As if the single-player campaign isn't satisfying enough (and it is, though it's over far too soon, at around eight hours), Gears of War's four-on-four multiplayer action has swept the GamesRadar offices in a way unknown to these weathered game reviewers since Halo 2. There, we said it: Gears of War has induced the kind of spontaneous throw-downs that used to be reserved only for that holiest of Halos. Be sure to click on the Movies tab above for a video account of our experiences with Gears of War, and if you like it (or don't have time to sit and watch now) go ahead and download a portable version for your iPod by clicking this link.
Gears of War accomplishes this by providing a rich suite of contextual actions that are fairly easy to grasp, but incredibly challenging to master. Shucking and jiving around the map, making sure you're always under protective cover is easy enough, but getting the hang of the highly-touted chainsaw bayonet takes some serious dedication. Add to that the expansive arsenal of weapons at your command and the deeply nuanced tactical options, and you've got a game that may never get old.
We do have one word of caution, however: people are going to get very good at this game very quickly over Xbox Live, so bear in mind that the competition will be stiff. If you don't like losing, you may want reserve your multiplayer matches for only your closest friends in order to avoid getting your ego stomped into the pavement by some random thirteen year old with a foul mouth.
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