- "Hope Runs Deep"
- —Gears of War 2 slogan
Gears of War 2 is a tactical, third-person, over the shoulder, shooter video game developed by Epic Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios exclusively for the Xbox 360. It is the sequel to the critically acclaimed best-seller Gears of War and the predecessor to Gears of War 3. It was announced by lead designer Cliff Bleszinski during the 2008 Game Developers Conference on February 20, 2008. It was released on November 7, 2008 and uses an updated version of the Unreal Engine 3.
Gears of War 2 sold more than 2 million copies during its debut weekend.
Much of the core gameplay elements that were central to Gears of War, an over-the-shoulder third-person shooter that emphasizes the use of cover, are present in the sequel. It includes a more profound plot with new characters, new weapons, and new enemies, including the ability to fight Brumaks. The game also includes the ability for a player to duel with an AI or human opponent when both use the Chainsaw Bayonet attachment of the Lancer Assault Rifle.
When downed, you aren't as helpless you were in Gears 1. Now you can crawl around as a last desperate attempt for life, and rapidly tapping the A button will help you crawl faster. If you have a Grenade equipped when you're downed, you can press the right trigger (RT) to drop the grenade, and commit martyrdom. The grenade will still have a timer when you drop it, so it'll take a little more skill than just simply pressing the right trigger. Also, you cannot drop a grenade once the opponent has started an execution. In an interview with EGM, Cliffy said that Gears 2 runs roughly 30 percent better in terms of performance than the first game. He also went on to say that, while the team did consider it, dedicated servers were not made for Gears 2. A.I. bots now take the place of any open slots in multiplayer. Other little additions include the ability to "wall hug" and interrupting SWAT turns mid-move.
Developer quips mentioned considering implementing a live-scoring icon on the screen that will show players how much damage they're causing as well as their score, but this did not happen.
A Button — Causes you to grab a downed opponent and use them as a meat shield. This button can also be used to slam into cover and (whilst holding down the left analogue stick) perform certain actions within cover. Holding down the A button while moving allows you to roadie run.
B Button — Standard melee attack and performs executions, some of which are unique.
X Button — Allows you to pick up weapons, ammo or perform certain actions, such as flicking switches. Also does the curb-stomp execution.
Y Button — Performs unique finishers for most weapons. Also points out things or events of interest when the game prompts you.
Last Day Promotion
- Main article: Last Day
Before the release of Gears of War 2, Epic studios released the Last Day site and invited fans to find hidden COG tags around the world and use the codes to unlock the tabs in the Last Day site.
- Main article: Rendezvous
The primary promotional video for Gears of War 2 was the Rendezvous video, which featured Marcus Fenix charging into the battle field during Operation: Hollow Storm. In the background, a narrator recited a stanza from Alan Seeger's "I Have a Rendezvous with Death."
Act 1: Tip of the Spear - The game begins with the Locust Queen providing a brief summary of what has happened in the Locust War over the last fifteen years, explaining how the war truly began, the Pendulum Wars, the Locust's survival of the Lightmass Bomb, and how Jacinto is now the last safe refuge for humanity.
The story then moves to where Marcus, Dom, and Anya Stroud have gathered at Jacinto Med, a hospital in Jacinto. Ben Carmine arrives and becomes the rookie in Delta Squad. After a brief training session, Locust forces are spotted attacking the hospital and Carmine is ordered to stay behind by Marcus. During this attack, Marcus and Dom meet up with Tai Kaliso, a spiritual warrior that fought with Marcus in the Pendulum Wars. Together, Marcus, Dom and Tai move through the hospital, killing all of the Locust drones that entered and eventually meeting up with Carmine again. They force back the Locust forces outside of the hospital and into a full retreat. Anya then speaks with Dom about a lead she possibly had on his missing wife, Maria. Unfortunately, the lead was wrong, greatly upsetting Dom and resulting in him breaking a car window.
After the assault on the hospital, Chairman Richard Prescott rallies the Gears, telling them of how the Locust Horde has survived the Lightmass Bomb and have returned stronger than ever, bringing with them a force that can sink entire cities. Soon, humanity will have nothing left to defend, leaving them one last option; an all-out attack on the Locust Horde in the Hollow. To do this, COG forces are to escort massive trucks called Assault Derricks towards the Locust occupied town of Landown and use Grindlifts to barrel down into the Hollow and fight back against the Locust. Upon arriving at the Derricks, Delta meets Dizzy Wallin, a conscript who drives Rig 314, also known as "Betty". On the way to Landown, Locust forces attempt to destroy the Derricks, only managing to destroy a small amount of them as the Gears fight back in defense. Once in Landown, the Derricks make their way to the cemetery while Gears on the surface provide protection in Landown and deploy the Gears underground. Unfortunately Locust forces attack once more, this time led by Skorge , leader of the Kantus. Dizzy confronts Skorge in order to prevent him from stopping Delta from heading underground. Tai somehow manages to leave his grindlift and also joins the battle. While the two battle Skorge, Marcus and Dom, unable to get out of the grindlift, look on helplessly before being projected underground into the inner Hollow.
Act 2: Denizens - Once underground, Marcus and Dom regroup with Carmine and move through the Hollow, supporting other Gears, such as Alpha Squad, who are under attack from Locust forces. As they journey deeper into the Hollow, they continue slaying Locust until Delta discovers the source of what is sinking entire cities; the Riftworm. Commanded by Skorge, the Riftworm sinks the entire city of Ilima before Delta's eyes, creating a massive sinkhole. The Locust are using the Riftworm to sink cities around Jacinto, punching holes around humanity's last safe haven in a desperate bid to eventually sink it. Delta quickly makes their way through the sunken city of Ilima, destroyed and in flames, battling through invading Locust and looking for survivors until they walk into an ambush. They fight back, but are outnumbered and nearly overwhelmed until Cole rescues them.
Cole informs Delta that Baird and his jumpmate, Tanner, have gone missing. While searching for them, Delta comes across the remains of Tanner, which are barely recognizable. Seconds later, they find Baird locked up in a metal contraption. Baird says the Locust are apparently capturing humans and torturing them. Delta then comes across a Beast Barge, where the Locust take their prisoners to torture them. On the Beast Barge, Delta discovers Tai who has been severely tortured and broken emotionally. Marcus gives Tai a shotgun to fight with, but Tai, overwhelmed by the torture the Locust put him through, instead uses it to kill himself. Marcus and Carmine are both horrified. Marcus takes Tai's COG Tags and heads back to the Ilima sinkhole with the Squad. Once they're back in the sinkhole, Delta is picked up by a King Raven which arrives just before the Riftworm's sudden reappearance. Flying debris, caused by the Riftworm's tunneling, strikes the King Raven's tail, which causes it to temporarily lose control, Carmine to fall out of the Raven into the Riftworm's mouth, and the King Raven to be swallowed.
Inside the Riftworm, Delta survives the "swallowing" and moves backward through the stomach and digestive system of the Riftworm towards the head. They find Carmine, dying after being burned by acid and partially devoured by Nemacytes, creatures that live inside the Riftworm. Carmine, with his dying breath, asks Marcus to tell his family he loves them and has Marcus send a letter to his brother, Clay, that he had written recently. Marcus then decides to kill the Riftworm before it can do more damage to humanity. Delta makes its way through the Riftworm, cutting open the worm's arteries to its three hearts. This ultimately kills the Riftworm and allows Delta to escape the massive creature by chainsawing through its flesh, emerging in a pool of blood.
Act 3: Gathering Storm - Delta Squad is then tasked with heading to the New Hope Research Facility which supposedly holds information on the location of the Locust stronghold, calledNexus, and the location of the Locust Queen.
After blowing open the heavily armored door to the abandoned facility, Marcus and Dom maneuver through the still-active security systems until they reach the inner labs, learning that the facility had kept test subjects called Sires, which were mutated creatures resembling human and Locust mixed together. Accidentally awakening the hunchbacked monsters, Marcus and Dom kill most of the Sires and are forced to escape once they learned the location of the Locust stronghold and the Queen. They head off towards Mount Kadar, where there is back entrance to the Locust stronghold.
After battling up Mount Kadar in a Centaur Tank, driving over lakes of ice, eliminating Locust outposts, killing a trio of Corpsers and a pair of Brumaks, Delta runs into a group of Stranded led by Chap, the owner of Aspho Gas Station from Gears 1. The Stranded had begun moving underground after their outposts were overrun by Locust forces. Marcus has Cole and Baird escort the Stranded back to the surface to be picked up by Ravens. Before leaving, Dom asks Chap if he had ever seen Maria before. Chap believes Maria was in a group that was captured by the Locust, and tells them to look for a waterfall near the Locust main highway.
Marcus and Dom make their way towards Nexus, the Locust capital, by crossing a massive lake. During the crossing, they are attacked by Locust gunboats and a massive fish called the Leviathan, which is killed by Marcus when he hurls grenades down its throat.
Act 4: Hive - Once at Nexus, Dom convinces Marcus to help him search for Maria in the labor camps nearby instead of continuing with the mission into Nexus. After a small search and evading Locust patrols, they locate Maria, only to find her beaten, scarred, emaciated from starvation, and unable to stand or speak from endless torture from the Locust. Dom, not believing what has happened to her and extremely saddened, decides to euthanize her to put her out of her misery. He kills her, saying "I love you so much". Marcus encourages him to remember she is in a better place now. He also explains that he found a way to sneak into Nexus, though he tells Dom, "...if you wanna go in guns blazin', I don't blame you.", to which Dom replies "I wanna kill 'em all."
Note: The "All Fronts Collection" included an extra chapter to Act 4; "Road to Ruin". It features Marcus and Dom disguised as Theron Guards, acting out Marcus' original plan to sneak into Nexus.
As they fight their way through Nexus, Marcus and Dom activate JACK's beacon, signaling an accurate position for COG forces to drill down in Grindlifts and begin the assault on the Locust capital city. Reunited with Cole and Baird, Delta learns that the Locust are engaged in a Civil war against the Lambent; Locust who have been mutated from Imulsion exposure. The Lambent are attempting to take over Nexus and overthrow the Locust Queen, who plans to evacuate the regular Locust forces and wipe out the remaining Lambent in the Hollow. In order to accomplish this, however, they must sink Jacinto, flooding the Hollow with the surrounding seawater. Delta discovers these plans when JACK hacks into a Locust terminal and reveals several recordings from Adam Fenix explaining that, if they sink Jacinto, it would flood the Hollow with seawater, destroying the Locust once and for all.
Delta continues fighting their way through Nexus and the Queen's palace, battling the most cunning and powerful forces the Locust have to offer, until they reach the throne room and confront the Locust Queen herself. The Locust Queen explains that, in order to prevent the Humans from flooding the Hollow before the Locust escape, she has sent an army to attack Jacinto, thereby distracting the COG Army. The Locust Queen briefly mentions Adam in a favorable manner to Marcus and Delta, but does not elaborate on how she knows him, brushing the subject off and ordering Skorge to attack them. When the Locust Queen tries to escape, Marcus orders Cole and Baird to pursue her, leaving himself and Dom to battle Skorge in a series of chainsaw duels. Eventually, Skorge escapes on his Hydra after being overwhelmed by the combined efforts of Marcus and Dom.
Act 5: Aftermath - In order to reach Jacinto as quickly as possible, Delta hijacks two Reavers to fly them to Jacinto. In their journey back to the city, they are pursued by Locust-driven Reavers and eventually Skorge on his Hydra. Delta Squad manages to defeat the Hydra, causing Skorge to fall to the ground below, killing him.
Once at Jacinto, Delta helps defend COG headquarters, with help from Colonel Hoffman, from Locust forces and then is tasked with a new mission. The plan is to sink Jacinto using a Lightmass Bomb, ultimately flooding the Hollow. However, Seeder and Nemacyst infestation are a negative factor to the King Ravens that will bring the Lightmass Bomb to the position in the Hollow to set it off. Additionally, an opening must be made in order for the Ravens to get underground. Marcus and Dom head off to carry out the operation while Baird and Cole stay behind to assist with the Lightmass Bomb's preparation.
In the Jacinto sinkhole, Marcus and Dom manage to hijack a Brumak to speed up the operation. With the Brumak, the duo blast through hundreds of Locust forces, including Reavers, Seeders, Nemacysts, a Corpser, and even a Beast Barge. Once the area is cleared of Locust forces and an opening is made, the King Ravens move in to deploy the Lightmass Bomb.
The Brumak suddenly begins to mutate due to extended Imulsion exposure, and knocks the King Raven carrying the Lightmass Bomb into the Imulsion. Realizing the Brumak is going Lambent, Marcus, Dom, and Baird all use the Hammer of Dawn to make the Brumak explode, causing an explosion powerful enough to sink Jacinto and flood the Hollow, drowning both the Locust Horde and the Lambent.
As the COG army moves away from Jacinto and watches it sink underground, Marcus attempts to contact Anya, growing distressed with the lack of response. Dom, solemnly holding his photo of Maria, comforts him, and the two soon see Cole, Prescott, Hoffman, and Anya on a nearby Raven.
The Locust Queen can be heard giving a final narration:
"Your world can end in the blink of an eye. One event, one unexpected twist of fate and suddenly the world as you knew it... is gone forever. All that you held dear, all that you held close... is washed away into the sea of distant memory. Life... is cruel. Of this, I have no doubt. But life continues on... with, or without you. One can only hope that one leaves behind a lasting legacy. But so often, the legacies that we leave behind... are not the ones that we intended."
Following the credits comes a faint transmission from Adam saying: "This is Adam Fenix... Is anyone out there...? Can you hear me...? This is Adam Fenix... Can you hear me...? What have you done...?!" suggesting the flooding of the Hollow and the sinking of Jacinto may have created a greater threat for humanity.
|Organizations and titles||Vehicles and vessels||Weapons and technology||Miscellanea|
Organizations and titles
Vehicles and vessels
Weapons and technology
- Damon Baird
- Anthony Carmine
- Benjamin Carmine
- Augustus Cole
- Marcus Fenix
- Victor Hoffman
- Tai Kaliso
- Minh Young Kim
- Dominic Santiago
- Dizzy Wallin
- Beast Rider
- Flame Grenadier
- Grenadier Elite
- Theron Guard
- Theron Sentinel
- Bolter (Beta Only)
The Battle-Cam allows players who have been killed to take a screenshot with the B-button of the most frenetic action that they can find. Do that, and the game will register all of the blood and executions—everything including the amount of particle effects on-screen—and spit out a score which is then uploaded, along with your screenshot, to the leaderboards for the world to see.
New maps included in Gears of War 2 include the following:
Flashback Map Pack
Combustible Map Pack
A second map pack, the Combustible Map Pack, was announced at the 2008 Video Game Awards, and was released on 12/15/08. It included the following:
Snowblind Map Pack
The third map pack, the Snowblind Map Pack, was announced at GameSpot.com. It is a winter themed map pack. It was released on 3/31/09 and cost 800 MS ($10). It included the following:
Dark Corners was announced in sync with the Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection. It was released on 7/28/09 as DLC only. A retail version was cancelled. Dark Corners included 7 new maps and a new Campaign Chapter, priced at 1200 MS. The new maps were:
As well as the Campaign Chapter:
The maps were "leaked" to Xbox Live Marketplace days before the release for a few minutes at 800 MS, which Epic quickly fixed.
Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection
- Main article: Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection
A DLC that included all previously downloadable content as well as the new Dark Corners DLC. It can be bought for 800 Microsoft Points from the marketplace.
Horde was added to add more offline gameplay. It can also be played online with up to five players as you take on wave after wave of the Locust Horde. There are 50 waves of Horde, each increasing in difficulty. For example, the first wave will start with very few Locust to kill, around 9 which are likely to be a few Wretches and Drones. Although as you progress through the waves, the larger enemies appear, like Boomers, Grinders, Bloodmounts, Maulers, Butchers, Kantus, Flame Grenadiers and so on, and there are more of them. This game type is incredibly difficult, even on the casual the last 10 waves are quite challenging. There is a 30-point achievement for completing all waves on any difficulty. Additional achievements are available with the extra map pack downloads, such as clearing 50 waves on any Snowblind map or clearing 10 waves on each of the maps included in each set of map downloads.
This is a variant on classic Capture-the-Flag, but instead of having a flag sitting in the center of a stage waiting to be captured, a hostile AI-controlled Stranded will be waiting to do battle. He'll even tally his own score to be seen by all at the end of a round. Do enough damage to take him down to his knees and then run up, use him as a meat shield and haul his carcass back to your base to score the point for your team.
Here ten possible players, up from the original game's eight, are broken up into sets of 2. Each pair will share the same character model, and you'll have to hunt throughout the map to kill as much of the opposition as possible before landing at a final kill count. Like free-for-all, but with a partner to work with.
One man on your team is the leader. If the leader is assassinated, then the ability to respawn is taken from his teammates, turning their current life into their last. The leader is called out on the opponent's screen at all times, making the hunt that much easier. First team to wipe out the other wins. To prevent the players from tricking the other team into thinking they're the leader, players can't choose Hoffman or Skorge. The leaders for the next round aren't always selected by random: whoever killed the opposing team's leader becomes their team's leader next round. If a team loses and no one killed the opposing team's leader, then their new leader is selected by score. However, if the leader has the highest score and the opposing leader is still alive or is killed by the other leader, the next person on the scoreboard is chosen.
The standard Team Deathmatch mode of Gears 2. Warzone is a battle between two teams for a set amount of points at the end of each match, by eliminating the opposing team each round. A point is awarded to the surviving team after the round.
Similar to Warzone in that the teams compete for the most amount of points by eliminating the other team in each round. The only difference is that players can only be killed by one shot kills, or by being downed and executed at close range.
GDC Unreal Tech demo
At the 2008 Game Developers Conference, Epic Games showcased a tech demo in which they demonstrated new features of the Unreal Engine in Gears of War 2. These new features included "Ambient Occlusion Technology" (that vastly improves the lighting effects in the game), "Dynamic Water Effect Technology" (that creates more lifelike looking water both in the way it looks and in the way it reacts to movement), "Improved "Matinee" System" (that is used to create in-game cinematics), "Soft Body Physics Technology" (which improves textures for different substances in the engine; in the demo a large piece of flesh was shown that reacted very realistically to the player) and destructible environments. One of the most marked features to be showcased was the introduction of "High Density Crowds" which saw literally hundreds of Locust running through the Gridlock map from the original Gears of War. The introduction of this technology allowed larger battles in Gears of War 2, as well as larger multiplayer games.
XBL Marketplace content
On February 20, 2008, coinciding with the game's official announcement at the Game Developers Conference, free gamer pictures ("Crimson Picture Pack") and a dashboard theme ("Bare Your Teeth"), as well as a teaser trailer, titled "Duel" (not available in all regions), were made available via the Xbox Live Marketplace. Several map packs have also been released. msn.com partnered with experiencecommerce.com to release a Facebook application to practice the game. Shortly afterwards, Epic Games released several new achievements for the game, particularly achievements that can only be done on the new map packs.
The Limited Edition copy of Gears of War 2 (Retail Price around £50/$70) contains:
- A copy of the game
- A Bonus Disk containing videos:
- A "Making the Game" Documentary (48 mins)
- "Duel" Trailer
- "Rendezvous" E3 Trailer
- "Last day" Trailer
- Concept art audio walk through videos on: Marcus, Dom, Kantus, the Locust Horde, and heavy weapons
- Unlockable Limited Edition Gamerpics:
- Samples of music from the game:
- Main theme
- "Enter the COG" (Intro)
- A keepsake photo of Dom and his wife Maria (2.5x3.0)
- A code for the Golden Lancer Assault Rifle (available only to people who have purchased the limited edition)
- A Steelbook case
- Beneath the Surface: An Inside Look at Gears of War 2
Spike TV 2008 Video Game Awards
- Best Shooter
- Best Xbox 360 Game
- Nominee: Game of the Year
- Nominee: Best Multiplayer Game
- Nominee: Best Graphics
- Top 10 Video Games of 2008 (#5)
Game Critics Awards
- Best Action Game of E3 2008
Cheat Code Central
- Best of E3 2008
- Best Microsoft Exclusive
- 2008 Readers' Choice Award: Best Shooter
- 2008 Readers' Choice Award: Xbox 360 Game of the Year
- Best of E3 2008
- Best E3 Xbox 360 Game
- Best of E3 2008, Xbox 360
- Best Game of E3 2008
- Best of E3 2008: Top 10 Xbox 360 Game (#2)
- E3 Gold Award
- Best Graphics Technology, E3 2008
- Best Shooting Game, E3 2008
- Best Games of E3
- Edge's Top 30 of 2008 (#4)
- Best Games of E3 2008
- Aram Kuredjian Game of Show
- Best Action Game of E3
- Best of E3 2008
- Best Action Game of E3
- Top 20 Games of E3 2008 (#3)
TV Game (China)
- Best Title on Xbox 360
- Best Competition Title on Xbox 360
- Top 25 Games of E3 (#2)
Pop Soft (China)
- Best Title on Xbox 360
- Top 3 Console Game Titles Listing
Xbox One X Enhancement
Gears of War 2 is playable on Xbox One hardware, presenting the game at its original 720p resolution with a more stable 30fps. On Xbox One X, compatibility is taken a step further by an added resolution boost from 720p to a native 4K.
- In The Walking Dead episode "Here's Negan," Negan plays Gears of War 2 in a flashback to before the apocalypse. The scene is an error, however, as Negan is supposedly playing multiplayer with at least two other players, but the screen displays that he is playing the campaign, specifically Act 2: Denizens; Scattered.
- Gears of War 2 teaser trailer, free theme and gamer pictures hit Xbox Live (date=2008-02-20 accessdate=2008-02-20)
- Gears of War 2 walkthrough
- List of Achievements in Gears of War 2
- Gears of War 2 Title Updates
- Content Filter Feature
|Gears of War series|
|Main Games:||Gears of War (♫) • Gears of War 2 (♫) • Gears of War 3 (♫) • Gears of War 4 (♫) • Gears 5 (♫)|
|Other Games:||RAAM's Shadow • Gears of War: Judgment (♫) • Gears of War: Ultimate Edition • Gears Pop! • Gears Tactics • Gears: Hivebusters|
|Books:||Aspho Fields • Jacinto's Remnant • Anvil Gate • Coalition's End • The Slab • Kilo Squad: The Survivor's Log • Ascendance • Bloodlines • Ephyra Rising|
|Comics:||Hollow • Barren • A Pendulum Wars Story • Dirty Little Secrets • The Rise of RAAM • Hivebusters • Stand-Alone Issues |
|Booklets and Guides:||Destroyed Beauty • Beneath the Surface • The Art of Gears of War • The Art of Gears of War 3 • The Poster Collection • The Art of Gears of War 4 • Retrospective • The Art of Gears 5 • Gears Tactics: The Art of the Game|
|Other Media:||Gears of War (film) • Gears of War: Exile • Gears of War: The Board Game • Gears of War: Tactics|