Gaming Nexus: Gears of War 2 Review

Gaming Nexus writes: "Just over two years ago, I remember standing outside the LA convention center and staring up at Marcus Fenix' scowling mug. Gears of War was the centerpiece of Microsoft's E3 presentation that year, and they'd hung a giant banner featuring the game's cover art outside the entrance to the expo. I recall that I thought it looked like just another grungy action game, and that the chainsaw on Marcus' gun struck me as somewhat gratuitous.

I didn't play Gears at E3 that year, in fact I didn't play it until the PC version was released nearly a year later. That's when it caught me off guard. I already knew that the visuals were spectacular; it was the gameplay that sucked me in. The simple combination of taking cover, returning fire and advancing made Gears feel more like a war game than the dozens of WW2 titles I've played over the years. The graphics and story perfectly conveyed the desperation, brutality and often pointlessness of war. Other aspects of the game-recharging health, comically bulky characters, alien enemies and yes, chainsaw-guns-did make it exaggerated and unrealistic, but the bitter flavor of war was there, and it felt very real. Gears knew what it was: a balls-to-the-wall shooter about a hopeless struggle. There were hints of complexity in the game's protagonist, Marcus Fenix, but the game never got pretentious and overstepped its bounds like Halo. That mixture, of over-the-top war and a few hidden flecks of subtlety, was highly satisfying. The intriguing story and relentless action left me craving more, and once I finally did play the original Gears on the 360, it felt a little empty compared to the beefed up, improved PC port."

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