"We were treated to a truly epic, totally bombastic cinematic showing the deployment of the COG army."
Having cleared the hospital and surrounding streets of Locust, we were treated to a truly epic, totally bombastic cinematic showing the deployment of the COG army to fight the Locust on their home turf. This cinema, along with many more in the game, pretty much cement Gears of War 2
as having a better written, more interesting story than the first. Not to mention some truly outrageous scenarios that we're not going to spoil.
Next up was the the very first segment of the game ever shown. In it, we climbed aboard massive Grindlift Rigs and set off for a city called Landown, which just so happened to be the perfect spot from which to launch into the subterranean Hollow – home of the Locust.
As seen in earlier gameplay footage, we had to defend the Rigs from incoming mortar fire, Locust attempting to board them, and massive Brumacks charging us. It wasn't easy, but it was big
We got another chance to choose our path upon arriving in Landown; did we clear the buildings or take the rooftops? (Rooftops it was.) We commandeered a mobile Locust mortar at one point and used it to blow a hole in a building so the rest of our squad could forge on. Later, we crept slowly through a blacked-out tunnel, blasting explosive, scampering Tickers with only the Grindlift Rig's headlights behind illuminating the scene.
Cue some more cinematics and ... we were in the Inner Hollow. The network of underground tunnels and chambers provided provided not only a change of scenery, but also of pace.
"The network of underground tunnels and chambers provided provided not only a change of scenery, but also of pace."
While trudging through the underground, squishing bugs beneath our feet, we came across copious bits of back story. It appeared in the form of COG Tags (which are now accompanied by journal entries) and documents that helped flesh out the mission we were on and the Gears
universe as a whole. We were able to view everything we'd collected later in a War Journal from the game's menu.
Like we said earlier, from the time we spent with it, Gears of War 2
one-ups the original in terms of its story and variety. It's also a more balanced gameplay experience from a difficulty standpoint. The new elements such as human – er, Locust shields, new weapons, and oodles of one-off mechanics (riding a Reaver, anyone?) are just icing on a big COG Tag shaped cake ... one that we want another slice of ASAP.