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[Official] Gears of War 2

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.KICK    3

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Game has gone GOLD!

Game Info:

Release Date: Worldwide - November 7th

Developers: Epic Games

Publishers: Microsoft Game Studios

Genre: Third-person shooter, Tactical shooter

Mode: Single player, System Link, Multiplayer, Cooperative modes

Hands-On:

Eurogamer -

Hands On - 29th September

by Christian Donlan

Gears of War is what people who don't play videogames probably think all videogames look like. Meaty, rubble-strewn and dribbling splatter, its soldiers-versus-lizards storyline suggests entertainment of the direct-to-DVD kind, where characters are little more than a means to an explosion and the only brains are smeared across a wall.

That's how Gears looks, certainly, but how it plays is a different matter. Rather than an eye-bleeding Unreal-alike or an all-night pass to the local offal house, Epic's game moves at its own distinctive pace. Each level is a carefully-constructed maze of cover that will confound anyone bent on mindless blasting, while the weapon-set balances every strength with an equal and opposite weakness elsewhere.

With a template this solid, you could almost forgive the developers for approaching a follow-up as nothing more than a chance to churn out a handful of new maps and the odd one-liner to keep things moving along. But having had a chance to play through the first act of November's sequel, it seems the Gears team are a long way from running out of new ideas.

Don't worry, though: if all you're after is fresh heads to stamp on, you'll be fine. In fact, Gears 2 now even provides you with three different flavours of fatality mapped to the face buttons, along with the option to use a downed enemy as portable cover. But for those who want more, the team has also made attempts to vary the action and, in multiplayer, even experiment.

Gears 2 takes place six months after the first game, and the narrative focuses on the fight to save the city of Jacinto from destruction at the hands of the Locust. On paper, the first act kicks off with a fire-fight through an inner-city hospital before speeding on, past a suitably neo-Nazi battle speech, to mountainous countryside, where you're on a mission to take the fight underground to the Locust's enclave.

In reality this simple agenda quickly becomes a whirlwind of clever variation, with the tempo and objectives switching from one minute to the next. It's clear that aside from the prettiness and increased on-screen body count it's the pacing that has gone through the biggest overhaul this time around, and the results so far are extremely promising.

The initial hospital battle is an exercise in controlled chaos, swinging from higher-ground sniping points to more intimate slaughter on the fly as I bumble through the corridors, playing co-op with a nice fellow who manages to hide his annoyance as I stop to scribble down notes in the middle of crucial battles. (Controversially, Gears 2 will retain the two-player co-op limit of the original.)

While there are scripted moments, such as conveniently placed explosive barrels or the brilliantly comic sight of two locusts popping up from behind a reception desk, the environments are just large enough to allow for experimentation in most encounters. Courtyard corridors are built for flanking and there are a range of cover options available at every turn, with each choice subtly altering the way the carnage plays out.

On top of this are the moments of sheer adrenaline, which show that Epic's approach to set-pieces has been significantly refined. Whether it's the downed Raven crashing through a skylight, or the electricity cutting out as Locusts start to converge from all sides and the ammo runs low, you are never entirely sure what's around the next corner - and the variety never descends into gimmickry.

Although the action remains fairly small scale - a bloodied mess of chainsawed torsos, close-combat gunfire, and kerb-stomping - there's a greater sense of the war going on around you this time, from the Reavers strafing ground troops glimpsed out of the dirty glass of the hospital windows, to a brief trip through rubble-choked streets, while distant - and not so distant - chaos erupts all around.

And when the game moves into the wilderness, this sense of scale increases. While the shift from plodding through corridors to riding on the backs of huge mobile assault derricks seems like you might be in for little more than a clockwork crawl through an elaborate shooting gallery, the mechanics are well hidden for the most part and you rarely feel like you're being unfairly railroaded.

There are boarding Locusts to fight off in the confined space of the derrick itself alongside occasional pit-stops to dismount while an NPC patches a fault, regularly shunting events back to more traditional control-and-flank gameplay. Elsewhere, enemies - previously restricted to a mere handful on screen at any time - swarm out of the ground in dizzying numbers. To make up for the lack of Brumak action in the original game, Gears 2 is now practically tripping over them as they break through the trees and topple boulders.

Continues at Eurogamer..

Images:

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Environments:

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Art Work:

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Videos: (All HD unless stated)

E3:

E3 2008 Trailer

Behind the Scenes: E3 Reception

E3 2008: Gameplay Montage

Developer Diaries:

Developer Diary: Touch the Sound

Developer Diary 2: Every Gun Has A Story

Developer Diary 3: Delta Blues

Developer Diary 4: Enter the Horde

Developer Diary: Never Fight Alone

Other Videos:

Top 5 Deadliest Locusts

Warning - Spoiler below

Game Achievements:

Green as Grass Train the rook (any difficulty) 10

It's a Trap! Story progression in Act 1, Chapter 2 10

Escort Service Story progression in Act 1, Chapter 4 10

Girl About Town Story progression in Act 1, Chapter 6 10

That Sinking Feeling Story progression in Act 2, Chapter 4 10

Freebaird! Story progression in Act 2, Chapter 5 10

Heartbroken Story progression in Act 2, Chapter 6 10

Longitude and Attitude Story progression in Act 3, Chapter 3 10

Tanks for the Memories Story progression in Act 3, Chapter 4 10

Water Sports Story progression in Act 3, Chapter 6 10

There's a Time for Us Story progression in Act 4, Chapter 2 10

Better Wrapped in Beacon Story progression in Act 4, Chapter 3 10

Have Fun Storming the Castle Story progression in Act 4, Chapter 6 10

And the Horse You Rode in On Story progression in Act 5, Chapter 1 10

You Are the Support, Son Story progression in Act 5, Chapter 2 10

Brumak Rodeo Story progression in Act 5, Chapter 4 10

Does This Look Infected to You? Story progression in Act 5, Chapter 5 10

Tourist of Duty Complete all campaign acts on Casual Difficulty 25

Guerilla Tactician Complete all campaign acts on Normal Difficulty 50

Artist of War Complete all campaign acts on Hardcore Difficulty 75

Suicide Missionary Complete all campaign acts on Insane Difficulty 150

Collector Recover 5 collectibles (any difficulty) 5

Pack Rat Recover 20 collectibles (any difficulty) 15

Completionist Recover all 41 collectibles (any difficulty) 30

One-Night Stand Complete 1 chapter in co-op on any difficulty (Marcus or Dom) 10

Open Relationship Complete 10 chapters in co-op on any difficulty (Marcus or Dom) 30

Friends with Benefits Complete all acts in co-op on any difficulty (Marcus or Dom) 50

Once More, With Feeling Perform 30 perfect active reloads (any mode) 10

Takes a Licking Melee 30 Tickers (any mode) 30

Organ Grinder Kill 30 enemies with a cover mounted Mulcher (any mode) 10

Shock and Awe Kill 30 enemies with the heavy Mortar (any mode) 10

Said the Spider to the Fly Kill 10 enemies with a planted grenade (any mode) 10

Crowd Control Melee 10 enemies down with the Boomshield equipped (any mode) 10

Smells Like Victory Kill 30 enemies with the Scorcher Flamethrower (any mode) 10

Variety Is the Spice of Death Kill an enemy with every weapon in the game (any mode) 30

Seriously 2.0 Kill 100,000 enemies (any mode) 50

Standing Here, Beside Myself Win 3 matches of Wingman (public) 10

Beat the Meatflag Capture 10 meatflags in Submission (public) 10

It's Good to be the King Win 10 rounds of Guardian as the leader (public) 10

You Go Ahead, I'll Be Fine Win three matches of King of the Hill (public) 10

Back to Basic Successfully complete the 5 lessons of multiplayer Training Grounds 10

Party Like It's 1999 Play 1999 rounds of multiplayer (any mode) 30

Around the World, Again Win a multiplayer match on each map (any mode) 30

Dirty, Dirty Horde Survive the first 10 waves of Horde (any difficulty, any map) 20

Hoard the Horde Survive all 50 waves of Horde (any difficulty, any map) 30

Links:

Official Gears of War 2 Site

Eurogamer Game Page

GameTrailers Game Page

IGN Game Page

GameSpot Game Page

Thanks to DrunknMunky for help on making this topic.

New Videos added :)

Edited by .KICK

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Sethos    271

Looks better than Killzone 2 ...

Oh no I didn't! :o

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Andrew    2,861

woot, official gears 2 topic :woot:

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spacer    988

Gears 1 is probably my favorite Xbox360 game so far. Everything I've seen or read about Gears 2 has made it seem like it will be 100x better is every aspect. November'08 can't get here fast enough. I can't wait.

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habnad    1

Thanks guys for the huge amount of info! (Y)

Yeah, I'm buying it now. :laugh: Or unfortunately, waiting 2 days for it as a gift.

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Ayepecks    117

IMO, Killzone 2 looks better graphically from what I've seen of each. But I'm looking forward to this more because I know what to expect -- great gameplay :D

Can't wait :) That hospital level looks sweet.

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+Audioboxer    2,876

Never finished Gears of War cause I didn't get gripped to the story, but I had a blast playing it.

Good gameplay mechanics.

Will be getting this for sure (Y)

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spenser.d    1,100

I should probably go ahead and preorder this from my local Gamestop. I'll be picking it up at midnight if the place holds a midnight launch (I'd bet that it will too).

-Spenser

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Brad.    7
Looks better than Killzone 2 ...

Oh no I didn't! :o

woot, official gears 2 topic :woot:
Gears 1 is probably my favorite Xbox360 game so far. Everything I've seen or read about Gears 2 has made it seem like it will be 100x better is every aspect. November'08 can't get here fast enough. I can't wait.

Yup, yup, yup!

Nice thread! Can't wait for Gears 2

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Venomous    0

Great Thread!

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+Mystic    10

Still a month away, this one is definitely going to be a tough wait.

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Razorwing    640

I imagine that casual is gonna be hard aswell LOL not to mention the other difficulty modes

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Ayepecks    117
Never finished Gears of War cause I didn't get gripped to the story, but I had a blast playing it.

Good gameplay mechanics.

Will be getting this for sure (Y)

Go finish it! It's just as much of a blast from beginning to end, but the story is definitely lacking (something they said they've addressed in 2) ;)

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Massiveterra    27

I was really looking forward to a 4-player co-op mode. What ever happened with that? Oh well. 2's better than none. Can't wait.

Go finish it! It's just as much of a blast from beginning to end, but the story is definitely lacking (something they said they've addressed in 2) ;)

yup! they got this guy to write the story

Edited by Massiveterra

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PiracyX    11
Looks better than Killzone 2 ...

Oh no I didn't! :o

Agreed (Y)

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Matrix XII    38

I've been trying to control my hype for this game, but now I can hardly take it anymore :p

Looks awesome!!

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habnad    1

Now that I've had a chance to watch the videos... :woot:

I want. I want NOW.

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DELTETHISACCOUNT    0
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Words... cannot begin... to explain...

the badass...

Waiting for this game is more nerve-wracking than waiting for Halo 2 and 3 combined...

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DR3AMxCATCHER    9

I need it now.

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Massiveterra    27
Now that I've had a chance to watch the videos... :woot:

I want. I want NOW.

it's too bad that it didn't end up having the 4 player co-op. we could have had bad ass sessions

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Sethos    271
it's too bad that it didn't end up having the 4 player co-op. we could have had bad ass sessions

Well, you can have some bad ass sessions shooting at each other instead :)

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habnad    1
it's too bad that it didn't end up having the 4 player co-op. we could have had bad ass sessions

Yeah, that would have worked for a little while. Remember the last 4 player game and how that didnt work out??? LOL

Well, you can have some bad ass sessions shooting at each other instead :)

Nah just shooting at you will do. :yes:

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Sethos    271

Yeah, too bad I won't be buying the game - Never liked the first GoW so I doubt this will be any better.

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habnad    1
Yeah, too bad I won't be buying the game - Never liked the first GoW so I doubt this will be any better.

I just played the first one yesterday. It's got me hooked. I dont know how I missed it, but then again, I've only had my 360 for less than a year and it wasn't on my list of games to check out.

Too bad you're not picking it up.

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