Gears of War 2

Gears of War 2 Review for Xbox 360

On: Xbox 360

Sequel to the multi-million selling stop-and-pop action title from the creators of Unreal Tournament.

Review Verdict Read Review
10Out of 10
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It's hard to describe the feeling you'll get after finishing Epic Games' highly anticipated Gears of War 2. For the best part of ten hours you'll have had barely a moment's peace as Marcus and co pummel the seemingly unstoppable Locust army with a ridiculous amount of lead. The more sedate moments would be the climax in lesser games, with the many show stopping set pieces and events setting a new bar for interactive entertainment. Following the most successful original Xbox 360 game of all time was going to be hard, and it seems Epic wanted to make sure no one was left disappointed.

Gears 2 is like every summer blockbuster of note rolled into one extraordinary package. We don't want to spoil anything for you (believe us - it's hard not to talk about some of the amazing moments in the game), but it's safe to say that you'll be playing through levels that could only have come from the minds of geniuses or the mentally deranged. Apart from one short sequence that didn't excite as much as we'd have liked, every chapter in the five-act campaign delivers the goods and makes putting down the controller incredibly hard.

As Marcus Fenix you'll be slamming into cover in Sera's cities and towns, underground caves, on board boats and more. There's a tonne of variety too, including some insanely cool on-rails sections and sweet rides. The final level is both a stunning sight to behold and what every Gears fan has wanted to do since the first game. If you thought you'd seen all the Gears series had to offer, think again - you ain't seen nothing yet. There are moments in Gears 2 that you'll want to replay immediately, make you grin from ear to ear and stare at your TV in disbelief.

In co-op the experience is even better (and you have someone to turn to with an 'OMG' expression on your face when all Hell breaks loose), with team-work being essential on the harder difficulty settings. It's still only two players, but we never felt that we wanted there to be more despite our initial disappointment that four player co-op wasn't supported. As before, there's local split-screen, system link and online support, so unless you really have no friends at all, you should be able to play through Gears 2 how it was intended. And, in a new addition, each player will be able to pick their own difficulty - adjusting weapon damage and hit points accordingly.

You'll face enemies both big and small

You'll face enemies both big and small

Of course, the core gameplay remains as it was, with Marcus being more or less a moving target with 'shoot me' stuck to his back unless he's in cover. Controls are as they were, but moving into and out of cover seems tighter than in the original and there are fewer occasions where he doesn't do what you expect. Your melee attacks (including the trusty chainsaw) are mapped to B, active reload (enabling you to reload quicker and gain slight weapon perks) is once again RB, and you can interact with various switches and revive fallen buddies with X. If you didn't like the gameplay in the first game you won't like it here, but existing fans will love the subtle tweaks to the cover system.

More significant are the new weapons you'll find in Gears 2, the introduction of portable cover and the assortment of new enemies. Our favourite new weapon is the flame thrower, able to turn Locust into glowing bags of meat, with longer range being awarded for a successful active reload. Enemies carrying the weapon are incredibly dangerous, but target their fuel tank and they explode with quite a bang. Something else that you don't want to be stood next to for too long is a Ticker. Unless you shoot them from a distance they'll run up and explode, more than likely taking you to near death - a position from which you can crawl to safety in the hope that a team mate will rescue you, or else you'll die.

Other new enemies include Locust riding on horse-sized mounts and a brutish flail-swinging monstrosity that carries a shield. You can actually pick up and use this guy's shield, giving you portable cover, although you're limited to your pistol weapon when doing so. Still, it adds a new element to the gameplay and makes you feel like even more of a bad ass. If there are no shields lying around, fear not, as you can grab a fallen enemy and use him as a meat shield - although it seems that the Locust don't care all that much about the safety of their own kind.

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User Comments

bencrosaby's Avatar


Originally Posted by hahahahahahaha
i love how the same guy reviewed gears and resistance 2. he gave resistance an 8 and gears a 10. can u say MOTHER ****ING BIASED DUMB ASS STUPID PIECE OF sh*t WHO DOESNT HAVE A PS3 AND JUST THREW A # DOWN
They're two completely different games. Jesus. GoW2 is a 3rd person shooter, Resistance2 is a 1st person shooter.

Not everyone shares the same opinion, you crying sony fanboy baby.

EDIT: Oh, his post got deleted... :/ :p
Posted 21:54 on 10 November 2008
Mark_S's Avatar


Finished the campaign on Sunday. Definitely an eleventy-twelve.
Posted 10:16 on 10 November 2008
i own both's Avatar
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i own both

good game but its an expansion pack basically. i give it a solid 9. tom your reaching buddy. dont believe me, then take away horde and what do you have gow 1.5 but thats not a bad, the 1st 1 rocked and so does this 1. ps3 has R2 and 360 has gow 2, so to each his own......
Posted 04:27 on 08 November 2008
Putty Man's Avatar
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Putty Man

Nice review Tom. Really looking forward to getting stuck into this next week.
Posted 10:47 on 07 November 2008
Anonymous's Avatar
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Looks awesome , feel sorry for PS3 owners again........
Posted 16:00 on 06 November 2008
GAMEZILLA_50000's Avatar


Good Review but i think this game deserves a 11 out of 10!
Posted 01:31 on 06 November 2008
El-Dev's Avatar


Videogamer give a big 360 exclusive a 10/10? Goodness gracious what a shocker.
Posted 22:05 on 04 November 2008
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Posted 20:33 on 04 November 2008
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Posted 20:29 on 04 November 2008
bencrosaby's Avatar


"You have got to be a jack a$$ to compare GOW2 with LBP (bencrosaby)"
Well you must be a jack a$$ too then, for not reading my post properly. ;)
Posted 15:32 on 04 November 2008
dav2612's Avatar

dav2612@ GDOG

Originally Posted by GDOG
You have got to be a jack a$$ to compare GOW2 with LBP (bencrosaby).

He wasn't comparing them, he was giving an example of the sorts of comments that will come after this review.
Posted 13:41 on 04 November 2008
xboxlive's Avatar


just cant wait for it to come in the post to me,any ways good reviwe tom
Posted 11:40 on 04 November 2008
Mark_S's Avatar


A ten, Tom? Not an Eleveny-nine? :-p
Posted 10:19 on 04 November 2008
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Cousin Walter

I don't have any will to play GOW2 as it really isn't my type of thing and i don't own a 360 but to be fair to it does look pretty bang tidy. As for LBP its not really for 10 and unders but designed for everyone 9 seems a fair score at the moment because no one knows how well the game will take off online, if it does do well online it may well deserve a 10 in the future. While i would have given bioshock a 10 on ps3 just as it got on the 360 i don't think this site is nesscarily a 360 biased site i just think that the games come out first on the 360 so they spunk their load over them and have none left for the ps3 versions.
Posted 09:06 on 04 November 2008
GDOG's Avatar
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I must say although i own both consoles I have come to notice that 85 percent of the multi-patform games seem to either run better on the 360 or look slightly better (not to mention that they play instantly and save me hard drive space). So although i must admit i honestly would love the ps3 to be doing better in terms of games (which i am sure it will in the future) i have to go with buying all my multi-platform games for my 360. I only buy playstation exclusives (which it sucks to say are very few) like MGS4 and Drake's Forutne. Don't really like first person shooters (with the exception of COD4) they make me feel sick.
Posted 22:59 on 03 November 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Gears of War 2
Out of 10
Gears of War 2
  • Hugely improved multiplayer
  • The most intense combat we've ever played
  • Jaw dropping visuals
  • Hardly a dull moment
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 07/11/2008
Platform: Xbox 360
Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-10
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 706 97
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