Everyone loves CliffyB, they love his muscular manliness, his “you love me don't you” smile and even, I know this his hard to believe, his ability to create gorgeous, in depth new worlds for us to explore. He did it with the Unreal games, he did it with Gears of War, and he's done it again with Gears of War 2, expanding it to such an extent that playing it feels like you're inside a movie. To be honest, I don't know why they're making a movie when people have this. I mean, what's the point? Be involved in the fight against the Locust instead of just watching it. Chainsaw a few of their grunts into squelchy pieces of meat instead of just watching it all happen on the screen. Oh well, this is a review of the game - not another rant about why games shouldn't always be made into films. You can check my website for that.
Gears of War 2 is always going to be one of those games that if you didn't really enjoy the original then you're not going to enjoy this one either. There's nothing really new: a couple of new weapons and the fact that you can do a few more things with the chainsaw gun. Nothing revolutionary, but then it wasn't ever going to be, was it? It's like the old saying goes, “if it ain't broke, don't fix it!” and the Gears formula certainly ain’t broke, it's practically a license for Epic Games and the Microsoft Game Studio to print money. I don't blame them either; they're bringing us a quality product with a decent amount of reasons to keep going back to it. The game deserves the praise that it gets, although a few new features would have been nice. Microsoft Game Studios is really catering to the people that already love the game when, in my opinion, they should also be giving the people who thought that the first game was “just OK” reason to come back begging to be forgiven for their transgressions. They're not, they're just doing more of the same.
As before, Gears of War 2 puts you in control of either Marcus or Dom, depending on which number controller you picked up. You make your way from the start point to the end point cutting, shooting, stomping, and charging your way through the Locust hordes. Gears of War 2 looks fantastic and they've really narrowed down what makes the game enjoyable to play. The focus is more about the epic (pun?) battles this time round. Shooting the Rancors – sorry, Brumak's, in the face with massive fixed cannons comes to mind when talking about 'epic battles,' and there's certainly more where that came from. The story seems to have amped up a little bit this time, although I still found myself not really caring all that much about what happened in the long term. I didn't care until the end of the credits when something huge happens that I won't go into. Needless to say, I really want to play Gears of War 3. In terms of game length, it runs about 10 – 12 hours long, not too long for a triple-A title, but long enough that it's not too big of a deal. A lot of people will get their money’s worth from buying Gears of War 2 just for the multiplayer aspect of it.
After release, support from Microsoft and Epic have come mostly in the form of downloadable maps for the multiplayer portion of Gears of War 2, although as of writing this review (20th August, 2009) they have recently released a “deleted scene.” The content is a separate single player/co-op campaign mission that, just like the film version of a deleted scene, fits nicely into the storyline without the absolute need to play it. It's just there if you want to extend the lifetime of a game you purchased, as you deserve to.
Gears of War 2 plays well, looks good, and the after support isn't too bad either, but it's just more of the same from the first Gears of War. If you did like it the first time around, let's be honest, you've already bought/rented it and played through it multiples times. So I don't know why I'm talking.
Short Term: If you want to play Gears of War 2 for a short amount of time there's only really one option. Multiplayer. The lack of save points throughout the campaign means that if you haven't got at least 30 minutes free to play then there's no point doing anything other than trying to smack a few people round in a deathmatch. - 75
Long Term: There's a lot to do in the long term with Gears of War 2, just as there is with Halo. Microsoft and their studios do a good job with the aftermarket support of their big titles. There is a vast amount of multiplayer maps and the new deleted scene DLC, with probably more to come. You'll probably keep playing Gears of War 2 right up until Gears of War 3 comes out. - 95
Overall: Gears of War is a good game, if you didn't like the first game maybe give it a rental, there may have been something in the first game that they've changed in the second that you now like. I may not just have noticed because I didn't mind the first game. It's certainly a game that every Xbox 360 owner should play - the Epic feel of the war itself makes it worth that much. - 85