Reviewed by Drummerd99
Being a First Person Shooter (FPS) fan I have played all of the popular (and not so popular) shooters. From Halo to Far Cry, GTA to Doom, Quake and all points in between. I love FPS games. In fact one of my all time favorites is still the original Castle Wolfenstein for the PC. And I played that in 1991 which in computer years is like the Jurrasic era. Having played the original Gears of War I was a little reluctant to try Gears 2. I bought into the hype of the first game when it was pitched as a better shooter than Halo (it wasn’t – in my opinion).
Well – in a word Gears of War 2 ROCKS! I can’t remember playing a game that has combined adrenaline pumping action, cinematic graphics with humor so well. I feel like I am playing a Terminator movie , at least T2 (the best one). At times I am laughing out loud at the dialogue. It is a far better game than the original.
For the few gamers who aren’t familiar with the story – you again play as Marcus Fenix a member of Delta Squad who are trying to stop an alien infestation (is there any other kind) of Planet Earth. The alien enemy, as in the first Gears of War, is known as the Locust Horde. The time is set in the not too distant future, although the specific date is never mentioned. The Earth has taken a real pounding from the Locust Horde.
In this version you have the Horde on the run, and must take the fight to them. This means you are going underground. And I do mean under the ground. This area lets the game developers let their imaginations run wild. Think Journey to the Center of the Earth meets Middle Earth. Awesome. And yet – it gets better. There is a whole section that will totally blow you away. For those of you who haven’t played the game I won’t spoil it – a hint – think Jonah the whale.
The elements that made the first game such a hit, the duck and cover gunplay, the graphics and the story are all here – and they are ramped up. New enemies, environments and weapons are introduced. The setting is more wide open, less claustrophobic than the first one.
The first Gears felt like it was on a giant movie set, with the walls and ceiling feeling like it was closing in on you. This one features some amazing wide open vistas that are truly remarkable. At one point, the camera pulls back and you can “see” for miles. As the camera pans across distant mountain ranges, a flock of birds flies across the screen and then a giant worm slowly glides by in the nearer distance. The visual depth makes the game more real.
The single player game will take you 10 hours to complete. There are now 4 finishing moves to execute your enemy. Curb stomp is still the X button, B now delivers a blow to the back of the head, Y turns him over to give repeated blows to the face and finally, the A button allows you to grab him to use as a shield before delivering the neck break. Gears of War 2 includes a total of 10 new multiplayer maps, plus a code to download five remastered maps from the original game. The new maps take inspiration from the locations in the campaign, whereas new environmental effects change some of the maps as you’re playing. For example, Hail features razor-sharp rain that gradually kills anyone out in the open. Furthermore, Day One has a huge emergence hole in which a beast can take swipes at any surrounding players. Finally, Avalanche is completely transformed when a snowstorm hits, turning it from a multitiered level into one flat plane. These environmental effects don’t feature in every map and game mode, but they definitely liven up standard deathmatch-style multiplayer game types such as Warzone.
Gears of War 2 has a lot in common with Gears 1. Although the more open environments, more intense storyline and wide open scale offer a lot to gamers. This is an incredible gaming experience that any action fan will love. Its replayability is very high.