Saw, saw who’s who’s car!

Gears of War was of course a huge hit. When this game was announced, with the support of the Unreal engine, attention was immediately drawn to the project. The second part has now been in the shops for a few days and I can tell you that it is also a great success. When I went to my local game farmer last week, I asked them if they had the game in yet. They told me that they already had it in, but that Microsoft had strict controls on not selling the game too early. Of course that sucks, but after a year a few extra days of waiting are of course not that much. On Friday, November 7, 2008, I finally had the game that I didn’t intend to buy in the first place. So in the end I did and I regret it even less than I did with the first part. In fact; it’s one of the better purchases I’ve made this year. Of all the shooters I’ve played in storyline or multiplayer this year, Gears of War 2 is definitely the best of the bunch. I don’t think even Call of Duty 5 can top this; at least not when it comes to the graphics or the very good storyline. Let me explain why…

War really is war now; emotions are very important

First of all I have to draw your attention to the credits of the game. Watch this one out, because you get to process quite a surprise, without revealing too many spoilers, but what matters… Back to the review. The game is really beautifully finished. In part one we still had a lot to do with jagged edges here and there. In part two you don’t see any of that anymore and that is fortunately a good plus. In addition, if you see all this on a Full HD TV with HDMI cable, the game should immediately get a ten in terms of graphics. I’m not going to do this because of a few minor beauty flaws in the game. For example, GOW 2 sometimes suffers from a single frame drop, a few glitches are still present and I will discuss a disadvantage regarding the gameplay later in this review. Everything else you see is just very brutal to look at. From the characters, to the weapons and the clatter of weapons and much more. Add to that a reasonable number of new enemies and you have a nice set of good qualities. The game has also been made easier to offer the somewhat novice gamer (also called “noob” -ed.) an accessible game. So that was fun for me, because at least now I can proudly say that I’ve seen everything, really everything, of the game. Emotions are also very important, and they are sometimes portrayed horribly well in the short cutscenes. About half way through the game, you encounter a heavily emotional moment involving Marcus’ friend Dominic Santiago. I won’t tell you what, but it will give you a lump in your throat. The story just left a good impression on me. The in-game war is really at its peak right now. At one point there is also a very impressive speech with varying images. Marcus and Dom are still good friends, but the war sometimes puts their friendship to the test. The story just captivated me from start to finish and that of course leaves a good impression on the reviewers. I assume that most will agree with me. And it is precisely moments like these that ensure that a fictional, self-invented war can be depicted very realistically. Nevertheless, that’s important anyway, otherwise you can’t really do anything with a game like this. This is not the case, because Gears of War 2 offers a much better variety than the first part when it comes to the storyline. After all, you can’t keep popping and popping forever; And that’s a new plus for the game.

Gameplay beyond excellent

You don’t get a moment’s rest in GOW 2 during the storyline, and of course also the multiplayer. From the moment you train the newbie in the game, the action really starts to rampage. Especially on insane (you unlock this mode after the storyline on every level) it really takes a lot of work. This makes the gameplay more than adequate; and I haven’t even mentioned the new fashions. First of all, GOW 2 contains a series of training matches that you can view from two sides. One: You can relearn the controls a bit to get you started well in the game. Two: It’s a very good preparation for multiplayer. Then we have all the well-known modes from part I back in it and the latest, quite original, Horde mode is added to that. Horde is a mode that you can play with five players online in a kind of co-op setting. You have a total of fifty levels and with each level you always get a bit of extra pressure on the shoulders of your teammates and yourself. As I said, you don’t get a moment of rest. Horde is a fantastic mode and a very good addition to the gameplay within this genre. Unfortunately I am less satisfied with the multiplayer.

It is quite difficult to come up with a good match and the hosts do not always cooperate. However, I must admit that this could undoubtedly be solved by an update soon, but for now this patch is not yet available, albeit that Epic is working on it. It is very frustrating when you consider that there is also an achievement in the game where you have to get 100,000 kills in each mode, including multiplayer. You read that right: This is the infamous seriously achievement version 2.0. Of course there are those driven people who have this within a few months, but for the novices it will be quite a job to get this done. It is wise to do this in single player or in Horde as you then have 100 or 200 kills in a fairly short time. It doesn’t take away that the MP has quite a few snags, but I have to say that all those snags are very minor and that GOW 2 is indeed played a lot. I have also encountered minor AI problems. This one is relatively stupid and your other comrades sometimes want to shoot against a wall or take no cover at all so that you can find them again and fix them up. The constant pumping action doesn’t always offer good dexterity, especially if you’re playing for the higher degrees in the game. However, this is so little noticeable, unless you start paying attention after reading the review, that you just keep playing with the game. The minor glitches are therefore forgiven Epic, but I still have to change a few things about the final verdict.

brutal; the shooter of the year

Gears of War 2 is simply brutal and that’s why I already dare to declare it the shooter of the year. Now that year is almost over, but I think this game will last for years to come. Because Epic has managed to keep the entire single player, and part multiplayer, at a high level in terms of speed, this game deserves a very good rating. It’s better than the first part, the story is better developed and the problems that were in the original are almost invisible. Fortunately, I could breathe with peace of mind as the game is also easily accessible for the novices if you play on casual, but also the advanced are served with the hardcore and insane degrees to play on. Every shooter enthusiast should get the game and test it at least once. Everything has been worked out down to the last detail. I can also proudly report that the sound has undergone a major improvement. There is a deeper and fuller sound to the sound of the weapons. All in all, this makes for quite an experience that makes you work so hard that you don’t even have the time to relax. If you want to enjoy it, you should just buy this game and play it completely broken. And don’t forget to watch the end credits for the surprise, which may lead to more Gears of War in the future. We will of course keep you informed of the latest developments through the news. I would say: Have fun!

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