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Gears of War is a tactical third-person shooter where the player controls Marcus Fenix, a member of Delta Squad, to save the human inhabitants of the fictional planet Sera from an enemy known as The Locust Horde. The story, played over 5 acts with 30 chapters in total, has the humans reunite their strength after fighting over cheap energy in the Pendulum Wars for many years, to face this new alien threat.

Unlike many other shooters, the emphasis is not on brute violence, but rather team-based actions and cover-dependent tactics. Gameplay requires looking for cover options all the time, from which the player then attacks, along with turns and rolls to quickly pop out. By holding a button, a "roadie run" is performed, to sprint to another location. Marcus is part of a full squad, but another human player can take on the role of Dominic Santiago to fight cooperatively (split-screen, system link, or online). At times, the paths will even be split up to face different challenges. Players can only hold two weapons, a sidearm, and a few grenades. There is a selection of submachine guns, sniper and assault rifles, grenades, grenade launchers, and pistols, but the main gun is the COG Lancer Assault Rifle, which can also be used as a chainsaw bayonet in close combat. There are also a few exotic weapons, such as the Torque Bow with explosive arrows, or the Hammer of Dawn, to make an orbiting satellite fire a laser at targeted enemies.

All weapons need to be reloaded manually. By timely pressing a button on a meter, the weapon is reloaded, with more damage and at a faster rate with perfect timing, or it gets jammed when timed poorly. Instead of a health bar, the game has the Crimson Omen, a cog-shaped icon that fills up with blood when the player sustains damage.

In addition to Co-op multiplayer, there is also Versus which has three game modes: Warzone (deathmatch), Execution (deathmatch, but with the addition of "fatalities" to take out enemies completely), and Assassination (focus on killing each other opponent's team leader).


Gears of War Xbox 360 Practicing our active reload.
Gears of War Xbox 360 Blind firing keeps you safe behind cover.
Gears of War Xbox 360 Choppers on the offensive.
Gears of War Xbox 360 Taking and moving to new cover is handled easily.

Promo Images

Gears of War Screenshot
Gears of War Concept Art
Gears of War Screenshot Fighting off Locust
Gears of War Screenshot The team

Alternate Titles

  • "战争机器" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "GOW" -- Common abbreviation

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Just don't think about it too much Xbox 360 CrackTheSky (36)
Gears of War is one of those games that no matter what your genre prefrence is, you have to pick it up. Xbox 360 Sam LaSelva (10)
Definitely On Par With Halo! Xbox 360 Reaver (1793)
You don't know how much you need a chainsaw until you've played this. Xbox 360 havoc of smeg (22206)
Action packed all the way. Xbox 360 David Bryan (25)

Critic Reviews

Gaming Nexus Xbox 360 Dec 28, 2006 A 100
Thunderbolt Games Xbox 360 Nov 19, 2006 10 out of 10 100
eGames Xbox 360 Nov 05, 2007 9.9 out of 10 99 Xbox 360 Nov 07, 2006 9.6 out of 10 96
Game Informer Magazine Xbox 360 Dec, 2006 9.5 out of 10 95 Xbox 360 Nov 26, 2006 9.3 out of 10 93
Darkstation Xbox 360 Nov 07, 2006 9 out of 10 90
3DAvenue Xbox 360 Nov 20, 2006 4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars4.5 Stars 90
Lens of Truth Xbox 360 Oct 14, 2008 9 out of 10 90
Gaming since 198x Xbox 360 Feb 06, 2009 4 out of 5 80


Topic # Posts Last Post
Gets too much credit for the gameplay 40 Late (95)
Oct 10, 2010


1001 Video Games

Gears of War appears in the book 1001 Video Games You Must Play Before You Die by General Editor Tony Mott.


To date, five books based on the Gears of War universe have been written. All five are written by Karen Traviss and are canon material:

  • The first, Aspho Fields, bridges the gap between the first and the second game, as well as the battle of Aspho Fields, with takes place pre E-day during the Pendulum Wars.
  • The second, Jacintos Remnant, takes place after Gears of War 2, as well as one year after E-day.
  • The third book, Anvil Gate follows up from the ending of Jacintos Remnant, as well as the siege of Anvil Gate during the Pendulum Wars, during which Col. Hoffman was in command of the COG forces involved.
  • The fourth, Coalitions End, continues the story of Jacinto's Remnant and Anvil Gate, as well as bridging the gap between the books and Gears of War 3
  • The fifth, The Slab, deals with Marcus Fenix's time in Jacinto Maximum Security prison.


  • The achievement unlocked by defeating a berserker on hardcore difficulty is called My Love for You Is Like a Truck. That is a reference to the film Clerks (1994) where it is used as a line in a fictional, Russian metal song: "My love for you is like a truck, Berserker!"
  • The character of Augustus Cole (the "Cole Train") shares a name with a character to have appeared on the X-Files television show. The season two episode, Sleepless features a super-soldier of the name Augustus D. Cole, portrayed by Tony Todd, who has been modified to never require sleep. It is unknown if this is a coincidence or deliberate.

References to the game

The game is referenced in the movie Live Free or Die Hard where one of the characters is playing it at the beginning. It also appears in Disturbia where a teenager is killing some time with it.


According a news item from, and as mentioned in a podcast interview with Epic's VP Mark Rein, this game is the reason the 360 has 512 MB of RAM instead of the planned 256 MB. This modification of the system's hardware cost Microsoft an alleged $ 1 billion.

To convince Microsoft that the change was worth it, the guys at Epic took a screenshot of the game as if it were running using 256 MB.

Apparently the Chief Financial Officer of Microsoft Game Studios called Mark Rein to tell him that they had cost Microsoft one billion dollars, to which Mark Rein replied "we did a favor for a billion gamers".

To see the whole news item, click here.


The game's teaser trailed used Gary Jules' Mad World as the soundtrack. That sequence was later spoofed through a teaser trailer of Battlefield: Bad Company titled Bad World. A link to the clip is available in the related links section.


  • 4Players
    • 2006 – Best Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – Best Graphics of the Year
  • GameSpy
    • 2006 – #4 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – #3 Console Game of the Year
    • 2006 – Xbox 360 Game of the Year
    • 2006 – Xbox 360 Game of the Year (Gamers' Vote)
    • 2006 – Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2006 – Offline Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2006 – #3 Online Multiplayer Game of the Year
    • 2006 – Xbox 360 Action Game of the Year
    • 2006 – Xbox 360 Offline Multiplayer Game of the Year
  • Golden Joystick Awards
    • 2007 - Ultimate Game of the Year
    • 2007 - Xbox Game of the Year
    • 2007 - Editor's Choice Award
    • 2007 - All Nighter Award
Information also contributed by havoc of smeg, PhoenixFire, piltdown man and Tracy Poff.

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Contributed to by Sciere (772087) and MAT (229787)
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