Xbox 360 and Gears of War 3

Those who know me…(seems those are fewer each day)know that I take a break from the real work of writing and composing music, to play some games. At one point, I was pretty sure that I was never going to play another gears of war game or own another xbox 360 (do a little on-sight searching and you’ll find those stories). But after reading alot of good reviews about the Gears of War 3 game(GOW3), I decided that this break I would give both another go. I purchased an xbox 360 elite and GOW3 using Fingerhut credit we had saved.

The xbox arrived finally and I set it up, and played through the campaign of GOW3, then I played online until I reached lvl 51. So what were my impressions of both the xbox 360 and GOW3? They were mixed. Let me explain…but let me state something for the record. I do not get anything I review for free. I pay for it just like the regular Joe, so you can know that what you are about to read is an honest review.

The Xbox 360 Elite

Let’s begin with the xbox 360. It arrived in brand spanking new cardboard box and upon opening it I discovered that Halo: Reach was not contained within. Instead there was a download code. Not only did I not get a game that I can trade-in for store credit once I am done with it, I also had to download 6.7 GB worth of video game just to play the damn thing. Once again Fingerhut pissed me off. I almost did not even bother downloading the game since I barely like the campaign mode of Halo. It downloaded over the course of 4 days. Seems an xbox still cannot figure out how to download in the background, while you play locally, as I was doing during the first 2 days of the download.

Amazingly though, other than the Halo issue which mostly Fingerhut it to blame for, I have not had any issues with the 360 Elite. Everything I have tried to do on it thus far has worked. No freezing issues, RROD, nothing. Granted, I have only had it for a week. If you find my posts here about my previous 7 xbox 360s you’ll realize why I am amazed it has worked this long without some kind of problem. Pretty soon I will be popping in Fable 3 and we’ll see if the 360 continues to shine.

Edit: After posting this, I went to play some GOW3 online and a couple of hours later the xbox just shut off. No warning like should be if it gets to hot or something. Had to unplug it from the power in order to get it to work again. Should have known…never expect anything good from Microcrap!

Gears of War 3 Campaign

As well as the Xbox has worked, the GOW3 game has done quite the opposite. It has failed at EVERYTHING! But let me be a tad more specific than that.

With the Gears games 1 and 2 I played through the campaign mode with my sons using split screen mode. I was not able to do that with GOW3. Shortly after I made the purchase of the 360 and GOW3 I learned of a glitch on the game. Seems that glitch is worse than what was in GOW2. You cannot play any split screen in GOW3 without the risk of permanently messing up your gamertag. If that happens you won’t be able to play GOW3 at all and will lose all your achievements for the game. If I would have known about this single issue before having placed the order, I am not sure I would have gotten GOW3. But of course, things like a game breaking design seem far less advertised than all the good points(If there are any). I have to wonder just how much these places that do reviews are paid to keep their mouth shut about things like this. I learned that there was a similar glitch in GOW2 so you would think the reviewers would check something like that out. Apparently, reviewing a game does not actually require you to play it. Other than the lack of split screen, playing the campaign mode was short. I completed it in just 2 days. When that happened it made me wonder if they were trying to be a Call of Duty game now.

***Spoiler Alert***

The story line was so disjointed that most of the game the main goal was unclear. It felt like I was playing Halo. Both Gears of War 1 and 2 had clearer and better story lines and each took 3 days to play through. Perhaps I am stupid or just simply missed it, but I am ansure that is was ever explained how Marcus saw his father die and yet now he was alive again. Plot holes like this should be left to Hollywood movies. They should not be in video games. Lastly, what was the whole point in killing off Dom ? The only thing that makes sense is that they knew the story line was weak and that was all they could do to add some real solid content.

***End Spoiler***

Because of all of the above reasons and the lack of a safe split screen mode I would have to say the campaign mode of GOW3 was a 1 star performance and the worst of the Gears series.


Obviously no safe split-screen mode means no local matches against my son but it also means he cannot play in public quick matches with me either. Both of these I really wanted to do. But that is not all. It also means no horde or beast mode with him. As you can see the lack of a safe, glitch free split screen mode totally brings down this games playability. The only mode I can safely play online is versus. That is not just because of split screen though. It is also because all the friends I have on xbox live are from my GOW1 days. I have not seen a single friend playing GOW3. Therefore, the only part of multiplayer I can review is the versus mode.

The best way to describe GOW3 online multiplayer is horrid. That is actually complimenting it. It really defies description when trying to explain the depths this game has fallen to. Before going much further in my review of the online play I should give a little background into my previous Gears of War experience. I began playing the original GOW on release day. After completing the campaign in regular and hardcore modes with my son, I entered the online fray. To be honest, I got owned!!! LOL! But I got better over time and when there were 2 million people playing the game I was within the top 2500. No, not gonna claim to be the best, but I certainly was not bad either. Me and the shotty became one.

When GOW2 came out I also began playing it on release day. After finishing the campaign made I also began playing the online multiplayer mode and that is when I discovered that the online portion of the game was broken. Even so I played it(and always finished as one of the top two players of the game) for about a month when my live sub ran out, then I sold the game, vowing to never look at a another GOW game.

Then GOW3 arrives and this time I am careful. I check the reviews, they all seem good. I watch videos mainly watching for online multiplayer matching time and game lag. I see no problems with either of these and become interested in playing again. But I was deceived. Soon after the game launched and those videos were posted to youtube showing smooth game play, many people started complaining about game lag, OP weapons, glitches, and multiplayer connecting.

But it was too late for me. I had already ordered it and it was on the way.

After I finished the campaign I joined in on the online multiplayer. Why not? My system came with 3 months of Xbox live. I expected to get owned and I did but it was not because of my lack of skill… well not completely. The matchmaking is a joke. My first game I was playing against players that were level 80+. I thought, WTF? As I continued to play I noticed more and more how bad it really was. It consitantly pits low level players against high level ones. Even at level 51 I am seeing it do this. I am playing against a whole team of players that are 70-100 level while my teammates are 40-50. For those who think,”Level does not determine skill” please keep reading.

I also found it has a tendency to put the best players together and the worse ones together. As an example, let’s say a match just finished. The top two players from the enemy team and at least one of the top(often both)player(s) from my team will be put on the same team. This is even more likely to happen if you win the match. The system seems setup to make sure you can’t win 2 times in a row. In fact, I have seen it go to such great lengths to make sure you can’t win twice in a row, that it matched me with 4 bots against 5 humans, most of them were the top players from the previous game. So you think, o.k. I will just have to leave if I win a game. Nope, that won’t work either cause it will put you into a game that has already started and your team has already lost a round or even better, put you in at the very end of a match where your team has lost. Even though you did not get to play, never spawned, it will count this as a loss. Absolutely, dreadful matchmaking!!!

I am not sure at what point they decided to remove the dedicated servers but at some point they did. You can tell there is a host when you get downed from 25-30 ft. away with full health from one shot gun shot. When you shoot a guy 4 times with active reload on your shotgun and you can see the blood spraying the guy after every shot(clearly each time you him with an active shotgun shot)and this guy turns around and downs you with one shot without an active. I know this because I was shooting him while he was reloading. I shot him 4 times, there is no way he had an active reload. It simply took too long for him to reload. He obviously messed it up but it did not matter because he was host. When many games there is someone with twice as many kills as EVERYONE else, it is very clear there is a host. I don’t know about you but I really hate being lied to. The GOW3 box even states on the back that this game has dedicated servers. Blantant lies! And that is not the only thing they lied about but we’ll get to that later.

Since there are no dedicated servers, there is also lag. Basically this lag has made my shotgun much harder to use than it was in GOW1 because now you got a bunch of noobs running around with a sawed-off shotgun. Don’t get me wrong, I ain’t gonna rant about it like so many do. I embraced the gun and have been working on unlocking its achievement however, I have found it is like the normal shot gun in regards to its consistency. I can shoot a person around a corner with it but I cannot shoot a guy right in front of me. In fact, I have litterally had the sawed-off shoved into a person’s ear and somehow missed him. I have nailed 2 people with it not even trying but have found if there are 3 in front of me, not even a foot away I can fire and somehow miss all 3 of them. Of course, 3 opponents, empty barrel, long reload times=death.

The inconsistency does not stop at the sawed-off though, it still exists in the regular shotty. You might expect something like this from a new weapon but one as old as the regular shotgun from GOW1. There is just no excuse for it. I have scoped( actually aimed putting the head in the middle of the box) a person with a shotgun from less than a foot away aiming at his head. I fired and could see the blood come off his head but I did not kill him. I mean Jesus fucking Christ. I shoot you point blank in the damn face, see it hit your head, how come you can now kill me with one shot when I could not kill you? It is a frickin’ shot gun, not a goddamned water gun!!!

Then there is the OP Retro lancer every high level player never goes into a battle without. You know why they all use this gun? Because they have no skill. Any weapon that downs an opponent in gears with 1 to 3 shots and has range longer than the shotgun, is quite useful. Yes, that is the one thing that is consistent. I have been downed regularly with 1 to 3 Retro bullets with full health. As a matter of principal, I have refused to use the Retro lancer because it is OP. I think that will have change though. 

Speaking of principal, people have seemed to lose all sense of the word in this game. I have already had more kills stolen from me in this game than all the kills that were stolen in both the previous gears games. It is not just accidental either. I watch top players from every game do this a lot. How do you think they get all those kills? They wait for you to down an opponent and then they shoot. Not before then though, that would be fucking teamwork. From what I have seen, anyone who tells you they have a good k/d ratio it is because they are good at kill stealing, not because they have skill or work with their team. Yes, these are also the same fuckheads who won’t pick you up when you are downed. Don’t want to risk getting killed helping out a teammate.

When you combine all of these problems… no split screen, the matchmaking, the lag, the inconsistency, rampant OP weapon use, and blatant kill stealing you have an online nightmare. This games online multiplayer I would give a no stars performance.

If this game I had gotten for free, it would be in the trash with the rest of the garbage. Since I payed for it and bought the season pass before learning about all the problems this game has, I intend on playing it every waking moment I can to get my moneys worth, to get my achievements, and to waste as much of Microsoft’s bandwidth as humanly possible.I don’t give a shit if they continue to lie to me about things like the double experience that I am not getting. They need to realize that the money the stole from me will be the last they will ever get to steal again. If the game says “Epic” on the label, I won’t be buying it. If you, dear reader, have not purchased this game, consider yourself  lucky and avoid it at all costs. Many of the games problems that have existed since the original GOW1 are still there and new ones have been added. Epic games does not fix problems, they only add to them and then lie about it.

If you need to see some evidence besides my own word of mouth, please feel free to read about all these issues and more at at the Epic Forums.

I approached Epic about these issues and was banned for doing so. Here is a screenshot of the ban.

(Click the above pic to see full size)

I find it funny that they think asking when the problems posted here would be fixed as ranting. Also interesting is that ranting is not listed as against the forum rules. Even if it was, it does not matter since I did not rant ( like I did in some of this post). I asked when they were going to fix some of these problems and they closed the thread. So I asked them if they thought ignoring paying customers was the best solution and they banned me. Ban this Epic!! Fucking Nazis won’t get another cent of mine as long as I live and should not be surprised if they find a lawsuit delivered to them for violating my 1st amendment rights. Now that is ranting bitches!!!



1 Comment

Filed under games, General Stuff, video games, Xbox 360

One response to “Xbox 360 and Gears of War 3

  1. Rashdan

    Hey friend ,
    Interesting and informative post, i like the way you write. Just bookmarked your blog
    and i’ll make sure to visit it atlease once a week.
    Also, free free to email me if you have \”some\” exclusive information
    on this topic. I don’t mind paying for gold 🙂


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