Gears of War 3

Epic Games|Xbox 360

If Call of Duty is chess, Gears of War is Wrestlemania. Fans of the Gears franchise will be pleased with the impossibly large muscles packing chainsaw-equipped guns capable of splattering myriad baddies against ruined city backdrops. It’s a rush trying to survive waves of assault forces as your ammo runs out, but there’s no real finesse to the battles. Grab cover and open fire until nothing moves seems to be the best approach. The third-person shooter tries to go big with the story, but the plot points—however enthralling—are too far apart and it seems that half of your objectives center on finding fuel for broken-down vehicles. Once you plow through the campaign, multiplayer options exist, but if the trouble reliably forming online matches is any indication, people prefer to spend their time in the co-op campaign. It’s a brutal slaughterfest with as much brains as the main characters, but that’s why we love it. Every now and then you just want to counter a Sicilian Defense with a six-man, over-the-top battle royal.