from Microsoft and the acclaimed Epic has finally arrived, but will "Gears" live up to the standards that gamers have of the Epic name?

First Impressions: Whenever possible, we try to give our loyal website viewers the most video footage and most in depth unbiased reviews imaginable. Part of that development is our "initial impressions" where we offer up our first impressions of the title that we are playing.

This gives our website visitors more of clear understanding of what to first expect out of the game when they initially pop it into their consoles.

If you scroll to the bottom of the page in the Rent vs. Buy section of the review and do not see the "final impressions" assessment then it's safe to say that you are reading our initial impression of the game. Once the final impression is up, there will be no further video or review done to that particular title.

Final Impressions: The final impression is just that, our completed breakdown and overall thoughts on the game based off of our entire game playing time.

You can locate the final impressions assessment in the "Rent vs. Buy" section of the review (always located at the very end of all of our reviews). Here you will be able to read our final thoughts on the title and also see any potential grade changes that were made to the game as well (higher or lower). Should a grading change occur, it will be clearly noted with the previous grade, the new grade, and why the change occurred.

Although this approach is more time consuming and requires many more man hours, our entire goal has always been to provide the best and completely unbiased reviews possible and we feel that the inclusion of the Initial Impressions and Final Impressions sections will give you a better view of what to expect from a new game.

All that we ask in return is for you to continue to support Krakrabbit.com by visiting the site and letting others know about our cause. Together we can supply our fellow gamers with the most impartial information so they can make an informed decision on whether to buy or rent this particular title.

They're Coming: The story of Gears of War revolves around former solider of the Coalition of Organized Governments, or COG Marcus Fenix and the Locust Horde. The story takes place on a planet with a bleak future called Sera. One day on Sera, a horde of mysterious subterranean creatures called the Locust broke through the ground and began to assault the human colonies.

In order to help destroy the Locust, the COG decided to launch bombs on their own colonies. With most of the colonies gone, and the COG quickly losing the war, they were forced to call upon every sick, injured and imprisoned solider left on the planet.

This is where Marcus Fenix comes in. After spending years in prison because you disobeyed orders and decided to leave your post to try to save your father (you were too late) the COG calls on you once more to fight the Locust that killed both your father and your family.

Powerhouse: The first thing you will notice about Gears are the absolutely outstanding graphics. Character models are huge but very lifelike, and each character has a unique personality that you can choose to love or hate.

The environments in Gears are by far the best I've ever seen in any game. Each block of cement has speckles and cracks that give the world around you a lifelike feel and the natural environments are a sight to behold. The Locust are menacing and each different Locust solider has a different look to them.

COVER: The main focus of Gears of War is the totally unique cover system that is bound to influence future games to come. In order to survive, you must use cover extensively because you can only take a few solid shots before you die a bloody death.

Fortunately, the cover system is amazing to use, and even cooler to watch. Using the context sensitive A button, (which works tremendously) you will learn to slide into cover like a charm in a short amount of time.

While under various cover you will be able to either use blindfire, which is inaccurate but can put a Locust down, or the aim mode. When using aim (activated by LT) you will aim down the sights, sending you into an amazing over-the-shoulder camera angle.

Gears AT War: Now we move onto the unbelievably fantastic multiplayer mode. In addition to the co-op mode there is also a 4-on-4 multiplayer mode. While you play against your opponents (COG if you are Locust and vice versa) you will engage in vicious firefights on a variety of different and unique maps.

The cover system works tremendously well in multiplayer, but there is one small problem. There are only three different MP modes to choose from, although you probably won't miss having more then three.

The first mode is called Warzone, which is a basic team deathmatch without respawn. The next is called Assassination, which is a basic VIP style mode. The other teammates work to protect their leader, while you target the enemy's leader.

The final and most enjoyable mode is called Execution. In the beginning, Execution plays out like a regular team deathmatch, but once you "down" an opponent you will have only a couple of seconds to finish him off.

In Execution once you are downed, you can mash the A button to regain your health. This factor leads to exciting and twitchy games that have you running on pure gamer instinct.

Rent vs. Buy: There is no doubt that Gears of War is a total MUST BUY. The tremendous graphics that have yet to even be rivaled, the well-told story, and the amazing multiplayer that also has yet to be rivaled (more then 4-on-4 would've been nice though) comes together to make a flawless title.

Report Card

There is no doubt that Gears of War is a total MUST BUY. The tremendous graphics that have yet to even be rivaled, the well-told story, and the amazing multiplayer that also has yet to be rivaled (more then 4-on-4 would've been nice though) comes together to make a flawless title. (Krakrabbit.com)

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