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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-09-08, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Default Gears Of War 2 - My Review

"If they can ride the Brumak, so can we!"

Epic Megagames' newest title, Gears of War 2, is a third person tactical shooter following the exploits of Marcus Fenix as he leads the legendary Delta Squad from battle to battle in order to save the human race from the genocidal Locust.

The first thing that will hit you in GoW2 is the graphics. 'Stunning' is the best word for it here. The graphics for the original were good, but these are better, and the scale is huge.

The folks at Epic have tried to scale the action up a notch, and they have succeeded. The sheer number of Locust kills in this game is insane. From memory, throughout the single player game you kill about 6 Corpsers, 4 Brumaks, 30 or so Reavers and the rest is made up of the other Locust Types.

Gears of War 1 tried to show the Locust as using a wide menagerie of creatures as a counterbalance to the technology of the COG, but it was quite limited in scale, mostly just consisting of Drones, Wretches and Boomers. Not so in this case.

Drones have remained basically the same, Berserkers have been completely removed from the game (being a one trick pony, this doesn't matter so much) and the Boomers have had a big upgrade, using a whole variety of weapons ranging from giant cleavers through to flamethrowers and miniguns.

The range of weapons has been greatly increased. New Additions:
Burst Firing Pistol
Hammerburst Rifle - replaces the 3 shot rifle from the first game.
Scorcher Flamethrower - nuff said here. the scorching looks good on the environment, but when it hits you it puts an odd flame effect on the bottom of your screen, which clogs up the screen and makes it harder to see whats going on.
Mortar - get behind cover, have a guess at the range and open up. the problem is that it needs a ranging shot so that you can get your eye in, but once you get that this weapon is devastating, and very damn cool to see.
Mulcher - this is a crank-powered minigun. It is quite fun to whistle 'Pop Goes the Weasel' while firing this weapon.

And one more thing: the hammer of dawn only makes one or two appearances in this game, which i liked, because i found the hammer to be pretty damn average.

That's the good of the game, and seeing as it has just ticked over to midnight, i'm going to have to leave the rest of my review until tomorrow.
Goodnight all, and happy gaming.

On the subject of Rat Ogres:
But if we give them laser eyes and mounted guns, we'll have to bring in Clan Skryre, and everyone knows how much those limp-tailed snuff addicts overcharge.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-09-08, 02:19 PM
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Nice, gave me a few giggles. Reminds me of reading OXM back when microsoft supported the good ol' Xbox. OXM:360 should hire you. You're a great reviewer.


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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-10-08, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Default Round 2

Righto, now that i've had a good nights rest, i can get back onto my review.

Something close to my heart in the original Gears was the curb stomp. running up to a downed enemy and making them eat boot is probably one of the funniest things to do in Gears 1. Epic has expanded the possible options here. When you shoot someone in the knees a few times, they'll go down on the ground, and instead of just sitting out in the open waiting for their allies to come and save them, you can now crawl back into cover. It's not all sugar and spice with this though, as your enemies can:
1. Pick you up and use you as a human/Locust shield - the person using the shield can only use a pistol, but this effectively doubles your health. When they are finished with the meatshield, they can snap their neck (with a brutal crunch) and get back to using some meatier weapons.
2. Do a variety of executions, depending on which button you press and what weapon you are using. Executions include the ol' curb stomp, punching them in the face repeatedly, through to the more brutal such as using a shotgun like a golf club and the target's head as a ball.

The story in GoW2 is fantastic. It strikes a balance between the efforts of the war and Dom searching for his wife Maria. Cole Train and Baird return, and the style of their characters from the first game stays, with Cole providing skill and humour, while Baird's cutting remarks show the harsh reality of war - it sucks.
The redshirt from the first game - Carmine - is back. It's his brother Ben Carmine, and through him you get a tutorial at the start of the game. He provides some hilarious scenes and lines:

"It's this reloading thing, sir - i haven't got it worked out yet!"

The new characters - Tai the Maori-esque soldier and Dizzy the hillbilly conscript driver - don't really add that much to the game. Dizzy gets added in to one level, and Tai hangs around for only a little longer. Overall, these two felt very 'tacked on' and Epic could have done much more with these two.

And for those of you who want to know:
SPOILER
Dom finds his wife as a prisoner in the locust underground. she's been so brutally beaten, tortured and starved that the only thing Dom can do is mercy kill her. When they open the cage she's in, she walks out looking as if nothing has happened. She hugs Dom, but you can see Marcus looking at them really sadly. "Dom..." he says, and then you see what she really looks like. Honest to god, seeing her the way she was (words cannot do it justice) broke my heart, and i cried like a baby. Marcus walks away, and you hear a gunshot. Just writing about it makes me tear up again, it's that powerful.
SPOILER END

But as with all things, I must talk about the bad bits.
The shotgun has been weakened severely, meaning that it's simply not as good as the other weapons.
The move to cover button is still the same as the Roadie Run button, meaning that if you are running through something (like razor sharp hail) you can end up attaching to cover and getting sliced to bits.

Multiplayer is simply awesome. The new functions add a lot of tactical scale, and the maps all have their own individual flavour.

The new Horde mode is simply the most addicting aspect of the game. You have to fight wave after wave of a variety of Locust, on any of the multiplayer maps. Let me tell you now, it can't be done alone, or in pairs. you really need 4 or 5 players to get the most out of this mode.

Well, that's all i can really say about GoW2. If you like shooters, go and buy it. if you like story, go and buy it. in fact, just go and buy it. If you're really hardcore (like myself) go buy the collector's edition. it unlocks a golden Lancer for online play, and has a whole bunch of extra goodies - an extra DVD, a hardcover book, and a Dom and Maria keepsake photo.
Happy Gaming, you lot!

On the subject of Rat Ogres:
But if we give them laser eyes and mounted guns, we'll have to bring in Clan Skryre, and everyone knows how much those limp-tailed snuff addicts overcharge.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 11-11-08, 11:39 AM
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wait, GOW 2 had a story?

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