Gears of War 3: What Platform Do You Choose For Your Shooters?

I wanted to buy GOW3 on launch day, but a combination of bad cold and end-of-month-skintness prevented my from venturing to anywhere beyond the local postbox. It’s been a alarmingly hot week here in the UK, where the traditional early September warm spell has surprised everyone by turning into an end of September heat wave. Not a week to be stuck in doors under a blanket… but now that’s all over and done with, GOW3 is sat in my 360 and I’m loving every moment of it.

I’m two hours in and the gameplay is nothing new over previous episodes in the series – but then it doesn’t need to be. The formula is a great one and, as always, the character and environment art are brilliant and absorbing. The game begins on a old carrier ship, and the change of environment is a great one – albeit brief. Always one for liking a Shiny, the ‘Glowies’ explode with that wonderful shiny gold splatter of Immulsion that produced a satisfatory surge of adrenalin. Evidently every fibre of my being approved… The AI still sends some of yoru squad mates running in through the path of your gunfire, and annoyingly they linger there, but it’s forgiveable since the game is simply so much fun.

Whilst pausing for a drink, the thought struck me: why is playing a shooter on the Xbox360 so much better than my experience of playing them on the PS3? I’m a fan of both machines and their exclusive games, but often decide to plump for the PS3 version of a multi-platform title. The reason is simple: I prefer the feel of the PS3 controller. A whole tonne of people will likely disagree, and disagree loudly, but I’ve got tiny hands and the controller just fits my mitts much better than the Xbox360 unit.

This has, however, meant that apart fro the Greas series, I’ve not played many shooters on the Xbox360 at all and, for the most part, I hate playing them on the PS3. The problem is that I just can’t get the reticule to point in the right direction and when enemies move quickly I lose sight of them and die whilst trying to tap the controller gently enough to line the reticule up properly to fire. Aim-assist is always a welcome tool in PS3 shooters for me, but it kind of feels like cheating and it takes away some of the fun knowing that I’ve specifically had to turn on an option for the machine’s processor to help me shoot. It stops me feeling absorbed by the game and, more annoyingly, makes me feel a bit crap.

I’m actually pretty good at shooters, honestly. Not good enough to feel confident about joining a game of Counter Strike  perhaps; there are plenty of people better at these games than me… but playing Gears of War 3 reminded me of how it was to play shooters on my PC. I realise that there’s some tuning going on, and probably some aim-assist to go with the difficulty level, but the game feels natural and it’s simply easy to aim without feeling like a naff player.

So, I began to wonder what other people thought of playing shooters on the PS3 and the xbox360. Which is your prefered platform and, if anything, do you think there’s a difference in being able to shoot things between the two platforms, or do you think that it’s just down to the way the games are designed to behave?


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