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Top 25 Games of the Decade (2000-2009) - Day 3

Top 25 Games of the Decade (2000-2009) - #23

GameZone celebrates the end of a glorious decade of gaming

The end of the decade is upon us and it’s time to revisit the landscape of gaming that began in 2000 with the launching of the PlayStation 2 and is now ending in 2009 with three viable console platforms in the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii.

Over the next 25 days, GameZone will be bringing our readers the “Top 25 Games of the Decade.” Considering how many games released in the past ten years, it was an exhausting process to narrow down our initial list of more than 200 games to the top 25.

Factors that played a large part for titles that made the cut included: initial impact, lasting impact, longevity, “standing the test of time”, popularity, advancements in the genre, and much more.  It wasn’t easy picking and choosing between our favorite children, but we feel the games that made our list are representative of the decade that was.

#23 Gears of War (2006)

Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Platforms: Xbox 360, PC (2007)

GameZone Review: 9.5

 

One key factor helped distinguish Gears of War as one of the landmark titles of the last decade. That one key factor has been borrowed and applied to many other games since Epic Games unleashed one of the best-selling franchises on the gaming industry. This important gameplay component is Gears of War’s cover mechanics that inspire thoughtful offensive attacks against the clever computer A.I.

Gears of War also assisted in the trend of “bald space marines,” whether or not that’s a good or not is beside the point. Gears of War has clearly affected a good majority of shooters in the high-definition generation of gaming with its implementation of the Unreal Engine 3.0.

 

A graphical powerhouse, Gears of War is still an impressive looking shooter that does a lot of things right. Watching a Locust horde get torn apart by the Lancer weapon – a combination of a rifle and a chainsaw – is jaw-dropping.

The level of violence, gore and blood is at an all-time high with heads exploding after a headshot or a beautiful curb-stomping. As an action title, Gears of War never hit the brakes as it sent gamers forth with grueling non-stop action.

In addition, the Active Reload feature helped keep gamers on their toes to get the most out of their forthcoming shots. If gamers were capable of performing a perfect reload of their weapon, they would receive a temporary damage boost. This asset was a vital reason why Gears of War’s gameplay – along with its cooperative feature – was such a success. 

As a franchise, Gears of War is far from complete with a movie in production with Len Wiseman (Underworld and Live Free or Die Hard) attached to direct and Stuart Beattie (Collateral and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl) writing the script. Beyond that, gamers should expect the gaming series to be expanded with a prequel and a sequel down the road as Epic Games has stated they have a ten-year plan.

“Gears of War is a fantastic journey that takes advantage of what the Xbox 360 has to offer…” Steven Hopper, GameZone

 Previously announced …

#25 – Shenmue II. Find the story here.
#24 – Counter-Strike. Find the story here.

*  *  * 

Stick around GameZone as tomorrow we will reveal a chart-topping title as the #22 game of the decade.

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