Gears of War
Andy came and picked me up yesterday, and we went to his place to play Gears of War on his brand-new flat panel HDTV. We played through the entire game on Casual difficulty over the course of about 7 hours.
The game is absolutely gorgeous, and everything in the game from the cinematic camera angles to the coarse language captures the grittiness of a planet-wide war for survival. The characters were memorable, but Cole Train stood out as my favorite with lines like "The Train is a smooth ride, baby." The music wasn't designed to stand out on its own, but was unfortunately used to indicate whether enemies were nearby. Once everyone is killed, the music fades out.
Despite my preference for sniper weapons, I opted instead for a gun with a chainsaw bayonet. I spent a lot of time hunting enemies down and killing them in the most deliciously gruesome way possible. (In contrast, Andy depended heavily on his body-shredding shotgun.)
The most glaring problems with the game are its story and length. I didn't see any intro to fill in the blanks, and the story just seemed to be a number of unrelated tasks. As for the length, I was disappointed that the game ended so quickly.
I give "Gears of War" 4 stars out of 5. The game is great, but there's no compelling reason for me to play it again. The music was used as an element of gameplay, rather than as a cinematic element, and it was just too short.
*[HDTV]: high-definition television