Okay, I didn't really finish this, but I think I played all of it that I'm going to. I played it at the insistence of Lisa Brown, who party wanted to show me how good it was, and partly as part of a campaign to make me engage in things that I think I'm not going to like. I was shocked at how incredibly well designed it was. The interface for taking cover is absolutely amazing -- I have never felt safe playing an FPS before -- here I felt like my character was doing sensible things, and that I could think for a minute and plan a strategy. There has been talk about the fact that more women play Gears than they do the average FPS. Cliffy B. says it is because the story has "heart". This seems to be nonsense to me -- I think women probably like playing because it has a great co-op mode, and because the cover system lets a player really feel in control of the gameplay. I'm not much for FPS's, but I'd think about playing this one again!
On a separate note, it really made me wonder about the FPS aesthetic -- a ruined world filled with people who look like football players... why does this very American theme keep repeating? I have a theory, but it is complicated, and probably wrong.