Saturday, November 15, 2008

Gears of War 2 The Sequel that just won't end. (Contains possible spoilers)

I sense The Matrix Trilogy coming on... and you know how that turned out.

On Campaign: Gears of Unreal Tournament Evil

I like Gears of War. I like Gears of War 2, but after reflecting on the campaign experience, there are a few things about this sequel that has me kinda disappointed. Not so much the game itself, but rather a few design decisions made on the developers part, that deflated my otherwise high expectations.

While the first game had this fresh feeling about it, not only in art direction and style of play, the story wasn't anything more than your average battle for survival against an alien race, with shit going wrong that gets in the way of your ultimate objective. That's all fine and dandy, but the game still felt 'different' from other games out there.

Much has remained unchanged from the first title, but Gears 2 seems like it's going in an odd direction losing a bit of that uniqueness that made the first game so awesome, venturing into formulaic territory even more so than the first. Sort of like the awe of the first Matrix movie, compared to the sequels, and for those have seen the matrix trilogy, you should be able to see where I'm coming from. Of course Gears of War never was that mysterious, or philosophical, but like the Matrix it references different sources, and it's those influences that I think makes Gears a mishmash of stuff. Gears is becoming your typical shooter game, just with a little more bells and whistles.


I think where the campaign started to lose me was when the player gets eaten by the Worm, and you're inside it. Granted it is a bloody fantastic part of the game inside the guts of a worm, but I couldn't help but think, WTF? What is this Pinocchio? Citing the reference to Monstro the whale.

Immediately following the part of the game, was the laboratory that made me think of Resident Evil, and all similar Sci-fi. Experiments on humans, creatures in capsules, and tidbits of info on patients. I felt like Gears ended and Resident Evil started.

Then, later the part with the underground ruins on the mission to defeat the alien queen who mind you happens to have a British accent, looks like she stepped out of a Square Enix game.

As for the environment art... I swear to you that I thought there was some serious reusing of assets from Unreal Tournament, and I have played a lot of UT. I wouldn't be surprised if assets were tweaked and used for Gears. The map felt like it belonged in UT. I could have sworn I played this map before. The textures, the atmosphere reeked of Unreal Tournament. Was I playing Gears of War? If it wasn't for the duck, cover, and shoot gameplay that makes Gears of War what it is, this game would probably just be another addition to the UT series.

And then the game kept going on, and on. Deeper and deeper into the earth. Dragging on.

Though these observations don't overshadow what a cool game experience Gears 2 is, they definitely removed me from the experience, at least temporarily.

Seems to me for now that the third Gears will be the same with the usual stuff we expect from a trilogy wrap up. I wonder if there will be a prequel?

I didn't know middle school kids could get their hands on this game.

On Multi-player: Invasion of the middle school kids, and wannabe leaders who like the sound of their own voice.

So I've been playing a lot of Horde lately perhaps a little too much, sometimes with XBL buddies, other times with random strangers. There were a few times I joined a game and ended up playing with what seemed to be middle school kids. High pitched and prepubescent with nothing but swear words coming out of their mouths. They took over the mics, and just kept talking. The other people in the game started leaving, and I too soon followed. Shouldn't these kids be playing Halo or something...

Another thing that bothers me about the online multi-player world is the Leader who thinks he's a leader, but doesn't do much killing, and only barks orders from a safe spot. Now, don't get me wrong. I'm totally a team player, but when it comes to strategy in horde waves, sometimes you gotta take things into your own hands, as in breaking from the usual strategy. The player who immediately tries to rally everyone around him as if his way is the right way usually comes off as a jerk. I can't stand people like that. I can understand if the team sucks and needs direction, but if I'm playing that's not the case.

All I gotta say is "Quit whoring the Mic, and play the damn game biatch!"

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