This is an exciting time for Gears of War fans. Not only is Gears of War 4 set to launch next year on Xbox One, but the game that started it all is getting a facelift and is available for current-gen players to enjoy. But in case that’s not enough, Microsoft announced that every Gears of War game in the franchise will be playable via Xbox One’s backward compatibility feature coming in November.
In preparation for the Gears of War tidal wave that’s about to hit, we’ve put together our top 10 greatest Gears of War franchise moments. Those who are familiar with the games will recognize these as some of the most impactful moments on Xbox 360, and those who have yet to play the game will hopefully recognize the wonderful adventure available in the Gears of War series.
The Brutal Chainsaw Bayonet
One of the most iconic experiences players have in Gears of War is chopping through enemies with the epic chainsaw bayonet attached to their weapon. There’s something special about going over-the-top with brutality that seems to draw gamers in. What makes these moments especially great is the way the game zooms into the action so gamers can experience the full brutality as the Locust Horde are dismantled and dismembered by Marcus Fenix’s chainsaw bayonet.
Using the Hammer of Dawn
The chainsaw bayonet isn’t the only legendary weapon available in Gears of War. Players also have the opportunity to demolish enemies using the Hammer of Dawn, a satellite that shoots a powerful particle beam capable of destroying anything from a single enemy to a whole city. It’s easy for Gears of War players to become giddy the first time they use the Hammer of Dawn, with so much power in their hands.
Carmine Gets Sniped
There’s one thing every solder hates: snipers, those distant killers who can take down an enemy without any warning. This was the case with Anthony Carmine, who was sniped while trying to fix his jammed weapon.
Watching Carmine die is shocking for Gears of War players. The act happens so quickly and without fanfare, a sobering reminder to players that war is brutal and losses happen on both sides. It’s also the first in a long string of misfortune for the Carmine family.
Escaping the Riftworm
During the Intestinal Fortitude mission in Gears of War 2, players find themselves deep in the belly of a beast known as a Riftworm. Together with their team, players must escape by destroying the creature’s three hearts and rushing through the monster’s insides.
Where the mission really gets juicy is at the end, when the worm bursts from the ground in an effort to escape the pains caused by Marcus Fenix and his team. After the beast comes crashing down, Fenix uses his iconic chainsaw bayonet to cut through the monster’s side, causing him to slide out in a river of blood. The whole experience is enough to make gamers need a shower.
General RAAM’s Introduction
General RAAM is considered one of the greatest villains in the Gears of War series. His strength, intelligence, and passion helped him rise through the Locust ranks to become the leader of the Horde forces. Given that background, it’s understandable why RAAM would want to make an epic introduction.
As Fenix and his team prepare for a helicopter pickup during Act 1 of Gears of War, the extraction chopper is blown out of the sky and the Gears are attacked from all sides. While the soldiers are focused on battle, RAAM enters the picture and makes a statement by killing Minh Young Kim, a Gear officer with a close connection to Fenix.
Dominic “Dom” Santiago is a Gears soldier and Fenix’s best friend. When the Gears are surrounded by a horde of enemies, Dom takes it upon himself to save Delta Squad, at the price of his own life.
When Dom sees that his team is about to be overrun by Locusts, he jumps in a truck and drives into a tunnel. He then turns around and drives back out of the tunnel at full speed, ramming the vehicle into a tanker, causing an enormous explosion that kills most of the Horde and allows Delta Squad to escape. His quick thinking and final words about his late wife, Maria, are a fitting end for the Gears hero.
Riding a Brumak
Brumaks can be a serious pain for Gears of War players. But while fighting against one can be challenging and frustrating, riding one is an entirely different story.
During the mission Closure in Gears of War 2, players have the opportunity to take control of a Brumak and use his weapons and strength to take down dozens of enemies. After all the time spent shooting bullets at Locusts, it sure feels nice to send a few rockets their way.
First Berserker Fight
It becomes quite clear to Gears of War players early on that despite their character’s great strength and firepower, taking on the Locust Horde won’t be an easy task. That sentiment is solidified the first time players take on a Berserker, the hulking Locust with tough skin and aggressive nature.
Fighting Berserkers is a challenge as it requires players to leap and dance out of the way of the blind beasts, or risk being run over. It’s also a challenge that shows off the versatility of enemies in Gears of War, which is ultimately what makes the game so fun.
Dom Finds Maria
One of the most emotional moments in Gears of War is when Dom finds his wife, Maria, at a Locust prison camp. Prior to Emergence Day, Dom and Maria had been happily married with two children. However, after Maria’s parents and children were killed on Emergence Day, she fell into a deep depression and exiled herself from Dom.
When Dom found Maria, she had been tortured and abused, to the point that she could no longer recognize her husband. Saddened by her condition, Dom released his wife from emotional pain – an act he would never recover from.
In a recent interview with Game Rant, Gears of War producer Rod Fergusson revealed his favorite moment in the series was when Dom found Maria.
“The Maria moment represented a lot for me as a player and maker because it was our first attempt at really trying to take it up a notch by providing some emotional context to the characters, and provide a moment that could actually affect someone who was playing. When we were at Comic-Con after the game came out and we asked who cried during the Maria scene and all those hands went up in the audience, that’s one of my proudest moments.”
“Mad World” Trailer
Before Gears of War ever hit shelves, gamers were already talking about the game, mostly because of the “Mad World” trailer. As the video above shows, rather than show off the game’s brutal nature, the developer instead introduced Gears of War through brief snippets of the game accompanied by Gary Jules’ “Mad World”.
Although the song was melodic, its words conjured up emotions of loss and hopelessness as players watched a distraught Marcus Fenix come face-to-face with incredible monsters.
It’s safe to say the “Mad World” trailer is one of the most iconic in the video game industry. The trailer had such a major impact, new Gears developer The Coalition reprised the song for their Gears of War Ultimate Edition trailer.
What are your favorite moments from the Gears of War series? Let us know in the comments.