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Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow [X360]





A solid flashback for gears fan.

7.0

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Hard to describe"

Summary

First Gears of war players will know how irritating the kyrll is. Well in this chapter, its about them... eeh maybe its about RAAM.

GOOD:
1. A few chapters playing as the indestructable General RAAM with the help of the kyrll. RAAM plays and controls differently then regular grunt or gears as he lay waste to human fortification.
2. Some good moments of the orignial gears boss fights.
3. A good quality chapter (not great) for gears fans and also for players who never knew the first gears was like.
4. 4 character unlocks for competative multiplayer and (RAAM) for beast mode.
5. Awesome enviroments and showcasing the powerhouse of UE3.0 engine

BAD:
1. Very cheezy beginning and most part of it. COG chapter isnt interesting and nothing new worth enjoying about.
2. 3hrs gameplay for (800msp) but charged at 1200msp, 3/5 chapters plays as the COGs. For season pass users, its worth it.

My personal experience, i do find story and gameplay a bit disappointing, as i do believe EPIC could do better in story and ideas. Regardless, it still provide a good extended campaign for you and friends to have fun blowing thing up.

PS: comeon EPIC give us a proper locust campaign.




Great entry point to solve apart of the missing links in the Gears universe.

8.0

Superb
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Rocks"

Summary

Quick Review:
RAAM's Shadow seems to be the biggest story DLC for any Gears of War game, and I believe it is. Having introduced both new and old familiar characters, the entire setting quickly grasps the very attention of any Gears fan. You are given a chance to see a part of Sera that wasn't destroyed by the Locust horde, yet. The entire structural setting for Illima city quite impressive, to see how it was from the start and how will it get desecrated by the Locust horde. The overall combat mechanics are more like the same, although you'd encounter some gameplay twists along the way such the new Hammer of Dawn targeting mechanic were in you target bad guys with the use of direct satellite, and the most awaited and infamous twist in RAAM's Shadow is the title itself, you'd get to control the bad guy this time playing the Locust leader RAAM from Gears 1 has his own tricks on his sleeves, killing COGS with Kryll swarms or with his grim Dagger-blade is just satisfying. While it support up to 4 players, the other 3 could still play as Locust elites, they utilizes enhanced regeneration like other normal COGS, although don't expect you'd grasps the same powers of RAAM. This part of the DLC is somewhat seldom and feels rather easy, but this doesn't mean you need to hate it. Plenty of characters are remarkable, having seen familiar faces from Gears 1, 2, and 3 and goes along their own plot is just exciting. The plot really had that sense of history of Gears that quickly build some missing links on the entire franchise, such as Jace's history with Zeta team. The length of the entire game last only an Act in any Gears game, so you'd probably finish this within an hour or two, but there are always Achievements to collect right? To sum it up, this is really worth getting and peeking for any Gears fan, along with bonus skins like the characters from the plot itself (RAAM, Barrick, Minh, and etc.) would be a great addition for the Multiplayer, although the Young Jace skin is somewhat missing along with the package.

The Good:
*Great plot, giving players a sense of history within the Gears universe
*Favorable familiar and new characters plays an entirely new setting
*Admirable architectural setting
*Enough gameplay twists to divert gameplay
*You'll get to play most of the new and old skins on multiplayer
*RAAM's reappearance is a big 'WOW!' for any player who is very familiar with him


The Bad:
*RAAM and Locust section is easy, slightly inconsistent, and AI COGs doesn't put much of a challenge
*Young Jace skin is unavailable for Multiplayer

The Verdict:
This is an impressive DLC and will quickly appeal any Gears fan, this is truly a great entry point to solve apart of the missing links in the Gears universe. I suggest you grab the Season Pass.




While the core game play is solid, RAAM's Shadow may leave player feeling short-changed in the experience. (score error)

7.5

Great
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Solid"

Summary

Note: theres been a score error - it should state 7.5/10 not a 1/10. don't know why that has happened.

The Good:
*Solid game play expected from the series *Playing from the locust stand point is an interesting premise * New bosses as well as new ways to dispatch them *new skins for Locusts, COGs and weapons.

The Bad:
* RAAM sections feel linear and simplistic * Zeta team has little time for character development aside from outside sources.* Price maybe a bit steep for some.

Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow is the third DLC add on and first campaign add since the release of Gears of War 3 back in September, and while the game play is as good as it has always been the experience may leave players feeling short-changed on the additional features the campaign brings to the franchise.

The DLC focuses on the events after the initial emergence of the Locusts on E-Day, where Zeta Squad consisting of returning characters Tai Kaliso and Minh Young Kim as well as introducing Michael Barrick (from the comics) and DLC exclusive Alicia Valera. Tasked with helping with the evacuation of Ilima City four hours before the city is engulfed within a Kryll-storm, the gears find themselves in the path of the advancing vanguards of the Locust horde with General RAAM and its forefront.

In a series first the DLC allows the players to experience the war from the Locust's side in the role of RAAM himself and his elite body guard for co-op play, however despite the name the DLC focuses more on Zeta then it does on RAAM.

First is the Zeta squad side of the story.

While seeing of the last of the evacuees of their post, Zeta team come under attack from emerging locust forces. After surviving the attack but losing the last group of civilians to locusts, Zeta is ordered by command to search a nearby evacuation post that had lost contact with during the attack. After searching the area for survivors, the team are requested by Jace Stratton to find his friend Gregory Wilson and the children in his care before the Locust or Kryll get to them first.

The player plays as Michael Barrick for Zeta sections of the campaign, and goes through the standard motions that have been the staple for the series thus far. This includes fighting locust from street to street, the destroying of vital locust assets and the exploration of (should be) abandoned buildings. And like the previous three campaigns in the series it handles this well without feeling familiar of repetitive, even including new bosses and new ways of defeating old ones.

The DLC also of course features no Lambent and also the return of emergence holes from Gears 1 and 2 and depending on player skill, more difficult encounters then before as the game do longer has to do things progressively being a post campaign DLC. However the DLC story is a bit simplistic when compared to the other campaigns (and past campaign DLC for the previous games).

However the characters have little time or room for enough development, especially if the player has never played the previous games or read the comics in Michael's case. Most of the chatter is the same as what player have heard from Delta squad, and the development we do hear is little to no impact on the campaign or our interest for the characters.

Next is on to RAAM's side of the story.

After emerging onto the streets of Ilima City, RAAM is instructed by Queen Myrrah to safeguard the Tremor; a Boomer sized locust totting a large hammer capable of summoning seeders from the depths of Sera with a good few whacks. This is so the Kryll-Storm can move forward and overrun the city quickly killing every last man, woman and child within its borders.

RAAM, along with his personal guard (a Theron Elite with a Sawn off with a bayonet attackment and two Mauler elites with bullet deflecting shields) escort the Tremor from their emergence hole through a street littered with defended COG positions and barricades until the Tremor reaches his destination. At this point RAAM must defend the Tremor from an enemy counter-attack until the Seeder is summoned and can begin bloating out the sunlight. This is essentially what player does for the entire two sections of RAAM game play.

While playing as RAAM the player will notice several changes in game play from the standard Locust or Gear most notably the "Kryll-shroud" which acts like a cool-down ability rather then a gun. As RAAM is unable to run, roll or take cover, the Kryll-shroud gives the player immunity to most damage with fire and explosions being the shroud's weakness. Whenever the player takes hits from weapons like Boomshots, Scorchers and Silverback rockets, the Kryll are either killed or driven off from RAAM's person leaving him vulnerable to smaller arms fire. And being that RAAM's other weapon is his trusty serrated blade; this can leave the player in a tight spot especially if among the enemy forces.

The other ability of the shroud is that it allows RAAM to direct it like a Hammer of Dawn to attack distant COG soldiers, however this removes the shroud in order for the Kryll to go and attack. The attack can last up to about 12 seconds, and when depleted or ended early will leave RAAM without his shroud for an addition 3-5 seconds.

When RAAM isn't commanding his Kryll he's busy decapitating and impaling his victims with his serrated blade (the same one he uses to kill Kim back in Gears of war 1). This works similar to the clever weapon but has unlimited use and also sports a charge move likened to the retro-lancer's bayonet charge making it a pretty handy way to move around quicker. A single swing of the blade will knock down all cog soldiers with two to three swings to bring down a silverback. RAAM also sports two executions, the quick tap being the curb-stomp and the held down execution has RAAM pick up his foe by the head and decapitating him whilst muttering something along the lines of "Die Groundwalker".

While it is fun to play as RAAM the experience does feel a bit empty with the lack of weaponry at RAAM's disposal, in fact when encountering RAAM in the Zeta team side of the campaign he is able to throw a grenade that I call a "Kryll-grenade". Upon impact it leaves an area of effect attack like an ink-grenade but instead of toxic gas it attracts Kryll to the area attacking anyone who stands in it. Even if they manage to leave the infected area the Kryll continue their assault usually until the player is knocked down.

It is also disappointing that RAAM is unable to pick up mounted turrets from and bag emplacements and use them single handed like in Gears of War 1, giving it limited ammo would help with balancing issues that may have occurred. In addition I felt that there were too few COG soldiers in RAAM's sections of the campaign, especially when three of the four Locusts are able to deflect/ignore most damage from the front.

The campaign is listed to give up to three hours of gameplay at the cost of 1200 Microsoft points (or $15/10) or free with the Season pass. The DLC also includes six new character skins (Tai Kaliso, Minh Young Kim, Michael Barrick, Alicia Valera, RAAM and Theron Elite) and the Chocolate weapon skin for versus, horde and beast game modes.




Story has little substance and gives RAAM mundane tasks. Should've been 800 mp.

6.5

Fair
Difficulty:
Easy
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"All flash, no substance"

Summary

I decided on first play through, to try it on Normal difficulty. With just one other person playing with me, I beat it in less than 3 hours. When I tried it a second time, we decided to do it on insane with mutators, (Super Reload, Infinite Ammo, and no Ammo Pick-Ups.) I beat it on insane, with one other person in 2 hours. It was a big let down, the story is dry and you know just as much about the characters in the preview articles, as you do after you beat it. RAAM is awesome to use, but the sword and Kryll finger lose appeal after the first play through. I like how they give the Theron Elite a Retro Sawed-Off. I did enjoy how I now can use the characters from this DLC when I play MP. The Multiplayer add-ons were the best part of this DLC. The achievements for this content make sure that if you want to get them, than you'll have to play through it a few times.




Way more intense than the Gears 2 & 3 campaigns! Reminded me of Gears 1.

9.5

Editors' Choice
Difficulty:
Just Right
Time Spent:
10 Hours or Less
The Bottom Line:
"Solid"

Summary

What players are probably missing in RAAM's shadow is to play as the ultimate team of Marcus, Dom, Cole and Baird. Probably why it's isn't getting the ratings it should.

But RAAM's shadow is one hell of a badass DLC... Way more intense than both the Gears 2 and Gears 3 campaign... To the point that someone who played either of them on casual and thought he had mastered Gears is going to get a real ass-kicking in RAAM's shadow...

It was everything I had expected it to be, and more. It wasn't only the presence of General RAAM that reminded me of the Gears 1 campaign, but also the intense action and unforgiving hordes of Locust that made the first game so formidable.

Then of course, there's the badass-with-a-Lancer attitude of Corporal Michael Barrick. Seriously, I really didn't miss Marcus Fenix with Barrick around...
7.0

Great
7.7