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Review: Gears of War 2 - Xbox 360

by Steven Williamson on 12 November 2008, 15:00

Tags: Gears of War 2 , Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Xbox 360, FPS

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Emergence Day...second time around

How exactly do you improve on a shooter that already offers the complete package and create a sequel that isn't going to disappoint? Well, when Gears of War 2’s lead designer Cliff Bleszinski boldly claimed that the sequel to the smash hit Gears of War would be “bigger and better,” he wasn't taking crap, he really did mean it.

Gears of War 2 takes all the good elements from its predecessor and expands on them to create a cinematic experience that hasn’t been matched on Xbox 360. It pushes the graphical boundaries of the hardware to the limit, yet despite its frenetic pace and furious shoot-outs, never shows any signs of slow-down, but relentlessly keeps throwing up surprises and momentous battles to keep a continuous flow of adrenaline pumping through your veins.

The tweaks to the gameplay, the cast of terrifying creatures, the new weapons, the deeper storyline, the numerous additional enhancements and even the increase in blood and gore, have added immensely to the overall game experience and the overall intensity that each epic battle captures. At times, Gears of War 2 manages to make you feel like you’ve personally been thrown smack bang in the midst of chaotic war. It messes with your psyche by throwing in numerous epic moments that have the innate ability to make you feel nervous, excited and astonished at what you’ve just experienced.

Gears of War 2 is an epic production that is jam-packed with memorable moments. Part of its brilliance is the superb soundtrack, which builds tension and energy during fights, but of course the stunning graphics, helped in no small part by a stunningly realised array of nightmarish creatures, lend a hand in establishing a heavy atmosphere that keeps you on edge for large periods of gameplay. The over-the-top violence, excellent gameplay mechanics, smooth control system and brilliant pacing all work together in tandem to create an electrifying and stimulating ride that rarely lets you pause for breath.

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