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Review: RAAM’s Shadow is a Bloody Good Time but Needs More RAAM

Epic released the largest DLC pack in Gears of War history yesterday, which features the tale of Zeta squad set shortly after Emergence Day, as well as fan favorite General RAAM.  Without a doubt the true awesomeness of this 2GB DLC pack is the fact that you can control RAAM.  The story being told in RAAM’s Shadow is ultimately forgettable, but the fun of playing as RAAM is well worth the price of admission.  Check out the full RAAM’s Shadow review below.

 

Gears of War 3: RAAM’s Shadow DLC

EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas

The Awesome: RAAM, Gears 1 Feel

The Not so Awesome: Not Enough RAAM, COGs are Uninspiring

 

The Awesome

RAAM

Playing as RAAM near the middle of this DLC campaign pack is the true reason to purchase it in the first place.  The utter feeling of power while you control him is addicting, and his immense size is something to behold on screen.  While controlling him the other characters on screen look like little children, and you can definitely see why he was chosen to lead Myrrah’s ground forces.  His movements are similar to a tank, but don’t mistake that for a weakness.  Just because he moves slow doesn’t mean he isn’t dangerous.

His arsenal of built in weapons rivals anything seen in the Gears franchise to date.  Wielding the Kryll like a gun makes you feel like you have the power of the Gods, and no COG is safe when they’re unleashed.  In fact, the death animations from RAAM’s weapons are the bloodiest and most gruesome ones ever seen in this franchise.  His intimidating sword that slaughtered Kim in Gears 1 also makes a return in Shadow, and if you can manage to get a COG down but not out I highly suggest executing him with RAAM’s sword.  It’s easily the best Gears execution in the franchise.

Best execution ever!

If you’ve always wanted to play as the Locust in a campaign setting then you’ll love controlling RAAM in this DLC pack.  He’s a beast, and Epic did his fans justice in RAAM’s Shadow.  Playing as him is definitely worth the cash, so don’t miss out on this experience if you’re a tight wad.

Gears 1 Feel

Playing as RAAM is easily the most awesome aspect of RAAM’s Shadow, but the fact that this campaign is set in the past it has a very similar feel to the original Gears.  I loved seeing Locust holes again, and I instinctively started tossing grenades into them from the get go.  This prequel campaign also takes place in the cities of Sera again before they were completely destroyed.  The architecture of the world is quite the spectacle, and it’ll definitely take you back in time.  The setting reminds you that the world of Gears wasn’t always full of destruction and despair, and that the world of Sera did use to be a hospitable place.  I enjoyed the firefights that this setting provided, and it definitely reminded me of the good old days of 2006.

 

The Not so Awesome

Not Enough RAAM

After you play as RAAM you won’t want to go back to playing as Barrick from the COGs.  Once you experience his awesome power shooting COG weapons just feels weak.  I would’ve definitely preferred if the entirety of RAAM’s Shadow took place with the Locust forces.  The RAAM sections are by far the best, even if you’re walking around like a lumbering giant.  His awesome power just can’t be emulated by the COGs, so I wish RAAM was the true star of the DLC that bears his name.

COGs are Uninspiring

Due to the fact that playing as RAAM is so much fun I feel like the COGs suffered.  They didn’t feel very fleshed out, and to be honest with you I didn’t feel any kind of attachment to Barrick and company.  Barrick seems like a bald Marcus, and he even sounds eerily similar to Mr. Fenix.  Minh didn’t seem to have the same stoicness about him that he did in Gears 1, and even his animations looked a little rough. The COGs just felt boring, and the story they were telling wasn’t that interesting.  Like I mentioned before RAAM should’ve been the main star of this DLC, and not these forgettable group of COGs.

BORING!

The Final Verdict

The thrill as playing as General RAAM is well worth the cost to download RAAM’s Shadow.  His sheer size and power have never been realized in a Gears game before, so it’s definitely a treat to play as this Locust leader for the first time in a campaign setting.  His weapons provide some of the goriest animations to date, and you’ll never get tired of liquefying COG soldiers with your Kryll powers.  The COG side of this DLC isn’t as exciting as the Locust portion, but it is a blast to play in a similar manner to the original Gears of War game.  Taking all of this into account I give the RAAM’s Shadow DLC an EB 8.5 out of 10 Buddhas.  It’s well worth the price, and it’ll give you a reason to return to Gears of War 3.  You’ve been needing to download this DLC today…

Gears of War 3: Raam’s Shadow

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Tags : Blood and GutsDLCImpressionsRAAMs Shadow
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of EntertainmentBuddha.com where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he's not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB's Star Wars Time podcast show.