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Two heroes. Two evil alien races. Two sweeping sci-fi universes.
Two battles for humanity's survival.
Two franchises. Two multiplayer kings. Two best-selling, megaton-popular action games beloved by consumers and celebrated by critics. Two shooters competing for the title of Xbox 360 champion.
The Halo and Gears of War series are both incredible, but in a world of internet trolls and blind fanboy allegiance, only one can be crowned. So, in an effort to declare a final victor - or at least ignite a flame war - GamesRadar Editors Charlie Barratt and Chris Antista put aside all professional objectivity and fair minded rationality for a bloody (and juvenile) battle royale.
(DISCLAIMER: Truthfully, both of these guys adore both of these games. C'mon, they're not complete idiots. The immature arguments and petty generalizations you're about to read are intended only as a spark to debate. In other words, let the forum explosion begin!)
Why Gears is better: Chainsaw. Hammer of Dawn. Torque bow. Curb stomp. Oh yeah, did I mention the friggin' chainsaw?
Gears of War wins this category through sheer, perverse originality. Not only is it the first shooter in FOREVER to actually try something new, it pushes that "something" to the goriest and grittiest extremes imaginable. Seriously, would you rather carve screaming aliens into chunks as their blood splatters on the screen... or tickle them to death with neon pink sparklers? Do you want a tiny purple laser pistol that spits adorable green pellets... or a giant ass laser beam that microwaves aliens from the sky? Your choice, pansy.
Why Halo is better: Lies! Okay, that chainsaw bayoneted Lancer is easily the Muhammad Ali of modern game weaponry, but other than that (and the Hammer of Dawn), what the hell else do you have? Not an iconic assault rifle or a Plasma Sword, that’s for damn sure. And that’s barely scratching the surface of Halo’s arsenal. Sticky ‘nades, Splas0rz, and vehicles that murder fools to death! In terms of variety, it’s no contest. You can keep your “Shotgun X” and cardboard tube sniper rifles. Oh, and you’re grenades look like Hasbro Skip-its, so suck on that. - Chris
Why Gears is better: Again, the difference is creativity. Like practically every other game in the history of electricity, Halo 3 boils down to one simplistic formula - run, jump, shoot. You might as well slap Master Chief with a mustache, drop him in some overalls and call it a platformer.
Gears of War, on the other hand, adds an extra dimension of authenticity with its cover system. A real soldier couldn't hop and rocket bounce his way out of trouble, so why should Marcus Fenix? Instead, you must find salvation in the protection of your environment, the timing of your exposure and the speed of your reloading. The experience is truly intense. - Charlie
Why Halo is better: Slanderous! I feel that even beyond the 1st / 3rd-person perspectives, both differ enough to coexist peacefully in Shooterland. Gears is about being a beleaguered, against-all-odds pack mule, and I don't mean that as a slight because I think it works very, very well. But Halo puts you in the role of a streamlined super-soldier. While Marcus Fenix is cowering behind concrete slabs for cover, Chief is running up and spitting melee in the enemy's face. And how 'bout that jump button? - Chris