Gears of War 2 Review
developer: Epic Games
|ESRB rating: M
release date: Nov 07, 08
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All of Epic's efforts to improve the Unreal Engine 3 (to Unreal Engine 3.5) probably won't make a lot of difference to anyone who's playing. Adding new features of the engine such as better looking water surfaces, enhanced soft-body physics and the ability to render more character models on screen, are fine additions to the technology. Other than that, the technical changes won't make much of an impact on gameplay. Still, it should be said that Gears of War 2 is one of the best-looking games we witnessed this year. After playing Gears of War 2, virtually every other title on the market looks like something the cat just dragged in.
Alone at last.
Seriously, this is what next-generation gaming is all about, people. Nearly every level in Gears of War 2 has been meticulously crafted and the character models are, once again, brilliantly animated. With the highly detailed scenery and plenty of gory action going on screen, the framerate remains smooth throughout the entire game. The captivating cinematic atmosphere was seasoned with high quality sound effects and an excellent soundtrack, worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster. Well, given the top notch production values, we expect nothing less.
Epic also brought a rather satisfying multiplayer portion this time around. Experiencing the main campaign in co-op is something players shouldn't miss out on. The multiplayer, in general, comes in richer form than in the first GoW game. You and your friends can try out 15 maps, each one imaginatively designed to warrant dynamic matches. Online multiplayer isn't without lag, so I'm afraid that might get on your nerves more than anything else in this game. Regardless, the multiplayer is a great improvement.
While Gears of War 2 bears significant improvements over the series' debut, it doesn't quite go the distance. The visuals are spectacular, the sound is awesome, the weapons and combat features are great and there's enough new stuff to keep both fans and newbies happy. Nonetheless, in terms of gameplay, Gears of War 2 hasn't moved the series forward yet, which should undoubtedly be their goal for the next installment.
8.9 Very Good
An epic, unforgettable experience, incredible atmosphere, one of the best shooters out there;
Not quite there yet in terms of innovation, a few AI bugs and intermittently glitchy driving sequences.
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