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Gears of War 2

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Gears of War 2
Gow2 offbox
Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Release date: November 7, 2008
Genre: Third-person shooter
Game modes: Campaign Mode, Co-op Campaign, Multiplayer
Rating: BBFC: 18
CERO: Z
ESRB: Mature (M)
PEGI: 18+
DLC: Gears 2 DLC
Achievements: Gears 2 Achievements
Platform: Xbox 360
Media: DVD

Gears of War 2 is a tactical, third-person, over the shoulder, shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for the Xbox 360. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed best-seller Gears of War and the predecessor to Gears of War 3. It was announced by lead designer Cliff Bleszinski during the 2008 Game Developers Conference on February 20, 2008. It was released on November 7, 2008 and uses an updated version of the Unreal Engine 3.

Gears of War 2 sold more than 2 million copies during its debut weekend.

Gameplay

Much of the core gameplay elements that were central to Gears of War, an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter that emphasizes the use of cover, are present in the sequel. It includes a more profound plot with new characters, new weapons, and new enemies, including the ability to fight Brumaks.The game also includes the ability for a player to duel with an AI or human opponent when both use the Chainsaw Bayonet attachment of the Lancer Assault Rifle.

When downed, you aren't as helpless you were in Gears 1. Now you can crawl around as a last desperate attempt for life, and rapidly tapping the A button will help you crawl faster. If you have a Grenade equipped when you're downed, you can press the right trigger (RT) to drop the grenade, and commit martyrdom. The grenade will still have a timer when you drop it, so it'll take a little more skill than just simply pressing the right trigger. Also, you cannot drop a grenade once the opponent has started an execution. In an interview with EGM, Cliffy said that Gears 2 runs roughly 30 percent better in terms of performance than the first game. He also went on to say that, while the team did consider it, dedicated servers were not made for Gears 2. A.I. bots now take the place of any open slots in multiplayer. Other little additions include the ability to "wall hug" and interrupting SWAT turns mid-move.

Developer quips mentioned considering implementing a live-scoring icon on the screen that will show players how much damage they're causing as well as their score, but this did not happen.

Plot

Act 1: Tip of the Spear

The game begins with the Locust Queen providing a brief summary of what has happened in the Locust War over the last fifteen years, explaining how the war truly began, the Pendulum Wars, the Locust's survival of the Lightmass Bomb, and how Jacinto is now the last safe refuge for humanity. The story then moves to where Marcus, Dom, and Anya Stroud have gathered at Jacinto Med, a hospital in Jacinto. Ben Carmine arrives and becomes the rookie in Delta Squad. After a brief training session, Locust forces are spotted attacking the hospital and Carmine is ordered to stay behind by Marcus. During this attack, Marcus and Dom meet up with Tai Kaliso, a spiritual warrior that fought with Marcus in the Pendulum Wars. Together, Marcus, Dom and Tai move through the hospital, killing all of the Locust drones that entered and eventually meeting up with Carmine again. They force back the Locust forces outside of the hospital and into a full retreat. Anya then speaks with Dom about a lead she possibly had on his missing wife, Maria. Unfortunately, the lead was wrong, greatly upsetting Dom and resulting in him breaking a car window.

After the assault on the hospital, Chairman Richard Prescott rallies the Gears, telling them of how the Locust Horde has survived the Lightmass Bomb and have returned stronger than ever, bringing with them a force that can sink entire cities. Soon, humanity will have nothing left to defend, leaving them one last option; an all-out attack on the Locust Horde in the Hollow. To do this, COG forces are to escort massive trucks called Assault Derricks towards the Locust occupied town of Landown and use Grindlifts to barrel down into the Hollow and fight back against the Locust. Upon arriving at the Derricks, Delta meets Dizzy Wallin, a conscript who drives Rig 314, also known as "Betty". On the way to Landown, Locust forces attempt to destroy the Derricks, only managing to destroy a small amount of them as the Gears fight back in defense. Once in Landown, the Derricks make their way to the cemetery while Gears on the surface provide protection in Landown and deploy the Gears underground. Unfortunately Locust forces attack once more, this time led by Skorge, leader of the Kantus. Dizzy confronts Skorge in order to prevent him from stopping Delta from heading underground. Tai somehow manages to leave his grindlift and also joins the battle. While the two battle Skorge, Marcus and Dom, unable to get out of the grindlift, look on helplessly before being projected underground into the inner Hollow.

Act 2: Denizens

Once underground, Marcus and Dom regroup with Carmine and move through the Hollow, supporting other Gears, such as Alpha Squad, who are under attack from Locust forces. As they journey deeper into the Hollow, they continue slaying Locust until Delta discovers the source of what is sinking entire cities; the Riftworm. Commanded by Skorge, the Riftworm sinks the entire city of Ilima before Delta's eyes, creating a massive sinkhole. The Locust are using the Riftworm to sink cities around Jacinto, punching holes around humanity's last safe haven in a desperate bid to eventually sink it. Delta quickly makes their way through the sunken city of Ilima, destroyed and in flames, battling through invading Locust and looking for survivors until they walk into an ambush. They fight back, but are outnumbered and nearly overwhelmed until Cole rescues them.

Cole informs Delta that Baird and his jumpmate, Tanner, have gone missing. While searching for them, Delta comes across the remains of Tanner, which are barely recognizable. Seconds later, they find Baird locked up in a metal contraption. Baird says the Locust are apparently capturing humans and torturing them. Delta then comes across a Beast Barge, where the Locust take their prisoners to torture them. On the Beast Barge, Delta discovers Tai who has been severely tortured and broken emotionally. Marcus gives Tai a shotgun to fight with, but Tai, overwhelmed by the torture the Locust put him through, instead uses it to kill himself. Marcus and Carmine are both horrified. Marcus takes Tai's COG Tags and heads back to the Ilima sinkhole with the Squad. Once they're back in the sinkhole, Delta is picked up by a King Raven which arrives just before the Riftworm's sudden reappearance. Flying debris, caused by the Riftworm's tunneling, strikes the King Raven's tail, which causes it to temporarily lose control, Carmine to fall out of the Raven into the Riftworm's mouth, and the King Raven to be swallowed.

Inside the Riftworm, Delta survives the "swallowing" and moves backward through the stomach and digestive system of the Riftworm towards the head. They find Carmine, dying after being burned by acid and partially devoured by Nemacytes, creatures that live inside the Riftowrm. Carmine, with his dying breath, asks Marcus to tell his family he loves them and has Marcus send a letter to his brother, Clay, that he had written recently. Marcus then decides to kill the Riftworm before it can do more damage to humanity. Delta makes its way through the Riftworm, cutting open the worm's arteries to its three hearts. This ultimately kills the Riftworm and allows Delta to escape the massive creature by chainsawing through its flesh, emerging in a pool of blood.

Act 3: Gathering Storm

Delta Squad is then tasked with heading to the New Hope Research Facility which supposedly holds information on the location of the actual Locust stronghold, called Nexus, and the location of the Locust Queen.

After blowing open the heavily armored door to the abandoned facility, Marcus and Dom maneuver through the still-active security systems until they reach the inner labs, learning that the facility had kept test subjects called Sires, which were mutated creatures resembling human and Locust mixed together. Accidentally awakening the hunchbacked monsters, Marcus and Dom kill most of the Sires and are forced to escape once they learned the location of the Locust stronghold and the Queen. They head off towards Mount Kadar, where there is back entrance to the Locust stronghold.

After battling up Mount Kadar in a Centaur Tank, driving over lakes of ice, eliminating Locust outposts, killing a trio of Corpsers and a pair of Brumaks, Delta runs into a group of Stranded led by Chap, the owner of Aspho Gas Station from Gears 1. The Stranded had begun moving underground after their outposts were overrun by Locust forces. Marcus has Cole and Baird escort the Stranded back to the surface to be picked up by Ravens. Before leaving, Dom asks Chap if he had ever seen Maria before. Chap believes Maria was in a group that was captured by the Locust, and tells them to look for a waterfall near the Locust main highway.

Marcus and Dom make their way towards Nexus, the Locust capital, by crossing a massive lake. During the crossing, they are attacked by Locust gunboats and a massive fish called the Leviathan, which is killed by Marcus when he hurls grenades down its throat.

Act 4: Hive

Once at Nexus, Dom convinces Marcus to help him search for Maria in the labor camps nearby instead of continuing with the mission into Nexus. After a small search and evading Locust patrols, they locate Maria, only to find her beaten, scarred, emaciated from starvation, and unable to stand or speak from endless torture from the Locust. Dom, not believing what has happened to her and extremely saddened, decides to euthanize her to put her out of her misery. He kills her, saying "I love you so much". Marcus encourages him to remember she is in a better place now. He also explains that he found a way to sneak into Nexus, though he tells Dom, "...if you wanna go in guns blazin', I don't blame you.", to which Dom replies "I wanna kill 'em all."

Note: The "All Fronts Collection" included an extra chapter to Act 4; "Road to Ruin". It features Marcus and Dom disguised as Theron Guards, acting out Marcus' original plan to sneak into Nexus.

As they fight their way through Nexus, Marcus and Dom activate JACK's beacon, signaling an accurate position for COG forces to drill down in Grindlifts and being the assault on the Locust capital city. Reunited with Cole and Baird, Delta learns that the Locust are engaged in a civil war against the Lambent; Locust who have been mutated from Imulsion exposure. The Lambent are attempting to take over Nexus and overthrow the Locust Queen, who plans to evacuate the regular Locust forces and wipe out the remaining Lambent in the Hollow. In order to accomplish this, however, they must sink Jacinto, flooding the Hollow with the surrounding seawater. Delta discovers these plans when JACK hacks into a Locust terminal and reveals several recordings from Adam Fenix explaining that, if they sink Jacinto, it would flood the Hollow with seawater, destroying the Locust once and for all.

Delta continues fighting their way through Nexus and the Queen's palace, battling the most cunning and powerful forces the Locust have to offer, until they reach the throne room and confront the Locust Queen herself. The Locust Queen explains that, in order to prevent the Humans from flooding the Hollow before the Locust escape, she has sent an army to attack Jacinto, thereby distracting the COG Army. The Locust Queen briefly mentions Adam in a favorable manner to Marcus and Delta, but does not elaborate on how she knows him, brushing the subject off and ordering Skorge to attack them. When the Locust Queen tries to escape, Marcus orders Cole and Baird to pursue her, leaving himself and Dom to battle Skorge in a series of chainsaw duels. Eventually, Skorge escapes on his Hydra after being overwhelmed by the combined efforts of Marcus and Dom.

Act 5: Aftermath

In order to reach Jacinto as quickly as possible, Delta hijacks two Reavers to fly them to Jacinto. In their journey back to the city, they are pursued by Locust-driven Reavers and eventually Skorge on his Hydra. Delta Squad manages to defeat the Hydra, causing Skorge to fall to the ground below, killing him.

Once at Jacinto, Delta helps defend COG headquarters, with help from Colonel Hoffman, from Locust forces and then is tasked with a new mission. The plan is to sink Jacinto using a Lightmass Bomb, ultimately flooding the Hollow. However, Seeder and Nemacyst infestation are a negative factor to the King Ravens that will bring the Lightmass Bomb to the position in the Hollow to set it off. Additionally, an opening must be made in order for the Ravens to get underground. Marcus and Dom head off to carry out the operation while Baird and Cole stay behind to assist with the Lightmass Bomb's preparation.

In the Jacinto sinkhole, Marcus and Dom manage to hijack a Brumak to speed up the operation. With the Brumak, the duo blast through hundreds of Locust forces, including Reavers, Seeders, Nemacysts, a Corpser, and even a Beast Barge. Once the area is cleared of Locust forces and an opening is made, the King Ravens move in to deploy the Lightmass Bomb.

The Brumak suddenly begins to mutate due to extended Imulsion exposure, and knocks the King Raven carrying the Lightmass Bomb into the Imulsion. Realizing the Brumak is going Lambent, Marcus, Dom, and Baird all use the Hammer of Dawn to make the Brumak explode, causing an explosion powerful enough to sink Jacinto and flood the Hollow, drowning both the Locust Horde and the Lambent.

As the COG army moves away from Jacinto and watches it sink underground, Marcus attempts to contact Anya, growing distressed with the lack of response. Dom, solemnly holding his photo of Maria, comforts him, and the two soon see Cole, Prescott, Hoffman, and Anya on a nearby Raven.

The Locust Queen can be heard giving a final narration:

"Your world can end in the blink of an eye. One event, one unexpected twist of fate and suddenly the world as you knew it... is gone forever. All that you held dear, all that you held close... is washed away into the sea of distant memory. Life... is cruel. Of this, I have no doubt. But life continues on... with, or without you. One can only hope that one leaves behind a lasting legacy. But so often, the legacies that we leave behind... are not the ones that we intended."

Following the credits comes a faint transmission from Adam saying: "This is Adam Fenix... Is anyone out there...? Can you hear me...? This is Adam Fenix... Can you hear me...? What have you done...?!" suggesting the flooding of the Hollow and the sinking of Jacinto may have created a greater threat for humanity.

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