Review — Gears of War 2 [Re-post]

1 03 2009

Last week, one of the most highly anticipated games since Halo 3 was released: Gears of War 2. During the whole promotional touring that Cliff Bleszenski did for the game, his catchphrase for the game was “bigger, better and more badass!”–Does it live up?

Fans of the original game will be able to pick this game up and adjust pretty quickly to the new additions and tweaks in the controls and game play. The control layout is the same as Gears 1. There are some nice additions to the weapon set, such as my personal favorite: the Gorgon Pistol. Another nice addition is the ability to stick grenades to the wall and use them as sort of a proximity mine, and they do off as your opponent walks past. The only flaw is that I feel the range is too big. You can be clear across the room from it and it will still explode and cause you to do so as well. The shotgun also needs some tweaking in a future update. If you aim it correctly, you can almost use the shotgun like a sniper rifle and shoot people across the map.

The graphics are amazing. Epic has done a phenomenal job tweaking the Unreal Engine 3, and just some of the minor things they’ve done like the lighting make this game on par with some of the best graphical games on the market. The audio is also something to write home about. The sound effects for the guns have been completely redone, and they sound great! The audio is very dynamic and rich. You can hear the crunch of the skull during a curb-stomp, the pop of every bullet leaving the chamber of the gun. This is one of those games you show off your home theater system with.

The campaign mode is very deep and intriguing. The storyline is very much centered around Dominic Santiago (Dom) and his personal quest to find his fiancé, Maria. There are a lot of cut scenes, but they are extremely well executed, and flow very well with the game rather than interrupting it. The story is very well planned out. In the end you get a good conclusion to the story, but I have a feeling there will be a third installment. I guess we’ll see…

The online machmaking is phenominal! That is, once you actually get into a match. It can take anywhere up to 7 minutes for you to find a match. Lag isn’t as much of a problem anymore, but there are some games here and there with some lag, but that’s expected when you have people who play on terrible DSL connections, or they live in another country. It’s extremely fun overall. As far as match types go, my favorite is the classic Warzone, eliminate the opposing team to win. Submission looked very promising in all of the interviews, but honestly it’s way too hard. Submission is basically Capture the Flag, but the flag is a human armed with a shotgun, which is called the “meat flag”. The match is basically a clusterfuck with all of the bodies exploding around you and it’s actually hard to just grab the meat flag because of all the madness.

Horde is probably the best mode in the game. It’s 50 waves, and each wave gets harder as different locust creatures come into play. Each wave has approximiately 10-20 locusts, and it’s just one wave after another. You can have up to 5 players in the mode, and it’s hella fun plain-and-simple. I’ve already played through the mode atleast three times.

Overall, Gears of War 2 is indeed “bigger, better and more badass”! It lives up to the hype and then some. It will be even better when Epic releases an update to fix some of the minor bugs in the game. All bugs and small flaws aside, this game is amazing.

9.7/10

– Neomic

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