Gears of War 2-Badass ideas put in a Blender made of Chainsaws and Muscles
If you like gore, check.
If you like badasses, check
If you like monsters, check
If you like on rails shooter segments, check
If you prefer to beat your opponents with your gun instead of shooting them, check
Gears of War offers a beautifully constructed campaign that offers at least 10-12 hours of game play on its second to hardest difficulty. You will not be bored by this game and the contexts in which you fight urge to play "for just a few more minutes". Gears does not try to throw a multitude of weapons at you. It stays with the basics. Shotgun, Sniper, Assault Rifle, Pistol, Rocket Launcher (or in this case Grenade). There are a couple slight variations of these weapons but nothing radical.
Enemies are varied enough to keep you on your toes and the cover system is so perfectly executed that you'll be bouncing from boulder to wall corner as easily as if you were scratching your own ass.
The multiplayer in Gears is not for n00bs. You are either going to do very well, or very bad, which some will claim is a bad thing. If you desire to spend countless hours online Fragging your friends then you WILL get better. It is guaranteed. Host advantage is still present from the first game which still leaves a sour taste in my mouth, but the crunch and slam of your friends bloody mangled corpses on the ground is satisfying enough that even achieving only one kill is enough to keep you in the game. In addition to traditional modes like deathmatch and king of the hill, Epic has thrown in a couple of twists on traditional favorites like CTF which in GOW2 is called "Submission". in it you must down an AI character and drag him as a body shield to your own base.
Horde mode is the cream of the crop in this game. You and five friends team up on any multiplayer map you choose to fight off waves of computer controlled nasties. 50 levels later and you're spent. If you can bunker down and hold off long enough, you and your friends will be cheering, hollering and maybe even crying when the one bad player on your team decides to commit suicide when he's the only player left.
The controls are great. The right bumper activates a reload mini-game that sets its own bar for "intuitive". A second click of the right bumper at the right time rewards you with whatever weapons special ability. The cover and dramatic maneuvering is all consolidated to one button (A). It works perfectly and keeps you right into the action with dives, rolls and runs. Like in COD, the left trigger brings up your aiming reticule, while the right trigger fires your current weapon. The d-pad works smoothly as a weapon selector forcing you to put certain weapon classes in certain spots to make sure you're never confused.
If you're looking for something to give you hours of gaming bliss, pick up GOW2. It's definitely worth the 60 price tag, which if I'm not mistaken, has dropped recently. Join the battle. Fight for the COG.