10Gears of War 3: RAAM's Shadow is the first story-driven piece of DLC for Gears 3, and hopefully not the last. This bite-sized campaign hits a lot of highs in a short amount of time, and is thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end.
Playing as Michael Barrick and Zeta Squad is refreshing, after being given heavy doses of Marcus Fenix and Delta over the course of Gear's lifespan. Granted, you will care more about the characters if your knowledge of the Gears universe comes from more than just the games, as Barrick and Tai Kaliso feature in the comics and the books. The story itself is simple, and serves as a prequel to Gears 1. The objective is to evacuate civilians from Iilima before the Kryll Storm hits, and for what the story is, it works well. There's often a sense of impending doom and isolation, knowing you're amongst the last squads in the city. The gameplay is varied, and although you'll spend the bulk of your time blasting Locust, the game offers up different, exciting scenarios and set-pieces each time. One minute you're crushing Seeders with buildings, the next you're trodding through an empty school in darkness, with something haunting your every step. The DLC gives off some nostalgia that harkens back to Gears 1, and this is amplified by the return of emergence holes, beserkers and not to mention, the titular character.
Of course, I'm referring to General RAAM, who makes a grand re-appearance. It's good to see Epic listens to their fans. He's as much of a badass as you remember, and this time, you can step into his shoes during certain parts of the story. These sections play out the same the whole time, but they never last too long and definately give you a sense of power. For me, however, it was a strange feeling to kill Gears so easily and quickly, as the games and companion novels spend so much time making us care about the COG and their plight, and show them as tough, battle-hardened warriors. It felt oddly out of place to just mercilessly slaughter them in the hundreds. But, that's a side of battle we haven't seen yet in the games, and it was good to get a different perspective nonetheless.
The multiplayer works just as you'd expect, 4 player coop the whole game. The extra players play as the other members of Zeta Squad, and during the Locust sections, members of RAAM's personal entourage (2 Special Maulers with reflective shields and a Theron with a Bayonet-Enhanced Sawn-Off.) If you played coop in Gears 3 already, then you know what to expect. Good multiplayer fun.
RAAM's Shadow isn't the deepest or longest piece of the Gears universe, but it fits right in to it, and offers up various bite-size chunks of the Gears gameplay we know and love, with the added twist of playing as
the biggest badass of the series. If you're a Gears fan, or even a newcomer, it's definitely worth checking out.… Full Review »
While a little short, the DLC is pretty good for the price. You get a short story filled with references to previous Gears games, comics or novels, which, if like me, you're a fan of the Gears Of War universe, you will definitely enjoy it. Playing as RAAM is predictably awesome. Even if you are overpowered, it's a blast to point at a Gear and have a swarm of Kryll mince them.
That said, it IS quite short. I managed a playthrough in 2 and a half hours. But hey, it's DLC so they can't unload too much or the file size would be immense. It doesn't add anything new to the game but continues the formula laid down by the main campaign as you'd expect it to be. Over all, a worthwhile purchase for me… Full Review »
10In a day with 15 dollar dlc with only 3 maps. this dlc comes as a pleasent surprize. Comes with a Campaign that will talk about 3 hours more or less. Gun skin and 5 or 6 new charecters that can be used in multiplayer with additional acheviements. Well worth it and free with the season pass, how can i complain… Full Review »