Universal acclaim - based on 90 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 2515 Ratings

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  • Summary: Gears of War 2 builds upon the gameplay of the first title in every way. First, the scope of the action is bigger: new characters, more weapons, nastier enemies, bigger vehicles, and grander locales offer more action, more emotion, and more thrills. Next, every major aspect of the game has been refined to create heightened, more immersive experiences. Finally, the overall tone of Gears of War 2 is more badass: replete with new weapon-specific executions, chainsaw duels, and shocking boss fights. Gears of War 2 raises the graphics bar for next-generation games through its breathtaking visual effects, which are made possible through advances in Unreal Engine 3. New visual effects include ambient occlusion, dynamic shadows, improved character lighting, the ability to render hundreds of on-screen characters simultaneously, improved water physics, additional blood and bullet decals, advanced destructible environments, new weather effects, and the introduction of fluid objects. When combined with the sweeping vistas and evocative locales in the world of Sera where the Gears of War 2 story unfolds, these additions help make this the most gorgeous game available this generation. Gears of War 2 continues to push deep, immersive storytelling in video games to greater heights. Humanity's epic battle for survival is felt on both the personal and epic levels as you explore multiple story arcs that introduce new characters and flesh out the histories of familiar ones. A new in-game conversational camera system also helps bring the compelling story to life in a cinematic fashion. [Microsoft] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 90
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 90
  3. Negative: 0 out of 90
  1. 100
    Gears of War 2 is, simply put, an improvement in every aspect.
  2. 100
    As great as the campaign is, the game will see its longest legs from multiplayer. And from the multitude of competitive match types to the addictive and strategic co-op Horde mode, what felt like a hugely entertaining afterthought in the original Gears now easily stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the campaign.
  3. 95
    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.
  4. Gears does what it does flawlessly. It's not the best shooter ever, but it's definitely the best Gears. [Christmas 2008, p.50]
  5. An average vehicle mission and a couple unimaginative boss battles knock it down a peg, but Gears of War 2 is still a magnificent third person shooter and one of the year's best.
  6. The title’s relentless immaturity can grate after a while, though. Gruesome executions and grunted, testosterone-soaked dialogue sloppily plaster over the campaign’s heavy-handed morality play. While the plot makes sense this time around, its clumsy mysteries are old hat to anyone moderately well read in science fiction. Still, finding bad things to say about Gears of War 2 is like trying to hate on the ‘07 Patriots. The game is impeccably engineered to dominate everything it sets its sights on, and yet ultimately falls short of achieving true immortality.
  7. It may be short on gameplay surprises, but it's long on visual shock and awe.

See all 90 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 324
  1. KieranM.
    Nov 8, 2008
    After playing through and completing the campaign I am absolutely stunned. The games looks beautiful and play beautifully too. The story offered more than thought and blew me away. Some bugs are still appearing but that doesn't hinder the fact that it is one of the bext games out on Xbox 360. Multiplayer is enhanced although needs ironing out in places. Stupid amounts of fun can be had with mates and Horde is another stunning co-op inventive feature. A superb game, any fans of shooters, good MP games or gore should get this. Expand
  2. SeanH.
    Feb 5, 2009
    This game had absolutely everything that I was looking for. It was backed by an excellent story, it had some of the most graphic violence that I've seen in a game, and it has an amazing multiplayer. I would recommend this game to any of my friends, enemies not so much though since I don't want them having fun. Expand
  3. Sep 21, 2010
    I would have given this game a 9.5 if I could. I felt that Epic Games had succeded in yet another awesome game. The new horde mode is a great laugh. The online progression system is sweet and the maps are epic. Especially now they ave released the 'All Fronts Collection' (what an awesome deal). The online is deffinatlet better than the original. But the campaign however, seemed to lack the 'feel' of gears of war 1. I miss the Kryl and Beserkers, I didn't feel scared in any way and the storyline just didn't seem quite as good as the previous and I still can't get my head around the fact that the lightmass bomb made the locust stronger? However that said the campaign did feel more epic with the large armies, and the updated technology meaning you can fit loads of enemeies on the screen. Skorge was definitely a better bad guy than RAAM and I was glad to see more of the lambant locust (except this time not just wretches). Overall, I'd say Gears of War 2 is a must have, it's an oustanding game both offline and online but the storyline just wasn't quite good enough for me. Expand
  4. Oct 30, 2010
    A great improvement on the original with more weapons, characters, maps, enemy types complimented with some improved graphics and sounds. Although the story and gameplay is pretty much the same the whole way through, it is great fun nonetheless although some might feel it lacks the awesomeness Gears of War 1 brought when it was released. Expand
  5. LennyB
    Nov 19, 2008
    for all those who gaves this a ten, you are obviously blind, or just hitting puberty. grant the game was good. no where near "awesomeness", grant it if that is even a word. besides that. the graphics are decent. but the repetitive chainsaw scenes get old after a while. on that note, if you see your body about to get sliced, you should be able to shoot the blade away, and how the scene happens. its like no effort, there should be more effort behind trying the cut someone. like if you come up behind someone, they automatically turn around and except there fake, needs more fight. horde mode was a valuable asset. but got repetive quick. the boss battles, were in my eyes terrible, where was the strategy, where was the effort. i saw none. i know its a game, but like, how does it happen that if you get should so many times in the head you don't die, they call it a headSHOT for a reason, not headshots, thats always been a pet peeve for me in this game, at least in halo, they had helmets, in this they, had nothing. except for carmine. a cool and worthwhile asset to have in gears is the ability to customize, at least your armor, or face, and on the guns a little, kinda boring play as the single player characters. all and all this game deserves a 7. Expand
  6. ChrisK.
    Nov 29, 2008
    I played GoW1 to death and filled my time waiting for GoW2 by playing CoD4(great game BTW). I really enjoyed GoW2 campaign mode and co-op I also like the Horde mode but when it comes to online multi-player, I can not even express my dissapointment in words. Set aside the long drawn out process of trying to find a match or the lack of being able to stay in a room and play more than one match against an opposing team. The shotgun, what the hell happened? It used to be the noobs would try and chainsaw you but a decent player with a shotgun would would see them fall. Now the game is catering to the Lancer and chain saw. The delay between shotgun blasts allows an opponent too much time to close the distance and chainsaw you. I also can't believe you can't fire the shotty while running. I tend to buy a game andplay nothing but that game for several months or even a year before finding a different game that is just as good. I played the first GoW for over a year before I got tired of it and moved on. Gow2 is already on the back burner after 3 weeks. I will probably play it again if the multiplayer issues are fixed. Expand
  7. LazarusS.
    Nov 13, 2008
    A very terrible game I regret to inform you, curious metacritic browsing person. I did not care much for the game at all. I would rate it a zero out of ten because' I could not stand the game long enough to actually play. I now use the disc as a Frisbee for my dog. It is typical of the Failbox 360 to achieve such terrible releases. Expand

See all 324 User Reviews