Xbox One | 360 | XBLA  PS4 | PS3 | PSN  Wii U | VC    3DS  PS Vita  iOS    PC    Retro    


  » news
  » reviews
  » previews
  » cheat codes
  » release dates
  » screenshots
  » videos

  » specials
  » interviews

  » facebook
  » twitter
  » contests

  » games list
  » franchises
  » companies
  » genres
  » staff
 

Which game are you looking forward to the most?

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
Super Mario Maker
Halo 5: Guardians
Rise of the Tomb Raider
Star Wars: Battlefront


Game Profile
FINAL SCORES
8.4
Visuals
9.0
Audio
9.0
Gameplay
8.0
Features
8.0
Replay
8.0
INFO BOX
PLATFORM:
Xbox 360
PUBLISHER:
Microsoft
DEVELOPER:
Epic Games
GENRE: Action
PLAYERS:   1
RELEASE DATE:
September 20, 2011
ESRB RATING:
Mature


IN THE SERIES
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Gears of War 2

Gears of War

Gears of War

 Written by Alex Roth  on December 14, 2011

Gears of War 3 DLC Review: The brutality of Beast mode, now in convenient campaign form!




Gears of War 3's latest DLC is RAAM's Shadow. While not terribly long, pace and variety make it a welcome addition to the online co-op scene. It's pricey at $15, but all the Gears DLC lately
makes a
Season Pass seem awful tempting.





Raam's Shadow takes place even before the events of the first Gears of War. As a prequel, it doesn't offer any real insights into the world of Sera, but it does exploit the freshly war-torn setting for some new locales and motives. You play as Zeta squad, a group of COG tasked with searching for survivors. There's a visit to a bombed-out bank, a trek through an eerily empty school, and a fantastic firefight through a crumbling parking garage.



The dialog and characterizations of Zeta Squad are broad, and not on-par with what the series usually offers. Occasionally it hits a resonant note, and you can tell that these are people who are still adjusting to life in war, not the battle hardened soldiers of Delta squad, but mostly it's groan-inducing. There's a ton of corny plotting, including a showdown to save an orphanage named the Children's School of Hope. As names go, that's up there with St. God's Hospital in
Idiocracy.



As a prequel, Raam's Shadow takes the opportunity to bring back emergence holes. It's a fun bit of gameplay nostalgia, but when you run out of grenades you'll realize when why they were scrapped. Otherwise, you'll encounter some later series stuff, like Sawed-Off Shotguns and Serapedes, but nothing that feels in violation of the continuity. You'll also encounter some familiar faces, but don't expect anything particularly illuminating.



The best part of Raam's Shadow is getting to be the titular General. Maybe it's good that the narrative is unfocused, when you play as this guy you better not have much sympathy for the COG. If you combined Wesker and a Tyrant from Resident Evil, you'd have something with the size and presence of General Raam. He can command bat-like Kryll to shield him or shred his enemies and do a sort of Retro Lancer charge that makes shish kebabs of his enemies. Raam doesn't roll or take cover because he has no need to. He's overpowered to the point where there's little challenge, but his massive size and unique abilities make him the best part of this DLC. It is named for him, after all.



Like a game of chess with one player, switching between Locust and human is a tad schizophrenic. You'd like to cheer for the bland Zeta squad, but Raam is just so much more fun. Still, it gets you wondering about the future of the series.
At the VGAs, Cliff Bleszinski confirmed we hadn't seen the end. Given this and the introduction of Beast mode, you have to wonder if we'll be spending more time on the Locust side. After playing as Raam, I certainly hope so.

Bottom Line
Even though it's short, pricey and put together by some sort of writing B-team, Raam's Shadow is the best Gears of War 3 DLC yet. It's as dense and athletically paced as the best moments of the series, and offers something entirely new in the form of General Raam. Season Pass owners will find their purchase justified, and those tempted to purchase Raam's Shadow on its lonesome should consider ponying up for a pass. With hints of a multiplayer-centric DLC in January, it seems like players will be getting their money's worth.


User Comments

Forza Motorsport 6 Hands-On Preview - Race Through Real Life and Fictional Tracks During the Day or At Night and While It Is Raining


Whispering Willows Available on Xbox One At A Discounted Price


Nintendo Reveals That A Shovel Knight Amiibo Is Coming


2K Sports Reveals 21 More WWE Superstars for WWE 2K16


Harmonix Reveals the “Road Crew” Where You Can Get Rock Band 4 for Free


Mad Max Now Available in Stores and Online for Xbox One, PS4 and PC


Final Fantasy XV Will Be Released in 2016 According to Square Enix


Amazon Offering Seamless Redemption Experience for Digital Nintendo Games


Resident Evil Origins Collection Coming to Xbox One and PS4 in January


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Pre-Order Campaign Revealed by Square Enix






Home    •    About Us    •    Contact Us    •    Advertise    •    Jobs    •    Privacy Policy    •    Site Map
Copyright ©1999-2012 Matt Swider. All rights reserved. Site Programming copyright © 2004 Bill Nelepovitz - NeositeCMS