Now to make sense of the title for you… Just like the lion is the king of the jungle (although even that is technically very wrong!), Gears of War for the Microsoft Xbox 360 is purring at the top of the food chain as it sits proudly at the number one spot of played games for the next generation console.
I have been playing the game for the last couple of days now and I can happily confirm that it really has lived up to the hype generated. Halo 2 made the mistake of not quite reaching the target that Bungie themselves had set at the E3 before the games release, but this title is just staggering.
Graphically the game oozes appeal, as you find yourself drooling with disbelief. The Unreal engine has always been impressive as I remember so well playing the first Unreal game with a 3DFX 3D accelerator card (this is going back a fair while) and loving all the detail and lighting effects. The latest Unreal engine is again another major milestone of technical performance and graphical splendour. The environments, characters and atmosphere all add up to be one of the best looking games ever released and finally we have a major jaw dropping showcase for our Xbox 360 console putting some of the doubters in a very lonely place.
As far as gameplay is concerned the cover system works surprisingly well to say it is all mapped to a single controller button and the joy of using the chainsaw is just immense. The real genius behind this game though is the co-operative play through Xbox Live. If only more games would use this system merging single playing and the online experience together so both you and a friend can traverse the vast landscapes helping save humanity. The story may be weak including characters you find hard to identify with, but overall it is hard not to enjoy the superb action that is presented in such vigorous doses.
Us Xbox 360 owners have had to wait a long time for a killer app to appear, but we now have it without the need for a pinch of salt to spice things up. If I was going to be very critical, I would say the computer controlled team mates often wander into trouble far too frequently as you have to go rescue them and when you are hearing a message from someone safe far away giving you advice requires you to walk slowly and hold two fingers to your bulging head.
Gears of War is certainly the title that will keep us entertained until the killer app of all killer apps appears… Yes you guessed it, Halo 3 of course!