Gears of War 2


Gears of War 2

Infobox VG
title = Gears Of War 2


caption = The official game cover art unveiled at E3 2008
developer = Epic Gamescite web|url=http://www.gamepro.com/microsoft/xbox360/53015/info.shtml|title="Gears of War 2" Page|publisher=GamePro|accessdate=2008-03-10]
publisher = Microsoft Game Studios
designer = Cliff Bleszinski
composer = Steve Jablonsky
engine = Unreal Engine 3
released = Worldwide:
November 7, 2008 [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/888/888919p1.html E3 2008: Gears of War 2 Dated] ]
genre = Third-person shooter Tactical shooter
modes = Single player, System Link, Multiplayer, Cooperative modes
ratings = vgratings|ESRB=M [ [http://www.xbox.com/en-US/games/g/gearsofwar2/ Xbox.com Gears of War 2 Detail Page] ] |BBFC=18 [http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=225565]
platforms = Xbox 360
media = DVD-DL
input = Xbox 360 controller|

"Gears of War 2" is a tactical third-person shooter video game in development by Epic Games and to be published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for the Xbox 360. ["Gears of War 2": Epic's tactical shooter gears up for round two," "GamePro" 235 (April 2008): 49.] It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed best-seller "Gears of War", and was announced by lead designer Cliff Bleszinski during the February 20, 2008 Game Developers Conference. The game will use a heavily upgraded version of the Unreal Engine 3. [ [http://www.gametrailers.com/player/30824.html Gametrailers.com - Epic Games - GDC 2008: Unreal Engine Tech Demo ] ] During E3 2008, a worldwide [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/892/892316p1.html Epic Games and Del Rey Announce Novels in the Gears of War Video Game Universe] ] release date for the game was set for November 7, 2008.

In "Gears of War 2", the Locust have found a way to make giant emergence holes capable of destroying entire cities at once. Marcus Fenix and the rest of the COG Delta Squad are now drilling underground to "take the fight to the Locust." In a teaser of the first scenes of gameplay of "Gears of War 2", COG soldiers engage in battle with a large army of Locust as they travel to drill into the underground region. Comic book writer Joshua Ortega says, "The stakes are raised. This is humanity's last stand. Everything is at risk. Nothing is safe."

Gameplay

ingle player

The demo at the Game Developers Conference indicated that much of the core gameplay elements that were central to "Gears of War" (a third-person game that has a heavy emphasis on using protective cover rather than "run and gun" style game play) would be present in the sequel.cite web|url=http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2008/02/20/gdc08-gow2s-water-is-going-to-be-freakin-hot/|title=GDC08: GoW2's water is going to be REALLY hot! [update] |date=2008-02-20|accessdate=2008-02-21]

John DiMaggio, the voice actor of the game's main character, Marcus Fenix, confirmed to IGN that players would be able to fight the large Brumaks in "Gears of War 2". He also revealed there will be a deeper story with new characters, new weapons, and new enemies. [ [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/855/855853p1.html IGN: Marcus Fenix Talks Gears of War 2 ] ] The game will also include the ability to duel with an AI or human opponent when both use the chainsaw attachment of the Lancer rifle, as seen in the 2008 Game Developer's Conference promotional video, later confirmed in informal interviews with developers [ cite web | url =http://weblogs.variety.com/the_cut_scene/2008/02/gears-of-war--2.html | title = Gears of War 2: Chainsaw Battles | publisher = Variety | first = Ben | last = Fritz | date = 2008-02-22 | accessdate = 2008-02-29 ] [cite web| url= http://www.oxmpodcast.com/?p=130| title="KOXM" podcast #103|date= 2008-02-22] and a "Game Informer" preview.cite news | pages =46-57 | date = May 2008 (Issue 181) | title = Gears of War 2: Great Expectations | work = Game Informer] Epic released a gameplay video which revealed the player may now use "downed" enemies as shields. Bleszinski confirmed also that players who have been injured can crawl as a final desperate attempt at life. Players would tap the 'A' Button to crawl faster. The level of blood and gore will also be increased, for example, when the player is close to death, wherever he moves there will be trails of blood behind him. This is the same for enemies, and the opponents who've been used as a meat shield. There will also be more ways to kill an opponent, such as punching them while they are downed, using the sniper rifle as a sledgehammer, or using the torque bow as an axe. [ [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/878/878566p1.html Gears of War 2 Multiplayer Details] ]

The cover story in the May 2008 issue of "Game Informer" revealed several new gameplay features. Players can now play on individual co-op play settings. One player may, for instance, play on Casual difficulty while the other teammate plays on Hardcore. A "communal combat system" will adapt to give a player at a lower difficulty an equivalently fair challenge as the player at higher difficulty. The player will be able to maintain multiple save files that work with the drop-in/drop-out co-op features. There will also be a fourth difficulty level that is a level below Casual; senior producer Rod Fergusson admitted that — for the first game — "We overshot on [the Casual] difficulty and a game that was a little harder than we intended." Some of the Xbox Live achievements can be completed through both play in single player and multiplayer mode, such as achieving 1,000 headshots. New enemy creatures are planned on being added, including one described by Cliff Bleszinski as one "that [makes] the Brumak look like a baby panda bear."cite news | pages =46-57 | date = May 2008 (Issue 181) | title = Gears of War 2: Great Expectations | work = Game Informer] In a developer's video, Cliff Bleszinski stated that "Gears of War 2" would feature "drop in and out" co-op in the campaign.cite web|url=http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/874/874664p1.html|title=IGN exposes rumors on Gears of War 2|publisher=IGN|language=English|accessdate=2008-07-03] Another feature included in the game is an optional mature content filter, which when active makes blood appear as sparks and removes harsh language from the dialogue.cite web|url=http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/896/896785p1.html|title=Gears of War 2 Toned Down|publisher="IGN"|language=English|accessdate=2008-08-07]

The collection of COG tags has been expanded to include the collection of story-based items such as personal letters and medical records, and a "war journal" will track which collectibles have been found and where missing ones can be located. The cut-scenes will also use the better facial rendering technology of the Epic engine, and will use more dramatic angles for the conversation, as well as using a video screen on Jack (the all-purpose robot used by Dom) to talk with their commanders "face-to-face."

New weapons have been announced as well as the return of weapons from the previous game. The accuracy, function, and power of several weapons has been altered, and all grenades can now be used as mines by placing them on walls or floors, and will detonate when approached by enemies. In addition, players can now be knocked over by the concussive force of a nearby detonating grenade. Cliff Bleszinski has also announced that there will be more vehicle missions in the campaign than before, such as the Centaur Tank which Cliff describes as a "tank with monster truck wheels." [ [http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2008/05/24/gears-of-war-2-x360-multiplayer-details-confirmed/link Xbox 360 Fanboy ] ] Players will also be able to ride a Brumak in the game; previously, the Brumak could only be fought by the player as an enemy.

Multiplayer

"Gears of War 2" features an upgraded multiplayer mode that will allow up to ten users to simultaneously play. "X360" magazine reported that "Gears of War 2" will contain at least three new online multiplayer modes, called "Guardian," "Wingman," and "Submission."cite news | first=César | last=Berardini | coauthors= | title=Gears of War 2 Versus Multiplayer Mode – New Info | date=2008-05-25 | publisher=TeamXbox | url =http://news.teamxbox.com/xbox/16603/Gears-of-War-2-Versus-Multiplayer-Mode-New-Info/ | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2008-06-04 | language = ] [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/886/886441p1.html IGN Gears of War 2 Multiplayer Hands-on] ] "Guardian" is essentially a modified version of "Assassination" from the original "Gears of War", but allows players to continue fighting after the leader has been killed, but losing the ability to respawn. "Wingman" splits all ten players into five teams of two, where both members of a team play as the same character. "Submission," formerly known as "Meat Flag," is a version of capture the flag in which players attempt to "down" an enemy controlled by the game's AI and move its body to their team's base to earn points. A matchmaking system will be utilized for the online multiplayer. In a GameTrailers TV E3 special, it was confirmed that bots will be available in multiplayer, but this feature was not elaborated upon. [http://www.gametrailers.com/gametrailerstv_player.php?ep=27&ch=3 GameTrailers TV E3 2008 Special] ]

A new co-op game mode was confirmed during Microsoft's E3 2008 press conference; called "Horde," this mode allows up to five players to fight off waves of attacking Locust together. Horde Mode will not feature bot support as in competitive multiplayer, and can be played alone. The Locust attack in waves of multiple enemies which become more difficult as players progress. [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/889/889086p1.html E3 2008: Gears of War 2 Horde Hands-on] ]

Cameras in the multiplayer modes have also been improved significantly. Rather than static views from different points on a map, the new Battle Cam allows players to pan around a map as the camera focuses on areas of intense fighting, and the Ghost Cam allows a player to roam freely around a map. A photo mode will also be featured, with each photo taken by a player rated on the amount of action in the shot.

Regarding multiplayer-specific achievements, certain achievements such as getting a defined number of kills with a weapon have been altered. For example, to get an achievement which requires 500 kills with a weapon or 500 headshots, only the first kill or headshot made by a player in a given multplayer match will count towards the achievement. Cliff Bleszinski mentioned that this change was to emphasize the objectives of a multiplayer mode.

Plot

etting

"Gears of War 2" takes place six months after the detonation of the Lightmass Bomb at the end of the first game. Though most of the Locust Horde was destroyed, the explosion also caused much of the liquid Imulsion underground to vaporize, causing a fatal disease called "Rust Lung" to spread among the diminished human population. After months of peace, the cities of Tollen and Montevado suddenly and mysteriously disappear underground, leading the COG to suspect the resurgence of the Locust.cite web|url=http://gearsofwar.xbox.com/GOW2/TheGame.htm#/timeline |title=Gears of War series timeline|coauthors=Epic Games|publisher=Epic Games|language=English|accessdate=2008-07-16] Soon after, the once impenetrable Jacinto Plateau, one of the last remaining safe havens for humans, begins to show signs that the same fate awaits it. In order to stop the fall of Jacinto, the COG responds with a large-scale counteroffensive against the Locust. Senior Producer Rod Fergusson says "In order to save Jacinto, [the COG] have no choice but to take the war to the Locust." Comic book writer Joshua Ortega says "The stakes are raised. This is humanity's last stand. Everything is at risk. Nothing is safe."

Characters

Returning characters will include Marcus Fenix and Dominic Santiago and others from the first game, as well as Cole and Baird. Lead designer Cliff Bleszinski confirmed that the character Anthony Carmine would be returning, but did not reveal how or in what capacity as Carmine was killed in the original "Gears of War".cite web|url=http://www.gametrailers.com/player/33954.html|title=Gears of War Cutscene|publisher="Game Trailers"|language=English|accessdate=2008-08-07] It was later revealed that Carmine himself would not be present in the "Gears of War 2" campaign, but rather his brother, Benjamin, [http://comic-con.gamespot.com/blog.html?topic_id=26510268&tag=blog;title;1 Xbox Creator's Showcase: Gears of War 2 and Fable 2] ] will make an appearance. [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/894/894079p1.html SDCC 08: Gears of War 2 Panel Report] ] The game will also introduce several new characters; among these are Chairman Prescott, the near dictatorial military leader of COG, Tai Kaliso, "a spiritual and meditative warrior from a tradition of honor bound fighters," and Dizzy, a former Stranded who joined the COG in order to keep his family safe. Dominic's wife Maria will also make an appearance, and Dominic's search for her will play an important part in the story.

Development

Gears of War designer Cliff Bleszinski has done several interviews to highlight improvements to the game. Heavy netcode optimization has been done to negate the host advantage problem in the first title [ [http://xbox360.ign.com/dor/objects/14232680/gears-of-war-2/videos/gears2interview_070708.html IGN Video: Gears of War 2 Xbox 360 Interview - Multiplayer Reveal ] ] and hundreds of tweaks have gone into improving the cover system and movement. [ [http://xbox360.ign.com/dor/objects/14232680/gears-of-war-2/videos/gears2_interview.html IGN Video: Gears of War 2 Xbox 360 Developer Commentary - Video Interview ] ] In order to provide a deeper story, the team brought aboard novelist Joshua Ortega as to incorporate more personal drama within the sci-fi setting. Steve Jablonsky will be providing the music for the game. [ [http://kotaku.com/5029602/gears-of-war-2-features-backwards-compatible-linked-achievements Gears Of War 2 Features "Backwards Compatible" Linked Achievements] ]

A teaser image posted to the official "Gears of War 2" website on July 8, 2008 suggested that the game was to be released on November 9, 2008, but it was confirmed during the Microsoft E3 2008 press conference that the game would be released on November 7, 2008. [cite web | url = http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/53499 | title = Epic Teases Gears of War 2 Release on Nov. 9 | first =Chris | last = Faylor | date = 2008-07-08 | accessdate =2008-07-08 | publisher = Shacknews] On July 14, 2008, the teaser image was removed and the official website relaunched and updated for "Gears of War 2". [ [http://gearsofwar.xbox.com/Templates/Secondary.aspx?id=332 New Gearsofwar.com Launches, Golden Age to Follow] ]

"Gears of War 2" was a focal point during Microsoft's E3 2008 presentation on July 15, 2008, which included a "hands on" demo. [ [http://e3.g4tv.com/e32008/videos/27001/Face_Time_Gears_of_War_2_Demo.html G4 - Face Time: Gears of War 2 Demo ] ] [ [http://e3.g4tv.com/e32008/blog/post/686842/G4s_Massive_E308_Coverage_Announced.html G4 E3 2008 Coverage] ] A second trailer titled "Rendezvous" was made available on July 14, 2008 as a part of E3. The trailer takes its title and dialogue from Alan Seeger's poem "Rendezvous." [http://xbox360.ign.com/dor/objects/14232680/gears-of-war-2/videos/gears_of_war2_rendezvous_071408.html Gears of War 2 "Rendezvous" Trailer] ] The game's release date was also set, with a worldwide release to occur on November 7, 2008. Microsoft and Epic Games announced on October 10, 2008 that "Gears of War 2" had gone gold. [ [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/918/918586p1.html "Gears of War 2 Goes Gold"] IGN.com, Retrieved October 10, 2008.]

GDC Unreal Tech demo

At the 2008 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, as a showcase for the functionality of the Unreal Engine 3, Gears of War creators Epic Games showed various improvements to the engine with specific reference to the sequel itself. The video showed several demonstrations of the improvements, the initial being improvements to the in-game lighting through ambient occlusion, in which dynamic shadows could be generated through the use of a pixel shading technique to render more realistically lighted and shaded objects and actors, illustrated through comparison between character and environment models in the original game engine to that of Unreal Engine 3. Also showcased was the ability of the engine to render hordes of actors within the engine, as demonstrated with a large crowd of locust flocking through the "Gridlock" multiplayer map from the original game. Alongside this technology was improvements to "Matinee," an artistic tool used for the rendering and editing 3-dimensional scenes within the game.

Other physics-based features included improvements to the rendering of water in which specular light and physical interactions with were displayed more realistically, improvements to soft body entities demonstrated with a "Meat Cube" and a floating ball possessing properties similar to that of liquid helium. The largest of these physics engine related changes was the introduction of destructible environments due to the implementation of real-time structural analysis tools to generate the damage of the materials and subsequently their deformed shapes based upon resultant forces placed upon them. This was demonstrated with the use of explosive arrows fired from the "Torque Bow" of the original game causing damage to wooden planks, and also revealing rebar present after destroying areas of a stone structure.

Xbox Live Marketplace content

On February 20 2008, coinciding with the game's official announcement at the Game Developers Conference, a free set of gamer pictures and a dashboard theme, as well as a teaser trailer titled "Duel," were made available via the Xbox Live Marketplace. [cite web |url=http://www.xbox360fanboy.com/2008/02/20/free-gears-of-war-2-teaser-trailer-theme-and-pic-pack-hit-live/ |title=Gears of War 2 teaser trailer, free theme and gamer pictures hit Xbox Live | date=2008-02-20 |accessdate=2008-02-20 |publisher=Xbox 360 Fanboy] The first footage of gameplay from the campaign, highlighting new features of the game, was released online and to the Marketplace on May 9, 2008. [cite web | url = http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/52608 | title = First Gears of War 2 Footage Debuts Tonight | publisher = Shacknews | first = Chris | last = Faylor | date= 2008-05-09 | accessdate = 2008-05-10] After the Microsoft E3 press conference, the "Rendezvous" trailer and the press conference demonstration was available for download as well as a new free set of gamer pictures and a dashboard theme.

Limited Edition

A Limited Edition of the game was confirmed on February 20, 2008. [cite web |url=http://kotaku.com/358821/gears-of-war-2-coming-in-two-flavors |title=Gears Of War 2 Coming In Two Flavors | date=2008-02-20 |accessdate=2008-02-20 |first = Mike | last = Fahey |publisher=Kotaku] On July 14, 2008, along with the update to the official Gears of War website, more information about the Limited Edition's contents was revealed. The edition will feature alternate cover art, a SteelBook case with a bonus content DVD, a book entitled "Beneath the Surface: An Inside Look at Gears of War 2" which includes concept art and story-related information, a keepsake photo of Dom and Maria, and an exclusive Xbox Live code to unlock a gold-plated Lancer rifle for online play. [ [http://www.gamestop.com/Catalog/ProductDetails.aspx?product_id=69460 Gamestop Gears of War 2 Limited Edition Info] ] [ [http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/892/892335p1.html Gears of War 2 Limited Edition Content Revealed] ]

Awards

"Gears of War 2" won several awards following its presentation at E3 2008. IGN gave it Overall Best Shooting Game and Overall Best Graphics Technology of E3 2008. [ [http://games.ign.com/articles/893/893833p1.html IGN's Overall Best of E3 2008 Awards] ] Game Critics Awards gave the game Best Action Game of E3 2008. [ [http://www.gamecriticsawards.com/winners.html Game Critics Awards 2008 Winners] ]

References

External links

* [http://gearsofwar.com/ Gears of War Official Website]


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