Gears of War 2 Xbox 360
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Released on 07/11/2008
Shortlist game for the GAME Award of 2008
Exclusive to Xbox 360, Gears of War 2 sees players continue as Marcus Fenix, a reluctant war hero and leader of Delta Squad, six months after the events of Gears of War. In Gears of War 2 the last cities on Sera are sinking, swallowed by a new Locust threat from below. A massive counterattack is humanity’s last hope for survival, making Gears of War 2 the bigger, better and more badass sequel that Gears of War fans have waited for!
Gears of War 2 on Xbox 360 Features:
- Unparalleled gameplay: Gears of War 2 takes the award-winning gameplay of the original and improves upon it in every way. The genre-defining cover system is further refined in Gears of War 2, making the stop-and-pop gameplay more intuitive. Dynamic cover is given new meaning in Gears of War 2 as downed opponents can be picked up and used as shields. The intimate violence of the battlefield is heightened when combatants engage in chainsaw duels. Destructible environments and vicious new finishing moves also add to the over-the-top Gears of War 2 experience.
- Jaw-dropping visuals: Gears of War 2 on Xbox 360 continues to raise the graphics bar through its breathtaking visual effects, made possible through advances in Unreal Engine 3.
- Engaging experience: Gears of War 2 on Xbox 360 pulls you in and won’t let go, with deep and immersive storytelling that sees players connect with humanity’s battle for survival on a personal level. In Gears of War 2, players move through a story that introduces new characters and sheds light on the histories of familiar ones.
- Expanded cooperative play: Team up with a friend to fight through the harrowing story of Delta Squad in Gears of War 2's enhanced campaign mode, now featuring drop-in/drop-out gameplay, as well as individual player difficulty options. Or recruit four friends to battle in Gears of War 2's new mode Horde, where you’ll fight together to fend off a seemingly endless onslaught of Locust forces to attain the highest score!
- Fierce and varied competitive multiplayer: Gears of War 2 features eight distinct multiplayer modes, including the new Wingman, Guardian and Submission modes, where up to 10 Gears 2 players choose a side and pit their courage and battlefield mettle directly against others. In addition, multiplayer bots are a new addition for Gears of War 2 designed to sharpen your skills offline or to fill out your online private matches on Xbox LIVE.
- Party system and skill-based online matchmaking: New to Gears of War 2 is a party system that allows players to form a full or partial team with friends and continue together from match to match without the need to reform after each game. Gears of War 2 also supports a skill-based online matchmaking system, powered by TrueSkill, which groups Gears of War 2 players of similar skill level together in competitive Xbox Live multiplayer matches.
Mark Gears up...
In last year's Halo 3 review, we said that big sci-fi series follow specific rules – notably, that the second instalment needs to up the ante in every conceivable way. Gears of War 2, with its tagline of Bigger, Better and More Badass, is looking like a perfect example of that philosophy.
Gears 1 was arguably the Xbox 360's first killer app – and, some would say, the flagship title for the entire next-gen era. Its enduring success is there for all to see. With the Master Chief kickin' Covenant ass last year and Halo 3 Recon on the late-2009 horizon, sci-fi shooters are clearly a core part of the console's popularity.
The sequel to the most innovative, atmospheric and gorgeously gritty-looking action game on Xbox 360. No pressure.
Gears, however, is still a little bit special. The deliciously shiny eyecandy of Unreal Engine 3 and Epic's dystopian 'destroyed beauty' artwork are yet to be bettered even two years on, and the duck-and-cover gunplay and roadie run continue to be the genre's best examples, regardless of the past 24 month's countless copycats. Gears' other innovation, meanwhile, the timed button pressing of active reload, has been all-but overlooked by the rest of the industry.
So, with Gears of War 2, we have the sequel to the most innovative, atmospheric and gorgeously gritty-looking action game on Xbox 360. No pressure.
Gears of War 2 begins six months after the end of Gears of War. The Lightmass Bomb has been detonated beneath the planet's crust, but instead of delivering humanity a victory against the subterranean Locust Horde, it's merely bought them some time. Oh, and it's caused the Imulsion at the planet's core to vaporise, spreading a fatal airborne disease labelled 'rust-lung' across the human populous. Talk about one step forwards, two steps back...
Into this world-going-to-hell once again charge Delta Squad, lead by dynamic armoured duo Dominic Santiago, and main character Marcus Fenix. Musclebound linebackers they may look like, but in Gears of War 2 we're promised far more emotional resonance with the pair. The story for Gears of War 2 may at its forefront feature the war against the re-emerging Locust, but the battle to save Jacinto Plateau will encompass more backstory on Marcus, and the affecting love story of Dom's search for his missing wife.
Don't expect Gears of War 2 to go all soppy on us, though. This is still amongst the most macho games around, laced with enough gore, guns and testosterone-fuelled one-liners to please the most avid Arnie fan.
Laced with enough gore, guns and testosterone-fuelled one-liners to please the most avid Arnie fan.
In keeping with its mantra, Gears of War 2 promises far bigger firefights than the first Gears, which featured three of four enemies on-screen at once. This time, the Locust Horde will actually be a horde, and gunplay will boast a scale and franticness designed to make you feel like you're really in the middle of terrible and epic global lizard-bashing.
Destructible scenery will help, as will all-new enemies, from kamikaze exploding Ticker monsters to giant flying tentacled things that look like Sentinels from The Matrix, and the Predator-like uber-boss, Skorge. Even the enormous missile-clad Brumack, which we barely saw in Gears 1, will be a regularly appearing enemy in Gears of War 2. More badass, indeed. As a frenetic co-op experience, Gears of War 2 could be unparalleled.
Multiplayer however might have a steeper hill to climb – not least because the Xbox Live landscape looks very different now to how it did when Gears 1 launched. Can Gears of War 2, with its 5v5 gametypes, compete with the larger-scale Halo and CoD? Perhaps so; this is a more tense, stealthy affair, requiring far greater teamwork. And the new high-scoring Horde mode, where you and four friends have to survive against waves of insatiable Locust, might even give a game like Left 4 Dead a run for its money.
Preview by: Mark 'Chainsaw' Scott
Preview Published: 23.10.08
Rollercoaster... of blood
Microsoft were slated for not launching the 360 with a new Halo, but the announcement of Gears of War from Unreal creators Epic Games took the edge off – and when it arrived, doubters were silenced by its HD destroyed beauty and genre-redefining stop-and-pop gameplay.
Still, if you'd told us back in 2005 that Halo 3 would end up as only the console's third biggest shooter, we'd've thought you'd breathed in too much Imulsion. But that's what's happened; first CoD4 bagged last year's People's Choice award, and now Gears of War 2 has arrived to blow away the shooter competition… and arguably every other game this year, too.
Gears of War 2 has one simple goal according to Epic's Lead Designer Cliff Bleszinski: to deliver 'the rollercoaster ride of your life.' And a rollercoaster it is; of blood, gore and chainsaw-revving, adrenaline-pumping action.
Scurry from cover in self-preserving panic or fight a button-hammering chainsaw duel - it's typical Gears, taken to spectacular, nerve-battering new heights.
Indeed, Gears of War 2's Campaign often feels like the best action movie ever played. Not only has the cover system been tweaked, letting you snap to cover from further away, but weapon and enemy quotas have been intelligently upped, featuring more imposing Locust and heavier artillery with which to take them out.
From the very first chapter, Gears of War 2 hurls hulking Brumaks, Corpsers, Boomers and more your way, all of which fall beneath the mighty new gatling gun Mulcher and miniature airstrike Mortar. Meanwhile, explosive scuttling Tickers, flamethrower-equipped foes and enormous tentacled Reavers send you scurrying from cover in sheer self-preserving panic. You can play strategically too, setting grenades as mines and backing off to watch the fireworks – or find yourself in a deadly button-hammering chainsaw duel. It's typical Gears, taken to spectacular, nerve-battering new heights.
Bigger, better and more badass
The already amazing visuals have been improved as well in Gears of War 2, with a palette of planet surface forest vistas, crumbling warzones, eerie caverns and pulsating sinew, all played out to an electric pace of pulse-pounding set pieces, gritty duck-and-cover combat and wisecracking fratboy machismo. Gears of War 2 is every bit the bigger, better, more badass game that Epic promised.
Yet it's the subtleties of Gears of War 2's story (yep, there actually is one this time around) that most surprise. Occasionally amidst the gore and gunplay comes a radio conversation to let you catch your breath, or a genuinely emotive bittersweet cutscene, making you realise what Fenix and co. are fighting for. At other times you'll find notes carrying a near-conspiratorial undercurrent, hinting at a huge plot twist that never comes – but which fans can expect in the inevitable sequel.
Horde is Gears of War 2's surprise hit, guaranteed to have you returning time and again to improve your place on the online leaderboards.
Don't let that fool you, though; Gears of War 2 is far more satisfying than the first game. It's around a third longer, and just when you think it's about to end, it throws a whole extra act your way. And the grand finale, while not conclusive in narrative terms, feels far more accomplished than Gears 1's abrupt anticlimax.
For fans, experiencing Gears of War 2 in co-op will be a must. But that doesn't necessarily mean Campaign. Horde is a new five-player co-operative mode, requiring teamwork and skill to make it through 50 terrifying waves of increasingly powerful Locust. It's Gears of War 2's surprise hit, guaranteed to have you returning time and again to improve your place on the online leaderboards.
More traditional multiplayer modes have also been fleshed out in Gears of War 2. Matchmaking is in (though currently pretty slow), the player count has been raised from eight to ten per game, and new gametypes have been added. The highlights are Wingman; where five teams of two battle it out, and Submission, which is basically Capture The Flag with a Gears of War 2 twist: the flag is a man, wielding a shotgun, and he won't be taken without a fight.
Is Gears of War 2 the console's biggest shooter then? Absolutely – it's a stonking sequel that makes the original look like a tech demo, with an almost unrelenting pace that makes every other 2008 release feel positively pedestrian by comparison. Gears of War 2 delivers on its rollercoaster remit, ten-out-of-tenfold. Gaming simply doesn't get better than this.
- All the greatness of Gears of War. On Steroids.
- Some surprisingly moving moments in the story, too.
- Co-op Campaign is compelling, Horde is scintillating, multiplayer is even better than before.
- All the conventions of Gears of War: if you didn't enjoy Gears 1, this won't win you over.
- The vehicle section is annoying.
- Online matchmaking can be a bit... slooooooooow.
According to Eurogamer, players can expect new weapons, dynamic environments and plenty of "additional combat systems" when they finally get their hands of Gears of War 3 next year.
Translations of a Russian preview of the game reveal lots of juicy details, the best of which is probably a new grenade launcher which fires burrowing explosives that dig through the ground before popping up to surprise enemies lurking behind cover.
This will be joined by a double-barrel shotgun that fires both shells at once, and a single-shot rifle that does increasing amounts of damage when you chain hits on the same target.
Melee fatalities are also being boosted, with knife attacks and a variety of handy neck-breakers. You'll also be able to strap explosives to "meat shield" hostages before lobbing them at the enemy, and you'll get a handful of new grenades to play with, including smoke and napalm offerings.
Dynamic environments will include levels that erupt with earthquakes as you move through them, and flooding from bursting riverbanks.
Gears of War 3 will be hitting the UK on 8th April 2011, and will be an Xbox 360 exclusive.
If you're eagerly awaiting the Gears of War movie, we have some good news and some bad news for you. The good news is that recent rumours that the film had been cancelled are false. The bad news is that the movie is being entirely reimagined, and series creator Cliff Bleszinski has explained that there are three reasons behind that: it was too expensive, was rated R, and "contained no love story".
Speaking at last week's Comic-Con, Bleszinski said that the films new direction will aim for something "more like District 9" and less like 2012. Apparently, the scope of the film got a bit out of hand while director Len Wiseman, best known for the guilty pleasure Die Hard 4.0 was attached to the project. He left in April, leaving a script for a $100 million epic, and that proved hard to get studios interested in.
The project is now looking for a new writer and director, but we're guessing they have no shortage of applicants. Sure wish they'd get back to us, however - our idea was pretty fantastic.
With the movie still a good way off, isn't it nice to remember that Gears of War 3 will be landing on the Xbox 360 on April 8th next year? Love story to be confirmed.
With the Locust's underground tunnels mapped and the Lightmass Bomb detonated, that should have been the end of the nightmare. But it was only the beginning...
There was an unforeseen consequence of Delta Squad's dangerous, decisive attack on the heart of Locust civilisation. For while the Lightmass Bomb did indeed obliterate much of the enemy's subterranean forces effecting an end to hostilities for a brief period of time it also caused the Imulsion at the planet's core to vaporise; and a fatal disease called Rust Lung to spread amongst the war-ravaged population.
And then, sixth months after detonationre-emergence. The cities of Tollen and Montevado are suddenly and mysteriously sucked into the ground. And then, the unthinkable: the last human haven, the once-impenetrable Jacinto Plateau, is showing signs of being next.
Humanity's last stand is at hand, as COG forces mobilise for an all-out counteroffensive to end the conflict once and for all. For Marcus Fenix, his friend Dominic Santiago, and their fellow members of Delta Squad, that means uncovering secrets that will lead to truths they dare not find. Nothing has prepared them for the nightmare which awaits...
Bulletstorm challenge modes unveiled
Gears of War 3 isn't the only game Epic's working on at the moment. The developer is also working with People Can Fly to create Bulletstorm, a blisteringly over-the-top shooter with a sci-fi setting and some truly crazy guns. We've already heard about the Skillshot system, which sees the game rewarding players for inventive mayhem, and now Epic's spilling the beans on the new challenge modes, too.
According to Eurogamer, the challenge modes run alongside the main campaign. Only two offerings have been revealed so far, but they both sound like classics. Echo sees the developer carving the game's campaign levels up into little sections and tasking you with blasting through them as quickly as possible while earning as many points as possible, while a new Anarchy mode is a Horde-styled game, which has up to four players facing off against wave after wave of oncoming AI. The twist, however, is that you have to despatch your enemies in imaginative ways to bring on the next wave, so that means finishing them off with a group whip attack, or all piling on the gunfire at once for a combo-kill.
Sounds good? It's not long until release now. Bulletstorm will be hitting the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 on February 22, 2011. Bam.
Everyone knows that Epic brilliantly brutal Gears of War series is headed into the land of motion control with a Kinect instalment, and a recent report on Kotaku has suggested some interesting new details.
According to the news website, Gears of War Kinect will be an on-rails shooter, with the game taking control of movement in order to let players handle the headshots and chainsawing. Grisly!
The website reporting that an early demo of the game used key moments from Gears of War 2 to demonstrate the tech and mechanics, but it not yet certain whether that was just to give a sense of how the game will play. The one thing you can be sure of is that Epic don make bad looking games, so expect something that will blow you away.
Gears of War Kinect was rumoured to be unveiled at last year Video Game Awards in December, but it didn make it onstage. According to Eurogamer, Epic filed a trademark for Gears of War: Exile last month, meaning we may now know what the finished game is called.
Then there the little matter of Gears of War III, of course. It due out form the Xbox 360 towards the end of this year, and it looks absolutely unmissable.
Mike Capps, president of gaming giant Epic, has been bigging up Gears of War 3 in an interview with VG247, claiming its the biggest and best game the company has ever made.
"I really proud of it", he says, rather obviously. "It a much longer campaign than Gears of War 2. We had some extra time on the product that we weren planning for, so we got to put it through its paces and really polish it."
That extra time came about when the game was bumped from April this year to September, a move Capp explains was offered to them by Microsoft even though the game was already on schedule. The news made fans howl at the time, but it sounds like the additional development time will pay off as it gave the team time to come up with new ways to play such as the new Beast Mode. Described by Capp as "my very favourite way to play Gears right now", Beast Mode switches the game around and has you playing as the monsters, trying to kill the humans.
We can also expect a higher polygon count, more sophisticated lighting and for the first time in the series full four-player co-op.
We've already started injecting steroids into our necks in anticipation, and you'll be able to join in when Gears of War 3 stomps onto Xbox 360 on September 20th.
With the Gears of War trilogy now behind him, creator Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinski has spoken out about the direction the series took. Those bull-necked ultra-macho tough nut soldiers we followed for so long weren't supposed to be quite so brutishly masculine, it seems.
"If I were to pass Gears off to another studio, and they came back with a pitch of having a double-edged chainsaw, and the characters are more buff, and now you can pull off someone's head and s*** down their neck, and they had a character that makes Cole look tame... I would look at them and say no, you're going in the exact wrong direction," the B-man told Penny Arcade.
Instead, he always imagined evolving the characters in "more of a Christopher Nolan way". The goal was to emulate Steven Spielberg's World War 2 drama Band of Brothers rather than the steroid-injected cartoon heroics of Predator. "That's one of the things that, in hindsight, if I could go back and change I would," mused B-Diddy.
But fans responded to the bulked-up heroes and their action movie banter, so the developers gave the fans what they wanted, even though Cliff believes "a little bit of heart got lost" in doing so.
"It became a negative stereotype in this generation," he said of Gears' violent bombast. "I want to be smarter about that in the future."
Gears of War 2 Preview (23/10/2008)
Gears of War 2 Preview…
Gears of War 2 Review (11/11/2008)
Rollercoaster... of blood
Microsoft were slated for not launching the See more about ‘Gears of War 2 Review’
New Gears of War 3 details emerge…
Gears of War movie heads back to the drawing board…
With the Locust's underground tunnels mapped and the Lightmass Bomb detonated, that should have been the end of the nightmare.…
Gears of War 3 isn't the only game Epic's working on at the moment...…
Everyone knows that Epic brilliantly brutal Gears of War series is headed into the land of motion control with a Kinect instalment, and a recent report on Kotaku has suggested some interesting new det…
Mike Capps, president of gaming giant Epic, has been bigging up Gears of War 3 in an interview with VG247, claiming its the biggest and best game the company has ever made.…
With the Gears of War trilogy now behind him, creator Cliff "Cliffy B" Bleszinski has spoken out about the direction the series took. Those bull-necked ultra-macho tough nut soldiers we followed for s…
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