Microsoft Game Studios Gears of War 2

The must-own title of this holiday season for Xbox 360 gamers.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Microsoft Game Studios Gears of War 2
  • Microsoft Game Studios Gears of War 2
  • Microsoft Game Studios Gears of War 2
  • Microsoft Game Studios Gears of War 2
  • Expert Rating

    5.00 / 5

Pros

  • Massive battles, superior graphics and sound, smooth controls, addictive multiplayer game types (especially Horde)

Cons

  • Loose plot threads, more unanswered questions, some scenarios don't quite pay off

Bottom Line

The good news is that Gears of War 2 significantly improves upon the original game in every possible way, addressing several key shortcomings that kept its predecessor from being a bona-fide classic. Gears of War 2 is a terrific action game that deservedly resides in the upper echelon of console shooters, and is the best shooter to hit the Xbox 360 so far this year. Action gamers, you've found your next obsession.

Would you buy this?

World War

Overall, I was most impressed by the game's grand sense of scale. At certain climactic moments, I battled what seemed like hundreds of enemy Locust creatures using gatling guns, tanks and a walking behemoth called the Brumak (and yes, this particular battle is well worth the wait). Variety is definitely a strong point in Gears of War 2. Though the battles are generally several times larger than those in the original game, other moments lean more towards survival horror. The highlight here was a suspenseful romp through an eerie abandoned research base, and though the tension stayed high, the final payoff left me feeling underwhelmed and somewhat baffled. Still, scenarios such as these keep the game from being a numbing, constant assault on the senses.

Choosing my favourite moment in the game turned out to be easy. The most memorable sequence involves a show-stopping boss battle with a certain aquatic adversary that I will not name here. When you see it, you'll know and trust me, it's everything you could ask for in a boss fight.

Grindhouse

I'm not going to beat around the bush — Gears of War 2 is a damned fine action game. It's a much longer, more satisfying experience than the original game, too, clocking in at a solid 10 to 12 hours. Though the pacing drags a bit towards the end, I still found myself glued to the controller for hours at a time.

Of course, the long-term attraction will be the game's many multiplayer modes, from online and split-screen cooperative play to five-on-five team battles over Xbox Live. The matchmaking interface and party options are vastly superior to the first game, and manage to come within striking distance of Halo 3's high water mark. After playing all the multiplayer modes extensively, I feel that the standout is definitely Horde, a cooperative mode where five players team up against endless waves of increasingly powerful Locust foes. Because there are 50 waves of enemies, and players are scored following each round, it's likely that Horde will encourage the same kind of high-score obsession not seen since Geometry Wars.

What Is It Good For?

Granted, Gears 2 isn't the smartest shooter on the market, but for now, it is probably the must-own title of this holiday season for Xbox 360 gamers. If you loved the first one, then strap in and get ready to continue the battle. Even if you missed the first chapter, there's enough guts and glory here to have you gaming long into the night. Either way, I'll see you online — I'll be the one pumping your ass full of bullets.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?