Gears of War 2 is one of the most highly hyped and publicized game releases of 2008. After preordering and eagerly anticipating the release for months, I was finally able to sit down and power through the first three quarters of the game. So far I’m blown away by all of the new innovations that have been brought to a game that has already once redefined the third person shooter genre.
When I played the original Gears of War, I didn’t think that there was much room for visual improvements. Not only has Epic Games proved me wrong, they took it a step further, raising the bar for graphical fidelity and detail to almost unreachable heights. I was amazed to see that the grays and browns typically associated with the Unreal Engine have been replaced with lush blues and greens, painting the environment in a tapestry of realism that will be hard to match.
All of the weapons that you know and love are back again with vengeance, along with the addition of some new friends. Though the arsenal of weapons has remained mostly unchanged, the sound and recoil systems have been completely redesigned from the ground up. The result is a more satisfying and visceral experience, every time you pull the trigger.
After facing criticism for the laughable plotline of the first installment, the story has been made a key component, helping drive forward and progress the gameplay. While it is obvious that the script is not going to win a Pulitzer, it is a significant improvement over the original.
In direct contrast to Gears I, Marcus and Dom manage to muster an emotion other than blood soaked glee. You finally get a glimpse into their complex friendship, as Marcus attempts to help Dom deal with personal heartache, while still franticly searching for his wife. The humanity and personal turmoil that Dom displays helps drive home the tragedy that war can cause, tearing families apart, leaving only the survivors to pick up the pieces.
I am sure that this is just a taste of what is to come. Stay tuned for our full review, coming early next week.
In the meantime, check out this trailer for Gears of War 2 below: