gears of war

Gears of War 2

Full Review

Gears of War 2 CoverThere's a bit of a parallel with the games I've been playing lately. Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Gears of War 2 are both sequels to games released this generation, and at first glance, appear to be essentially re-releases of the first game with a new shine. Where the parallels end though is that while Super Mario Galaxy 2 has a ton of new features, Gears of War 2... does not.

I'm honestly surprised, a bit blown away actually, by how little Epic Games bothered to improve on the original Gears of War game. Gears of War 2 supposedly added five weapons, but only one really stands out. There might also be some new enemies, but as they're all so butt ugly and A.I.-dumb it doesn't really matter. There are a bunch of new locations, but everything is still all brown and gray with some city levels and underground levels.

Gears of War 2 is really just Gears of War 1.1.

Gears of War 2

First Hour Review

Gears of war 2 CoverI was pretty impressed by the original Gears of War, it was totally cliche in every way but the gameplay was fun and it was decently challenging on the higher difficulties, plus it had online cooperative play. When Gears of War 2 first came out in late 2008, I played the first few levels of it with my brother-in-law, I would have first houred it right then and there if I had been playing alone, but it’s no fun for the other guy to take notes while playing (see Zombies Ate My Neighbors for a real life example of that).

But the opportunity has come again for me to formally play it, I don’t remember much so hopefully it will be a fresh experience all over again. For those unfamiliar, the Gears of War series is a third person, cover based shooter starring a bunch of football linebackers with giant guns and chainsaws. It’s bloody and nasty, but can be downright fun and a little frightening at times.

So here we go, the first hour of Gears of War 2, let’s see if it stacks up to the first hour of the original.

E3 2010 Predictions Results

Editorial

e3 LogoLike scampering down the stairs on Christmas morning, the excited search for a steady video feed before E3 conferences is filled with anticipation. The annual summer happening is one of the few times on the gaming industry's calendar when we can look forward to some surprise delights from the many publishers playing the role of Santa Claus in business suits. Simply put, it's the industry's biggest event in the year.

As such, the editors of The First Hour tried to guess what unexpected pleasures would manifest at the event. Some were sure bets, like Microsoft showing off Halo: Reach. Others were more risky, like F-Zero hitting the 3DS at launch. And some were planted firmly outside the realm of possibility, with Shenmue 3 topping that list as always.

When all was said and done, The First Hour hit a few out of the park...but mostly struck out.

A Tale of Two Days - E3 2010 Press Conference Recap

Editorial

e3 LogoThe question at the beginning of E3 always seems to be, "Who's going to win this year?" The gaming community eagerly watches the big press conferences for showstopping announcements and game demonstrations, looking to see which company will have the edge for the next twelve months. E3 2010 featured five big press conferences in its first two days: Microsoft, EA, and Ubisoft on Monday, and Nintendo and Sony on Tuesday. So much has happened in the past 48 hours that I think it's important to take a moment and recap each company's showing. I've definitely missed a few announcements and details in this quick-and-dirty summary, but I think I hit all the major points.

Gears of War

First Hour Review

Gears of War CoverGears of War is a third-person shooter for the Xbox 360 that came out in late 2006. The game was one of the first to use the Unreal Engine 3 (seen recently in Mass Effect), a game engine created in-house at Epic. Gears of War's combat system differs greatly from the typical shooter, focusing more on using cover effectively to engage the enemy. Hiding behind cover is built into the game and you either learn it quickly, or die trying. People were obviously looking for something a little different because the game sold quite well and it was just recently released on the PC.

Gears takes place in the future after an alien race has attacked humans living on the planet Sera, a world used to harvest fuel. All the men in the future seem abnormally large, as basically everyone in this game could play American football and dominate the game. I kind of like that style though as it serves the bombed-out, nuclear winter setting well. So I already like the atmosphere, let's see how the rest of the first hour of Gears of War turns out.

For my review on the whole game, please see my Gears of War review at Beyond the First Hour.

Gears of War

Full Review

Gears of war CoverGears of War is a third-person shooter for the Xbox 360 and was the original poster child for Epic's new Unreal Engine 3. It's a gritty look on a post alien-ravaged Earth and its main feature is many very large linebackers hiding behind stuff and shooting guns wildly. That's my one sentence summing up, but this game is actually deeper than it seems to be. The cover system, while not completely original, is what all the combat and gameplay is built around. The game punishes you severely for run-and-gun style of play and forces you to be patient in a world of chainsaws and spiked grenades. Gears of War sold very well, but it was not until this last month that I got to play through it completely, and that I did (twice). Now let's get right into my review.

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