It's Gears of War 1.5, but it's epic and even better. A must own for a Xbox 360 fan

User Rating: 9.5 | Gears of War 2 X360
Besides Halo, Gears of War is one of Microsoft's flagship titles, the first one was released in 2006, met with critical acclaim, terrific sales and several games of the year awards, the game managed to become one of the flagship titles. With the Halo trilogy finished, Gears of War is now one of the games Microsoft focuses on the most, and now with a sequel released, does it live up to the 1st one, or will it be overrated like Halo 3?

Story
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The game takes place 6 months after Gears of War, after a lightmass bomb were detonated in the underground, most of the Locust Horde were destroyed. However, the explosion caused much of the liquid Imulsion underground to vaporize, causing a fatal disease called rustlung to spread among the diminished human population. On top of that, cities have begun disappearing and the COG is suspecting that the Locust have returned. With only one safe heaven left for humans (the city of Jacinto), the city shows sign of the same fate as the other cities and with a Locust attack, COG have no choice but to fight, in order to save Jacinto. During all this, Dom's wife Maria is missing and he goes with Marcus Fenix to go find her.

First of all, it might sound weird that the story focuses on Dom, and not on Fenix, but this is actually good, Fenix ain't the kind of guy you wanna make emotional. The story is also good at showing you, that this is humanity's last fight, which really makes way for some epic moments. That being said though, the story does have a few flaws. At one point in the game, you're sent into a classified lab, it's a government secret, but once you're past it, it's never mentioned again. Also, the story doesn't really use much of the so-called disease, it's mentioned in the 1st act and after that it's never really mentioned again. Couple that with a awful ending, it's not a Halo 2 style ending, but it is one of those that makes you want a new one, just to see how the story ends. Dispite a writer being hired this time around, the story is mainly told in the same way as the first Gears of War, so it's nothing special, but it's all so epic, that you can't help but love it and the story does have a lot of great moments.

8.5

Gameplay
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The game is basically Gears of War 1.5, there's not a lot of changes here, you still have the chainsaw gun (which never, ever get's old!) and so on. There's less Emergence Holes around this time oddly, and you still got the same cover system from Gears of War, which once again, is one of the best cover systems currently. That's not to say there's a few new additions though, you can grab crawling enemies and use them as a meatshield (no pun intended), there's chainsaw duels, and of course vehicle sections. The chainsaw duels are rare to encounter surprisingly and the vehicle sections controls like Halo, except the car psychics are better this time around. There are also sections with Reavers and Bbrmaks, which are surprisingly easy to control as well.

Besides the single player campaign, there's also multiplayer for up to 10 people. The multiplayer is mainly a upgrade from the first Gears of War, though it adds 3 new modes: There's Guardian, a modified version of assassination. Wingman and Submission, formerly known as Meatflag, it's basically capturing the flag. While it's fun to play, there's seems to be a lot of bugs in the multiplayer, it's also a bit unbalanced, and plagued by some connection issues, though disconnections doesn't happen a lot. There's also cheaters, but hopefully a patch will fix it, because it's still fun.

Another addition is Horde mode, here, up to 5 players is thrown into a level and has to survive for as many rounds as possible; it's incredibly fun to play, though it exposes a few weaknesses in the A.I.

The single player is divided over 5 acts and their a blast to play, and it really feels like your in a Hollywood movie, it's filled with epic moments, epic battles and is overall exciting. It lasts around 8-10 hours, and while it may seem like you're playing one of the most epic games on this side of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Call of Duty 4, the last act is ant climatic, thanks to the ending and a final boss that's easily killed.

After the single player, there's of course multiplayer, co-op and a war journal that makes everything more addicting.

9.5

Graphics
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The graphics are beautiful, it really shows what the Xbox 360 is capable of, there's hardly any frame rate issues (though they rarely occur), the environments are great and the character design looks good, though everything seems to be bigger than real life. One neat feature is that you can tone down the violence, so even yougner audiences can watch it, neat feature, though everyone knows to leave the gore option on the highest.

10

Sound
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The voice acting is great, Fenix and his pals all have a lot of dialogue and jokes apparently, there's even a guy that keeps making references to American football, but it's hard not to find yourself laughing over the dialogue, mostly because their comments are so funny, that you'll never mind them talking. Like the graphics, the dialogue can be toned down too, but again, we all know not to do that. The music is mixed, composed by Steve Jablonsky, the tracks are epic, though personally, I didn't like all the tracks, though I liked the most.

10

Overall
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
It's Gears of War 1.5, but that doesn't stop it for being a amazing game. True the multiplayer ain't as revolutionary as the 1st one and it's plagued by problems, but the game is so epic dispite a awful final boss and ending. It's one of the best games that you can buy for your Xbox 360 and it's defiantly recommended.