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God of Gears of War 5 – Review

Bit of a trolly title, yeah well it doesn’t get much better from here on out.

So for once I’m reviewing a game that isn’t like ten years old because I got gamepass for two whole pounds for two months so I thought I’d start with the big boy of xbox.

I did review the last game and I thought it was kinda bleh, I’m not a huge fan of Gears games really, I find them sort of bland and boring chest high wall shooting galleries. Four was pretty much that with a loose plot that was sort of pointless and toothless with uncharted reject characters.

I’m happy to say almost everything in Gears 5 is better. Not the tank controls, you still feel like you’re moving a fridge through waist high custard getting caught on every crag in the environment. But now you get to stare at some curvaceous lady ass while you do it.

Yes this is the gears where you get to play as the affirmative action hire Cait and she was surprisingly not annoying to play. I thought this was a distinctive sign that Gears was getting woke but I was pleased to be wrong, there’s very little wokeness going on. It’s mainly done as a device of developing her in the main plot line as well as giving JD a more rounded arc off screen. Because you play him in 4 and he’s basically a boyscout and you reprise him at the start of 5 and then *no spoilers* some shit goes down and JD basically doesn’t want to play anymore and takes his ball and goes home and you get to play as Cait. I kinda wish she was faster but it’s fine, she has a pretty decent ass, not as good as some warframe’s though haha.

I was really enjoying the story actually, that was until I realised I liked it better in FEAR. Yeah the main plot line is basically ripped directly from FEAR. Little girls, evil secret labs and super soldiers, classic.

They did improve the gameplay in some elements like I think they moved the chainsaw function on the lancer to the reload button instead of the melee button so now you hold down reload to use the chainsaw as an alt fire. This leaves the melee button open for your knife and takedowns as well as actual melee weapons you get in this game, all two of them… wow. Also you can move with the chainsaw better because your thumb can stay on the stick.

Yes there are like a handful of new weapons, only like two of which don’t completely suck, those being the new Lancer GL, which stands for ‘grenade launcher’, I know right first you get a chainsaw now the newest innovation is it shoots grenades, what will they think of next? Toothpicks? An easy bake oven? Grenades having their own button and not having to awkwardly equip them to throw???

But it’s pretty good and pretty rare in the game but only has three grenades which sucks but this is the first gears game to have explosive ammo boxes to recharge all explosive weapons so now carrying a boomshot is actually viable. I was actually carrying the rare relic boomshot that had a three shot clip for awhile until a glitch made me it fall through the floor when I tried to get more ammo for it. Although if that hadn’t happened it would’ve just got lost as part of the story stealing your weapons which it liked to do quite a few times, once right before a really annoying boss fight.

The next new weapon that didn’t suck was the talon which is a pretty good machine pistol. Then there’s the claw (really original names) which is an assault rifle which sucks, then a mace from these new enemies called wardens I think, then there’s the all mighty pipe which is only on one level. There’s also like a freeze gun too which is ok.

Now I happen to think melee weapons in gears isn’t a bad idea because they do decent damage, stun lock and have good range and pair that with Jack’s skills and you can have a solid build if they didn’t have ammo, durability I guess, they run out and can’t be reloaded because they’re not guns so you’re literally left with your she-dick in your hands when they’re gone.

But I just touched on the best part of this game, the real star of the show; Jack.

The actual advancement that made me enjoy the game, that made a gears game actually interesting and fun for once instead of just a chest high shooting galleryfest. Was the little robot dude that you can upgrade with all sorts of neat gadgets and powers, really he steals the show. And in my opinion this is rpg elements done right in a non rpg game. Where as it’s done so wrong in games like farcry where it just breaks the game and makes it tedious because it’s just shoved in there. I don’t mind rpg elements in rpgs, I don’t mind stealth elements or fps elements in rpgs but I hate it when rpg elements are awkwardly shoved into shooters just because you can do it. It’s just always shitty and pointless and annoying.

But this is really good and it’s not like your character from the previous game loses all their skills (the skills you never had) you just get a new robot you need to respec and I love the build system. Because it’s less like a character creator and more like build system where you can swap out upgrades on the fly and experiment with builds and powers you like. You don’t need to use all the skills and you’re not encouraged to, you can just use the ones that work for you. And there’s a good selection of skills, you can turn invisible and start knifing people which I loved. You can flashbang and freeze enemies, stims make you invulnerable, shields, electric traps and scanners. There are cool down timers on each type of skill so you can’t spam them and break the game, so you have to use them tactically and put some thought into your gameplay style. It added a much needed level of strategy to the combat I appreciated greatly.

The characters seem a little more fleshed out and less like Uncharted knock offs and some of the emotional content was pretty effective with the great facial capture, the campaign is nice and girthy, its not too long but feels satisfying (oo err misses!).

Ok now that’s I’ve licked it’s balls time to rip it apart haha.

My first real criticism about the game, not having played the last God of War game because I don’t have the sonyitus, I can’t really say it’s copying God of War, despite the fact JD literally get’s a Kratos make over, complete with bald head and beard and a kick ass scar on his face and funky robot arm. Obviously setting up for when you play him in Gears 6 in which he’ll get his skin bleached somehow probably and start carrying around an axe and a child.

He also sort of becomes much edgier which he sort of forgets towards the last act, which kinda sucks, I wanted to see a more edgy less ‘just nathan drake in gears of war’ JD but alas. They could’ve done more for his arc, hopefully they’ll build on it more in the next game because it felt like there was too much focus on Cait, which was necessary, the story was about her and her family but I hope they build more on JD’s arc in the next game because that seemed really interesting and it went nowhere.

The first thing that jumped out at me as a problem in this game is the free roam sections, they’re basically just filler. Which is fitting because this whole game is basically filler for the next game. But really the driving sequences are completely pointless and just there to waste your time. And I’m not saying that to shit on this game, that’s the case for most open world games.

Now this isn’t an open world game, there are like two small open world sections you can drive through and do little sub-missions. Now I say sub-missions, I mean optional missions because they’re all the same. The open world part isn’t like a sandbox like you would get in something like farcry or gta with lots of stuff to and enemies to fight and challenges and exploration. The open world in this game is just longer hallways between action set pieces, that’s all, it’s just filler. Because the sub-missions are just ‘kill all these swarm’ and there’s nothing else going in the map, it just serves to connect these different action set pieces.

They’re like ‘Go check out what happened to this water tower, we lost contact with them blah blah blah’ and the character like winks ‘It’s definitely not going to be another fight with swarm, you know the only enemy in this game’.

This is what I mean when I say this game isn’t one that can have sub-missions because they’re the same every time, they’re all just going to be fights with the swarm, there’s literally nothing else they could be. I mean what else could it be? The spanish inquisition? There radio just broke, they all went out to buy cigarettes? What’s the point in having sub-missions when they all just devolve into ‘fight more swarm’ like yeah what have I been doing in the main missions? Why is this optional? Well I did them because they unlock upgrades for Jack but I just feel like it’s really fucking contrive filler. You could’ve just taken it out of the game and put the upgrades into the story campaign and it would’ve been the same and knocked off an hour or two of the game.

Like how do sub-missions work in any other game? Look at something like fallout you go to a place and talk to someone and it has it’s own story which probably ends up with a fight but sometimes not, who knows, it could be anything but it literally can’t be anything else but a fight in this game because it’s not an rpg it’s an action game. The mechanics literally won’t allow for any other outcome. It’s basically just a kind of lazy way to copy other popular games, which I really think is unnecessary, this game is good enough to stand on it’s own.

Another thing that annoys me is how only the lancer has an alt fire? Why does a game entirely about the guns have such boring guns? You made a new type of button press to use the chainsaw why not have alt fires for every gun? Why bring in relic rare guns when this game treats guns as entirely disposable and you can’t really save them except on the skiff when you’re driving around which you can’t access in story missions.

I kinda wish it had a dead space 3 style gun upgrade system where you could combine guns so the second gun would be the alt fire. How epic would it be to have a kit lancer where instead of a chainsaw it’s alt fire is a cryogun or a flamethrower or a gnasher? I just wish more thought went into the guns. Why would you copy God of War, a game that has no fucking guns and not copy something that has a basic crafting system? Why not let us have an upgrade system where Jack can store guns or you can store more than two guns on your back or carry more ammo? Why the fuck can’t Jack carry ammo? Sure he can fetch it but he can’t carry any on him??? Why allow you to store guns on the skiff and not Jack? You know the robot with you at all times instead of the skiff you only use to get around the map.

That’s pretty much my only gripe with it, it’s an ok game, it didn’t blow me away but it didn’t leave me unsatisfied, I liked the characters a lot more, I found myself caring about them and really enjoying the gameplay this time around. A part from that one boss fight with instant kills where it took all my good weapons before it started and had homing attacks that stun locked you, that sucked balls.

But overall it’s a really good, well made game well worth the whopping price of two pounds for gamepass which I will cancel at the end of the two months haha.

Hype… hype never changes.

I, like probably millions of other manchildren (and maybe actual children) are hyped as fuck for Fallout 4 which releases next Tuesday, by released I mean I get to wait half the day for it to install on my Xbox one -_-.
I just thought I’d have some fun rambling about it because I’m constantly in these facebook groups either bitching about New Vegas (I won’t shake that fucking tree here ha-ha) or laughing at people comparing it to modern shooter graphics.

I’m almost at a loss for the levels of fanboyism I’m holding in, sheer unadulterated pure uncut 100% Columbian hype.

But I can’t help feelings a little bit iffy, I don’t know if it’s just because Fallout has become so mainstream over the years. For a title so niche to gain such mainstream appeal is good but also troubling to me, I hasten to add I didn’t play the original Fallout games until I saw Fallout 4 was being released and I needed an outlet for my building hype.
So I’m by no means an OG Fallout gamer, but I’m not a dirty casual either, I’m a console peasant who played his first Fallout game on a ps2, yeah it was Fallout BOS. I liked it because it was like Baldur’s Gate with guns and powerfist and it’s actually the first and only Fallout game where you got to play a ghoul.

After that I saw Fallout 3 come out and being a massive Oblivion fan it completely had me and had me bad, for months. I truly loved that game, the music, the atmosphere, the guns. Although overall it ranked as something of a letdown but as the constant apologist I blame myself for building it up so much something I’m desperately trying to resist with Fallout 4.
It was mainly the story and the levelling system I took issue with, coming out of Oblivion I found just putting numbers into a stat sort of unsatisfying as opposed to actually practicing the skill to build it up in Oblivion. Which I found more realistic; the more you swing a sword the better you get at it, but in Fallout it didn’t matter you just levelled up for completing missions and could spend skill points however you wanted even in skills you didn’t use.
But I had issues even with that system in Oblivion to be fair because I couldn’t resist once I had trained with one skill to the max to train with another until I mastered them all, which took some of the punch out of the game. The new levelling system for Fallout 4 looks pretty interesting and I’m actually really happy that it’s been streamlined and something that always annoyed me about previous Fallout games has been addressed.

Pistols, they never get pistols right, because you find one at the start and use it until you find some super mega blaster or some huge shotgun and then you never see it again but finally Bethesda have made pistols their own skill as opposed to just reducing it to small guns and big guns. So in a way they’ve streamlined it but also made it more intricate since every type of weapon not just its class has its own skill so you have a small guns skill but then an individual pistol/shotgun/assault rifle skill that focuses on one particular type of weapon with its own special attributes. Which I think is such a great idea because now you can literally make and use any gun you feel suits you best and your play style. Whether you want to be a long range sniper or a hip shooter pistolero or a shotgun surgeon. I think it’s just a great idea that gives every weapon a use and a purpose as opposed to just being something that clutters your inventory and is never used.

All games have their problems and they all reach a state of terminal velocity where they can’t satisfy the way they could at the start.

Also I had problems with the story of Fallout 3, not necessarily with the quality, I have taken to taking videogame storylines with a pinch of salt as of late, because they will always be secondary to fun gameplay and I’ve come to accept that. Waiting for an emotional rollercoaster of a game that Spielberg would be proud of is just too much to ask and games that try are hit and miss coming somewhere between tear jerking if a little tacky Last of Us vs. Engaging if completely insane pretty much any game by David Cage (Heavy Rain, Fahrenheit Syndrome, Beyond Two Souls) but I digress, I’ll get into that in more depth in a later blog probably.
The problem I had with the story is that there wasn’t very much of it, and that’s not to say they weren’t lots of quests and characters, what I mean were there were certain main quest lines that had achievements attached to them. And the problem I have with that is it just makes the game seem less fluid, less pick up and play, I liked how in Oblivion you could literally walk into any tavern or come across a stranger and be swept up in a harrowing quest and then get a piece of special equipment.
There are elements of that in Fallout 3 but I just felt like it was more rigid and a little less forgiving. But regardless of that I still found myself just exploring for hours completely ignoring the story for the most part. I spend probably 80% of my time on Fallout 3 just exploring and making up or piecing together stories from the surroundings and things I find and I think that’s a great strength of all Bethesda games. A lot of the times they just sit back and let the surroundings tell the story, they give the gamer the pieces and they have to put it together themselves which makes them that more engaged in the story.
That was just one thing I worried about looking over the leaked achievements for Fallout 4, they’re doing the same thing with the main story quests, giving them achievements for completion. I dunno, I just think money and the xp and the fun alone should be reward enough, but it’s just a pet peeve.
Another thing that worried me is the changes to the dialogue, it’s changed from a box of text where you select lines, to a more Mass Effect style dialogue wheel, now I see a lot of ‘genius’s’ and gaming hipsters saying this is Fallout ‘Dumbing down’ and to an extent when games fall into the mainstream there is a level of streamlining they go through to maximise their appeal like with Skyrim. But to anyone with common sense, the reason dialogue wheel replaced the text box is because we have a voiced protagonist for the first time in Fallout history and he only has so many words he can say, so unfortunately dialogue will be more limited.

Whether this improves immersion into the game or makes it worse I can’t say until I play it on Tuesday (More likely Wednesday, fuck took like a week to install eso and now I never play it -_-). I can’t say listening to Captain’s Shepherd’s monotone voice for hours on end with its varying inflection from anger to *shudders* flirtation increased anything but my threshold for cringe.

But this is Fallout, this is Bethesda, Bioware is but flies compared to Vigo!.. I mean Todd Howard.

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