“Gears of War 2” is everything a next generation video game should be. Fans of the first game will be very happy with this sequel seeing how all areas of the first “Gears” have been drastically improved.
The campaign mode of “Gears of War 2” may be the most impressive aspect of the game. The first “Gears” set up and illustrated the struggle that comprises the story of the “Gears” franchise: humanity versus the locust horde in a battle for survival. “Gears 2” expands on that dramatically adding a significant amount of depth to the characters of “Gears.” Most of the focus is on the background of Dominic Santiago of alpha squad who is searching for his long lost wife, Maria.
Instead of moving aimlessly from point a to point b, as is common with most shooters, “Gears 2” provides real meaning behind each mission both personally for each character, and for the fate of humanity. The scale of the campaign is also incredibly larger than the first game. No battle becomes too big for a video game as you find yourself fighting locust in all sorts of frightening shapes and sizes. The “Gears 2” campaign is more visceral, cinematic, and far more shocking than anything that’s been offered in the shooter genre before it.
In terms of multiplayer “Gears 2” has set a very high bar for other shooters to try and match.
Some of the new modes featured in multiplayer are horde, wingman, and submission.
Horde pits a max team of five players against wave after wave of locust in any multiplayer level.
With every successive wave, the number of enemies is increased and they become more diverse, forcing you to use different tactics to fight back the wave. After every tenth wave the skills of your enemies also increase.
Wingman mode uses five two-man teams in an elimination style battle.
These fights can get incredibly intense. Teamwork is essential in this mode as many teams pick and choose their battles relying on the right moment to move in for the kill and achieve a point.
Submission is the “Gears 2” version of capture the flag. When the match starts two teams of four or five battle it out for control of the “meat” flag which is actually a computer controlled character with a shotgun. The mission of each team is to take the computer controlled character hostage and return them to their respective bases in order to score a point.
The twist of having a “living flag” changes the game dramatically and the fact that the flag is armed and dangerous makes it even more challenging.
Aside from the new multiplayer modes and campaign offered in “Gears 2” the graphics and gameplay have also improved. Graphically “Gears 2” pushes the Xbox 360 to its limits offering up some truly breathtaking scenes. Each enemy and environment is incredibly detailed leaving the player feeling truly immersed in the “Gears” universe. The game play is also stellar. The controls for each character are easy to pick up and very responsive. The cover system employed is simple and effective allowing players to dodge, roll, run and survive with the touch of one button.
Fans of the original “Gears of War” will definitely enjoy the new entry into the series and more casual gamers should also find this game interesting because of all the modes available for play and the engaging storyline.
For fast paced action, intriguing storylines, endless hours of locust battling, and unsurpassed game play and visuals “Gears 2” is the game of choice. Believe the hype video game fans. “Gears of War 2” is a can’t miss experience for any gamer.
Peter J. Smith is a fourth-year student majoring in english. He can be reached at PS683072@wcupa.edu