Gears of War 2 Hit-List - Come check it out!

#1 Posted by infestedandy (266 posts) -

Gears of War 2: Hit-list

As with its predecessor; Gears 2 is a fantastic achievement with its share of immortal highs and limitless lows. Never has there been a game I’ve been so enthusiastic to love and hate, but it begged for a hit-list to be written. In the spirit of the first hit-list I’ve categorized all of the positives and negatives, spiced them up, and positioned them into three categories for easy scrolling. Interested in the new weapons and my brief opinion? Take a stab at the top half. Wondering about the good parts of the game? Meet the middle. And if Gears has got you down, frustrated, and angry you’ll appreciate the latter half. Really.

Just in case you aren’t a fan of spoilers; there’s blood in this game. There also may be more throughout so be wary!

 

The Armory

This section describes some of the main changes of the weapons and gives a positive/negative outlook on them.

New Weapons

Because Cliffy B would never hear the end of it.

So we have enhanced visuals, upgraded animations, and augmented executions. What better way to utilize these attributes than add more weapons of pure bliss? These weapons make their first appearance and certainly not their last. Every weapon is handy in its own way and while the Hammerburst and smoke grenade aren’t new weapons, the mechanics have changed and therefore in my eyes they’re both new weapons (and they’re awesome).

Boom Shield

Committed to excellence until smoke is implemented.

What could be better than having cover to take with you in your travels? This hulking piece of… stuff can be deployed anywhere and even thrust into the ground so you can fire your larger weapons.  The Boom shield is an excellent team weapon as you can walk in and take the brunt of the punishment while your buddies lay down support fire. Also, while wielding the thing you can actually take more damage than normal (you go down in five melee swings). Just remember, no matter how bad the situation is or whatever hits the thing, the shield is impervious to damage therefore making you invincible! Your backside, however, is not.

Negatives – So your 6 o’clock is vulnerable, you can only legitimately hold pistols, and you’re pretty damn slow while wielding the shield, but the trade off is worth it for the indestructibility. However, the Torque and smoke grenades absolutely kill any shield-bearer. But the worst part about it is that you cannot melee while behind the deployed shield. Strangely enough, you can if you’re holding a meatshield but from behind an indestructible husk of locust steel? Nope. This brings issues as people can just walk behind you and get an easy chainsaw kill or even two-piece you.

Ink grenades

The anti-camping solution.

The campaign’s Kantus favorite, Inks are extremely useful albeit in the proper situation. They can be deployed as a mine just like any other grenade, but the surprise is that they emit a toxic cloud that dishes out extreme damage-over-time. If you are trying to prevent someone from escaping or flushing someone out this grenade can be the end all.

Negatives - Why is it that when you tag someone they go down, but don’t actually die? Sure they can turn into a roving ink dispenser that could help your side out, but they’re in the middle of a cloud of poisonous fumes! Hello?

Smoke grenades

With 100% more bang.

The name is misleading as these smokes have an additional effect beside the normal visibility impairment. What is it? Well, it’s a blast, a concussion blast that sends you and those around you spiraling toward the ground. They’re extremely useful in King of the Hill or Annex type games, but really shine as a mine and a get-away card. Unlike most grenade happy games, Epic gives you one per round making you really utilize them in correct fashion.

Also try:

-          Smoking someone into the Imulsion on Ruins.

-          Setting some smokes next to the sandbags on Tyro station, sending foes looking to climb up spiraling onto the tracks instead.

-          Putting an Ink near a smoke grenade so when they fall down they choke on fumes.

Negatives - There’s nothing more frustrating than starting a round only to be smoked three or four times before you can blink. You then get the honor of flopping around until you’re soundly executed. Truly it wouldn’t be so bad if the blast radius didn’t fluctuate so often; that and the completely random down times. Got hit while on the stairs? Enjoy the ride down as it’ll probably take you more than 10 seconds to stand back up again. Oh, and did I mention that it looks like you have Parkinson’s when you get hit by the blast? Parkinson’s that sometimes allows you to teleport behind your enemy like friggin’ Houdini.

Mulcher

The bullet whore.

Just when you thought that you couldn’t unleash any more firepower the Mulcher breaks down the wall, roars like a thousand steel wolverines, and spews a hailstorm that creates a churning sea of bodily fluids and adrenaline.  It also provides excellent cover fire and can be mounted over cover or on the ground. Fire the janitor, this thing cleans up the hallways just fine.

Negatives - You’re slow. Really slow. Everything you do is slow. And while you can fire while walking you may as well not as you’ll miss the barn.

Mortar

Raining tears of fire. Sky-fire.

Like the Mulcher, the Mortar is a deadly weapon when used in conjunction with your squad-mates. It can hit targets near and far, plus it has a ridiculous ordinance that instantly gibs anyone near the explosions. Being able to fire it behind cover is instrumental to its effectiveness as people will have to come right to you to prevent further shelling; believe me when I say that they’ll come. The Mortar is also able to fire on the move which lobs a ball that can blow up and knock down nearby enemies.

Negatives - Also like the Mulcher, anything you do while wielding the Mortar makes you extremely slow. Simply, firing this weapon from the hip is a mistake. The mortar ball will more than likely hit a wall, come back and blow you up; much to the dismay of your teammates but more for the hilarity if you’re on the opposition. Unless the ball is directly on top of someone, it never kills anything. Just don’t bother.

Gorgon pistol

Hell hath no fury like a pistol with a dual-clip.

Two direct shots and you go down. Yep, that’s about it.

Negatives - The shots are long and slow. If you miss a few shots you may as well put it away because you aren’t good with it. So stop it.

Hammerburst (revised)

Where’s my cool B button move?

Now the second to the primary Lancer, many people will find this weapon more appealing than it. The Hammerburst can be fired rapidly at the cost of accuracy, but if the shots hit then your target is going down, fast. This weapon truly shines from the support position of the battlefield, but definitely can be utilized in CQC as it has a melee instead of the iconic chainsaw bayonet.

Negatives - You’re going to be reloading a lot. Especially if you’re one of those people who fires at the first glimpse of an enemy. Also, it still doesn’t have a damn blade on the end or something cool which means you lose the overpowered nature of the chainsaw. Perplexingly, the Locust have giant creatures with machine guns attached to their heads and bows that make you explode. Do you really think they couldn’t conjure up anything to put on the end of their primary weapon?

Scorcher

Thousands of degrees and you still get two-pieced.

It’s about time that we got some fire to play with and the Scorcher delivers it in gratifying style. After setting people ablaze they can’t rev their chainsaw for a few seconds and profoundly scream bloody murder to assure that fact. If you land an active reload then the flame stream extends a huge distance. You also can’t deny the lasting appeal of watching someone roll around and burn up after a nice cauterizing execution.

Negatives - Yeah, that stuff would work if you’re the host maybe. Prepare to constantly have people run into your flames and two-piece or chainsaw you. Should it happen? No; no it shouldn’t. Oh, but the Scorcher also has a wonderful glitch where it sometimes is fireable while you are down. It’s awesome when it happens to you and you burn your would-be killer to ashes, but when it’s the potential game winner… You get the idea.

Old Weapon Tweaks

For those unwilling to change.

Boltok Pistol

If I hear anyone say shenanigans one more time…                   

The Boltok is much more powerful, comes with more ammo, and shoots rapidly if it’s active reloaded. Zooming in and firing this weapon is a deadly, deadly combo as two direct shots to the head will end you. Also, if you approach someone from very close range, you can instantly execute them with a single shot to the skull.

Boomshot

Le boom.

The Boom isn’t as crazily overpowered as it was in the first game (after the update) and makes for a much more balanced weapon. Yeah, you actually have to semi-aim the Boom to be effective with it… unless you active reload one of the shots. This in itself is an upgrade as now it comes with three shots instead of the previous two.

Negatives - It sometimes, however, glitches and the explosion that clearly occurred right next to your opponent instead did practically nothing. Swell.

Torque Bow

The noisiest, nastiest bow with no strings attached. Serious.

Appearing on many more maps, the Torque Bow is a very dangerous weapon. A noticeable change is that of the single aim-beam. Epic has tweaked the bow to incorporate a targeting reticle at the end of it, but only if charged to the penetration threshold. This makes hitting people even easier and funny now that you can take peoples’ heads off with the damn thing. Oh, and the Torque Bow is the only weapon in Gears 2 that can shoot through multiple peoples’ heads and keep on goin’. That’s right, you could technically shoot through two peoples’ heads and the bolt could hit a guy behind them for the sweetest triple kill you’ll never see.

Negatives - The glitch where you hit someone with a bolt and it never explodes is still around, but you don’t see it too often. Strangely enough, there are some occasions where your bolt may pass right through an opponent who is in animation.

Longshot

Off goes our head.

Long disputed and definitely tweaked is the Longshot sniper rifle. The first most noticeable change xX SniperzLord Xx will cry about is the instant-down active reload feature of the first. Now, the Longshot brings you within an inch of death if you hit someone with the active. Not much else has really changed with this weapon, but it is easier to get headshots with it since the hit-detection is much better in Gears 2. Alright the scope is orange if you’re Locust and blue if you’re COG. Happy now?

Hammer of Dawn

LOOOOCCUUUSSSTTT! Where’d… oh, never mind.

Besides rarity and your attention, it still takes three beeps for the laser of doom to come down and obliterate everything, but the laser actually hits the ground at three instead of the longer delay from Gears 1. The damage radius has also been increased, but the pace at which the laser moves after you’ve fired it is significantly slower. However, as long as you drag the beam over someone they’ll instantly be fried instead of the old model that would merely tickle the target. Perhaps the biggest change for past Hammerers is the limitation. The Hammer now has a bar with charges and once it’s depleted it’s done.

Negatives - The Hammer of Dawn has a low place on the totem pole when it comes to actual appearance. It’s found in only two of the shipped maps and two of the downloadable ones; four out of 18 is pretty scarce. Funny as it may seem, the HOD also lacks in the campaign, showing up only toward the end of the game for a short time. But as far as quirks go, the laser can sometimes go through targets and debris yet it won’t damage the person standing right next to the beam. That and it’s pretty damn hard to find a place to actually ‘plant’ the hammer making it useless as people run up and two-piece you back to the menu screen.

The Good

This section is dedicated to the working and excellent features in Gears 2.

Story/Campaign

Mens’ Sex and the City.

Marcus and Dom are back with the rest of Delta Squad ala Baird and the Cole train. Along the way, new recruit Ben Carmine (Anthony’s brother), Tai, and conscript Dizzy make appearances to add more personality and background to the notoriously barren story. The Locust are assaulting Jacinto, the last stronghold of humanity, with a force that can sink entire cities. Marcus and crew are once again thrown into the fray and must discover how the Locust are able to commit such a feat while assaulting the Hollow, the Locust home-turf, in a desperate attempt to defend Jacinto.

Keeping it short, delving into the second part of the Seran storyline is much more enticing than the first. It’s a much longer game that carries unbelievable emotional weight at times and, of course, rather large amounts of muddling questions, humor too. Collectibles help to clear up past questions from the first game and the characters talk about past events to further clarify what the Locust threat is and what has happened. Dom’s personal quest to find his lost wife Maria is also in full effect, leading the story into unfamiliar yet intriguing territory.

You’ll visit all sorts of different environments with dynamic backgrounds and vehicle segments including the Brumak and Reaver rides that are done exceptionally well. Going through the game with a friend is probably the best way to go and can be done on different difficulty settings to cope with different playing styles. Just play through the game, it’s a worthy adventure and a step in the right direction for a shooter of this caliber.

A.I.

…What’s the I stand for?

It’s about time the Unreal Tournament makers give us the bot treatment. Yeah, you can now play offline or online multiplayer with bots who can be set on multiple difficulties. They’re effective in finding cover and are miles better than the first Locust A.I. And by saying miles better I mean ridiculous at times. They’ll stay down when you have your sights on them, find ways around blockades, revive downed allies, and throw grenades where you don’t want them to be. What’s important is that it does the job well and if you’d like to take it for a real test-drive just give Horde a shot.

Maps

New and old, oh how we love thee.

Truth be told, the maps on Gears are all fantastic. Visual appeal and balance are all in effect with some excellent mechanics installed for changing up the formula. What I mean is, environmental dangers that can be triggered or occur naturally. These features really liven up the stages and make for some interesting scenarios. For instance: Avalanche randomly causes an avalanche and buries anyone in its path but also unlocks a power weapon after it occurs. Security harbors laser fences which can be activated by pressing one of two buttons on the map. This allows access to the Mortar or Mulcher and provides a safe haven as people cannot get in unless they activate the switch again.

Along with the 10 shipped-maps, Epic packed in the Flashback Map pack which bolsters the ranks by five additional maps from the first game. Epic has also shocked as they’ve released the Combustible Map Pack merely a month after the game’s initial release bringing the grand total of playable maps to 18. It’s excellent to be able to play on this number of maps with all the different gametypes available. For this, Epic deserves a pat on the back.

Environmental dangers

-          Avalanche

-          Hail

-          Security

-          Fuel Station (Combustible Map Pack)

-          Flood (Combustible Map Pack)


Flashback Map Pack

-          Gridlock

-          Canals

-          Tyro Station

-          Mansion

-          Subway


Combustible Map Pack

-          Flood

-          Fuel Station

-          Gold Rush


Shipped Maps

-          Blood Drive

-          River

-          Pavilion

-          Stasis

-          Security

-          Avalanche

-          Jacinto

-          Day One

-          Ruins

-          Hail


Multiplayer Modes

Tie it up, tie it up! No! Not friggin’ Annex!

As important as the multiplayer component is in Gears it’s no surprise that they’ve increase the gametypes in size and stature. New to the party are Wingman, Submission, and King of the Hill. The other gametypes have had some tweaks but are largely the same gametypes in the first game. Guardian is Assassination, where you attempt to kill each other’s leader as well as the opposing team. But now as long as the leader on your side is left alive, you can continue to respawn. Execution and Warzone are still the same as always (Execution requires you to execute your opponent) and Annex hasn’t changed a bit. King of the Hill is Annex but the ring is centered on one weapon and doesn’t jump around. Submission consists of a NPC playing the role of the flag and it’s your job to shoot him and drag him back to your side to ‘capture’ him. My personal favorite goes out to Wingman which is a 2v2v2v2v2 match that ends when the first team hits their fifteenth kill. Stay alive for a round and you get an extra point. Now that’s incentive.

Game Modes

-          Wingman

-          Guardian

-          Submission

-          King of the Hill

-          Annex

-          Execution

-          Warzone


Horde

There are six Blood Mounts coming at us right now! No I’m not kidding!

Technically Horde is a gametype and should have been listed above, but it deserves its own category. Horde is a five man undertaking of increasingly menacing waves of Locust. The waves start out subtle but eventually become what some would say is impossible. You are able to select any map to play on and can go up to wave 50, but every 10 waves the Locust get an upgrade making them tougher and much more dangerous. In short, it’s awesome.

Graphics

When you consistently meet your demise at least you can look good doing it; reeeaal good.

 Compared to the first game, well, there is no comparison. Gears 2 simply curb-stomps the first with an unbiased steel-boot. Ever since the upgrade to Unreal Engine 3, every single aspect of Gears has been enhanced including the critiqued dark shading which has been refined as cinematic lighting. The multiplayer maps are beautifully constructed, especially the Flashback maps which display vegetation and decay slowly taking over our favorite stages from the first game. Also, the campaign should be noted for its exceptional beauty; especially the environment in the Hollow. Point is, while there’s an abundance of games out there that look gorgeous you’ll be hard-pressed to find a game that rivals Gears in aesthetic appeal.

Animations

Look at me, I’m climbing a ladder aaaannnnddd DEAD!

Along with the significant upgrade in the visual department comes a jump to the animations. No longer can you mistake any movements for robot-like affair. Every animation from climbing over cover to the iconic curb-stomp has been tweaked considerably. And if that does nothing for you then know that you can now kill people who are in the middle of chainsawing or otherwise executing your comrades. Yes!

New Executions

Good sir, your fists are hitting my cranium.

The first Gears showed the world how horribly invigorating executions could be, but it didn’t give us enough. All hail the new unique executions for practically every weapon! Downed someone? Waddle up to them, press a button, and watch as your enemy dies a spectacular death. There’s little else as satisfying as using your Torque bow to decapitate your adversary or walking up behind your opponent to witness a whole new way to saw them in two. And for you reservists out there, you can now tap a button and kill someone with the lancer while they’re downed. See? Something for everyone.

Online Functions

The reason you’re playing or dead.

Much has been changed to the Gears formula for online dominance. Here’s the upgraded mechanics hungry COG enlistees are enjoying; Locust, whatever.

Overhauled Matchmaking

Instead of joining a room ala the old-fashioned PC way, Gears 2 introduces the system Halo 3 uses to refine the experience. All you need to do is press a button and the game will match you up to the best of its ability. In the pre-game lobby, you can vote on a map, select your character, and choose from the Lancer or the Hammerburst.

A Working Point-System

Shooting someone full of entire clips only to be rewarded with a few measly points is now gone. Anyone hitting an opponent will be awarded points depending on how much they hit the target plus damage that was inflicted. These points will be awarded when and if the target is killed, which means that you’ll be able to recognize the team-players. Yes, that means the guy you’ve been stealing kills from is now on the board.

Grenade Mines and Meatshields

Some things have changed completely and with it also revolutionized the way Gears is played. Grenades, for instance, can now be planted as mines. You can only plant two mines, but it’s an invaluable tool that can serve as an early alarm or a deadly trap to even the odds. And now after downing someone you can pick them up and use them as a meatshield. Certain aspects of your body are exposed, but unless they have a Longshot or get behind you it’s safe to say you’ll absorb much of the damage before your prey falls apart.

Stopping Power

More times that I can count have I been blown away by people running straight into a spray of gunfire. Gears 2 does away with this by implementing something that was definitely needed called stopping power. Whenever you are hit with a weapon it slows your movement speed (the more you’re hit, the more you slow), forcing you to retreat or to find some nearby cover. This mechanic alone has made the game slower paced and very situational, requiring methodical thinking to get around certain situations.

Chainsaw Dueling

The craziest addition orchestrates a button-tapping competition with the prize of life. Running toward someone who is firing their Lancer and not revving the bayonet will also put you both into the Dynasty Warriors era so long as one of you is using the chainsaw. I also can’t forget to tell you that while dueling you can be shot and killed (see Animations above).

Tip: Wait for a duel to initiate and snipe the opponent’s head off. Claim you saved your teammates life. It works every time.

The Camera and Ghost Cam

Trying to see the action from skewed angles put a damper on spectating in the first game. Gears 2 introduces a cinematic cam that rotates to multiple angles, a zoom function, photo-capturing, and a unrestricted ghost camera.

Rotating Weapon Sets

If you’re used to the Longshot spawning in the center building on Gridlock you’d best be prepared. Every round the weapon sets rotate so as to keep the strategy fresh and other teams a chance to get them. It definitely makes for more interesting matches and shakes up teams who are proficient with one type of weapon but lacking in another.

The Bad

This section is dedicated to tearing apart this broken game and demoralizing any Epic employee who happens to be reading this. If you are an Epic employee and happened to work on Gears 2 I hope with the utmost, sincerest, happiest wishes that the computer you got for Christmas was missing its motherboard, or the car you received came without a transmission, or better yet your Viva Piñata save you treasure so dearly got corrupted. Happy New Year.

New Weapons, err Broken Weapons

We’ve already talked about new weapons, their positives and their negatives but I haven’t ranted about them; especially about the bane of my existence. The Lancer.

The Lancer

Hate is a powerful tool that tends to be overpowered, starts with an L, and ends with a BZZZZZ.

You. Yes, you; the guy who messed with the Lancer mechanics. I’m talking to you. What gave you the genius idea that increasing the damage threshold was a good idea? Just because Chainsaw Duels are here doesn’t mean that someone walking toward me should be able to take three, yes, three complete shots to the chest without budging an inch or lowering that satanic bayonet. It’s excellent too when you melee someone but they don’t get stunned, bounce off the wall, and chainsaw you. How would you like it if every Tuesday was national gang-bang your wife day but you weren’t invited? You know the day is coming and you do everything you can to prevent it, but the pen to veto the bill which would prevent the day from happening always runs out of ink mere minutes before it’s due. 

The Fix

I agree that a few shots shouldn’t make you fall back like it did in Gears I. However, taking a tank to lower the thing isn’t the way. Make the Lancer damage-lowering-threshold lower, somebody!

The Shotgun

Guys, did someone bend the barrel of this thing forward? What’s so funny? STOP LAUGHING!

There are special people in this world who understand what it means to be a pathological idiot. Of course, then there are the people who developed the Gnasher Shotgun. I don’t know who was in charge of the dismembering and reconfiguring of this weapon but it’s safe to say they have a special place reserved for them in hell; yes, the special hell. Was it not apparent that if you fire the shotgun from the hip the shots hit the ground right in front of you? There’s a YouTube video showing that it in fact has to deal with who the host is and his incredible aura that lifts bullets and makes them fire straight, like they already should. Last time I checked the host already had a significant advantage, not Magneto’s abilities. Is this Gears of War or the prelude to how the mutant generation begins? How did this go past play-testing and more importantly, how did this get by Cliffy B? Hello?

The Fix

Truly I have no idea what happened here as I’ve never seen anything like this, ever. When you guys decide to figure out what this game-breaking bug is and root it out, make the shotgun fire straight and true. That’s right, even from the hip like all shooters do. Who screws up a shotgun? I mean a more advanced weapon like a rail-cannon, d-gun, or mega-buster sure. But a shotgun? Seriously.

The Two-Piece Technique

Look ma! I just contradicted myself!

“I wasn’t a real big fan of that one.” Famous words from the mouth of Cliffy B on the shotgun devolving battles that plagued the first game which were fixed by the stopping power mechanic in this iteration; or were they? Stopping power is great, but now more than ever people rely on the now famous Two-Piece which involves meleeing your opponent who then becomes stunned and before he can regain his bearings is soundly blown away by a single shotgun blast. The changes have done nothing to stop people from relying solely on the sultry metal vixen for their primary killing blows. It happens all the time and is as annoying as having Eckhart Tolle following you around on blind dates.

The Fix

Remember how when you were meleeing in the first game and bullets would make you fumble backwards no matter what phase of your swing you were in? Yeah, that got changed in Gears 2 which is the reason why it’s almost impossible to stop the one-two punch. Bring the stun back for the people who want to fist-fight in the open field. You already have Chainsaw Duels, and like I said, stopping power is awesome, but we need to lower the cases of the Two-Piece. If you want to Two-Piece someone you sneak up on, that’s fine, they didn’t see you, but on a wary target who has backup fire? Stunned biznitch.

The Hammer of Dawn

We already talked about this weapon at length in the beginning of this article, but I’m not done. The Hammer was my personal favorite weapon in the first game for its unique function and utility in multiplayer games. You could actually use the Hammer and deploy it on locations where there was fighting. I said it once and I’ll say it again; it’s located on four maps. FOUR out of eighteen and two of those are downloadable. Your unique weapon that was praised from the first game gets the shaft treatment but not just in appearance. Oh no, you’re too cunning to just leave it at that. Take Tyro Station for instance, the first map had open space and it was effective on it. The new Tyro looks phenomenal but with all the construction the Hammer will actually say it’s landing, but it won’t hit the ground because it just hit the pipe up top. Awesome. I can also tell you that it’s a complete pain to find areas where it can even be put. Day One is the only really effective stage for the Hammer and everyone hates playing it.

The Fix

You can’t really fix the maps you already made with all the damn debris blocking the skylines and you don’t need to. What you could do is make it so when the Hammer falls it actually goes through objects. Is it feasible for a lead pipe to be the stopping force behind a giant space laser? I didn’t think so. Now there’s no reason for it to be able to go through houses since you need open sky to fire it, but when it goes off give it some heart man. Make people want to use it. It’s like inviting your ex to your family get-togethers. You used to love her and everyone knows who she is, but she doesn’t feel right, and isn’t being used proper. That’s you Epic, now give it some love.

Grenade Mines

“Guys, I have a great idea! You know how we make it so the weapon spawns are slow so as to implement strategic elements into the gameplay? Well, why don’t we make grenades spawn like a bazillion times quicker? We want people to use the mines and now everyone will use them! Oh my god! And then we can make it so you can hold onto four grenades and have at least two mines planted! They’re going to be the best weapon ever! Nerdgasm!”

This is how the idea spawned isn’t it? This genius programmer… I’m sorry I called him something with respectability, this fallacy of a man is composed of a festering rot for an epidermis and instead of a brain sports a Gizmondo. Having grenades respawn so quickly is a mistake, simply, as people continuously go back for them and plant grenades until maybe the whole damn team planted two. I’m playing Gears of War on Pavilion, not storming the beaches of Normandy and on the prowl for claymores. I especially love the frag rounds of Blood Drive, Pavilion, and Ruins as everyone does the same damn thing until Jigsaw himself appears to create the next portion of a Saw movie.

The Fix

Lower the grenade respawn significantly and limit the grenades you can carry to two. We don’t need Theron Guards walking around with enough charges to sink Jacinto themselves.

The Boomshield/Meatshield/Submission Flag

The idea of these are unmistakably awesome but are executed with the grace of a diabetic antelope with steeples for legs. It’s been over two-months and people are still picking up the shield or other people and doing the weapon glitch. Unfamiliar with it? It allows people to sport a meatshield and/or shield plus any weapon besides the pistols. Isn’t it nice to be able to be completely protected from the front and fire your Hammerburst, Lancer, or Shotgun unhindered? And isn’t it a complete pain in the ass when you are directly next to a downed target, you press the A button, and you roll past them or into cover instead of picking them up for a shield? I forgot the part where when you roll past them and their teammate one shots you and wins them the match.

The Fix

Get rid of the damn glitch. What are you waiting for? And did you maybe think about how many functions your A button has? No I’m not going to list them here. You have a manual; read it.

Online Functionality That Forgets The Function

Dedicated to complete customer dissatisfaction.

Host Advantage

That my friends, is the way to hell.

Yes the host still does have an advantage but it’s less apparent than the first game where they were an indisputable god. Wait, no it’s not.

The Fix

You tell me. Dedicated servers would be nice but that’s not going to happen.

Maps

These maps have no problems. None whatsoever.

Unfortunately even certain maps along with the rest of the game have issues. Remember Gears 1 where you could glitch out of areas and get into places that would otherwise be inaccessible? Hey, it’s here too! Remember weapon-sliding? Hey, I remember you! Did you guys decide you couldn’t do the sequel without bringing over the same technical glitches? I think it’s incredible that people can hide behind the fuel tanks on River. It’s also doubly amazing when you get smoked under the bridge in Canals and it sends you up through the surface. Even better, having people place the shield in the ground next to the closed doors on Blood Drive and who then proceed to leap through solid wood. Thankfully there’s an easy explanation; magic.

The Fix

So how about when people do the glitch or exploit any kind of map glitch Jack, you know the invisible robot, appears and lasers them in two. Yeah, I’m a genius.

Matchmaking

So… anyone wanna play against the bots while we wait? I’ma go grab a sandwich.

Of all the things that could be broken in this game and the most important component shares in the damages. Let me go on record stating that this is the worst, piss-poor performance from a supposed AAA game that could possibly exist. Kane and Lynch got flak for being lackluster, but Gears of War 2 gets the award for most dysfunctional functions made by a 12 year old epileptic programmer.

When the game launched, single persons and people in parties of three or four people were finding it impossible to join any type of games. Either that or it would take an upwards of 15 minutes to be thrown into a match. I realize you fixed this issue Epic but I’m not in the habit of forgetting broken, copied, and poorly implemented systems. I find it funny that you borrow the Halo 3 matchmaking system and then manage to screw it up so badly that even stats don’t matter. People who are losing a match can just quit near the end and get away with their bad performance with no consequences. That and if the host leaves the room it’s completely dumped along with all your stats; the game you just played was a complete waste of your time. If I could conjure anyone to step out of the silver-screen to slap you in your collective faces Les Grossman would be here absolutely massacring you. Be happy because fiction just saved you.

One of the best worst features of the matchmaking process includes the absence of the quit button. It’s a humorous omission perhaps an honest mistake, or something more? Maybe it’s to trick you into thinking you’re having more fun than you really are. Regardless, when a match is lagging all to hell or you just want to get back to the main menu you have to exit to your dashboard. It’s the only way to quit and it shows the vast incompetence that went into the menus. But this brings up another point of interest; the selection of the host. If you aren’t going to give us an easy way to quit your game then why do you select the host to always be the guy who is listening to DMX on ear shattering volume, is downloading a skyscraper worth of illegal materials, and answers any question with “dog” attached to it? News Flash: playing video games with incomprehensible amounts of lag and retardation isn’t fun.

Well, since I’m still waiting to join a match ever since you “fixed” the game I better bring up the point of missed opportunity. Halo does the same thing you guys now do with the matchmaking (obviously since the system is the same except that it actually works) but it doesn’t allows for publicly open matches where more than just your friends can join. Gears 1 did this and it was an excellent feature since it allowed you to browse the rooms like a PC title and kept the room ever changing, making it interesting and endless. The maps also cycled in-game not kicking you out after every map. You still can’t change the settings in-game and if you press one wrong button or select a character you didn’t want to play you have to dump the room to correct it. Seriously, what the hell is going on? Were you guys too busy playing the better games that came out? I’m sorry; did I say you could legitimately play something? My apologies.

In short, Gears 2’s matchmaking is the anathema of video games clearly showing the world how the process is composed entirely of goo and geoms.

The Campaign

Answers with questions. Wait, what?

Alright, the campaign is a job well done. It’s fun, fast, and very fluid. I’m impressed with the amount of visual work and unique situations that are brought upon you, but I do have some complaints. One, it’s obvious my first hit-list never got to you as you completely ignored some of the main points of why the campaign could have been better. “Bigger, better, and more badass” eh? Where then are the boss fights? You put them in? Oh it was the fight with Skorge, the Leviathan, and the mutated Brumak at the end right? Too bad all these fights can be won with your eyes closed. Skorge can just be avoided and as long as your attention span lasts long enough to tap the B button, you’ve beaten the “powerful” leader of the Kantus monks. The ensuing pursuit on Reavers is glorified and awesome, but the land battle was disappointing at best. The RAAM fight at the end of the first game was much more menacing albeit easy. The Leviathan looks incredible but is far, far too simple to beat. I was expecting something a bit more from the fight. And then what happened at the end guys? Run out of ideas? Really like glowy things? Out of all my exaggerations this is truly the fight you can win with your eyes closed. Point the Hammer and win! Unless of course the Hammer glitches and fires the tiny beam instead of the souped-up version. Yes, this happened and I actually got to see what happens when you fail the easiest part of the game. I see what you’re trying to do there; thanks for trying to make it seem like it’s our fault.

I enjoy how the mystery is still there of who the Locust are and their origins. The fight is also still up in the air as to why the Locust want to destroy humanity, but by the end of the game the answers still aren’t apparent, just lots more questions as expected. I won’t spoil any more here but the Locust better not be genetic experiments ala the X-Files or every other cliché out there. You know what, screw it; this story best not be going Halo’s direction where a civil war is underway who make friends with you and who then join your fight against the overall invasion. Copying Halo just sounds stupid and for a game that has so much mystery and creativity I find that extremely disheartening. My fingers are crossed that the writers realize what they’re doing and come around in the third installment.

An End

Cutting out the heart and putting it back in.

It looks like I’ve ranted for long enough and I’ve run out of ideas to hammer but I’d like to get a few more facts across. I don’t hate this game, well… alright I do hate this game, but it’s one of those titles you hate to love and love to hate. The story behind it is intriguing, the gameplay is superb, and the copious amounts of fun you can enthrall in are unparalleled when the game is working correctly. There’s no game like Gears 2, not even the first compares. Go back and try to play it again, seriously. You’ll see that the changes were made for the better gameplay-wise, maybe not so much for the matchmaking. Even still, Epic has managed to make something incredibly addictive yet broken. Who does that? I don’t care who you are but if you can make something completely and utterly broken yet still addictive to the core you’ve got some kind of talent or another.

Thank you for reading my article! Please respond and let me know what you think.

#2 Posted by bjorno (1416 posts) -

Well written and oh-so true.
I hope the patch fixes everything (I'm going to be severely disappointed).

#3 Posted by Death_Unicorn (2838 posts) -

I totally agree with the grenades, the grenade mines are the single thing I hate most about Gears 2. Whenever, I know its a round with grenades, I have to walk around corners slowly, trying to look for that frag mine, and half the time I still die once I spot it. It turns everything unto a camping fest.

Don't get me started on Ruins where the grenade blends into the wall!!!

And nice read.

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