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This week, Zero Punctuation reviews thick necked refrigerator armor marine 3.

Transcript Edit

I'm starting to notice a bit of a recurring pattern in Shooter Season 2011, besides the usual ones like brown and characters taping their asthma inhalers to their iron sights. They all seem to have this running theme of humanity being fucked. Not just threatened with fuckery, but conveniently prefucked when the game starts. Resistance 3 opens with the human race cowering in the last few orifices the Chimera haven't gotten around to sticking their cocks into and the planet about to explode, and Gears of War 3 opens with the human government having completely collapsed, the chunk brigade all living on boats, and the planet about to explode.

You see, threatening to explode the planet is something bad writers and twats do when they can't think of any other way to raise the stakes for the concluding installment of a trilogy. If they haven't come up with a single character whose goals and struggles we can actually feel invested in, they can always play the exploding planet card, because holy shit, I live on a planet! And there are always a few stray taint hairs on the exploding planet card from having been recently pulled from an arse, because I don't remember anyone mentioning it before this.

So Marcus Fenix and his grizzled backing vocalists are back, and as always if they didn't occasionally stand next to the two token willowy hotties you could be forgiven for thinking you'd accidentally set your TV to a wider aspect ratio. Fat-necked gorillas wearing fridges with armholes to a man, and they're all living on a ship and having to deal with a new race of snarly monsters apparently different to the previous race of snarly monsters but not in any practical way. Suddenly, someone who's apparently important drops in with news that Marcus' dad is still alive, and he's also apparently important so everyone goes off to look for him in the most circuitous possible way.

If it sounds like I don't have the firmest grip on what exactly is going on in Gears of War, it's because I bloody well don't. And that's something I'll get into later. For now I'll say, in an ever so slightly spoilerly way, that this is the last installment, so major characters do die. And hilariously, Marcus Fenix attempts to act aggrieved. I honestly can't tell the difference between a Marcus Fenix who's angry because of grief and one who's angry because he woke up that morning.

Now, before any of you Gears of War fans rush off to humiliate yourselves in the comment section by posting something along the lines of "What did you expect? Gears of War is about chainsaw bayonet vasectomies, plot and character is for girls and people with sensibly proportioned necks," I'd like to preemptively tell you to fuck off, and here's why: if I had said that Gears of War 3 's plot was a spellbinding emotional rollercoaster from start to finish, none of you motherfucking fanboys would be saying the plot doesn't matter. You'd trumpet that from the fucking rooftops until someone asked you to leave.

I'll touch on specific gameplay briefly, because what more is there to say? The third installment adds nothing new on that front, except four-player co-op in case you and a couple of friends have all taken bad acid, and can only stay sane by boring yourselves as efficiently as possible. I remember being kind to Gears of War 2, but I honestly can't remember why. I think at the time I was trying to meet it halfway, on the assumption that the waist-deep pool of scummy brown water shooters had devolved into was something I was just gonna have to live with. But having played Resistance 3 and a bit of that Hard Reset thing on Steam that's like Painkiller if they'd nicked one of Philip K. Dick's least comprehensible plots, it mystified me how anyone could think Gears of War is a better shooter.

It's the original chest-high wall plodapocalypse. I hate how sprinting makes the camera headbang like it's at a Meat Loaf gig, as if to say "Moving quickly? In Gears of War? Not without a migraine, you don't!" Ever play the Gears of War drinking game? You take a shot every time Marcus Fenix says something along the lines of "Go," "Move," or "Come on." He does it like clockwork after every shooting section because the game's justifiably paranoid that you've nodded off.

But I don't think there's much more to be gained from nitpicking my specific problems with Gears of War. I think what we need to do is step outside for a moment, press our faces against the window and look at things from a broader perspective. You may remember precisely 229 words ago I said that I can't remember why I was nice to Gears of War 2. To elaborate, I can't remember much about Gears of War 2 at all, despite playing it through to the end. I remember a bit where you carry a box, and a bit where you go inside a giant worm, which probably still wins the prize for the most Freudian moment in the entire series - and that's saying a lot considering the main character's ongoing chainsaw vasectomy clinic side business - but I couldn't tell you how it fit into the ongoing alpha male tire swing cockslappalooza.

So whenever Gears of War 3 called back to the previous series, I was kind of lost. Were the Lambent introduced in the last game? I guess so, because everyone already knows them at the start. But then I'm pretty sure they pulled the planet exploding thing out of their arse between games. And what about that female character voiced by Claudia Black -because aren't they all these days - whose only character trait seems to be reminding everyone she's a girl whenever there's a gap in the conversation. Was she in the last game? Or that other female character with no personality at all? The one who I only figured out was supposed to be Marcus Fenix's love interest because she put a hand on his shoulder at the end in the manner resembling a white plastic spork leaning on a chest of drawers? Ah, now I do remember Marcus's dad being a big ongoing thing. Christ, he even looks like Sigmund Freud; at this point they might as well equip everyone with pink jizz cannons and make all the enemies charge at your bumhole first. But didn't they already establish he was still alive, or did I just conclude that logically because they wouldn't have kept harping on his beardy ass if they weren't going to pay it off at some point?

You see, you can argue specifics from both perspectives until the planet explodes. You can harp on about it being ploddy and brown or you can say it's at least competently strung together and I certainly prefer frustrated teenage boys play it rather than use their time going around setting fire to cats. But in the final analysis, a game can't be good if the moment you put it down your brain balls up everything to do with it and tosses it into your mental junk drawer, so that all I remember of it a year on is so much brown noise, a big, sweating, blurred-together lump of headscarves and steroids.

Of all the big names getting their trilogies tied this year, Gears of War I consider one of the least likely to get a last-minute death row reprieve. It's a relic of a previous age, too dull for a reboot. I'm already forgetting stuff about Gears of War 3. I remember that one major character dying in a heroic sacrifice, natch, but I couldn't tell you why it was necessary. Already my memory bank has looked at that fact and gone, "Yep, this needs to go. Need to make room for an extension on the cleavage department!"

AddendaEdit

Will stop abusing steroids when they stop abusing me: Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw

If anyone were actually built like Marcus Fenix they'd probably spontaneously bleed from the armpits every time they tried to hail a cab

And I'm pretty sure when GoW2 came out I had a steady lay


ScreenshotsEdit

Gears of War 3 1

Threatened with fuckery

Gears of War 3 2

They can always play the exploding planet card

Gears of War 3 3

A big, sweating, blurred-together lump of headscarves and steroids

External LinksEdit

Episodes
2007 - 2010
2007
Q3 The Darkness Demo · Fable: The Lost Chapters · Zero Punctuation (Episode) · Heavenly Sword and Other Stuff · Psychonauts · Console Rundown · BioShock · Tomb Raider: Anniversary · Manhunt · Peggle
Q4 Halo 3 · Tabula Rasa · The Orange Box · Super Paper Mario · Medal of Honor: Airborne · The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass · Clive Barker's Jericho · F.E.A.R. Perseus Mandate · Assassin's Creed · Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock · Mass Effect
2008
Q1 Super Mario Galaxy · Silent Hill: Origins · Crysis · The Witcher · Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles · Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare · SimCity Societies · Yahtzee Goes to GDC · Uncharted: Drake's Fortune · Devil May Cry 4 · Burnout: Paradise · Turok · Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure
Q2 Army of Two · No More Heroes · Condemned 2: Bloodshot · Super Smash Bros. Brawl · God of War: Chains of Olympus · Mailbag Showdown · Grand Theft Auto IV · Painkiller · The World Ends With You · The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion · Haze · Metal Gear Solid 4
Q3 Webcomics · Lego Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures · Alone in the Dark · Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventures · The E3 Trailer Park · Ninja Gaiden II · Prince of Persia Retrospective · Soulcalibur IV · Braid · EVE Online · Too Human · Spore · XBLA Double Bill
Q4 Mercenaries 2: World in Flames · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed · S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky · Silent Hill: Homecoming · Saints Row 2 · Dead Space · Fable II · Fallout 3 · Guitar Hero: World Tour · Mirror's Edge · Left 4 Dead · Sonic Unleashed · The Year in Review - 2008 · Prince of Persia
2009
Q1 Awards for 2008 · Tomb Raider: Underworld · Far Cry 2 · Gears of War 2 · LittleBigPlanet · Thief: The Dark Project · Skate 2 · F.E.A.R. 2 · Spider-Man: Web of Shadows · The House of the Dead: Overkill · 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand · Resident Evil 5
Q2 X-Blades/Halo Wars · Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars · MadWorld · Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X · Siren: Blood Curse · The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena · Valkyria Chronicles · Velvet Assassin · Duke Nukem Forever · Bionic Commando · InFamous · The Second Annual E3 Hype Massacre · Prototype
Q3 The Sims 3 · Ghostbusters: The Video Game · Overlord 2 · Red Faction Guerrilla · Wii Sports Resort · Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood · The Conduit · Silent Hill 2 · 2.5-D Hoedown · Tales of Monkey Island · Wolfenstein · Batman: Arkham Asylum · Beatles Rock Band & Guitar Hero 5 · Darkest of Days
Q4 Scribblenauts · Wet · Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story · Brutal Legend · Washington D.C. · Uncharted 2: Among Thieves · Dragon Age: Origins · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 · Assassin's Creed 2 · Left 4 Dead 2 & New Super Mario Bros. Wii · Demon's Souls · Holiday 2009 · The Saboteur
2010
Q1 Awards for 2009 · Torchlight · Darksiders · Bayonetta · Dark Void · Borderlands · Mass Effect 2 · Dante's Inferno · BioShock 2 · Aliens vs Predator · Heavy Rain · Battlefield: Bad Company 2 · Final Fantasy XIII
Q2 April Fools 2010 · God of War III · Red Steel 2 · Just Cause 2 · Silent Hill: Shattered Memories · Splinter Cell: Conviction · Nier · Dead to Rights: Retribution · Monster Hunter Tri · Alan Wake · Red Dead Redemption · Alpha Protocol · Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands · E3 2010
Q3 No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle · Super Mario Galaxy 2 · Singularity · Crackdown 2 · DeathSpank & Limbo · Shadow of the Colossus · Split Second: Velocity · Transformers: War for Cybertron · Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days · Mafia II · Metroid: Other M · Video Game Voters Network · Amnesia: The Dark Descent
Q4 Halo: Reach · Dead Rising 2 · Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow · Enslaved: Odyssey to the West · Fallout: New Vegas · Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II · Call of Duty: Black Ops · IPhone Games · Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood · Splatterhouse · Epic Mickey · Holiday 2010
2011 - 2014
2011
Q1 Top 5 of 2010 · World of Warcraft: Cataclysm · Fable III · Minecraft · A Shadow's Tale · Dead Space 2 · DC Universe Online · MindJack · Two Worlds II · Bulletstorm · Killzone 3 · Kirby's Epic Yarn · Dragon Age II
Q2 Pokémon White · Yakuza 4 · Crysis 2 · Nintendo 3DS · Portal 2 · Castlevania: Symphony of the Night · Mortal Kombat · Brink · L.A. Noire · The Witcher 2 · Hunted: The Demon's Forge · Duke Nukem Forever (for real this time) · InFamous 2
Q3 Alice: Madness Returns · Shadows of the Damned · F.E.A.R. 3 · The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D · Call of Juarez: The Cartel · Bastion and From Dust · Catherine · Red Faction: Armageddon · Deus Ex · Deus Ex: Human Revolution · Driver: San Francisco · Dead Island · Resistance 3
Q4 Gears of War 3 · Hard Reset · Rage · Kinect · Batman: Arkham City · Battlefield 3 · Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception · Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 · The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim · Saints Row: The Third · Assassin's Creed: Revelations · The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword
2012
Q1 Serious Sam 3: BFE · Top 5 of 2011 · Super Mario 3D Land & Rayman Origins · Sonic Generations · Star Wars: The Old Republic · Amy · Resident Evil: Revelations · Darkness 2 · Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning · NeverDead · Syndicate · Mass Effect 3 · Twisted Metal
Q2 Yakuza: Dead Souls · Ninja Gaiden 3 · Silent Hill: Downpour · Kid Icarus: Uprising · Fez and I Am Alive · Prototype 2 · Risen 2: Dark Waters · Sniper Elite V2 · Diablo 3 · Max Payne 3 · Dragon's Dogma · E3 2012 · Lollipop Chainsaw
Q3 Quantum Conundrum · Spec Ops: The Line · Walking Dead · Inversion · The Amazing Spider-Man · Half-Life · Wreckateer and Deadlight · Steam Roundup · Sleeping Dogs · Darksiders 2 · DayZ · Guild Wars 2
Q4 Borderlands 2 · FIFA 13 · Resident Evil 6 · Dishonored · XCOM: Enemy Unknown · Medal of Honor: Warfighter & Doom 3: BFG Edition · Assassin's Creed 3 · Halo 4 · Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 · Hitman: Absolution · Far Cry 3 · ZombiU
2013
Q1 Top 5 of 2012 · Paper Mario: Sticker Star · Black Knight Sword & Hotline Miami · Anarchy Reigns · DMC: Devil May Cry · The Cave · Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch · Dead Space 3 · Aliens: Colonial Marines · Crysis 3 · Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance · Tomb Raider · SimCity
Q2 The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct · BioShock Infinite · Lego City Undercover · Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon · Injustice: Gods Among Us · Star Trek · Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon · System Shock 2 · Metro: Last Light · Next Gen Buyer's Guide · Fuse · Remember Me · E3 2013
Q3 The Last of Us · Deadpool · Animal Crossing: New Leaf · Ride to Hell: Retribution · Dark · Mario & Luigi: Dream Team · Rise of the Triad · Papers, Please & Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons · Pikmin 3 · The Bureau: XCOM Declassified · Saints Row 4 · Killer is Dead · Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs
Q4 Grand Theft Auto V · Lost Planet 3 · Beyond: Two Souls · The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker HD · Batman: Arkham Origins · Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag · Call of Duty: Ghosts · Exclusives Showdown · Ryse: Son of Rome · Dead Rising 3 · Super Mario 3D World
2014
Q1 Top 5 of 2013 · Knack · Killzone: Shadow Fall · Survival Special · Broken Age · Might & Magic X: Legacy · The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds · Dark Souls · Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII · Strider · Thief · Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 · Dark Souls II
Q2 Titanfall · InFamous: Second Son · Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes · The Elder Scrolls Online · South Park: The Stick of Truth · FTL: Faster Than Light · Child of Day-Light · The Amazing Spider-Man 2 · Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure · Wolfenstein: The New Order · WATCH DOGS · E3 2014 · Murdered: Soul Suspect
Q3 Tomodachi Life · Enemy Front & Valiant Hearts: The Great War · Shovel Knight · EarthBound · Transistor · E.T. · Firefall · Sacred 3 · Risen 3: Titan Lords · Daikatana · Lichdom: Battlemage · The Sims 4 · Destiny
Q4 D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die · Hyrule Warriors · Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor · Alien Isolation · The Evil Within · Bayonetta 2 · Sunset Overdrive · Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare · Assassin's Creed: Unity · Far Cry 4 · Dragon Age: Inquisition · Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric · Top 5 Games of 2014
2015 - 2017
2015
Q1 The Talos Principle · Elite: Dangerous · Five Nights at Freddy's and This War of Mine · Lords of the Fallen · Saints Row: Gat out of Hell · Dying Light · Grim Fandango · Evolve · The Order: 1886 · The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask 3D · Resident Evil Revelations 2 · Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number & Ori and the Blind Forest
Q2 Battlefield: Hardline · Bloodborne · Half-Life 2 Update · Axiom Verge & Stealth Inc 2 · Mortal Kombat X · Grand Theft Auto Online · Broken Age: Act 2 · Wolfenstein: The Old Blood · Cyberpunk Double · The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt · Splatoon · Hatred · E3 2015
Q3 Alone in the Dark: Illumination · Batman: Arkham Knight · Yoshi's Woolly World · Cave Story · Godzilla · Rocket League & Tembo the Badass Elephant · King's Quest: A Knight to Remember · Nom Nom Galaxy & Freedom Planet · Everybody's Gone To The Rapture · Volume · Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain · Mad Max · Gears of War Ultimate Edition · Until Dawn
Q4 Super Mario Maker · SOMA · Rock Band 4 · Assassin's Creed Syndicate · Halo 5: Guardians · Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 · Rise of the Tomb Raider · Fallout 4 · Star Wars: Battlefront · Just Cause 3 · Fatal Frame: Maiden of Black Water
2016
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2015 · Devil's Third · Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam · Assassin's Creed Chronicles · Xenoblade Chronicles X · The Witness & Bombshell · Gravity Rush · XCOM 2 · Firewatch & Layers of Fear · Far Cry Primal · Stardew Valley & SUPERHOT · The Division · Salt and Sanctuary
Q2 Republique · Shadow Warrior · Quantum Break · Dark Souls III · Ratchet & Clank · Star Fox Zero · Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door · Uncharted 4: A Thief's End · Doom · Homefront: The Revolution · Overwatch & Battleborn · Mirror's Edge: Catalyst · E3 2016
Q3 Mighty No. 9 · Inside & Shadow of the Beast · The Technomancer · Furi & Song of the Deep · I Am Setsuna · Headlander & Quadrilateral Cowboy · Quake · No Man's Sky · Grow Up · Deus Ex: Mankind Divided · Metroid Prime: Federation Force · The Curious Expedition & Mother Russia Bleeds · ReCore
Q4 Capcom Five · Clustertruck & Lichtspeer · Paper Mario: Color Splash · Mafia III · Gears of War 4 · PlayStation VR · Battlefield 1 · Titanfall 2 vs Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare · Dishonored 2 · WATCH DOGS 2 · Final Fantasy XV · The Last Guardian
2017
Q1 Top 5 Games of 2016 · Let It Die · Dead Rising 4 · Hitman · Gravity Rush 2 · Resident Evil 7 · Yakuza 0 · Nioh · For Honor · Nintendo Switch & Breath of the Wild · Horizon Zero Dawn · Nier Automata · Ghost Recon Wildlands
Q2 Mass Effect Andromeda · Yooka-Laylee · Persona 5 · Remastered Editions · Outlast 2 · Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 · Prey · Wilson's Heart · The Surge · Injustice 2 · Vanquish · E3 2017 · Strafe
Q3 Get Even · Hollow Knight / Dead Cells · Fifth Console Generation · The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles · Pyre · Splatoon 2 · Hellblade · Agents of Mayhem · Sonic Mania · Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle · Destiny 2 · Metroid: Samus Returns
Q4 Knack 2 and SteamWorld Dig 2 · Cuphead · Hob and A Hat in Time · Middle-earth: Shadow of War · The Evil Within 2 · Super Mario Odyssey · Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus · Assassin's Creed Origins · Sonic Forces · Star Wars Battlefront II

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