Sera is once again under attack from beneath the crust of the planet as the Locust begin launching an all-out assault against Jacinto, the last bastion of humanity and the COG forces. Against this backdrop the scenes of the newest Gears of War game play out in spectacular fashion – this time around there are more characters, vehicles, enemies, and an infinitely more compelling campaign mode.
Locales, Vehicles, and Storyline – Oh My!
The campaign is one of the most easily distinguishable improvements that Gears of War 2 displays over its vaunted predecessor. The storyline regarding Dom’s missing wife, Maria, has been greatly fleshed out. Plenty of cutscenes are included in this installation of the series, given the campaign a much more cinematic feel than last time – and to great effect.
The plot-line is much more developed and lengthy, lending Gears of War 2 a much more epic feel, no pun intended.
The vehicle action has been greatly improved as well, including a mission where you and the entire COG army man heavy equipment derricks and drive them over rough terrain toward a nearby village and entry point to the Locust Caves. The Chimera is also piloted in another mission, even going so far as to drive over frozen lakes while mortar and bombs hail down on your armored vehicle from above. Where the first Gears of War was very much a gun-n-run adventure, the sequel features a great deal more variety in the style of the action.
From Jacinto base to the inner bowels of Locust controlled rock worm – Gears of War 2 takes the campaign in a completely new and wider direction that will be appreciated by all fans of the series.
Introducing Horde Mode
Perhaps the best new feature available to players in Gears of War 2 is what is known as Horde Mode, essentially a game of survival where you and four other players can take on up to fifty waves of Locust in a grueling challenge simply to live through to see the end. After each round, all dead COG team-mates are resurrected to help stave off the next wave, which grows in number and increases in difficulty.
This mode can be played online with a pick-up group, with your Xbox Live friends, or even solo in perhaps one of the most impossible challenges in gaming.
A Few Notes and The Final Word
Between the new additions to the plotline, an upgraded and tweaked engine, and even chainsaw battles between two players holding lancers – Gears of War 2 is sure to please any fan of the original game and will easily be a staple in the Xbox Live experience for a long time to come. Rated M for a great deal of violence and coarse language, Gears of War 2 oozes machismo and action and can be considered one of the premium titles for the Xbox 360.