Universal acclaim - based on 90 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 90 out of 90
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 90
  3. Negative: 0 out of 90
  1. The game consistently manages to put impressive, holy crap-worthy stuff on-screen. Your ears get their fair share of candy, too. Voice work is almost always right on and the music is epic, foreboding, and dangerous.
  2. Gears of War 2 is one of the greatest games of the year and if you're even remotely interested in its genre and do not own an Xbox 360, then seriously consider getting one - it is THAT good.
  3. Gears 2 is a lesson in masterful pacing; whether it’s lulling you into a false sense of security, dropping you into an inescapable situation, or blowing your hair back with a ‘speeder bike’ vehicle section. It’s a ripping good yarn that is continually one-upping itself by belting you upside the head with yet another over the top action sequence that eclipses the last awesome thing you just did.
  4. Probably one of the best online multiplayer games on the Xbox 360.
  5. Epic, knowing the success of the first installment, has not taken any risk at all and gives us what they know we are going to like: an extraordinary pure action experience, outstanding in all technical and gameplay aspects and, above all, is hugely entertaining and guarantees hundreds of hours of adrenaline rush thanks to its campaign mode and online play through Xbox Live.
  6. Gears of War 2 is a darker and larger experience then the first game which will please all the gamers looking for a “bigger and better” version of the original.
  7. With an explosive single player, improved multiplayer, and an all-around polished feel, Gears of War 2 is better than the original by a large margin.
  8. Gears of War 2 helps to change the perception of the 'angry space marine' shooter by thanks to a compelling story at its core. There are points in Gears of War 2's ridiculous and explosive Brumack set-pieces that you'll wonder how you'll ever be able to go back to the original game without being under-whelmed.
  9. Gears of War 2 manages to be everything that the sequel to an intense, violent shooter should be.
  10. Gears of War 2 is a fantastic game, with an epic campaign, incredible Horde co-op experience, and improved multiplayer; all in a package that promises to keep players entertained for dozens, if not hundreds of hours. Several issues keep the game from being all it could be, but it remains a worthy addition to any 360 owner's library.
  11. Action fans everywhere are going to adore it, but I recommend everyone play it. It’s big, brash, loud and full of ball-shrinkingly deadly scenarios and for that, we can forgive the predictability of the rest of it.
  12. In conclusion, Gears of War 2 is truly an epic game that goes beyond its predecessor and offers gamers another truly outstanding gaming experience.
  13. In the end, Gears of War 2 achieves exactly what it sets out to do: make a better Gears of War. It's an accomplishment worthy of praise, but knowing what Epic is capable of, we really wish they would have pushed the envelope a bit more on the campaign mode.
  14. 92
    It provides a truly electric action experience, building on the original with intense, astonishingly epic set-pieces. What's more, the presentation is the closest we’ve got to starring in a full-blown action flick. However, the game is also bereft of any genuine surprises and for all of its stunning visuals and masterful firefights, it’s all a little too predictable.
  15. Gears of War 2 is one big roller coaster ride full of impressive moments. When the ride ends, there’s still the vast array of multiplayer possibilities to be discovered. The core gameplay of Gears of War remains intact, and some minor bugs I encountered lower the score a little bit, but don’t let that keep you away of this shining masterpiece.
  16. Gears does what it does flawlessly. It's not the best shooter ever, but it's definitely the best Gears. [Christmas 2008, p.50]
  17. The best single-player shooter in the history of Epic Games. If it is going to become a Hollywood movie, it should be directed by no other than Michael Bay.
  18. Highly addictive online modes dull the pain of mundane offline play.
  19. Gears of War 2 doesn't reinvent the wheel, but it does bring a good bit of polish to the concepts that made the first such a success.
  20. If you're hoping for something epic or monumental (like, for example, MGS4 or Mass Effect; two games that still managed to blow my insanely high expectations out of the water), you may be slightly disappointed. That said, it's important to note that the only reason I'm saying this is to keep your standards in check - Gears 2 is by all measure a must-have title for the Xbox 360.
  21. Gears of War 2 takes the formula established by the original and polishes it to great effect. Everything from the pacing of the campaign, tuned difficulty, added weapons and enemies, and slew of multiplayer options demonstrates mastery in design that all action games aspire, yet precious few achieve. Not everything is rosy--chalk the poor story and lame characters as being yet another victim of cheesy game writing. That's excusable, though.
  22. At a time when everyone wants to turn the entertainment world on its head – or at least be seen to – it proves that the entertainment itself, whichever way up it may be, is what matters most. [Christmas 2008, p.86]
  23. The real star, however, is Horde, a ballistic assault on your worst score-rush tendencies that transforms maps into Gears-flavoured Mutant Storm: weapons spawn, then a wave of enemies hits, then more weapons and then another, tougher, wave.
  24. This is a linear adventure through stunning environments and incredible violence – and this is what Gears Of War does best. [Christmas 2008, p.108]
  25. The most pleasure from Gears 2 has to be in multiplayer, and I’ve very much enjoyed playing the campaign with friends in ever more challenging difficulties.
  26. There are very few ways that Gears of War 2 could be improved on. Only the story and the final boss in particular are a slight disappointment. Fanboys will love the fact that only one of a multitude of story arcs is concluded; everyone else will feel slightly unfulfilled. But aside from this, Gears 2 is not just the most exhilarating game you'll play this year, but possibly the most heady and downright shocking piece of entertainment full stop. Hollywood, your days are numbered. [Dec 2008, p.61]
  27. 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.
  28. We could be critical of Gears of War 2 simply offering more of the same, but the fact that it simply does everything better than the original in delivering a fantastic display of shoot-’em-up mayhem its quality simply shines through. With some awesome level design, supported by unsurpassed visuals and relentlessly entertaining action it is a compelling experience from start to finish. Forget the crack at putting emotion into the storyline; it’s almost irrelevant as Gears of War 2 is an allguns- blazing extravaganza and, as such, it’s just a glorious shooter that very few can match.
  29. We're getting a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of Cliffy B interviews, quotes and other Cliff related stuff that have roamed the world wide web the past few weeks. But in all fairness, Gears of War 2 is a more than worthy sequel of its predeccesor. The co-op mode is still a very attractive part of the game, and the same goes for the Horde mode. With more enemies, more levels and especially more blood it offers just what you expect from a sequel. The game rarely suprises, but it hurls enough cannon fodder towards you that it will blow you away.
  30. There’s enough content to consider it a true sequel, and not an incremental upgrade, and it’s an overall better game. The expanded story and new multiplayer modes confirm the purchase, and for fans there’s no way to avoid something this good during the holiday season.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2461 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 76 out of 325
  1. Aug 13, 2010
    what a let down in almost every aspect. where to start . well lets start with the single player . The story for lack of a better word sucked apperintly in all the questions we had from gears of war 1 Epic thought we all wanted to know about Doms wife . i guess they thought that no one cared about where the locast came from , marcus's past , How the war Started and pretty much any other importent Plot detail ive heard people asking about. The ending Boss battles where a Joke the fight with Skarr wasnt even close to being as fun as fighting Ramm in the first one . the final battle with the Brumak was a complete and utter FAIL. i mean you cant lose this fight i dont care what difaculty you have this on a freekin monkey could do it . the game does have its moments like fighting the giant fish boss that looked and felt awsome but thoose moments in Gears 2 are very few and far between . its a decent Co-op experiance but why do they not have 4 player co-op i mean this game begs for it. The Horde Mode is ok and will provide you with some fun but nothing thats amazing as hyped . The online was completely Destroyed i loved the first one online it has to be my favorite online game despite all the bugs and glitches which are MANY! but gears 2's online they just wrecked they destroyed the shotgun , the serch system was horendus , the chainsaw was unstoppable , the new maps are just Lame , The mortor was rediculas and shoulda been left for the single player, frag tagging to walls is the cheapest thing ever , theres not much good to say about this game outside of the voice acting and diolouge is great and they fixed the active reload with the sniper so its not cheap any more. some of the online issues have been fixed ive heard as of late but its to little to late . Epic Games should be out appoligizing for this game every day . i have little Hope Gears 3 will be any better then this crap . i give it a 5 because the controls are solid and the graphics are nice , and good voice acting . i can give little more praise then that. Full Review »
  2. Aug 30, 2011
    Possibly one of the best reasons to own an Xbox 360. Gears of War 2 is easily my favorite console shooter. The multiplayer matchmaking has improved in almost every possible way, the co-op ended up being an awesome addition to the game also. The horde mode is good, it feels lacking though. The weapon arsenal is bad ass. The maps were as good as the maps in the original Gears of War, I didn't see much of a variation between the two. The only thing I could **** slap this game with is the story, it turned it into a dramatic soap opera, it didn't turn out well either; I definitely didn't hate it though. Full Review »
  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. Full Review »