Sequel Surpasses Original in Grand Style

Gears of War 2 starts off where the original Gears of War left off. Marcus Fenix (pronounced Phoenix, I was saying it wrong for some time), with his Delta Squad-mates, Dominic, Baird and Cole. You meet another Carmine brother, as well as other new and old characters as the Locust attack intensifies and the efforts from the first game are proven incomplete in the annihilation of the enemy.

The original game had wonderful set pieces and beautiful graphics, the sequel builds further on this solid foundation. In the sequel, Delta Squad is dispatched to continue the assault on the Locust, their end goal to destroy the Locust Queen. As they delve further and further into the Hollow (the underground home of the Locust), the team discover many things about themselves and about the Locust attacks.

As the game progresses, it becomes clear that the Locust are bringing entire cities down, quickly discovered to be a giant worm. this is only one example of an epic set piece that I've only seen in that sense since the original Devil May Cry series.

The story in this sequel fills in the gaping maw that is left in the original. Dominic finally finds closure with his family, Baird's part in the group is finally understood and Cole stays both playful and serious in the face of adversity.

The AI was slightly better in this sequel, spending less time getting in the way and more time understanding the need of the situation and helping. The controls seemed less sensitive than in the first game.

What sold me more on this game was the expanded story and the involvement into the interpersonal interactions between the characters. The game play is not drastically different than any other 'shooter'-style game. Where Gears shines is through the expansive set pieces and the story that brings you into the fold of Delta Squad.