Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gears of War 2 : Comments on the Story and Ending

Finally finished the game together with my wife this morning, at hardcore difficulty.

Comments on the story:
WARNING, SPOILERS! [highlight to read]

As a moderator on Pinoyxbox, I've had to read a few spoilers here and there, and going online I try to avoid some spoilers but inevitably I did read some. Most of them don't say exactly what happens but they say the same thing: Gears of War 2 ends abruptly with a cliffhanger.

After getting to actually finish the game, I was quite surprised because I was expecting a Halo 2-styled cliffhanger ending. Granted, you could say that Adam Fenix's last lines at the end make it seem like a cliffhanger, and a great deal goes left unexplained when you reach the end, but the story for this 'chapter' of the Gears series does feel complete. By the time Jacinto falls it does feel like the conclusion to a certain story; in a way the humans dealt a strong blow against the Locusts by drowning them in the hollows. There'll probably be a few survivors here and there on the Locust side, but for the most part, it was a victory for the humans, even if it was a bittersweet one.

So, yeah, I found the ending quite satisfactory. Thank God it wasn't a 'Thank you for playing!' screen or a '5 seconds of dialogue then credits start rolling' type of ending. Now THOSE kinds of endings in games are annoying. Gears 2 ends, obviously hinting at a Gears 3 [why would Microsoft throw away such a glorious franchise like this? Of course it has to hint at a new game!], but it does have an ending, a real conclusion to this particular story. I recall Halo 2's ending. Now THAT was a really bad ending to a game. In Halo 2 you arrive at what could probably have been the final battle and then..."I'm going to finish this fight!" then the game ends. Ouch. Halo 2's ending is outright traumatic, I don't want to see that kind of ending again. I was worried that the things I read online hinted at a Halo 2 styled end, but thankfully that didn't happen.

END SPOILERS

Spoiler free comment: This is the most spectacular action shooter I've ever played since Halo 3. Congratulations to Epic Games, this is probably the greatest game they've ever created in the history of their company (since their humble beginnings with the Unreal series).

Gears of War 2: Game of the Year!

- The single player mode is literally a non-stop, action-packed, explosive spectacle that every hardcore action gamer/shooter fan should experience. Play this game and you'll have the unfortunate side-effect of expecting this level of quality from every other shooter you play in the future.

- The multiplayer mode guarantees endless replay value. This game can be enjoyed competitively online, or casually with friends through its cooperative MODES - note, that's plural because not only can you play coop through the campaign, you can play coop through HORDE MODE which feels like an entirely different game altogether. It has leaderboards and rankings which add even more value to the game as something you can play long after its release date. I can already see that this game is going to be on the top 10 played Xbox 360 games until 2010 (the likely release year for Gears of War 3).

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