We didn’t have big plans for the weekend – that is to say, all our original plans unfortunately got cancelled – which means I had some time to do research. So I played Gears: Tactics on the Xbox.
I still don’t know how I feel about the game. When I started it up in January I gave up after the first mission because it didn’t immediately take me in. Now I played on and I’m enjoying it a lot more already, but still it feels like it’s missing a couple of things.
I think the basic problem is that I’m not a fan of the Gears universe. The hordes of monsters theme just does not appeal to me.
The visuals of the game are really great, as with all Gears games, but so far I have the impression that all the levels have looked more or less the same. I think it’s the overall bleak atmosphere and the color palette that flattens it out a bit. A shame really because the level of graphical detail is very high.
The gameplay is very similar to XCOM but Gears is more geared (pun intended) towards big-scale action: throwing large numbers of enemies at you. It’s a different tactical gameplay than XCOM, but definitely tactical. And I admit it can be very satisfying to blow up 6 grunts with one grenade.
Compared to XCOM there’s also more storytelling going on during the missions, something I really like. At the same time I’m missing some cohesion in the story overall. Sometimes it’s like the cutscenes don’t nicely connect and they skip over a part of the story, making you wonder “how did we suddenly get here?”. Nothing big, just some loose ends.
I can see how it all fits together with the overall theme of Gears of War, and it is absolutely nicely done, but in many aspects the game feels a bit too busy. Less my personal style. But as I’m enjoying the gameplay I should definitely research it some more 😉