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Gears of War 2 (X360)

Gears of War 2 (X360)

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Gears Of War was one of the most successful games ever released on the Xbox 360, so the sequel has been hotly awaited for two years by a very large portion of the gaming community. Marcus Fenix and Dom return in a game with so much intense, exhilarating action that it easily rates as one of the best games I have played this year.

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With regards to the Artificial Intelligence (AI), it is very impressive. If you play single player, you will notice Dom performing all kinds of great combat maneuvours. Equally so, downed enemies can be raised again by their colleagues, so you need to be sure to be on the ball and kill them first time around. In GOW2 the team mate commands have been removed and I am glad to see the AI is much better to compensate for the lack of these commands (which never worked right anyway).

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Multiplayer is once again an integral part of the package and Xbox Live will be buzzing for the next year or more thanks to the superlative game modes. There are 15 maps, five of these are downloadable remakes from GOW1. These remakes are basically graphically enhanced versions of the originals and they play just as well. The remaining 10 are newly developed designs ranging from Hail to the incredible Avalanche.

The only downside I could find during testing was slight lag which means that the person hosting the games has a minor advantage. Once again it isn’t a game breaker, but it can be noticeable and somewhat annoying to be taken out due to lag (and no I actually don’t suck at the game for a change).

Matchmaking has changed for the better in that players are now matched according to their rank and once paired up they vote on the game-type and the map to play. Game modes are well catered for, with Submission, Guardian, King Of The Hill and Wingman now being available (two of these were only available on the PC before). Guardian is a steroid induced Deathmatch style mode which gives one player control over the rest of the teams ability to respawn. If he dies then once his teammates die, game over. Submission puts an AI controlled Stranded character in the center of the map, he is the flag. You have to get him back to the capture point with the key twist that he doesn’t really want to go. It’s a brilliant implementation of a creative and intensely entertaining game mode.

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If this wasn’t enough then Epic have included a cooperative mode called Horde mode. You are faced with up to 30 enemies depending on how many of the 5 possible player slots are filled. Once you start there are 50 challenging levels to battle through and the enemies level up health, AI and damage every 10 waves. This is an extremely addictive game play mode and you can not only play against AI foes but also your friends.  Every map has a leaderboard and some people with the highest scores have beaten the levels without the team dying at all. I feel very inadequate!

Gears Of War 2 is set to be one of the biggest sellers for the Christmas period and deservedly so, I feel it is the Playstation 3 equivalent of the equally impressive Resistance 2 and will appeal to both single player gamers and those who lose whole weekends online hitting the leaderboards. It is very impressive and is only slightly marred by some minor lag issues and texture popin.

Gameplay
95/100
Carnage and then some. Very addictive and fun on your own and with friends.
Graphics
95/100
Some of the nicest I have seen to date on the 360. Some texture popin and minor frame rate glitches lower the overall rating.
Audio
92/100
Jablonsky delivers with an epic score. Great voice acting from the main characters.
Value
97/100
Xbox live will be busy for the next year. if you like multiplayer then look no further.
Need Help Making A Business Plan Overall
(Not an Average)
95/100
Top notch. Marcus and Dom FTW. One of the video game industries all time classic partnerships.

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About Author

Stuart Davidson

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