Gears of War 2 Campaign

by Travis

November 18, 2008

In the original Gears of War, you are practically thrown into the action not knowing who the hell anyone is, or why your character was in jail in the first place. The game was practically run to point A, shoot B, hope B doesn't kill your ass, repeat ad infinitum. Regardless it was still very fun. However, most didn't like the fact that the game didn't have any kind of a story, and Epic took this to mind in the next installment.

Gears of War 2 is vastly improved over its predecessor in many ways. The story in Gears 2 takes place six months after the events in the original Gears. Though most of the Locust horde was destroyed with the explosion of the lightmass bomb, the bomb also caused a great deal of the immulsion underground to vaporize, causing a fatal disease called "rust lung" that is affecting humans that breathe in the harmful vapors. After months of peace, the cities of "Montevado" and "Tollen" suddenly are sunk underground, leading people to suspect that the Locusts are back. Soon after, the once impenetrable "Jacinto" is showing signs of the same fate as the other two cities, and it's up the C.O.G. to find out what is sinking these cities and put a stop to it, or humanity itself loses.

The story seems to focus on Dominic, and his search for his long lost wife, a lot more in this game, maybe even more so than on Marcus.  Some players might find Dominic to be slightly annoying, however the game has a great way of making you feel the emotions the characters are at certain points throughout the game.

The gameplay is a lot better this time around. Chainsaw battles, new weapons, improved A.I., and improved graphics all make the experience through Sera a great one. I said improved A.I., as in the A.I. can now pick you up if you are down, unlike the first game, and the enemies are very smart. However, the A.I. on your own team seems to be the biggest group of dumbasses on the planet. Quite a few times, your A.I. partner will just run right past an enemy and let him beat the ever loving shit out of you. They don't take cover in very good places, if at all. Quite a few times I've seen Carmine and Tai just standing in the middle of the road while you're fighting a Reaver who keeps shooting them with missiles. Also a new feature is that on insane difficulty, the A.I. bleed out, so if you don't rescue them you have to start over. Of course, when they run past a group of enemies into another group of enemies, it's basically impossible to save them without getting yourself cunt-punched.

The graphics are severely improved, and I didn't notice it until I played the original Gears again. In the first game, the colors are washed out, or a shade of grey. The second game has very vibrant colors, and looks beautiful. There are plenty of "holy shit" moments during the campaign, and the first time you see hundreds of locust pouring out of the ground you will be left in awe. The music also does well to get you into the mood, and can get your heart pumping.

Skorge, the equivalent of RAAM from the first game, is a pretty neat boss to fight. However, most players may feel he is a little too easy compared to RAAM, and the fight is pretty short. Oddly Skorge isn't even the final boss, and there is a whole act of campaign after you fight Skorge. The final "boss" is pretty lame, and I guess besides being in a coma, it's pretty much impossible to lose against.

Simply put, it's amazing what Epic has done with the Unreal Engine in just two years. It will be exciting how much further they can push the engine for Gears of War 3. If you liked the Gears of Wars at all, then you can't go wrong picking up Gears of War 2. Scratch that, I don't care if you hate all shooters, this is a must-play title for the campaign alone.