If Gears Ever Comes To The PS3, Here's What We Want Fixed
Okay, in what will probably be a vain attempt to stop the deluge of 360 fankids smashing down PSXE's doors and flooding into this topic, let me just say this- Gears of War 2 is most certainly one of the best games of the generation, and ranks #3 for me on my top games of 2008 list. It's a little lower on my "favorite" list (if you don't know the difference, I can't help you), but in terms of quality, I would only put Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots and Grand Theft Auto IV ahead of Epic's awesome shooter. I loved the first - that was definitely my pick for Game of the Year in 2006 - and yes, I loved the second. ...but I do have some significant gripes, and I'm starting to think that if the game comes to the PS3, I want the team to address a few of these issues.
Yeah, I know it probably won't happen, but these days, you never know where exclusives will end up tomorrow. Now, after finishing GeoW2 and reflecting on the experience, I've come to a few unnerving conclusions. And here they are:
Sooo...we're back to cheating AI now?
And here I was, thinking we had left this annoying feature in the last generation. After getting nailed by yet another mortar, I started to wonder if I understood how the weapon actually worked. I had the chance to use it myself, but I wasn't aware that the enemies had the exclusive rights to homing mortars. I had to test it because I couldn't believe it. I ran back and forth and watched in absolute consternation as the mortars over my head followed my movements. Then, a boss cuts down pillars and I stand far enough away to watch the same thing happen with a falling pillar...needless to say, I laughed. Hard. On a related note, there were multiple times where an ally would stand near a wall or sit in cover, never moving for the duration of an entire firefight. Not sure what that was all about.
Vehicles are cool, but...'sigh'
I'm not saying the addition of the vehicles in this sequel is a bad thing. I had just as much fun as anyone else driving all of them...well, for a few minutes, anyway. Everything about riding a special "vehicle" of some kind, especially the damn Reaver, seemed overdone. I mean, the Centaur is cool, but why should that particular section take that long? The only one I thought was well-paced and enjoyable from start to finish was the Brumak, which didn't come until the end of the game. Look, I know that putting vehicles in shooters is the hip thing to do these days, but when you've got a take-no-prisoners, totally kick-ass third-person shooter mechanic, just focus on that. The vehicles are great for a little while, but please, don't try to do too much with them. You don't do flight games, so don't make me control a Reaver. You do awesome third-person shooters, and probably better than anyone, so don't lose that focus.
Glitchy, glitch, glitch...
I'm perfectly willing to accept the possibility that I encountered an abnormal number of glitches, but either way, they're anything but small or insignificant. The first was a flat-out game freeze during the transition between gameplay and cut-scene, and the second came when my allies were supposed to open a door and didn't. I ran around like a spaz trying to figure out if there was a switch somewhere, until I finally realized I should probably reload. So I did, and they did what they were supposed to do. The third issue consisted of a magical gravity-defying grenade that hit a tree branch and just sat up there, spinning and blinking. And let's not forget my personal favorite: the final freeze, which happened the instant I beat the final boss. Perhaps it's unfair to blame the game; perhaps it makes more sense to blame the 360, which seems to be the only console left where I find such significant technical glitches. Why do I get the feeling that if GeoW2 was made specifically for the PS3, we wouldn't have seen this...?
Don't rush an ending
I may be in the minority with the above complaints, but I know a lot of people agree with me on this: the final boss was laaaaame. And furthermore, the ending seems rushed and incomplete; it almost appears as if the team hit crunch time and said to themselves, "damnit, we're out of time...just end it!" I don't really have a huge problem with this, as it's not an RPG and the story isn't the focal point, but even so... Really, it seems to me as if the writers got to a point where they really couldn't figure out how to end the game, and they just settled on something that's highly questionable. Oh, and although it doesn't get its own heading because I don't have much to add: the Tickers sucked. Just...plain...stupid.
Okay, that's all. Really, this game does rock, and despite all these problems I had with it, the action is so very worth your time. Furthermore, there's no guarantee that these glitches will happen to you, and I know for a fact that many people adored all their time spent in/on those vehicles. I'm just saying: if Gears of War 3 somehow magically appears on the PS3, these are the issues I want to see addressed.
1/13/2009 Ben Dutka