Gears of War 2 Review
Note: this'll be the last one written for a school newspaper, I promise! The review I write from now on will be [even?] better, and aimed at gamers rather than your average high school student.
EPIC Studios’ Gears of War 2 (GoW2) is definitely one of the very goriest games I’ve ever played. You have a gun with a chainsaw on it, for one. A chainsaw, man. It’s like EPIC Studios went into the mind of the most disturbed youth of America to design the weapons in this First-Person Shooter (FPS). I’ll get the graphics out of the way right now; beautiful. The game is gunmetal grey through and through, with hardly a hint of any bright colours. And it’s still excellent-looking, with a high level of polish, to the point where I could swear that they outsourced the texturing to like, all of Asia. Oh, and the general story outline is probably important; you are Marcus Phoenix of Delta Squad, a group of men with arms the size of your average 12-year-old, and armour and guns to match. You are trying to save the world (which is in an alternate Universe, and called "Sera") from a horribly nasty-looking-and-sounding conglomerate race of underground-dwelling monsters known as the Locust, who are, unlike in most games, just as badass as you are, if not more badass. For example, there’s a colossal fish that eats boats. Yeah. So if you can chainsaw a Locust in half, his high-school homeboy can show up and return the favour, making this game feel like an actual war, and not a shooting range. The gameplay is sweet, making you take cover behind anything from fallen enemies (human shields) to creatures called rock-worms who are impervious to gunfire. You take cover, and shoot at monsters whose voices sound like they’re gargling PURE HATE. The weapon variety, location variety, and enemy variety keep the firefights interesting throughout the game, as do some non-conventional encounters. As a side note, the redwood-tree-sized men of Delta Squad have this adorable tendency to give childish names to things, like “rock-worms” and “glowbes” (the glowing fruit that the rock-worms feed on). But speaking of gore, this game is not at all for the faint of heart, even with the “Extreme Content” setting switched off. I mean, when you chainsaw a guy, he actually screams a horrible death cry while your screen is spattered with dark red droplets. After you cut a guy in half, he is actually in half, lying on the ground like something out of a “Saw” movie, only worse, because the player’s character will say something fully terrible after a chainsawing, such as “I could do that all day!” And don’t get me started on the black guy in delta squad. After running over a Locust in one mission, he says “Ha ha! Locust road kill, baby!” How can a guy that light-hearted about war not make your day? All in all, Gears of War is really quite enjoyable, it looks beautiful, and is filled with deep messages about war, portrayed through everything from images of war-torn cities to dark humour during dialogues. Oh, and you have to kill a worm the size of like... freakin’ Luxembourg. Then you swim out of it on a river of its blood. Kinda. It's a cutscene, but surprisingly even nastier than it sounds.