Marching straight into Raam's Kryl infested shadow, 'Gears of War 3' prequel DLC gives us one more reason to take on the Locust army. With Lancer blades spinning, we'll see if the price is right on the single-player excerpt.

"Gears 3" downloadable expansion is a chunky episode of prequel fun. Although it might not be exactly what you envisioned, this little nugget of "Gears" pride undertakes a group of B-List Gears as they fight the almighty Raam.

The good, first and foremost is the action. We all know “Gears” is super tight and this DLC package backs that up with some intense fire-fights. The level design is excellent, yet familiar, providing enough twists and turns to keep you moving forward (with or without co-op friends.) Although a few “spots” highlight the game, ultimately 'Raam's Shadow' fails to live up to the high standard set in “Gears 3.” It simply seems like Epic tried to hard to make an emotional driven piece of work, which fizzles until you get the end. A little too late, the "creepiness" factor bumped up, but really Epic's spooky schoolhouse has been watered down by an assortment of other games. Even so, repetitive-or-not, nothing stops us from chainsawing are way through wave-after-wave of Locust. 'Raam's Shadow' is good, it's just not great.

Adding a new element of play, and a welcomed surprise, you actually get to experience life as one of the baddest Locust around, General Raam himself. Yes, the big, bad boss from the original 'Gears of War.' This 8ft beast of destruction simply points and through the power of the Kryl, blood gushes from his victims. Without question Raam is ridiculously over powered, but that is ok, because the few short segments when you take over his shell is pure unadulterated enjoyment and the highlight of this add-on. I think Epic is onto something here, Locust only DLC anyone?


For the human side, and another surprise, you're not playing as the 'Delta Squad' clan. Rather it's a bunch of ho-hum supporting characters called the 'Zeta Squad.' A squad made up of characters you've likely forgotten about, even though you've seen some of them in the previous outings. The most interest aspect to the human interaction is meeting Jace Stratton, who is attached as an origin story. While Jace wouldn't be our first pick from "Gears 3" his character adds some pizzazz to this predictable journey of urban warfare. Thankfully if the narrative fails to grab you, the combat will keep you awake. It's all very paint-by-the-numbers, which isn't so bad giving how awesome "Gears" gameplay is.

When it comes down to it 'Raam's Shadow' has enough twists to dull out the pain of the B-Listing Zeta Squad. While the price tag might be a little steep, the gameplay makes up for its asking price. “Gear-heads” who can't get enough of chainsawing flesh, 'Raam's Shadow' will provide adequate dose of blood-soaked escapism.

  • Combat is satisfying
  • More background on Jace from Gears 3
  • Playing as Raam is awesome!
  • Not better than anything we've played in Gears 3
  • Someone wake me up; thanks Zeta Squad ...zzz.... zzz....
  • Not enough new content, a basic recycling
Quote: "When it comes down to it 'Raam's Shadow' has enough twists to dull out the pain of the B-Listing Zeta Squad."
Reviewed by DowntownJimmy | 12.16.11

Similar Games: Gears of War 2 (9.4) | Gears of War (9.5) | Gears of War 3 (9.8)


Gears of War 3
Raam's Shadow


Epic Games


US Release
December '11



Players 1-2
Co-Op 2-5
Multiplayer Vs
System Link 2-10
Dolby 5.1
HD 720-1080p
D/L Content
3D Support
1200 MS Points
2.0 GB D/L