The Gears of War franchise was this console generation’s surprise hit. While everyone was busy waiting for Halo 3, Gear of War’s cover-focused gameplay, fun multiplayer, and beautiful Unreal Engine powered 3 graphics took gamers by surprise and made its way into many an Xbox 360 owner’s console. A fourth entry in the series, Judgement was released a few months ago, but many fans still prefer the classic third installment, and for good reason. It wraps up the trilogy in style.

Gears of War 3 picks up two years after the end of 2. What’s left of the Coalition of Governments is holed up on an island. Pretty soon Marcus Fenix receives word about that his father may be still alive, just as the locus horde is attacking. Of course not only do the gears have to battle the Locust Horde, but also a new variety of enemies known as the Lambent. Gameplay is pretty much as you expect. You’ll battle the Locusts at various chokepoints, make use of cover, and use various weapons to battle them. As in its predecessors, you’ll be treated to some gorgeous visuals, and female poweteers will be interested to know that they’ll be battling alongside female gears for the first time in the series. Michael B. Jordan (a.k.a ‘Wallace’ on The Wire) and Ice-T provide voice work for two of the game characters. Once you get done with the campaign, you can lose yourself in the game’s multiplayer, horde mode, and even some story-based DLC.

Gears of War demonstrates everything that we loved about this generation of consoles. Epics’s trilogy bought us an Original IP that was created from the ground up, innovative gameplay, and visuals that push the console’s abilities to the limit. Gears of War 3 is a great end to a great trilogy of games.