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"Gears of War 2"

12/31/08

"Gears of War 2" changes almost nothing from the original game except for one thing--it has a few more "rails" sequences than the last game to take you out of the normal take-cover-shoot-bad-guy routine, and this actually hurt the game down the stretch.

But otherwise, this is as good as it gets.

Hero Marcus Fenix is back to lead Delta Squad on another mission to take down the Horde any way his command sees fit, but usually, it is by any means necessary.  Over the course of the 12-15 hour adventure, you once again pair up with your buddies Dom, Baird and Cole to square up against the worst of the worst in standard two-by-two cover formation.  There are a couple of additional weapons, including a mortar launcher that rains death from above, but otherwise, this is the exact same game but in new locations, and as I have always said, if you've got a good thing going, just change the scenery.

So, for 90% of the game, you are golden.  I played the game on "hardcore" difficulty and did a lot of dying, but mostly, after two or three attempts, you'll get through the tough spots if your aim is any good.  Where the game loses some of its appeal is when you are driving, flying or maneuvering something and you get blown up.  This happens a ton, especially during one painful sequence where you need to fly a Horde war machine out of a tunnel while taking out bad guys and fired rockets with a so-so machine gun...ugh.  I probably did this number 20 times before getting through it, mainly because the play mechanic is so clumsy.  I could see where the game's developers needed something to change up the action, but this was not the best way to do it!

Otherwise, everything you loved about the first "Gears" is back and looking even sexier.  I still don't love multiplayer in "Gears of War 2", but at least this time, you get to go co-op with three other people all the way through the game, which can be fun, especially on the Insane difficulty level.  Get it!

Rating:  Opening Weekend

 

Feedback?  Comments?  Salma Hayek's digits?  justin@bellviewmovies.com

 

Bellview Rating System:

"Opening Weekend":  Buy this game right away, and don't ask me any questions as to why that's a good move.  A game experience that will almost guarantee repeated controller abuse, lots of ManScreaming and high resale value, you will assuredly play this bad boy for months on end. 

"$40":  Usually after games have been out for a while, they drop in price slightly, or can be bought for slightly cheaper in combination with other new games.  Usually, that's about $40.  You'll feel good getting the game for this price, since it isn't quite run-out-and-get-it-right-now good, but it has enough game in the box for a few weeks' worth of enjoyment.

"eBay":  This game is not too bad, but you'd be better off buying it used from either half.com or eBay.  You also might let a friend buy this game, let s/he beat it, and then try to buy it from them to make them feel better.  Yes, this does tend to feel like "Sloppy Seconds."

"Rental":  Like my cousin Ron, you should always rent games that you aren't sure about first, to make sure that your $50 is going towards something worthwhile.  For games in this category, this is the maximum amount of money ($5) and/or time (3-5 days) you'll need to either gain satisfaction from the game, or beat the game in its entirety.  Rental-rated games are also sometimes perfect for a weekend when you are going to be at home on your ass, with some time to kill.

"Dogshit":  Games like this should have never been released.  If you play this game for any reason, you will regret every second of the experience.  Further, if you can get this game for free, don't do it, because even for FREE, it will still be a negative experience for you!

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All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/bellviewmovies.com except where noted
1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09