The reviews are in on the latest adventure of papa bear Marcus Fenix and the cubs of Delta Squad in Gears of War 2. For those who don't need the evaluation of a game's merits distilled down to numbers, letters, or stars, check out sister-site X3F's review of the game. The basic takeaway from all the reviews is that if you liked the original Gears, it's a pretty safe bet you'll be on board with the chainsawdomy of the sequel.
  • Giant Bomb (100/100): "The differences and enhancements in Gears of War 2 feel very calculated and intelligent. ... Academically, it's interesting to see this balancing act in motion. But all you really need to know is that Gears of War 2 is a terrific, kick-ass shooter with enough stuff in it to keep you busy for a pretty long time."
  • 1UP (A): "Gears' gameplay isn't mindless warfare -- it's intensely focused, visceral fun. The cover system, despite its returning flaws, is still addictive. Likewise, hunkering down in the game's Roadie Run -- during which the camera pulls down close to your character as he ducks and runs -- again feels limited, as it's not conducive to either keeping an eye (and the camera) ahead of you or making tight turns. For such a stunning game, these held-over missteps seem odd, but they have little impact on Gears 2's impressive level of polish across the board."
  • IGN (95/100): "Gears of War 2 is what's going to sell Xbox 360s this holiday season. It has non-stop action, fresh gameplay, varied environments, an engrossing storyline, multiplayer that will have people busy for years to come, and some of the nastiest and coolest kills I've seen in a videogame."
  • EuroGamer (90/100): "As the plot ambles towards its conclusion, the weight of the game's surroundings and the distinctly downbeat narrative are tangibly claustrophobic. Above all else, one of the biggest surprises is how uncomfortable it can make you feel, as story and setting come together to provide memorable moments in amongst the muzzle flashes and kerb-stomping."

This article was originally published on Joystiq.