Review by weapon_d00d816
"Adds instead of Re-invents"
Gears of War 2 was one of the most anticipated sequals since Halo 2. Although it is fun, it does not feel like a full-fledged sequal. Gears of War 2 adds to its predecessor instead of reinventing the game, leading to a "been there, done that" situation with almost all of the gameplay. Gears of War 1 was a groundbreaking game filled with innovation; Gears of War 2 does not provide anything new on the same scale. A new campaign, some new weapons, some new multiplayer maps, etc. Almost on the verge of being an expansion rather than a sequal. Gears 2 fixed some of the problems of the first game, but added more problems. Gears of War 2 just does not provide what I (and many others) were expecting.
Overall Gameplay: 8 / 10
Even though it is the EXACT same gameplay style as the first game, it's still great and in stark contrast to other shooter-genre games. The one-button cover system is still flawless. Ease of use, quickly available in combat, and adds realism to the combat. The cinema-style action also adds a great touch to the combat. But because it is still the same as Gears 1, there are no new challenges. It provides too much familiarity, which in turn leads to the non-sequal feel of the game.
Campaign: 8.5 / 10
Like a summer blockbuster, the cinema-style campaign is jampacked with action. Crazy-new enemies, interesting levels, and a storyline with a lot more weight behind it. Drop-in, drop-out cooperative campaign is a blast with friends. The boss battles aren't very definative, but are epic in every way. There are no other ways to describe how fun the campaign is. Though it would be a 10 if it weren't for some key problems. It lacks the urban, city-in-ruins levels that defined the first game. Over half of the game is underground in some way or another. It also contains more akward experiences that really distract from the game's core. Aside from being short, the campaign is the highlight of this game.
This is what really hits the game hard. The multiplayer is terribly broken. The tactical cover system is almost never used. There are no cover-to-cover assault rifle firefights, only shotgun rushes that utterly break the gameplay. There is a vicious cycle that destroys the cover system: The assault rifles are considerably weak, forcing players to resort to the more powerful alternative (the shotgun). And since the rifles are so weak, you aren't forced to take cover so the cover system is useless. Aside from the multiplayer gameplay being incredibly unlike the way it was designed, many glitches also distract from the gameplay. Overall, the online multiplayer is a failed attempt. There is no need for tactics or cover; the basic core gameplay of the Gears series.
Graphics, Visuals, and Details: 10/10
Undeniably the best graphics out of any console game so far. The animations are smooth and fluid. Although some of the minor details like empty shell effects and other minor weapon details were ignored, everything else is amazing.
Overall, Gears of War 2 was disappointing because of how remarkably similar it is to it's predecessor. It didn't provide a new game experience, it gave a "been-there-done-that" situation. Although it has many problems (90% of them in multiplayer), it is still a must play for the 360, even if the online mode has been destroyed.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 03/18/09
Game Release: Gears of War 2 (US, 11/07/08)
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