Getting Back In It
What seemed like a lifetime became the gap between the instant hit Gears of War and the highly anticipated sequel Gears of War 2. Gears was always a unique shooter in the heavily populated genre it lived it, yet it became one of the standouts with its addictive gameplay, dark story and popular multiplayer. However, all good things must come to an end. Luckily for us, something new jumped right in front of us to take GoW's place. The brainchild of Epic Games is packed with an abundant amount of modes, co-op options, multiplayer gametypes and, of course, all the weapons you'll need to blow your enemies to pieces. When you are fighting for survival, you'll need all the help you can get. Trust me, no matter how much you think it won't, a lonely pistol will help just as much as an assault rifle. Make sure you have ammo. Lots of it.
Taking The War To The Locust
Even though it has been two years to the day since Gears of War came out in 2006, story-wise the time between Gears and Gears 2 has only been about six months. Marcus is back and as reckless, and thick-headed, as ever. Dom and other familiar faces join him in the continuation of war against the merciless Locust Horde. As expected, the path to victory won't be full of fluffy clouds and rainbows, but an onslaught of endless Locust scum and all the destruction to satisfy anyone's thirst for action.
Don't anticipate some sort of Shakespeare story here. While Dom's quest to find his loved one is definitely an emotional endeavor, the rest is just something you'd expect from a shooter game: not very in-depth. Hell, some of the Acts reek of poor story-telling, like patches of some awkward comments and discussions made by the characters that don't feel very realistic. The good thing is that Gears 2 makes you feel like you are part of a large-scale conflict, yet still retains the experience that makes you feel like you are on your own against this seemingly unstoppable force. Still, Gears 2 has lost that scary feeling that made people think twice of entering a dark tunnel without a flashlight in Gears 1. Yet, Gears of War 2 still delivers the sort of action packed thrill-ride that made the original oh-so-awesome.
Pick Your Weapon, Seal Your Fate
Epic did an outstanding job with Gears of War by introducing a new kind of shooter to Xbox 360, one that pulled apart from the crowd led by games like Halo. This winning formula is back in Gears 2 and has been revamped for an audience filled with gamers expecting nothing more than sheer insanity. And insanity is what they got. Insanity essentially defines the madness that occurs in every situation in every inch of Gears 2. From driving bullets into a Locust's skull in campaign to racking up kills and downs online, you'll have to utilize every means of staying alive to drop your enemies cold.
Unlike many shooters on the market, Gears is in third-person, allowing you to perceive much more of the world around you. A cover system has been put in place, replacing the standard crouching and jumping mechanisms, allowing you to slam your back behind a wall to avoid enemy fire, ducking under cars and walls to fire just above them, or randomly firing without even a thought of aiming as you hide as well as possible behind anything that can stop the bullets. With that, the player is given a variety of different weapons to suit anyone, from a chainsaw-equipped assault rifle to a flamethrower that burns anyone to a crisp. Don't you just love the smell of burnt flesh in the morning?
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