This weekend I had a chance to play through a good majority of the single player campaign on Gears of War 2 along with about an hour or so of “Horde mode”. I have not had a chance to sit down with the other multiplayer modes or co-op campaign yet, so these are just my impressions of what I’ve experienced so far in the game.
I’ll start with the single player campaign. If you’ve played the original Gears of War you’ll be used to the gameplay and the level design, not a whole lot has changed there. I find that the actual story itself is a little better than the first one. I seem more into the game now than I was before. I also like that there is a little more variety with the levels, meaning there are more vehicle levels or levels where you’re standing on a moving platform while shooting locusts. It’s a nice change from the typical running, ducking behind something, and shooting, which is basically all you’re doing. As far as the length of the game, everyone keeps saying that it’s longer than the first Gears, which, if true, means the original Gears was really short. I’m almost done with this one and I feel like I’ve only played for about 4-5 hours and I remember the original was supposed to take 6 or so. I am only playing on Normal mode at the moment, so that could have something to do with it, but I will go back and beat it on the harder difficulties later. Overall I’m enjoying the game a lot. I really liked the first one and while this one doesn’t bring anything terribly new to the table, it’s still a great game that advances the Gears story.
I haven’t gotten around to playing any of the new online game modes outside of the new Horde mode, which is a lot of fun. Horde mode is a variation of co-op, in which 5 people work together to fend off different waves of enemies. There are 50 waves total and each one gets harder. We played this yesterday for the first time with 3 people and we had a blast. We only managed to make it to wave 19 before we were all killed off, but it’s definitely a lot of fun. I’m sure we’ll be playing this mode quite a bit seeing as how 50 waves of enemies is going to be pretty hard to complete.
So basically if you liked the original Gears of War and are looking for more of the same, but with new levels and few new modes and a few new guns, definitely check this one out. If you’re not a fan of Gears of War, then you won’t be a fan of part 2 since it’s basically the same.
Update: Since I finished the single player campaign yesterday I figured I would chime in on the end of the game. I think it was my fault for playing through the game on the “Normal” setting, but I was disappointed in how long it took me and the end levels/boss battle. The last level was definitely cool, but on normal mode it was too easy. I beat the last one on hardcore the first time around and then started it again on insane (don’t think I ever finished), so I probably should have done that, but the game just seemed short and too easy. I don’t think it took me more than 6 hours like it was supposed to. I remember I played for about an hour on Friday when I got the game, then maybe 4 hours on Saturday, an hour or 2 on Sunday, and then 30 minutes last night. Ok, so maybe it was a little over 6-7 hours, but I had read that it was supposed to take you 9? Oh well, it is still a great game and I will go back and play it on Insane now and hopefully the last level is a little harder, but I am disappointed in the final boss battle, which isn’t really a battle. I don’t want to give it away, but you’ll see what I’m saying when you get there. I can remember having to go back a bunch of times in the original Gears to beat the last guy in the game, but not this time.