Sci-fi shooters. They're all the same, right? Humanity has extended itself too far, an alien race with superior technology decides to lay the smack down, and we've all got to make our last stand somewhere. We've seen this story play out in the Resistance, Killzone, Halo, and even the Gears of War series. However, the latter has been slowly been building a universe rich with conflict and intrigue. Gears of War 3 is coming this fall, and it looks like it going to be quite the adventure.
If you haven't played the first two Gears titles, or if the events of the games are a little vague in your memory, here's a quick recap of what you need to know about the war between the COGs and the Locust. If you still plan on playing the first two Gears games, you may want to click away now, as this is going to be filled to the brim with spoilers.
Gears of War takes place in the far future, after humanity stretches itself out across the galaxy. The action starts in a jail cell on the planet Sera. A lone inmate named Marcus Fenix is set free, and instantly recruited to help with a military mission. What is his assignment? Save humanity from extinction, of course.
As the narrative progresses, you find out that it has been fourteen years since Emergence Day (known as "E-Day" for short), which was when the race of subterranean creatures known as Locust broke through the planet's surface and began waging war on the human race. Although humanity has technology on its side, the Locust Horde has the numbers and the home field advantage, allowing them to dominate the war. Over 90% of the planet has been destroyed, and humanity's last hope has been placed in the Gears unit of the Coalition of Organized Governments (COGs). This is where Fenix comes in.
Fenix becomes the leader of the newly-formed Delta squad. He must oversee a group of wannabes that include his best buddy Dom, the always-exuberant Augustus Cole (who is a former football player), and Damon Baird, who didn't really get much character development but is constantly referred to as a "blonde" by Cole. The group proceeds to set off an explosion that could change the tide of the war. After plenty of strife and millions of dead Locust, the Delta Squad finally complete their mission, blowing up what they thought was the last Locust stronghold on the planet. At the end of the first Gears game, it looks like all is well, and humanity just might survive.
But of course, a sequel had to be made, and it seems that even though the bombing mission was a success, the Locust Horde was a lot bigger than everyone thought. The Locust forces have regrouped, and they're now using massive drills to sink cities. Naturally, to prevent total annihilation, Delta Squad has to re-form and take the fight underground into the Hollow, the Locust equivalent of an anthill.
As the team goes deeper and deeper into the Hollow, they encounter several COGs that have been taken prisoner. Baird, who was a minor member of Delta Squad in the first game, is the first team member to be recovered. He re-joins Delta squad without incident, but the second COG they attempt to rescue isn't so lucky. After being safely recovered, the soldier reveals that the torture he suffered at the hands of the Locust was too much for him to handle and he immediately commits suicide.
And just when you think things couldn't get worse for the Delta squad, Dom and Fenix are eaten by a giant Locust worm. What follows is a little bit like the Jabu-Jabu dungeon from Ocarina of Time, only slimier and with a lot more blood. After blowing their way out of the worm, our heroes regroup with the rest of Delta squad.
But what follows is far from a happy reunion. The team finds itself in a Locust prison, and unfortunately, Dom locates his lost wife among the tortured humans. And she's in bad shape. Though still living, she's unable to communicate, and Dom makes the tough decision to end her tortured existence.
What follows is undoubtedly one of the most awkward transitions in video game history—Dom goes from emotionally destroyed over the death of his wife back to buddy cop in about ten seconds. But once the shock wears off, it's time to get down to business. Delta Squad infiltrates the Locust Queen's nest in the Hollow and discovers a civil war between the Locust and a sub-species of Locust known as the Lambent. In order to get rid of both the Lambent and humans, the Locust are planning to sink the Jacinto plateau into the Lambent nest directly below it to destroy what's left of both races. And in a crazy twist, it seems that this plan is coming from none other than Adam Fenix, Marcus' father.
It becomes obvious to Fenix that the only way to defeat both the Locust and the Lambent is to sink Jacinto ahead of schedule and flood the nests beneath it. After blowing up a particularly large Lambent with the Hammer of Dawn, Jacinto falls into the sea, and it looks like the Locust menace is finally a thing of the past. However, after the credits roll, a desperate cry for help is heard: It's Adam Fenix. And he's still alive.
What else could be lurking beneath Sera's surface? You'll have to wait until September 20 to find out. Gears of War 3 has long been rumored to be the last in the series, and it should hopefully bring the series to the epic conclusion it deserves.
By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*