Gears of War 2 IS the game of the year.
Graphics-Amazing. It's easy to say this and exaggerate to a certain point but not in this games case. Epic managed to squeeze every drop out of the Xbox360s system capability and then some. All the textures are spot on. All the Environments are meticulously crafted to be both iconic and realistic at the same time. Basically, they didn't cut any corners and made this game look better then any that have come before it on the 360.
Gameplay- They have done a lot of work in this category as well. If you've watched any of the videos before the game came out you'll notice that the aiming cursor and mechanics of the shooting seem different. I know i did. Well after playing the single player for about 4 hours so far i can safely say the aiming/shooting does function differently then the first, but for the better. It feels smoother, more precise and a lot more gratifying. You have to hand it to Epic for making this game very intuitive and satisfying to play-perhaps more then any other game ive played on the 360. That alone should be merit enough for GOTY.
Sound-Spot on as always. The voice acting is superb but I have to say Marcus voice still kind of annoys me but thats just my personal grip and holds nothing against the work Epic has done in this category. You will not experience a single second playing this game where there is complete silence. If Marcus isn't trying to contact someone or barking orders then you'll be hearing constant gunfire and explosions. Basically it is a treat to your ears and you will be stimulated to the max!
Multi-player- I got this game at approximately 12:40 am on Friday morning and im writing this review only 4 hours later so I haven't had a chance to play the multi-player but considering the amount of different modes and the time/resources Epic has obviously put into it im sure it is as good as the single player is so far if not better.
Conclusion-Sorry if this is long and probably horrible in format and grammaticality, but its late and ive been kicking ass! To sum up everything I've mentioned here, GoW2 is an absolute front runner for GOTY and if it doesn't sweep that award from most if not all reputable gaming sources then that is truly a travesty. GET. IT. NOW.