I'm huge fan of Gears of War and I never played Halo 1 or 2 on my own console. Now I've been playing Halo 3 at home for a couple of hours and I feel I can take a first stab at comparing these games.
Graphics: When I was playing multiplayer Halo 2 at my friend's place, I wasn't overly impressed with the graphics. Especially when I compared them to GoW. So I was a bit afraid that my pre-ordered Halo 3 would disappoint me on this aspect. I was wrong. The graphics in Halo 3 are excellent (I'm watching on an HD TV). Everything is very sharp, there's a lot of detail and some really cool effects (like the explosions).
Still, the game is less realistic than Gears of War. This is because of the more cartoon-like characters and the usage of brighter colors like purple and green for vehicles and weapons. In Gears, everything is more gray. This doesn't make the Halo graphics worse, just less realistic. A designer's choice.
Sound: The sound is just great and I'm just listening to my TV's built in sound system. I can imagine a surround system really makes the game come to live.
Also the supporting music helps create a mood supportive of the mother of all fights. At times the music even brings some rock 'n roll into game especially when most of the fighting is done from atop an armed vehicle.
Story: Human race faces eradication by an Alien power and all hope is on one individual (Master Chief/Marcus Fenix )without whom the allied forces are doomed.
That said, it's clear that the GoW story still needs to develop in future episodes which will need to explain why human race can't understand yet why the locust can't back down.
The Halo 3 story on the other hand is clearly coming together in this episode when at some points an explanation is given for some events in Halo 2.
I'm not sure the Gears of War team cares as much about the story as the Halo team. In GoW, the dialogs need to support the mission at hand. In Halo 3, the dialogs and clips often paint the bigger picture about why there's this fight.
How does it play? This is a tough one. Gears of War is definitely the more linear type of game with narrower play fields and a more limited set of options. For instance in those phases where you need to be in a vehicle, the game will put you in a vehicle. In Halo there's a lot more freedom and flexibility.
The fighting is also vastly different. While you really can storm ahead in Halo 3 and shoot and melee your enemies, GoW invites you to take cover, snipe, sneak up… Also in Gears of War it seems you have finer control over your aiming. I love Gears for that.
The weaponry in Gears is way more limited than Halo's but feels more real and each weapon clearly has a different style and feel. You get some of that with Halo but, to me, the difference is not as clear.
Now don't get me wrong, I truly enjoy playing Halo and the options I have sometimes truly surprise me and keep me learning things even while I'm already further in the game.
Also fundamental is whether you prefer a third person shooter or a first person shooter. Is it that hard to let the player choose? When offered the choice, I would certainly opt for 3rd person but I must say it bothers me less than I expected.
My conclusion: Everybody is raving about the game and I'm one of the fans. The game really pulls you in and you want to fight until the end. Only more story and more flexibility will allow Gears of War 2 detrone Halo 3.
I wonder how long it will take me to finish the game. Only after I finished the game on Heroic I think I'll dare to go play multiplayer online.
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halo 3 ownes gears of war anytime, all gears of war is is sniper bitches hiding and camping...bunch of 7 year old pussies playing a bitch game.
Baa Baa .. you should change your name to waa waa. Gears kicks halo 3 ass. I am only playing halo cause all my friends are.
gears is a great game. yes all hail halo 3 but give credit where credit is due people love gears because its tactical and keeps u on the edge of ur seat.
gears is better
Gears of War owns Halo 3
Gears is much more realistic and deffinaltly better. in halo when you get a head shot all they do is fall. in gears however the head pops off and blood squirts everywhere. halo 3 isnt bad i like the story, but once gears of war 2 comes out, gears pretty much will make halo look like shit
gears kicks halo's ass any day...halo's is so freaking funny it feels like a kid's game
In gears of war, you can turn people into protein shakes with a lancer. GOW is more for adults and requires skill and tactical ability. Halo does look way inferior to GOW in looks, gameplay and even character motion.
Halo doesn't even come close to Gears.
Glad to see that GoW wins out in the comments.
I've been playing Halo quite a bit now and I must say I'm more drawn to Gears myself. There are so many positives about Gears and then there are these negatives about Halo's online play:
- too many different game modes. Let social salyer just be slayer.
- the melee doesn't feel right. All part of character motion.
- too many weapons. Some really futile ones.
I'll fire up my Gears game again tonight and play some of the latest maps. After that, I think I probably should get PG4.