Gears of Yesteryear...
Being a huge Gears of War fan, I have been waiting forever to get my thought's on the current state of Gears and he entire community. Now that I have broken free of the chains that tied me down in 2008 (just guess what that was), I am grasping for a pen and some paper to get this out of my head.
Let's go back to the beginning of my Gears crusade, shall we?
It was a surprisingly warm November 2006 day in Brooklyn, New York. Having a full day of work ahead of me, things weren't too bad as I worked at a LAN center. The thing that really irked me today was not the fact that I was at work, but the fact that at a friend's LAN center MTV was on site with a gamer documentary piece. Sure, it'll turn into a 2 minute shameless plug of everything MTV but hey, who doesn't want to play some video games and end up on TV.
Amazingly, it was just under a week before the release of some game named Gears of War. Seeing it before, I really didn't give a shit about it considering it looked like a random game that had aliens and guns. Brilliant? Didn't seem to be at the least. Around 8 I knew I was free from work, so I ran to my friend's LAN center to see if MTV was there still. Alas, they were not. What he DID have however were some extra copies of this BRAND NEW ACTION/ADVENTURE game for the Xbox 360. Even at the price of $20, I seriously didn't care enough for this game to pick it up then and there. After grabbing some food and coming back, a LAN kicks off on this level called Canals. My friend insisted that I grab a controller and jump into this 8-player frag fest, and I do. Let's just say the rest is history.
Within minutes, I am figuring out how to abuse the shotgun, and my sniper rifle skills are peaking already. I am not one to boast my ego, but I really was good at this game. I played this game constantly before it's launch, as I became the first person to pull off a bridge to bridge no-scope blind-fire head shot on Canals (go ahead, as anyone that was in that game). I BECAME Augustus Cole as I barreled through competition for months at a time. Knowing only about the FUN in console video games, I was hooked on this "heroin" of sorts.
Before long, we decided to host some tournaments to see who truly is good at this game and who is shit. Coming down to the first tournament, I was cocky enough to play with perhaps the shittiest house team there was. Not knowing ANYONE at this time (considering the game hadn't become competitive yet) we met the likes of CDN, Reflex (CrReam), HighDistortion, Sloth, Immortal Spawn, TeRRoRR, Prophecy (ekane), and a slew of other competitors. Let's just say, it was a nail biter down to the end, and heading into my first finals match in this game was tough. Losing a total of 4 maps to 2 (yes we created shitty rules at first), we headed home knowing that we were good but not as good as the first High Council.
After that I continued to play competitively, although I couldn't find a serious team. Tournament after tournament I placed within the top 4 until MLG competition came along. Then, I decided to call it quits and just play for fun. Meadowlands 2007 marked my first official MLG event as I came to support a number of teams as they played in some of the best Gears of War matches I had ever seen (TLR vs. High Council anyone). By the end of the weekend, I had fallen in love with the MLG scene. Not a week later, I was contacted by GotFrag to run the competitive side of their DPAD site. Becoming my first actual gaming job, I gladly accepted and was thrown into the mix. The rest of that year culminated into visiting a number of different events and just having a great time. Shortly after the 2007 season, I received a call by Major League Gaming regarding a writing position.
The dream, they say.
Accepting again, I made my way around the states and to Canada for the 2008 season. Party after party I loved it all, but there was something missing. I no longer loved the game that I knew, I loved the people I knew and hung out with throughout every event. I couldn't stand this game anymore, and I was hoping the newest release of the franchise would re-create that love that I had nearly 2 and a half years ago.
Gears of War 2.
Just before MLG Vegas 2008, I found myself on line waiting for my copy of GoW2 at 10:00pm. Winning a small 2v2 tournament was nothing for me, although it did net me the game for nothing ;-) I was now waiting to see whether or not I will find love again.
This I did not.
Gears of War 2 became a mess of things that I wouldn't enjoy in any game. I tried my hardest to feel it, but I could not fake any emotion over this game. Online play was a joke, as is now. Many techniques used became highly annoying and rather noob-ish as you would say. Everything I enjoyed about Gears of War was erased and replaced by the Halo 3 matchmaking system and an overly-long and tedious single player story.
I couldn't stand it at all, and I had to just get away from the game. Playing with friends once in a while was not too bad, but then again I love hangin out with my friends and just bullshitting. The game itself became tertiary to anything I did on Xbox Live of all things, as I let my copy pick up dust.
Months later, an update is announced to "fix many things within the online portion of the game." Playing five different games over a number of days, I found no change. Another title update in January had me itching to play. A couple of games later had me drowing in the ugly, glitchy digestive track of Gears of War 2. I'm done. My train of thought basically is that I don't get it how you can ruin something this great in the first place.
I had to settle down.
I got back into the true side of gaming. Fun, challenging, and a world of socializing ahead of me. I started to enjoy games again as I found new ways to play old titles. Then I joined Insider eSports, and I ENJOYED playing again. As long as I kept that sadistic, ugly, destructive ex (a.k.a. GoW2) out of my life, I would be fine.
Today, I found myself picking up the original Gears of War for a few quick rounds. A few quick rounds turned into a few quick games as I fell back in love with the game that I originally played. I don't know what it was, but it was exactly what I wanted to play when Gears of War 2 game out.
Okay, this isn't a cry for help. This is just my account with a game that got me where I am, and gave me a great time while I was on my way. EPIC, please go back to basics and turn Gears of War 2 into the original. Please, for everyone's sake. Fans and newcomers alike have proven in hundreds of pages of threads on your forums that there is something wrong with what you've created. Just listen...
/end gears rant