Gears of War 2.
Gears 2 will be an easy game to review. To be honest there just isn't that much to complain about. From the Story that will keep you wanting more, to the gameplay that makes you feel like your actually in the combat, to the graphics which suck you in! There really isnt much to hate here, even the multiplayer has been amazing.
The few complaints I have is during the gameplay on a solo campaign there were a few times when my teamates expecially when it was just 2 of us. What would happen is he would vanish. The AI teamate doesnt keep up with you and what this leads to is when I would get taken down I would start crawling for help and my partner would be half way across the map where he never kept up with me and this led to alot of awkward deaths.
The only problem with graphics is sometimes, more so in multiplayer, itll take a few seconds for the textures to render when the match's/level first loads up. You won't really be bothered by this, in fact its kinda understandable considering all the detail thats infront of you. But its nothing like Halo 2's cutscenes, you can tell exactly what your looking at its just blaned for a few seconds.
The only other reall compaint I have is with the story, it reminds me of the TV show Lost. If you have seen this show then you will understand what Im about to describe. The story is GOW2 starts simple, something clear cut. Your in the last city of humanity and the Locusts are going to sink it. In order to stop this, you must take the fight down to there caves. Well, kinda simple like being stuck on an island after serviving a plane crash, right?
Well, things change pretty quickly when you go underground and realize that the way there sinking the cities is one gigantic and I mean gigantic worm. Kinda like finding a polar bear on a tropical island, right? Well, soon after that you find servivors who are being captured for slaves. Makes since, buy there is a ketch! There is something wrong with them. Its never explained to you but there crazy, they have all lost there minds and are in a zombie like state. You never discover what or why there like this. One charactor evens takes his own life as if possesed to do so. Kinda like finding a dinosour made of smog on a tropical island that never truely gets explained, right?
Anyways, the problem with the story is it starts alot of drama and never ends it, like the giant worm, never gets explained as to where it came from or how it existed in the earth with noone ever knowing before. But it really is a small complaint because just like is Lost, you dont need to know all the answere's to enjoy the show.
I'll begin with the graphics. Simply put, beautifull. Just like the first one it will impress you more and more as the level's progress. The textures are done with the perfect amount of detail and the lighting is something other games will definitly learn from. All the charactors have the same amount of detail put into them and all the charactors move fluidly. You won't see no stiff blocky movements in GOW2.
The story is good, It will definitly have you wanting more, unlike the first GOW where your goal was the story, in GOW2 you have a background story going on at the same time as the mission. Like in one point your underground trying to track down the queen. When Dom gets word his women might be near you so you decide to help your bro out and look for her then later continue the regular mission of the queen. There is always something new going on. Its awesome how they pulled it off. There are alot of lose ends but thats to be expected in the second game which Im assuming there will be a GOW3 and much like most 3rd installments will probably explain all the lose Lost-like drama's you incounter.
The Gameplay, o-boy! If your even reading this you more than likely played the first GOW. There isn't really a big difference other that they improved every aspect of it. Its smoother faster and extremely fluid. Your charactors all move fluidly across the screen. The things they have added is the abilty to do finnishing moves on downed enemy's. It adds a personal feeling to the anger that war brings, and there is a turning point in the game where the locust deeply wound one of your comrads, "I won't spoil anything" at which point I really understood the reason behind the up close and personal finnishing moves. You will actually feel angry at your enemy and wan't to cause them pain for what they have done. You and all others will take pleasure in stomping in the head of a downed, and sometimes, crawling pieve of trash!
Lol, anyways, they also added the ability to use a downed,crawling enemy as a "meat shield" this is where you pick them up and use there body as cover. Your able to use a pistol only and you can reload,melee,pick up ammo etc. while doing so. Its cool, and makes the charactors feel more dynamic. Also the enviroments are to a point, destructable. Pillers crumble aways as gunfire drills at them. Banisters fall apart leaving you completly out int he open. It all comes together to create an amazing experience.
Now, Onto the Multiplayer.
The GR review covers this mode pretty well so Ill just hit the juicy spots. Horde mode is awesome, it starts out really easy with just grunts and whatknot and your team normally just runs around owning. Then about the 10th wave things start getting harder and it force's your team to work together, which in todays gaming world is hard to find, you will actually begin working together to servive, it only gets harder, in one level me and my team took refuge in this abandon building that had a upper floor that my friend and I sniped from as two other teamates covered the door, its truely a realistic feeling of being there in the middle of doom. Anyone will love this mode, unless you dont like the gameplay of the original GOW.
There are other modes like TDM, DM, CTF, which are given unique names to seperate the game from others. They done a nice touch to the CTF mode, instead of getting a flag you grab a human and have to take them back to your base. Its cool because the other team cant kill them or they lose so you kinda get an advantage, unless they surround you, which inturn brings forth teamwork and makes the game that much more fun.
There is some sort of a ranking system on the game. Unlike other games the ranks dont unlock anything, "thank god, Im a lil sick of having to hit lvel 500 just to get allguns so Im not outmatched" Not that there isn't unlockable content, but you get it through the single player which to me is the way they should do all the games. It gives you yet another reason to experience a games campaign.
Overall, if you have played the first one and enjoyed it in any way definitly buy GOW2. If you didnt like the first, I recomend renting it to see what you think. It is a lil different from the first in good ways. If you dont have Xbox Live, then I suggest buying it used to renting, just because you really will only get half the content this game offers. Single player is awesome but its replayable is kinda sort term playing by yourself. Great game. No xbox owner should pass this one up . Makes one proud to own a 360.