Gears of War 2 is undeniably Microsoft's crown jewel this Christmas in the Holiday sales push bringing back the bulky, manly world of GoW so well-received by the gaming community in the first iteration. Booting up the sequel is immediately familiar if you've played the first as the control and overall feel of the game is exactly the same. Some minor evolutions from the original pepper the experience but this is, in heart and soul, a continuation of the story of the original.
Graphics are slightly tightened up over the original, certainly more so on the art design side of the equation than the raw graphics which don't achieve much over the original game. This isn't a hard knock on the title, since GoW was already pushing the 360 hard when it was designed. Epic didn't reinvent any wheels here, but the result is still a brilliantly crisp and detailed game world that seems to have a far more varied and richer color palette than before.