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More on Gears of War 2 Multiplayer

Let's talk modes and maps as we discuss what's up with Gears of War 2's multiplayer side.

New copies of the game will come with 15 maps.
Last time we spoke, I told you a bit about the campaign in Gears of War 2. Now, the free world (or, at least, the game critics and other writers who were invited to a review event for the game a couple of weeks back) is allowed to talk about the multiplayer side of the game. So here we go:

Gears of War 2 has multiplayer in it.

Boom. Shocking, I know. But Epic's upcoming sequel has the ability for players to play against each other in a variety of modes, new and old. The game now supports up to 10 players per match, as opposed to the previous game's limit of eight. You can easily organize groups with your friends using the new "what's up" menu, which is only a bumper press away when you're at a menu screen. Personally, I think they should have labelled it "What's Happening!!" or maybe even "What's Happening Now!!" But with the Shirley Hemphill license being so tough to get these days, I suppose "what's up" works, too.

Once you've determined the upness of your friends and pulled them together into a party, you can jump into a variety of new and old modes. Stuff like Warzone, Execution, and Annex return from the original game, and King of the Hill is here, too. Assassination mode has become a new-but-similar mode called Guardian. As long as your team's leader is alive in Guardian games, your team can respawn at will. But once the leader's down, the team has to eradicate the opposition with no respawns. Additionally, the direction of the enemy leader shows up on your screen. Balancing between defending the leader and charging to take down the opposing one seems interesting--though every time I played, everyone just took off in the direction of the leader.

The "meatflag" mode you've heard about in the past is called Submission. It's essentially a one-flag CTF game, except the flag is a dude. You'll have to subdue the guy--a Stranded, in case you were wondering--before you can pick him up using the game's new human shield mechanic and slowly drag him over to a capture point. If he's dropped, he'll need to be beaten up a bit before he can be retaken. Once you've got the Stranded at the capture point, you'll have to hold him there for a bit to win the round.

Wingman is another good, new mode. Here, the players are broken up into two-man groups based on character models. So the Marcuses are a team, the Dizzys are a team, and so on. The rules aren't much different than a standard team deathmatch, but working with one other person makes sticking together much more important. Aside from Horde, Wingman probably ended up being my favorite mode.

Aside from the raised player count and the new modes, you'll probably feel right at home in Gears 2's adversarial multiplayer. Or, at least, you will once you get used to the maps. Some of the levels feel bigger, which works well with the two additional players that can be running around. These larger levels are also very cool in the game's all-new Horde mode.

If you're a Limited Edition kind of girl, this golden gun awaits.
If you've been following the game's development, you probably already know that Horde is a five-player co-op mode that takes place on the game's multiplayer maps. The setup pits your team against 50 waves of Locust attacks, each one tougher than the last. Though the difficulty ramps up with more than just simple numbers. Every 10 waves, the number and variety of enemies you're facing resets, but the enemies themselves become more resilient, more accurate, and more deadly. Even when playing on the game's lowest difficulty setting, the last set of waves can be really tough. Also, you aren't given much time to scavenge for more ammo between waves, yet you'll need to get out and do exactly that before probably scurrying back to whatever corner of the map you and your crew have decided to fortify.

The Horde mode can be played on any of the game's multiplayer maps. You'll get 15 such maps when you buy the game, though they're broken up in a somewhat troubling way.

Ten new maps will be included on the disc. Their names are...

  • Avalanche
  • Blood Drive
  • Day One
  • Hail
  • Jacinto
  • Pavillion
  • River
  • Ruins
  • Security
  • Stasis

Some of the levels take cues from the areas you'll see in the campaign mode. Others, like Avalanche, have unique looks that don't immediately map to sections of the story. Oh, right, hey, the troubling part. The other five maps aren't on the disc, but instead come to you via a download code that's included with the manual when you buy the game. These maps make up the Flashback Map Pack and give you updated takes on five maps from the previous game. They are...

  • Canals
  • Gridlock
  • Mansion
  • Subway
  • Tyro Station

Though Microsoft certainly isn't spinning things this way, the downloadable nature of these maps seems like an attempt to make buying the game new more attractive than picking up a used copy or renting it. Instead, they're being billed as a "special gift to fans." To me, that comes off about as well as saying "SPECIAL XTREME FAN BONUS: THE GAME FUNCTIONS AS INTENDED AND DOESN'T CRASH (USUALLY)!" 15 total maps sounds like the right number to have, and painting some of them as being "for the fans" is pretty silly.

As you might expect, the Avalanche map occasionally has avalanches on it.
Also "for the fans?"" The ability to pay extra for a limited edition version of the game to get access to a gold version of the game's most-famous weapon, the Lancer. Once I was in a game, I was too busy shooting and/or cutting fools to notice the color of my weapon, so it's kind of a silly addition... but I will admit that before every single match, I quickly tapped the LB button to switch over to the gold version of the Lancer. Another gold weapon--the Hammerburst rifle--will be available to players who buy the game at a participating retailer's midnight launch event on November 7.

But let's try not to get bogged down by how the information Microsoft is giving out is worded. The main thing to know is that if you liked the multiplayer in Gears of War, you'll continue to like it in Gears of War 2. If the adversarial stuff isn't your bag, you're still in luck, because Horde mode ably uses those same maps to present an interesting co-operative addition to the game. And, of course, you can still play through the campaign mode co-operatively, as well. All things considered, it's an expertly crafted package that should live up to the grand expectations of the Gears-loving masses this November.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
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Posted by Jeff
New copies of the game will come with 15 maps.
Last time we spoke, I told you a bit about the campaign in Gears of War 2. Now, the free world (or, at least, the game critics and other writers who were invited to a review event for the game a couple of weeks back) is allowed to talk about the multiplayer side of the game. So here we go:

Gears of War 2 has multiplayer in it.

Boom. Shocking, I know. But Epic's upcoming sequel has the ability for players to play against each other in a variety of modes, new and old. The game now supports up to 10 players per match, as opposed to the previous game's limit of eight. You can easily organize groups with your friends using the new "what's up" menu, which is only a bumper press away when you're at a menu screen. Personally, I think they should have labelled it "What's Happening!!" or maybe even "What's Happening Now!!" But with the Shirley Hemphill license being so tough to get these days, I suppose "what's up" works, too.

Once you've determined the upness of your friends and pulled them together into a party, you can jump into a variety of new and old modes. Stuff like Warzone, Execution, and Annex return from the original game, and King of the Hill is here, too. Assassination mode has become a new-but-similar mode called Guardian. As long as your team's leader is alive in Guardian games, your team can respawn at will. But once the leader's down, the team has to eradicate the opposition with no respawns. Additionally, the direction of the enemy leader shows up on your screen. Balancing between defending the leader and charging to take down the opposing one seems interesting--though every time I played, everyone just took off in the direction of the leader.

The "meatflag" mode you've heard about in the past is called Submission. It's essentially a one-flag CTF game, except the flag is a dude. You'll have to subdue the guy--a Stranded, in case you were wondering--before you can pick him up using the game's new human shield mechanic and slowly drag him over to a capture point. If he's dropped, he'll need to be beaten up a bit before he can be retaken. Once you've got the Stranded at the capture point, you'll have to hold him there for a bit to win the round.

Wingman is another good, new mode. Here, the players are broken up into two-man groups based on character models. So the Marcuses are a team, the Dizzys are a team, and so on. The rules aren't much different than a standard team deathmatch, but working with one other person makes sticking together much more important. Aside from Horde, Wingman probably ended up being my favorite mode.

Aside from the raised player count and the new modes, you'll probably feel right at home in Gears 2's adversarial multiplayer. Or, at least, you will once you get used to the maps. Some of the levels feel bigger, which works well with the two additional players that can be running around. These larger levels are also very cool in the game's all-new Horde mode.

If you're a Limited Edition kind of girl, this golden gun awaits.
If you've been following the game's development, you probably already know that Horde is a five-player co-op mode that takes place on the game's multiplayer maps. The setup pits your team against 50 waves of Locust attacks, each one tougher than the last. Though the difficulty ramps up with more than just simple numbers. Every 10 waves, the number and variety of enemies you're facing resets, but the enemies themselves become more resilient, more accurate, and more deadly. Even when playing on the game's lowest difficulty setting, the last set of waves can be really tough. Also, you aren't given much time to scavenge for more ammo between waves, yet you'll need to get out and do exactly that before probably scurrying back to whatever corner of the map you and your crew have decided to fortify.

The Horde mode can be played on any of the game's multiplayer maps. You'll get 15 such maps when you buy the game, though they're broken up in a somewhat troubling way.

Ten new maps will be included on the disc. Their names are...

  • Avalanche
  • Blood Drive
  • Day One
  • Hail
  • Jacinto
  • Pavillion
  • River
  • Ruins
  • Security
  • Stasis

Some of the levels take cues from the areas you'll see in the campaign mode. Others, like Avalanche, have unique looks that don't immediately map to sections of the story. Oh, right, hey, the troubling part. The other five maps aren't on the disc, but instead come to you via a download code that's included with the manual when you buy the game. These maps make up the Flashback Map Pack and give you updated takes on five maps from the previous game. They are...

  • Canals
  • Gridlock
  • Mansion
  • Subway
  • Tyro Station

Though Microsoft certainly isn't spinning things this way, the downloadable nature of these maps seems like an attempt to make buying the game new more attractive than picking up a used copy or renting it. Instead, they're being billed as a "special gift to fans." To me, that comes off about as well as saying "SPECIAL XTREME FAN BONUS: THE GAME FUNCTIONS AS INTENDED AND DOESN'T CRASH (USUALLY)!" 15 total maps sounds like the right number to have, and painting some of them as being "for the fans" is pretty silly.

As you might expect, the Avalanche map occasionally has avalanches on it.
Also "for the fans?"" The ability to pay extra for a limited edition version of the game to get access to a gold version of the game's most-famous weapon, the Lancer. Once I was in a game, I was too busy shooting and/or cutting fools to notice the color of my weapon, so it's kind of a silly addition... but I will admit that before every single match, I quickly tapped the LB button to switch over to the gold version of the Lancer. Another gold weapon--the Hammerburst rifle--will be available to players who buy the game at a participating retailer's midnight launch event on November 7.

But let's try not to get bogged down by how the information Microsoft is giving out is worded. The main thing to know is that if you liked the multiplayer in Gears of War, you'll continue to like it in Gears of War 2. If the adversarial stuff isn't your bag, you're still in luck, because Horde mode ably uses those same maps to present an interesting co-operative addition to the game. And, of course, you can still play through the campaign mode co-operatively, as well. All things considered, it's an expertly crafted package that should live up to the grand expectations of the Gears-loving masses this November.
Posted by CaleShepard

hmmm lets pretend that  "guardian" isn't an exact ripoff of TEAM LEADER

Posted by MasterSplinter

Gears 2 is going to be epic (pun-intended). I really won't be surprised if it sells considerably close to the amount of copies Halo 3 sold. I can't wait to play horde mode. I have a feeling that is going to be the most addictive for my friends and myself.

Posted by ParadoxControl

if there is only one shooter I buy this year, its going to be this one. 

Posted by BlackHawk3422

cant wait its gunna beat the crap out of halo as did the 1st one

Posted by rohanspear345

i liked the lancer that wasnt fully gold better

Posted by TomboDemon

im a golden gun type of girl!
i cant wait for this madness,
horde is gunna be awesome
and the lively maps like avalanche with interactive environments that can kill you will be an interesting addition

Posted by MisterSpiffy

I really wish that Fuel Depot was in this one.

Posted by Scarbearer

Personally, I'm looking forward to Horde mode the most.  Just me, 4 good friends, some beer, some pretzels, and a never ending battle to wage.  Rock on!

Posted by TomboDemon

@Blackhawk
no need to be a player hater

Posted by GalvanizedNails

lol i was thinking the same thing CaleShepherd. all multiplayer games are extremely dervitive in their gametypes though so i dont have a problem with it. sounds like a quality game if you just want a slightly updated multiplayer and better campaign. Horde mode sounds awesome, and ill probaly spend most of my multiplayer time on gears 2 playing that.

Posted by BlackHawk3422

@tombo i aint id just prefir manly men cutting ppl in half with golden chainsaw guns while 50 waves of enemies come at u and 4 of your friends headshotting and gernading the enmies more then batteling the flood again =(

Posted by HoNgKoNgPh0oEy

Going to have to agree with Cale Shepard. I dont know why game sites are acting like guardian is new but taking the greatest game types from other games is not a bad idea in anyway. Im hyped for gears 2 very hyped but I would like to see my gold lancer in action. Until then Far Cry 2 or Fallout 3 can hold me off still cant decide which one to get.

Posted by TomA

I'm so pumped!

Posted by DJ_Lae

Gold weapons sound great. Now I'll be able to spot people who like wasting money with no trouble at all.

Posted by ManMadeGod

Gears 2 is really shaping up to be a great game.

Horde mode sounds crazy but I wonder if it works well on all 15 maps.

Posted by Pibo47

@ MisterSpiffy, i agree 100%. Fuel Depot was my favorite map.....to bad its not in this one....i hope they add it in DLC.

Posted by TwoOneFive

hmm i was hoping for a video why is there no good videos of multiplayer gameplay!?

Posted by joslop500

OMG, cant wait for this!!!

Posted by VoodooTerror
Posted by Cheapoz

I think the DLC Maps are a great idea, from a publishers perspective. Sure the marketing is wonky but the idea is right, gets people to buy the game new!    

Posted by AlexB

Why Subway, Mansion, and Tyro Station? Wouldn't you want good maps like Fuel Depot, Raven Down, or something other than those three. Oh well, still excited to start on Seriously 2.0.

Posted by MKHavoc

I can't wait to play Horde mode.

Posted by natetodamax

I didn't need to read this article to still be pumped for this game.

Posted by MeatSim

I have already been sold on this game for a while , it does not look like they screwed it up so this game is gonna be awesome like the first Gears.

Posted by Hexogen

The multiplayer sounds great. I never tried the first game's multiplayer so hopefully I'll get addicted to this one.

Posted by Zuul

HORDE MODE FTW!!!

Posted by Media_Master

THATS A BIG , SHINY GUN

Posted by gripman

Me and most of my friends are looking forward to play Gears 2. It's going to be pro.

Posted by TomboDemon

to the people who say "thank god i can spot the n00bs with the gold lancer"
since when has gears been a game where you cant see your opponent when they are in the open?

Posted by SpikeDelight

Fuel Depot was a shitty map. It negated the intimate nature of the game to allow "designated snipers" (read: fags) to shoot you from across the map. As if it's not bad enough that I was looking for some guy who ran off behind something, my head just popped because some sniper shot me from afar. That map went against everything Gears of War stood for and I hated it for that reason.

Posted by xXLunchBox87Xx

MIDNIGHT LAUNCH BABY!!!!!!!!!!
Im going to have to call off work. I think im feeling sick already.

Posted by SpikeDelight

The noobs aren't the ones with the bright gold Lancers sticking out like a sore thumb, they're the ones trying to blend in with the other enemies. Having a bright gold weapon shows off your skills because it's challenging the snipers and mortar guys to try and hit you! You're too fucking good for those scrubs to shoot you! That's why you use a gold Lancer, people!

Posted by TheWorstPlayerEver

I'm super stoked for this game. Can't wait till it comes out

Posted by Ninja_Tino

I didn't play Gears' multiplayer THAT much but did have a good time. Can see myself playing this one a lot more though. Also, campaign is supposed to be bigger and better, so really can't wait.

Posted by mordecaix7

I'm really looking forward to this!  Although since I normally play with my cousin multiplayer may not end up being something I play much.  His favorite map is the Fuel Depot so he may end up sticking to Gears 1 unless his clan and friends move to Gears 2.

Posted by daniel_beck_90

Gears of War 2 has multiplayer in it.

Boom. Shocking, I know

LOL Jeff I love your sense of humor

Posted by MyGirlHatesBox

Can we unlock the golden gun and hammer?  I hope I get to go to the gears release party again and get it for free before its even out. What a night that was wow the messages I got.

Posted by Vcize

I hope they release some more originals as DLC later.  I'm gonna miss Rooftops and War machine :\

Still, getting the ones we're getting, plus all the new ones, is awesome.

And no offense Jeff, but did you actually play the multiplayer or just read a couple bullet points off of information that was announced months ago?  There's no impressions here, just a list of things we've all known for weeks or even months.

The closest thing to an impression is "Gears 1 fans will feel right at home in Gears 2", which is just a blanket statement that doesn't seem to really hold merit considering that most people that played Gears 1 multiplayer past the 5 minute mark think that Gears 2's multiplayer plays COMPLETELY differently, given the death of the shotgun shuffle style multiplayer fights and the increased reliance on hanging back with the lancer.  What were your experiences with this, how bullet slowdown effected gameplay, how the new net-code was working compared to the old gltichy code, etc?

Is it true that the hammer of dawn now has ammo?  If so, what does an active reload with the HoD do?

And for the love of god, will SOMEONE please tell us what an active reload with the longshot does now in multiplayer now that it is no longer a one-hit down?

Posted by lightwarrior179

I am getting this for damn sure.

Posted by NAZAR3NE
TomboDemon
on Oct. 15, 2008
to the people who say "thank god i can spot the n00bs with the gold lancer"
since when has gears been a game where you cant see your opponent when they are in the open?

Yea, I'll see you weather you have a plated weapon or not... And then I'll rip you to shreds with gold teeth! Also, wonky marketing? I don't know where you guys are coming from but I don't think any of it is silly or wonky.
Posted by ManlyBeast

Can't wait for this game.

Posted by guttershark

sooooo stoked!

Posted by consolecowboy

Im worried that if my friends don't get a new copy I will be playing on only ten of the maps regardless as to what I buy.  I hope they end up making it downloadable.  F-ing wallet pirates!!!

Posted by giyanks22

Looks awesome.

Posted by TheHT
5, 2008
"Gold weapons sound great. Now I'll be able to spot people who like wasting money with no trouble at all." DJ_Lae

AND THEN KILL THEM!!! >:D
Posted by Alynablaze

I'm a Limited Edition kind of girl...yeah.

Posted by Linz8736

Lets just hope theres no text from the Qu'ran Hidden in Gears 2 cuz I'm gonna go postal if this fucker gets delayed!!!

Posted by Grilledcheez

This game's going to be amazing...8 person chat should be out around then too so we don't have to deal with the prepubescent kids either haha

Posted by _Rorschach_

GOTY FOR SURE!

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