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Sawed-Off Shotgun: Entirely too noob friendly.

With the final iteration of Gears of War (at least within the main series) Gears 3 wanted to help new players to the series not feel overwhelmed by the wall-bouncing Gnasher shotgun experts that have honed their skills in the last two games.  However, did Epic go too far?

In this article, I want to tell you why I believe that Epic made this move and why this gun is really over powered.   I also want to say what I believe this game will evolve into if this is not dealt with.  That is, ruin the online multi-player experience in Epic’s most polished Gears of War game and actually make it the laughing stock of the community, if it has not done so already.

-[ Easy Accessibility ]-

Something that has been facing most gaming companies today is that they need to sell as many copies as possible.  This is because gaming is a business that needs to stay in the black.  The more people enjoy a game, the more people will be playing it and buying Downloadable Content, as well as more likely to buy any follow-up games of that same series or new games by the same company.  Knowing this, Epic wanted to bring in as many people into the game and continue to get them to enjoy it as possible, but was the answer they found a plague to the hardcore community which made Gears of War series the phenomena that it is?  I believe so.  But I also believe it is because they know the hardcore Gears fans aren’t going anywhere regardless of the extremes this game undergoes.

Basically, someone on the Epic Games Forums said, “I do not know why Epic are tailoring to the noobs.  They’re going to ditch this game when Modern Warfare 3 comes out anyway”.  I completely agree with this statement.  It is so true you cannot possibly begin to understand.

Seems Epic is trying to bring in a brand new crowd to enjoy the Gears of War franchise, and make sure that the people who have been in it since the beginning of the series are not dominating without having to bat an eyelash; but why?  They are making the “Veteran Gears” adjust to the new players and not the other way around.  Also, it seems as though it is payback for people who enjoyed the two games but could never really grasp the concept of using the Gnasher correctly.  It does make the game more accessible and make people feel the satisfaction of a one hit kill; but it takes away the skill part of the game or at least, the one we’re accustomed to as far as the Gears series is concerned.

-[ Gnasher vs Sawed-Off ]-

Ever since the Gears of War 3 beta has taken place, people have been arguing over the Gnasher Shotgun vs the Sawed-Off (Double-Barrel) Shotgun.  Gnasher being the classic weapon in both Gears of War 1 and 2, while the Sawed-Off was a new weapon introduced for the purpose of leveling the ground between veterans and beginners in the multi-player.  As a veteran, I was saying that the Sawed-Off was a lot weaker and that the one shot kill from super close range (and even downing in one shot in the beta) were a trade off from obvious drawbacks.

The Gnasher starts off with four times as many bullets as the Sawed-Off, can shoot eight times more before it has to be reloaded, and can damage greater at a further range, not to mention the fact it can also one-shot gib.  The Sawed-Off, comparison, is a extremely close ranged weapon with a single shot that can kill multiple people, but isn’t very good in clutch situations.  If the shot is missed, a long reload period takes place and whomever must rely solely on their second primary weapon.  “Clutch situations”, where you are one against many can prove very difficulty with the Sawed-Off.  On paper, the Gnasher is the most dominant close-range weapon and the game even says in its description “This is your best choice in close quarters”.  However, from my gaming experiences and the video (seen above), I can truly say the favor is tilted in lieu of the Sawed-Off.

The Sawed-Off gibbing range is superior to the Gnasher; ridiculous seeing as the Gnasher’s spread is very slight as being off even a little bit will not reward you with a one hit kill.  In order to gib someone with a Gnasher, you are going to have to be accurately aiming at them in definite gibbing range where as they do not have to aim very hard (if at all) to achieve the same effect with the DBS.  With this knowledge, someone who abruptly sees someone can pull the trigger knowing that they will more than likely get the kill.  Split-second reactions are no longer needed to line-up the barrel of the gun with an opponent.  This is all it takes for you to lose out in what once use to be a skillful battle of positioning and accuracy.   I highly encourage you to watch the video above to see for yourself how skill-less  this weapon is.

-[ Multi-Player Experience ]-
Since I have gotten into the mutli-player experience within the game and got a little bit of time behind me (I’m Lvl. 65 as of now) it seems like there is an even amount of Gnasher as well as Sawed-Off users; if not, at least tipping in favor of the Sawed-Off.  This gun has single-handedly changed the experience of the multi-player for the worse in my honest opinion.

Execution, my favorite game mode of the past two games is now worthless in my opinion.  Only one life per round, and I do not want it to go to waste with being surprised by a Sawed-Off user that can kill me further than the range my Gnasher can gib them.  Not to mention the “Man Up” rule allows people to camp as soon as they get the life lead, which I have found experienced teams doing in Ranked.  Get the first kill, then stand back and wait with the Sawed-Off and welcome any unsuspecting victim with a nasty surprise, no “Happy Birthdays” here, just a ridiculously large spread that kills from an equally ridiculous range.

The Sawed-Off users themselves are also something that annoy me with their game play.  Either they are terminators or proximity mines.  What do I mean by this?  Ever been in a game and a Sawed-Offer has  seen you, and is now running towards you, taking any and all fire you throw at him to try to get within range for the definite kill?  Sometimes they don’t even shoot, they go down before they get to you; but as soon as they respawn they’re back to it, and sometimes they get you because you cannot down them or kill them in time.  These are what I describe as “terminators”.  Or you come around a corner and you see them, but before you can get away, even in mid-roll they shoot and you’re dead.   You do not see the user camping until you’re up on them and even rolling or trying to shoot, it’s already too late as they blind fire around the corner; proximity mines.  Though, nearly all Sawed-Off users have the flailing fish in common.  Attempt to shoot you, and if they happen to miss their shot, even though the range is huge and requires no aiming, they begin to flail around; rolling, running, and wall-sliding wildly until they can get a reload in or switch to their next weapon.  If they miss behind you, they’ll probably attempt to melee you down.

Something personal that annoys me is the fact I hear most of my friends saying, “The Sawed-Off is the only thing that is killing me” and the fact I can actually relate to that statement.  Something else that bothered me is when I was playing a Quick Match of Execution with one of my friends.  She played in Gears 2 and was quite bad, really was not proficient at all, host or no host.  However, in this game, she was doing better than me camping with the Sawed-Off and bragging about how she likes this a lot better than Gears of War 2 and that she is quite Pro with the DBS.  This both amazed and disgusted me all at the same time.  I am beginning to feel like I will have to use it in order to compensate for the fact that you do not have to think with it.  That extra millisecond I take aiming my Gnasher when someone jumps out and surprises me gets me killed going against someone who only needs to pull the trigger.

I know this is true because I had to get 100 kills to unlock the Execution to get my “Judge, Jury, and Executioner” achievement.  During the time I was playing, I was amazed at the distance I was able to kill people; even more so by the fact that I sometimes only barely seen someone, clicked RT and was rewarded with a kill.  The Retro Lancer completely compliments this gun, and if you do miss and inflict damage, a single melee behind it often is enough to drop people.  When you mantle kick, there is no need to get back into position like you would with the Gnasher, just make sure you’re facing somewhat towards them, walk up a bit and shoot; you’ll never, ever miss.  Not to mention on certain maps, you need to have something additional besides just your starting weapons to halt someone camping with a DBS.  On Mercy, if Sawed-Off users are camping in the Church, you will need to have possession of Ink or Frag Grenades to successful siege it.  On Overpass (Horribly unbalanced map) you will have hell reclaiming the top; and even on Grid Lock, if you do not have possession of Frags or Boom Shot/Digger, it can be a pipe dream attempting to go into the Sniper spawn if its camped.  This gun is beyond noob friendly at this point; it is game breaking and mills kills on its on with little to no effort on the user’s part.  Hell, going against a full-team of people using the DBS, I am paranoid nearly the whole time going around the map, especially corners.

-[ The Verdict ]-

I understand what Epic was trying to do and what they were trying to accomplish, but they overstepped their boundaries by adding this gun in; it was unnecessary and destroys the game for us vets in more ways than one, it is damn near crushing.

Gears of War 1 was very good, but did suffer from glitches and lag among other things.  Gears of War 2 was something that attempted to cater to newer gamers by slowing down the speed of the game, which many did not agree with.  The Lancer was nearly useless and the online was really terrible, Host determined nearly everything (Those with skill still won, but it was often a hard fought battle), and split the community between Gears 1 and 2.  However, Gears 3 could change that with its dedicated servers and improved networking, not to mention faster speed and better graphics; a Gears lover’s DREAM….but the Sawed-Off quickly changed this heavenly fantasy into a nightmarish reality.

We could say this game took a mass amount of skill; we bragged not everyone could get into the game and just rape because they had to hone their wall-bouncing and shotgun abilities in order to compete with the big leagues.  Now, anyone can jump in and completely dominate with a weapon that takes little to no skill, nor aiming.  It almost feels as though Epic finally gave us what we wanted in a game, only to turn around and say that “nothing in life is perfect”.  Many of my friends have said that this game would be perfect if not for this single gun, “It’s a Power Weapon you can spawn with”.  I could not agree more.  On forums, even the official Gears 3 Forums by Epic Games, there has been a crying of foul play in the community over the unfairness that is the DBS.

All-in-all, I am a Gears Veteran, I am a Gears Player.  I will continue to play and support this game, but I am mad about so many things, the Sawed-Off is on the top of the list however.  I feel all those hours slaving away at Gears 2 were for naught, and newcomers may have it better because they are not as attached to the Gnasher as I am.  We will see how Epic decides to fix this (if they do) in a Title update somewhere down the line.  I just hope Epic answers all of our prayers and actually does something about this and stay true to the community that has backed it unquestionably.

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About The Author

RoK the Reaper
A serious gamer & hardcore otaku who loves anything gaming, anime, or manga! I hope to bring you the best content for these subjects I love in the form of news, reviews, interviews, and in-depth editorials! さよなら!

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2 Replies to “Sawed-Off Shotgun: Entirely too noob friendly.”

  1. i played gears 2 a lot had some skill could semi compete with pros i got better and better gears 3 i loved it it wasn't that i was bad it was just the lag factor the first day it came out had no problem killed everything in sight the only time i ever died was sawed off was not that bad i was having fun then i started dying more and more by sawed off my kd (kill death ratio) was 4.3 now its 3.2 im not complainin its a good kd i feel like i need to use a sawed off but that takes all the skill away and the fun and makes it boring i hope epic does patch that over powered gun the retro lancer is all the new people need its a close range weapon is that not enough?………. if anybody wants to play with somebody who actually has skill just send me a friend request my gamertag is (DR SICKNESS69)

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