This one is a bit shorter than any previous diary entries as me and Ali only managed to get about an hour of play time last night. We are now on the 21st chapter of 31 and so are essentially two thirds of the way through Gears 3. I assume that if we don’t get it finished in our next session we definitely will in the session after that!
I would like to point out here that this diary DOES contain a few mild spoilers, so if you don’t want to ruin anything for yourself then don’t click the read more button. On the other hand if something only semi plot-related doesn’t bother you then read on!
The difficulty is at last beginning to shine through in our playthrough. So far we hadn’t really came across any encounters that truly gave us pause or took us more than one or two tries (and those few usually involved stupid mistakes or unavoidable deaths). Yesterday, more than once, we found ourselves severely pressed to hang onto our little lives and blast our way through the enemy, which yesterday consisted mostly of lambent.
The lambent are annoying as fuck in this game. Ali complained a lot about them, but I personally enjoyed the challenge. Rather than simply hide and shoot at you (like the Locust) allowing you to blow them apart from a distance, the lambent like getting all snuggly with you. In fact I would like to compare them with the creepers from Minecraft. They get up next to you, doing their utmost to kill you, and then when you kill them, the explosion they all release on their death inevitably does more damage than they did themselves. Very much a “That’s a nice everything you have there” thing. Some are actually a bit of a bastard to kill anyway, and those ones make even bigger explosions upon death. Basically they are hard motherfuckers, but I see it as a challenge rather than a “OMFGSTUPID LAMBENT!!”
The main spoiler I was going to mention is that in the third Act you are introduced to lambent humans. This is something that I wasn’t actually all that surprised to see. Lambent Locust? That’s fine. So why not Lambent humans? It was a simple and logical step to make. The lambent humans also have a different combat style to the lambent locust. While the lambent locust do try and close the distance with you and explode your face, they also all have ranged attacks with which to get at you from afar. The lambent humans on the other hand are very different. In fact the best way to describe them is as zombies frankly. Fast zombies like from I Am Legend… but zombies nonetheless. They charge you, they are stupid, they come from everywhere and there is usually a lot of them. Now both me and Ali (in a rare moment of agreement) both think that the addition of these guys was pretty good. It’s a laugh fighting them! Tough at times but always amusing. Mix some of them in with normal lambent and things get pretty heated pretty quickly.
The other spoiler I want to mention to you is the introduction of another character who I believe will be more important than at first glance. The formerly rich and powerful Aaron Griffin. I only mention him so that I can say that he is one of the most fucking annoying characters I have met in a game and whoever voiced him should be punched in the face. Yes… it was his voice that annoyed me.
Speaking of characters, we still haven’t worked out why there are so many new people in the game. The new Carmine is obvious, there has to be a Carmine in every game (he still hasn’t died yet, I don’t think!). Anya was a reasonable addition to the squad. She was in both previous Gears and it makes sense that she become playable in the last one as man-power would now be scarce and, I’m betting, to allow the potential romance she has with Marcus Fenix to come into the open. However, why they felt the need to introduce Sam (the OTHER girl) and Jace (who I can only describe as the OTHER black guy) is beyond me. At the moment I am thinking it’s likely that Epic Games needed a few other characters to have epic/noble deaths later in the game and didn’t want to use any of the crowd favourites.
Who knows? We will have to wait and see!