Gears of War 2 provides bloody delight

connor gerdes

Slaughtering and roadie-running its way to the top of the most-played list on Xbox Live, Gears of War 2 by Epic Games is, well, an epic game. Marcus Fenix and crew return with more guttural-speak than Christian Bale’s Batman, but who would have it any other way?

Much like the last outing, Gears 2 delivers the ultimate experience in co-op play. Running through the amazing campaign, a buddy is able join via split-screen or through Xbox Live seamlessly. The story is dark, gruesome, and depressing, while the action is nonstop and a pure adrenaline rush.

The environments are captivating, pushing the 360’s capabilities to the limit, as players are taken through a sorbet of destruction: from foot-soldiering to tank piloting, to locust-squid flying, to riding a giant humanoid locust with cannons mounted on its shoulders.
Epic has made Delta Squad an icon in gaming, surpassing the cookie-cutter space marine group of thugs they look like, instead showing the very human side of war.

The multiplayer competitive side of the game, while rather expansive, falls short when compared to the campaign. It’s original Gears all over again, with a nerfed shotgun and new maps.
There’s enough game modes and environments to keep things interesting for a time, but at best it’s a nice alternative if you’re losing interest in Call of Duty or Halo. After a few hours of playing, it becomes obvious how repetitive the round based action is.

Gears is in dire need of a new weapon system, rushing for the sniper rifle/torque bow/’nades round after round is simply not fun, neither is waiting around a corner with an insta-kill chainsaw revved––the most common tactics. Overall, it’s best played in small bursts, rather than all night sessions.

Horde mode, on the other hand, is a blast. You and up to five others fight to survive wave after wave of a locust swarm, only it’s ridiculously hard.
Tactics and teamwork are essential: setting up a perimeter with shields, coordinating how to cover someone who needs to get more ammo, reviving a downed comrade––constantly communicating to try to gain an edge. Props if you get past wave 20 (of 50), it’s that difficult, and fun enough that you’ll keep grinding away at it.