I know this game has been out for a few months now, but I only just finished it, after purchasing it as an early Christmas present for myself. The first Gears of War, along with the zombie killing spree that was Dead Rising really showed what the fairly new XBOX 360 was capable of. Both of those games raised the bar and when we got Bioshock, Halo 3 and Rainbow Six Vegas the bar stayed there.
I got the Collector’s Edition, which came complete with a neato hardcover art book and DVD. I love all that behind the scenes stuff, which is why I never buy pirate DVDs. That, and because they’re illegal.
Playing as the grizzled Marcus Fenix, as you did in the first one you’re followed by his three squad mates for the most part. Basically, there’s been a huge war going on for 15 years with the Locusts, creatures who erupted from the ground on E-Day to destroy humanity. They pretty much succeeded.
From the outset it was obvious that this sequel was emphasising the war in the title. Cut scenes with more depth, a few new characters, nice weapons like the flamethrower. All these elements give the game a larger scope than the first one, which just followed Delta Squad, but didn’t give any screen time to the bigger events at play. Here, we have meetings with other squads, more cities and civilians and just more of a blockbuster feel. The graphics are the same as the first one, ie, brilliant. The only minor glitch was the annoying error that meant I went unnoticed a few times when crawling on the floor, asking for my teammates to revive me, but thanks to frequent checkpoints it wasn’t as frustrating as it could’ve been.
There’s also a greater variety in level design, especially when you’re riding massive tanks, unstable boats, flying beasts or even a huge Brumak in the last cavernous level. And two levels set inside animal gizzards is just a ghastly plus. I even watched the end credits sequence that surely ran of for at least 10 minutes. That puts Hollywood to shame. There were a lot of people involved in Epic’s most famous game, and now, franchise. I even counted three different languages in the thank-yous from the massive team. After all that, I kind of expected an extra scene. (Iron Man has spoilt me and now I expect post-credit scenes in everything I watch!) Well, there was something extra. Not a scene, but just a voice-over, of Adam Fenix. He’s Marcus Fenix’s long-lost father and doesn’t seem pleased about the humans sinking the city of Jacinto in a desperate attempt to beat the underground Locust horde. A nice seat up for Gears of War 3 to be sure. Trailer below.