There are numerous good Gears of War 3 reviews out there, such as this one from Gamespot or this one from IGN. I thought I would write my review with the assumption that the reader was already a fan or has read another more basic review. I will take more about the multiplayer aspects.
Firstly, you should know that when I am playing a console FPS, I enjoy the more story driven ones such as Halo or Gears. I save what I consider the more serious FPS for the PC. Also I am a fan of the series. I played and enjoyed Gears 1 and Gears 2. If you enjoyed Gears 1 and/or Gears 2, then you will enjoy this one as well. The campaign is high quality and well written, similar to the first two. I found the final boss battle to be well balanced. In Gears 1, I had the hardest time killing RAAM, even after going online for hints. Gears 2 seemed too easy, I killed the final boss on the first try (although this may have been the difficulty setting). Like Goldilocks, Gears 3 was just right (on Hardcore).
Connection: I live a bit out of town in a rural area and my access to high speed internet is through wireless. My connection is probably at the high end of wireless when it comes to speed and realibility, however not on the same level as most of the people accessing through cable. Yet I get good connections 99% of the time. Although I prefer a list of servers that I choose, my experience with the 360 and Gears 3 matchmaking has been very postitive. The system lists the number of persons online for each game mode and the number in your region. It will then find matches and connect to the best one. This process usually takes 1-2 minutes, depending on the number of people playing that game. Occasionally it can take 5 minutes for me, but I am sure that is due to my connection andthe low number of players playing that mode. Anyone in North America with a cable connection should connect within 2 minutes or less.
Player Maturity: Everyone is familiar with the high pitched, squeaky voiced, homophobic 13 year olds found in console FPS games like Halo. Thanks to the mature rating of Gears 3, I have yet to run into one. Unfortunately this is replaced by the 22 year old who taunts you constantly for "sucking". However, I prefer this to being taunted by someone who's balls have yet to drop.
Team Deathmatch: Standard Team Deathmatch with 20 lives per team. The maps in Gears 3 tend to be smaller, making it easy to get back into battle quickly on respawn (something I do a lot). Even small, the maps provide plenty of opportunity to flank. Matches are intense and very enjoyable with the majority of people playing this type of match, making it easy to find a match or change teams if you are getting skunked.
Continued in Part 2