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Gears of War 2
Gears of War 2 - Multiplayer Hands On
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For me, the original Gears was all about the multiplayer. Sure, the campaign was great, but it was the multiplayer arena that sucked up most of my time and after spending an afternoon on Gears of War 2’s “Horde” mode, I can see this one taking just as much of my time, if not more.

The whole purpose of Horde was to give groups of 2 to 5 players a co-operative experience they could thrive on. Instead of adding more players to the story mode and decreasing the individual stories exponentially, this is Epic’s solution to that problem and I think it’s one of the great additions to the series by far this year.
 
Cliff Bleszinski, Epic's Design Director, describes Horde as “Smash TV meets Geometry Wars”. The whole point of the game is to survive and destroy wave after wave of computer controlled Locust, but the further you get in, the harder it gets and the more points you rack up. This isn’t a short mode by any means, in the space of a couple of hours we only got as far as wave 18, so realistically, you’re looking at a good 6-10 hour solid stretch to complete the 50 waves and get that wave 50 achievement. Oh and that’s in one sitting! Don’t worry though, if you all die, you can start from the beginning of the wave you are on but lose all your points. Let’s put that in perspective, Bleszinski himself has only reached wave 27 and the testing team have only reached level 50 very recently.

 The waves work in classes and in groups of 10; so you’ll start the first few phases taking out a few Tickers and then as you move up to waves 3 and 4, you’ll see some Boomers and Maulers join the fray and then as you reach waves 8, 9 and 10 you’ll have bits of everything trying to hunt you down, especially the powerful Blood Mounts who can cripple a whole team in a matter of minutes. Once you clear 10, the enemies reset back to the wave 1 horde but they get upgrades in accuracy, shields and so on, meaning the further you get, the harder your foes will be. This pretty much means waves 11 and 12 will be easier than waves 9 and 10, so you’ll get a few modes to recover the intensity that is a result of the higher waves.

It’s necessary to work as a team and use the power weapons on the map to gain a decent defensible position, but beware, the Maulers will charge you with their mace so working as a team to eliminate the more damaging foes early on is a necessity.
 
We got to spend a lot of time of both the “river” and “security” maps which were both built really well. River is a series of log cabins surrounded by a road and a river that was tough to gain control on in the Horde mode simply because of the sheer size and lack of good defensible positions. The second map, security was a little easier and was set in an environment surrounded with huge stone, weathered architecture with a laser security system that was deadly to touch. On security, there was a great tunnel system at the back that allowed a team of 5 to defend from a decent position against the waves of Locust.

The new weapons in the game are absolutely fantastic, not only the new heavy weapon class, but even the new Gorgon pistol is a powerful beast and I spent most my time wielding this. The new heavy weapon class consists of three monster weapons; the Scorcher, the Mulcher and the Mortar.
 
The Scorcher is a flamethrower that can melt the hearts of even the strongest Locust and the visual effect of the character models under the intense heat is a hugely impressive effect. Hit an active reload perfectly whilst equipped with the flamethrower and see your flames get extended distance, rather than power. The Mulcher is a Gatling gun and once you set this bad boy up on the floor, it can rip through whatever the Locust throw at you, however, don’t expect to be very mobile with it. Last, but by no means least is my personal favourite, the Mortar gun. The Mortar gun will take some perfecting, but after a while, when you get a long range hit right with this bad boy, you’ll be admiring your handy work as that Boomer in the distance gets obliterated by a shower of mortar missiles. In order to aim, you line it up on your screen and then hold the fire button down till you are happy you have judged the distance correct. The longer you hold it down the further it goes and getting used to this is most definitely a case of practice makes perfect.

The game also features a new type of grenade that casts a harmful gas where it explodes and the resulting gas hangs damaging anything within its range and even weapons like the hammer burst (which is now fully automatic with a slower rate of fire) have been revamped to the nth degree.

Other than Horde, Gears of War 2 offers gamers competitive player versus player multiplayer in 3 announced modes so far; Wingman which is essentially 5 teams of 2 in a free-for-all, last team standing event, Submission which is a one flag, capture-the-flag mode where the flag is a downed computer controlled AI opponent that becomes a flag when used as a meat shield, and finally, Assassination 2.0 which is a streamlined version of the original assassin where the fallen team members keep respawning until the leader is dead ... again, last team standing wins.

If Gears of War 2 shipped with Horde alone, I’d buy it. All you need to do is get a decent crew of friends together and this is possibly all you’ll ever need. Horde however is only a small fraction of what Gears of War 2 has to offer and it makes the game a more complete package and now seems to boast a mode for every mood. The new weapons and maps that we managed to get some time with were fantastic and Bleszinski even spoke briefly of an avalanche level that sounds utterly destructive. Check back in November to see what we think of the finished product, but for now, get prepared to lose a few hours in November trying to get to wave 50 on Horde.

Gears of War 2 is available exclusively on Xbox 360 and will be released worldwide on November 7th.




 
 

User Comments

Forum Posts: 579
Comment #1 by rockhopper
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:30:43 PM
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can't wait for this game. I just don't know whether to jump into the campaign or Horde mode first. Midnight release and I'll be up for a straight 24 hours playing it.


Forum Posts: 19
Comment #2 by hallam
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:30:51 PM
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I can't fkn wait ;D


Forum Posts: 22
Comment #3 by McBride96
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:32:36 PM
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SWEET:)


Forum Posts: 22
Comment #4 by CDurrant
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:32:57 PM
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its going to be awesome


Forum Posts: 232
Comment #5 by Harry Rasing
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:33:19 PM
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This gonna be so great!!


Forum Posts: 93
Comment #6 by I o DGK o I
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:35:18 PM
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nicee


Forum Posts: 12
Comment #7 by bmb1020
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:38:37 PM
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gears 2 is gonna be the best game ever


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #8 by PsychoSawyer
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:40:00 PM
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YES i totally love online multiplayer especially gow i still even play it now


Forum Posts: 10
Comment #9 by Kevjohn
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:41:57 PM
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is that ramm in the background of the last picture (that would be wierd if it was)


Forum Posts: 806
Comment #10 by knockton55
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:44:58 PM
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Sounds ace!


Forum Posts: 2979
Comment #11 by JC
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:47:42 PM
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Horde looks amazing!


Forum Posts: 268
Comment #12 by Lord of Orion
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:48:23 PM
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6 - 10 Hours for just getting to wave 50 alone ... I think that I just wet myself. Like they said, if it had Horde mode only in it, I would still end up buying this. Fable 1 had about 10 hours worth of stuff and look how many copies that sold? I am still sore about that though.

If the campaign has anything of substance to it and the actual multiplayer is as good as the first, I think that this will mean that Fallout 3 would have to put up a great showing to be even close in the running for the "Game of the Year" awards. Same that so many great games come out all at the same time!


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #13 by Pheonix_Assassin
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 04:53:34 PM
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lmao i was pre-ordering this until i saw the 50 price tag stuff it i get rock band and fifa09


Forum Posts: 10
Comment #14 by Impey
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 05:01:06 PM
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gear= unbeatable


Forum Posts: 1109
Comment #15 by patches4711
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 05:10:15 PM
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Really sounds great. I am looking forward to spending many hours in Horde Mode with friends


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #16 by SaMoRgAn
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 05:10:46 PM
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i hate it when i read all of these types of interviews or watch vids, coz then i want to play it so bad and realise i have to wait another month
looks amazing though
:)


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #17 by danneh150
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 05:34:55 PM
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I can't wait guys 8-)


Forum Posts: 630
Comment #18 by Smugu
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 05:44:17 PM
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What are you guys so excited about i cant figure. Basically just co-op... sounds lame


Forum Posts: 2042
Comment #19 by ThrawnOmega
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 05:45:35 PM
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I'll be spending a LOT of time in hoard mode.

That new flash box is pretty sexy, by the way =)


Forum Posts: 714
Comment #20 by Bajan Elite
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 06:09:58 PM
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@#18: do u even like gears , if not why u even reading the article and posting a reply? if u do whats not to like its co-op with up to four other players against increasingly difficult waves of enemies. U must either be a loner or just don't have anyone to play with co-op with awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww


Forum Posts: 37
Comment #21 by I1 Chewbacca I1
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 06:30:04 PM
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Give me my chainsaw!


Forum Posts: 14
Comment #22 by Invader Skooj
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 07:04:33 PM
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Did they change they Hammerburst fire rate? I was looking forward to the Semi-Automatic one.


Forum Posts: 477
Comment #23 by wigidywaxa
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 07:10:17 PM
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Horde sounds brilliant. Cant wait to play it with my mate


Forum Posts: 362
Comment #24 by KWEY516
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 07:10:50 PM
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i love you x360a bringing all this gears 2 news

*bows down to your greatness*


Forum Posts: 178
Comment #25 by Blue Thunder28
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 07:24:46 PM
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So glad this is out on a friday.


Forum Posts: 2424
Comment #26 by A Satyr
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 07:33:01 PM
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And i thought today was gonna suck...


Forum Posts: 3
Comment #27 by ManicMangoiow
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 07:56:33 PM
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Wake me up wen this game comes out:) i cant wait


Forum Posts: 2424
Comment #28 by A Satyr
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 08:08:34 PM
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If only i could go to sleep for an entire month then stay up for a month straight and play it...


Forum Posts: 3
Comment #29 by Italiancupcake
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 08:54:08 PM
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got my plans for that weekend, can't wait!


Forum Posts: 79
Comment #30 by XxM4RKSM4NxX
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 09:11:52 PM
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OMG! They have a flamethrower?!?!?!? :DDDDDDDD


Forum Posts: 6
Comment #31 by rick9099
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 09:29:07 PM
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Games looking mint

@9 RAMM can be unlocked through gears 1 achievements.


Forum Posts: 14
Comment #32 by Zer0staR
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 09:38:25 PM
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cant wait for gears!!! : )


Forum Posts: 47
Comment #33 by AFROxMANN
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 09:46:25 PM
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this comes out on a friday, ... there goes my weekend :]


Forum Posts: 5148
Comment #34 by Parkerktm
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 09:47:44 PM
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Good Article Webb! :)


Forum Posts: 30
Comment #35 by Nova Leon
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 10:47:45 PM
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This game is godlike as they say in unreal


Forum Posts: 25
Comment #36 by NaCH_THa_KiD
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 11:17:55 PM
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I'm an Idiot, can someone tell me who the Fat guy with the tats is? I forgot :(


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #37 by SJS94
Monday, September 29, 2008 @ 11:30:07 PM
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@36 Marcus's spiritual friend from the past. I think his name is Tai.


Forum Posts: 286
Comment #38 by Diaxen
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 12:01:15 AM
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I think the question on the minds of most Gears 1 faithfuls is: How's the lag? Obviously you're in a system link environment, but at least ask him about whether the netcode uses client side hit detection or server side!

Games like Halo 3, COD2-4, and Battlefield: BC use client side hit detection.
Games like Gears 1 use server side.


Forum Posts: 557
Comment #39 by und3rdoggy
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 12:23:52 AM
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this game is sick going to get GOTY 100%


Forum Posts: 3
Comment #40 by ShadowHero10
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 01:07:35 AM
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Its a shame to see that host does still have an advantage in gears but its one of those things you gotta forget and just remember how freaking great this game is gonna be


Forum Posts: 62
Comment #41 by rambo111111
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 05:14:45 AM
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I can't wait, I think it'll be amazing just to sit back with mates and kill bots, it'll also be good just to see whoever can get the most kills/exp sniping these, eh?


Forum Posts: 14794
Comment #42 by Webb [STAFF]
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 09:20:50 PM
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@ 38 - Gears 2 still uses a client-server architecture rather than the peer-to-peer ones that Halo uses. Check out the interview, Cliff talks about it there.


Forum Posts: 17
Comment #43 by XxJ2XxX
Tuesday, September 30, 2008 @ 11:36:41 PM
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im so gonna get this game


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #44 by J3TT3
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 @ 03:14:53 PM
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H O L Y S H I T :O


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #45 by Alex933
Wednesday, October 01, 2008 @ 06:22:31 PM
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I didn't like gears but now it sounds AWSOME! CANT W8!!!


Forum Posts: 1182
Comment #46 by xI C0uch P0tat0
Thursday, October 02, 2008 @ 01:05:51 AM
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Sounds like Terrorist Hunt from the RSV games but seems fun.


Forum Posts: 22
Comment #47 by Kagosin
Thursday, October 02, 2008 @ 02:54:32 PM
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This reminds me of the waves in UT, where you fend off quite a bit of enemies. =)


Forum Posts: 187
Comment #48 by Gnome Smasher
Thursday, October 02, 2008 @ 10:09:13 PM
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so wait is horde wave 1 = 10 wave 2 = 20 etc etc?


Forum Posts: 0
Comment #49 by giantgoldigger
Tuesday, July 27, 2010 @ 04:49:58 AM
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gears is a good game but out of the bouth of them, gears 2 is definatle the one.


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Game Info
Developer:
Epic Games
Publisher:
Microsoft
Genre:

Release:

US November 07, 2008
Europe November 07, 2008

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