Microsoft returns with another splatter-fest masterpiece.
In 2006 Epic Games released the hugely anticipated Gears of War for the Xbox 360.
It was a masterpiece, there is no argument about that.
2 Years on and Epic Games have released the sequel, Gears of War 2.
Cliff Bleszinski promised us all that Gears of War 2 will be more “Bad-ass”, and even better than the first Gears… He was right!
In Gears of War 2 the Locust are back and more brutal that ever, what once became single or multiple “E-Holes” are now turning into holes big enough to sink entire cities in one.
Again the heroes from Gears of War 1 (Marcus, Dom, Cole, Baird) are to attack the Locust along with the rest of the Gears army and stop this madness. You will also see some new characters introduced into Gears of War 2, they are all welcome additions. Eventually the C.O.G minister decides that taking out the queen would be a better option to stop it all, but things go a different way (No spoilers). I found that though a lot of the game was spent hunting down the Queen, it was still enjoyable.
Whilst you are fighting against the Locust in humanity’s last hours of existence, Dom (Dominic Santiago) wants to find his wife and will stop at nothing to get to her. Dom’s situation really makes you engage with who he really is.
For me, Gears of War 2 is the best game I heave ever played.
Personally I think there is nothing wrong with this game at all. The action sequences are over the top and huge, just like the first Gears of War. Gears 1 was made to feel as cinematic as possible, the “over the shoulder” camera view was a great choice to accomplish the constant cinematic feeling. Epic Games also crowded you with countless enemies to fight, the intensifying heat in battle was enough to make you play for hours on end. I am happy to say the same goes for Gears of War 2.
In Gears 2 you will visit new spectacular environments that are much bigger in scale of that in Gears 1. It makes you feel that Epic Games really have tried to emphasise just how big the war between the Humans and the Locust is.
In Gears of War 2 you will get to ride a lot more vehicles than the first, if you can call a Locust Reaver and Brumak a vehicle? These moments are immensely cinematic and fun, especially when riding on a Reaver and taking down anything that gives chase.
There are a bunch of new enemies you will face, my favourite being the Locust “Bloodmount”. Its basically a Locust dog which a grub will ride on, and shoot at you. The “Bloodmount” itself is very fast, and very strong if it gets too close to you. New and more lethal “Boomers” are introduced too, their weapons vary. I will not spoil any other enemies that are new.
Now, a new Gears of War game calls for new weapons. Enter the “Scorcher”. It’s a fast flowing flame thrower that will burn your opponent to a crisp. Its such a fun weapon to use. that you will be screaming “BURN” at your opponent.
Next up is the “Mortar”. You can literally rain hell upon your enemy, once you fire the mortar a bomb will be fired, and with little bit of accuracy it will fly above the enemy’s head and burst into a cluster of explosions leaving your prey in pieces. There are more deadly weapons, which I will leave for you to discover.
Another new accessory in battle is the “Boom shield”. This is dropped by a certain type of “Boomer”, and it can be used as mobile cover or rammed into the ground and used as normal cover. it’s a very useful piece of equipment in the game when the fight is getting to hot.
There is another shield available, a meat shield. You can grab a downed Locust and use him as temporary cover for a given amount of time. I think this is hilarious as his fellow Locust will quite happily plough him with bullets to stop you from getting any closer. I think it’s a great new mechanic and should be used in the higher difficulties to your advantage.
Gears of War 1 was praised for its revolutionary cover system. I am glad to say it is better than ever in Gears 2. The cover system is fully responsive, and whenever I tapped the “A” button near a wall, no problems encountered at all. You can still dive roll to get yourself out of sticky situations, this is also fully responsive when needed.
Another new jaw dropping mechanic that has been added to Gears of War 2 is that you can now have chainsaw battles. If you face an enemy with a “Lancer” you can hit the “B” button and sometimes you will go into an immense chainsaw battle, you will be required to button bash in order to knock your opponents chainsaw out of the way and slice him in two. This new feature is amazing when it happens but it can be very rare on the lower difficulties, which is a shame.
New executions are encountered in Gears 2. These executions are disgustingly brutal, which I know we will all adore. Pressing “X” on a downed enemy will do the classic “Curb-stomp”, pressing “Y” on a downed enemy will finish them off in a brutal style. You will get different executions depending on what weapon you are holding. Experimentation calls!
Graphically Gears of War 2 is the best looking game out there. Everything is highly detailed. The lighting and shadow effects are spot, on and the character modules are excellent. There is a small amount of slow down at certain points of the game but there is a good reason for it, there is just so much going on at once which still gives an amazing experience. We owe it all to Epic’s fantastic Unreal 3 Engine.
Like Gears of War 1’s highly successful online multi-player option, it is safe to say that Gears 2 will also be a popular online game.
In Gears 2, Epic have changed there online games scheme to a fair matchmaking system judged by the player’s skill level. After the server has chosen the players, it will let the players vote on which game mode they would like to play and what map. All of the usual modes are included in Gears 2.
I personally think it is much better, as it doesn’t take nearly half the time that it took to start an online game on gears of war 1. It is also fair for all players.
An addictive new mode has been added in Gears of War 2. “Horde”. In this mode you can choose to play online or offline with your friends. “Horde” is a wave based game where you fight against swarming Locust using the Gears characters. The waves get harder as you progress, and attempt to reach wave 50. The Locust become stronger, more accurate and there will be different types of Locust that come into play.
You can unlock new characters to play with online modes or offline “Horde” mode. The only bad thing about this is that the un-lockable characters are just way too easy to un-lock. You can basically play through a single campaign and achieve this.
A journal has been added too. It has got the progress of your achievements inside, as well as your un-lockable and other general game information.
For me, Gears of War 2 is the best game I heave ever played. It’s amazingly cinematic, the storyline is strong and full of twists that will shock you, the game play is unique and the whole experience is memorable. I would definitely recommend this to any gamer aged 18 or over.
You’re in for a mind blowing gore fest!
antastic action packed campaign, very good online content, Unlockables, Unreal engine 3 is looking better than ever.
The Bad: Unlockables are too easy to unlock.