Gears of War 2 User Review
- Just Right
- Time Spent:
- 10 to 20 Hours
- The Bottom Line:
- "Worth playing"
Marcus Fenix and Co. are back doing what they do best: killing hordes and hordes of... well, Locust Hordes. Taking off directly where the first installment ended, Fenix and the rest of Delta squad take the fight directly to the Locust Horde in a campaign fllled with more thrills than the first one could ever deliver, with all the blood soaked carnage you've come to know and love.
If you're familiar with the first Gears of War game, you know what it's like. It's a tactical shooter that involves you taking cover and popping out from behind it to take shots at your enemies when they become available. You can blind fire, keeping your body safe from harm, or lob grenades over your shoulder. Jump over cover and dash to the next obstacle to get a better position, or wait for your teammate who's at a better angle to clear the area so you can proceed. Get up close and personal, and you lay into your enemies with your no-nonsense chainsaw bayonet, and finish off any stragglers with a good curb stomp to the head. Master Active Reload by reloading your weapon at the precise time and be rewarded by more powerful rounds of ammunition.
All that classic action is intact in the sequel, but what really pushes this game beyond its predecessor are the incredulous new scenarios you'll be experiencing. The new environments are jaw-dropping, the new hazards are intensifying, and the new ridealong segements are terrifically exciting. The pace of the game can be so chaotic sometimes that when you hit several of the game's lulls, you'll actually appreciate investigating barren corridors more so you can catch your breath.
There aren't many new game mechanics added in Gears of War 2, but the few new ones are rather cool. For starters, if you down a Locust to the point where he's crawling away, you can actually use him as a human -- er, well more like body -- shield, and fire away at your targets with a handgun. There are giant enemies that carry shields, and once you take them down, you can adorn those shields for yourself. Borrowing from Halo 3, you can even pick up massive guns and mortars at the expense of your mobility, and wreak havoc on your enemies. You'll even ride some of the terrifying creatures and enemies you encountered in the first game.
Playing the campaign via online co-op is definately the way to go. Tactical shooters like Gears of War were designed to be played with a friend. There's nothing like covering your buddy, or coming to his aid when he's gunned down to revive him. However, it seems like there are more glitches this time around that actually effect gameplay. One such glitch has a partner falling off a lift when the two seperate paths, landing on the partner's path preventing the progress of the game since that player needed to be on the other side to activate a switch. Every once in a while, a player will just get hung up on an object and not be able to move. Also, sometimes a cutscene will sort of get skipped over where you'll be thrusted in the middle of a firefight with your hand still glued to your ear piece. The almost complete lack of latency more than makes up for the game's online co-op glitches, though.
Not too much has been improved graphically, but that's not saying very much considering the first Gears of War was an absolutely stunning game. Every impressive detail such as textures on the armor to textures on the face, to exploding debris and thick viscose blood and gore can be expected in Gears of War 2. Speaking of exploding debris, if you really want to see this game shine, wait until you get behind the saddle of an armored behemoth and lay waste to enemies and rock pillars alike. There can be so much going in on Gears of War 2 at times that it will overload your senses. There are just a few times where you may continue from a check point that the textures won't completely load right away. It's a rather noticeble blemish on an otherwise perfectly polished game.
Just as with the first Gears of War, it's such an audible delight. It has that same fantastic orchestral soundtrack. The voice acting is still wonderfully acted. The sound effects are just as incredible. Loud guns. Booming explosions. Disgusting sounds of flesh being rendered and skulls being exploded from sniper rounds, or impacted from curb stomps. You'll definately want to be playing this game the same way you played the first: with volume all the way up.
If you're expecting a revolutionary improvement of the franchise with this sequel, you can forget about it. You have a few new things to do, and a few new weapons to use, but that's all. What you will you get that matters is a campaign filled with much more exciting moments that will literally take your breath away. You'll also get a game that's a little buggier than the first title, which is kind of a shame. Bugs are something you're supposed to see less of in sequels. Still, even though the game is a little too familiar, considering the first game was so spectacular, it just means you'll end up loving it just the same. It's a very solid purchase.
More User Reviews
- Downloadable Game
- Player Reviews: 1,099
- Game Universe:
- Gears of War (X360, PC),
- Gears of War 3 (X360),
- Gears of War Triple Pack (X360),
- Gears of War 2: Game of the Year Edition (X360),
- Gears of War 2 (X360),
- Gears of War 3: Horde Command Pack (X360),
- Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection (X360),
- Gears of War 3: Fenix Rising Map Pack (X360),
- Gears of War: Judgment (X360),
- Gears of War: Judgment - Call to Arms (X360)
- Offline Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Online Modes:
Competitive, Cooperative, Team Oriented
- Number of Players:
- Number of Online Players:
10 Players Online