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Gears of War 2 - Gears of War 2

By Riyad Emeran

Reviewed:

Awards

  • Recommended by TR
Gears of War 2

Summary

Our Score:

9

So, is Gears of War 2 perfect? No, not quite. For one there's a bit too much reliance on vehicle sections for my liking. That's not to say that the vehicle dynamics are done badly, just that the game loses some of its immersive nature once you're driving a tank or flying a Reaver. And if I'm honest, the only times I found myself really frustrated by the game was when I was in a vehicle - I'm not sure who thought that driving a tank over a frozen lake while the enemy fires missiles at the ice would be fun, but I can assure them that it's not.

Then there's the slight over-reliance on cover dynamics, which was there in the first Gears. Put simply, if there's even a chance of a fire fight breaking out, there will always be a plentiful amount of cover to duck behind, something that I'm almost certain doesn't happen in a real war. In fact, it gets to the point that if you walk into a room and notice strategically placed blocks, you instantly know that you're about to be attacked.

And there's Skorge - the tough as nails, killer locust that appears to be the personal bodyguard of the Queen. He first makes an appearance at the end of the first act, and makes a definite impression. Unfortunately, when you do finally face him towards the end, it's something of an anticlimax - I won't explain why, because I don't want to spoil the story, but after the battle with Ramm at the end of the first game, I expected slightly more from Skorge.

But are these issues going to stop me playing through the campaign again on the higher difficulty levels? Not a chance! Gears of War 2 is one of the best games I've played in years, and even as I write this review I'm thinking about heading back into my living room and starting a new co-op campaign.

I'm sure that Epic has already been beavering away on the third game, and for me, it can't come too soon. I just wonder whether it will launch with a subtitle of "Saving Private Carmine" - if you've played both games, you'll know what I mean.

Verdict

As sequels go, Gears of War 2 is up there with the best. In fact as games go, it's flying pretty high. Graphically it's in a league of its own, while the physics and AI are also first rate. Both the single player campaign and the generous multiplayer modes mean you'll be playing this one for some time. It may not have the depth of Fallout 3, the emotional involvement of Bioshock, or the epic grandeur of Fable II, but if you're looking for a pure adrenaline rush on a truly massive scale, there's nothing better.

Overall Score

9

Wackywavinginflateablearmflail

November 10, 2008, 7:22 am

"I'm not sure who thought that driving a tank over a frozen lake while the enemy fires missiles at the ice would be fun, but I can assure them that it's not."





First of all, I laughed out loud when I read this part! I could imagine your eyes rolling Riyad! And you shaking your head!





"It may not have the depth of >Fallout 3<, the emotional involvement of >Bioshock<, or the epic grandeur of >Fable II<, but if you're looking for a pure adrenaline rush on a truly massive scale, there's nothing better."





Second, are you trying to get me to buy a Xbox 360? :) Listing off some killer titles may just persuade me. That and the recent price cut make it so much more attractive than the PS3.





P.S. Yes I am aware of Little Big Planet, but I'm not paying $400 for a system! So don't bother mentioning it!

Matthew Bunton

November 10, 2008, 12:24 pm

The Horde mode on multiplayer alone makes this game first rate for me, factor in the other modes and the decent single player game and you have one of the best action games I have ever played.

rav

November 10, 2008, 1:18 pm

Another vote for Horde. Was up till 2 last night and got to wave 27! Should be at work right now but I just woke up.

eyepopper

November 10, 2008, 2:37 pm

The original Gears of War had very limited gameplay mechanics: hide behind a wall, shoot, advance in a lumbering fashion, hide again, shoot. Yawn. Halo 3's a masterpiece in comparison, and that's being charitable. You were just wowed by the visuals of GoW, that's all, but there's no denying their baroque beauty, both in the original and its sequel. However, the textures in the game are "streamed" most of the time, I believe, so the developers have cheated a bit.

Wilfried

November 10, 2008, 5:16 pm

I have played and finished Gears of Wars 2, and believe you me, I have not played a game that immersive since Bioshock! And, in my personal opinion, I did not think the vehicle sections broke that immersion, oh no, I thought it got us much more involved. The only regret I have is that the game finished so quickly.


I would have to say that this game was, by far, the best game of 2008, I thought. Should have deserved a perfect 10 (since Little Big Planet had one despite the really dodgy controls that really affect the gameplay, I have to say that I bought LBP based on Trusted Reviews opinion although I was waiting for a demo to come out, wish I never had...)

Gavin Hamer

November 10, 2008, 5:27 pm

Oh, we're back to 'guess the format'. :-(

Geoff Richards

November 10, 2008, 5:30 pm

Gavin - it's an Xbox 360 exclusive but it's still probably worth saying so at the top as per usual. Point taken.

Keldon

November 10, 2008, 7:22 pm

Played and finished gears, single player is great with the exception of most of the vehicle areas!





Multiplayer is even better than the original GOW with horde being the cherry on top, alot of people reporting matchmaking difficulties (me included) but a patch should be along soon.





All in all a top game and the single player is a real roller coaster ride.

GherkingTR

November 10, 2008, 10:45 pm

Bah. I'd love to get a 360, the games catalogue is really rock solid... but I know I'd feel the 'need' to get an HDTV at the same time. Total cost of ownership... more than I can afford before Christmas!


Great review Riyad, many thanks.

Keldon

November 10, 2008, 11:23 pm

Well i have had my XBOX since launch and only got a HDTV last month (Sony Bravia!) and it makes such a huge difference I wish I had taken the plunge a while ago.

rav

November 10, 2008, 11:25 pm

Having the same problem matchmaking for horde. Agree with Riyaad though, you really need people you can count on to work as a team. Otherwise you've got no chance.

Riyad

November 12, 2008, 3:35 pm

Probably about time there was some gamer tag swapping and some TR Horde action :)

rav

November 12, 2008, 5:44 pm

Lol. I've had to start adding randoms so that I can invite people into the game instead of relying on the search. Only played the campaign on Gears and thought I'd do the same with this but the campaign has been forgotten for now until I complete wave 50.





Gamertag is also ravmania if anyone fancies a game!

Gande

November 17, 2008, 8:23 pm

Add Moi im Gande05





!!



Matthew Bunton

November 23, 2008, 8:24 pm

You can add me too my tag is Righteous Angel I hit level 50 the other night did it with just the 2 of us it was very frantic.

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