The addition of co-op, unlike many other examples, doesn?t feel like an option bolted on at the last moment. A ?Resuscitate? feature has been implemented that can also be used on NPC team-mates, which really helps strengthen that sense of team play. If a squad member takes too many slugs, he?ll become incapacitated, and it?s up to the surviving
members to provide aid. The multiplayer deathmatch modes also work superbly. I had a go with a mixture of fellow journos and Microsoft staff in a four-on-four team deathmatch, and the weapon balance and level design just felt right.
One feature, vital to success in all game modes, is the simple yet ingenious use of the A button. It?s used to aid your negotiation of the varied environments you?ll encounter. Pressed once and you?ll leap for cover. Hold it down while walking, and you?ll enter a crouching run move; crucial for traversing openings. Pressed while near a wall and you?ll take cover, or crouch beneath it. While in cover, press again and you can dart over to other forms of nearby cover. This button will be your key to success. Run around like a lunatic, and you won?t last long ? retaining cover and remaining in a tight unit with your team is vital.
Again, I shouldn?t be going overboard without spending a few days on it, but I can safely say that at this stage, this game is as good as, if not better, than the expectation surrounding it. If you?re one of those who people bought your 360 based on the expectations of GoW delivering come its release in the UK (November 17th), you can award yourself a satisfied grin right now.
Our full Gears of War review will follow next week, if we can manage to put the controller down long enough to type some words, that is.