Well, I've been playing Gears for the past two days straight, so I thought I'd give you guys a decent, grammatically correct (or hopefully so) report in case you were still deciding.
It's not too long, about 10 hours on Hardcore (haven't had a go-through on Insane yet). Rating-wise, it's a bit of a mixed bag. There are some truly Epic (tee-hee) moments, which I won't spoil for you, and then there are some really shitty sequences. Luckily, the shitty parts are only the vehicular parts (This does not include the grindlift). The first two suck, but luckily, the third "vehicle" redeems itself by, well, not having the first vehicle's mechanics. But I forgot all about those (as I'm sure the developers wanted me to) when the action quickly caught back up. New allies also give it a fresh batch of dialogue, and the new enemies keep you counting your ammo. Story-wise, it still leaves a few unanswered questions (Mostly about Adam Fenix and the Queen), but it gets the job done. After all, am I here to read a book, or kill some grubs? All in all, I'd give it a: A-
The Lancer is back, and as overpowered as ever. But, giving it some competition, is the Hammerburst Assault Rifle. In the first Gears, the choice was obvious; a high powered machine gun with a chainsaw attachment that rendered you invulnerable when mutilating someone, or a shitty (yet for some reason statistically superior) burst-round rifle. Not in Gears 2. The Lancer wielder is no longer invincible during a chainsawing, so it's basically a deathtrap unless you're alone or the other enemies are busy shooting your buddy. It has the regular L-trigger zoom as well. Recoil isn't bad, and it can knee-cap people in about a clip (depending on your ratio of "super bullets"/regular bullets). It also sounds more like a machine gun (Well, I thought it was cooler). Now for the Hammerburst. It fires as fast as you can pull the trigger, and it has replaced the Lancer as my default weapon. The recoil is what you have to watch out for, but after you adjust, you'll be loading them faster than the lancer spits bullets. It does fire single shot, and has two zooms; the L and another with the Right analog stick. It can also down/kill locusts in about a clip. The implementation of the gattling gun, mortar, flamethrower, gorgan pistol, shield, and "ink" grenade give us some new, and very nice, weapons to play around with. The gattling and mortar can be picked up as a "third" primary, and dropped whenever you need your other guns. The flamethrower looks very nice, and it's always fun to see your enemies scorched and writhing on the ground. The gorgan pistol is by far the best pistol-slot gun you can have. It may be slow to shoot, but what it lacks in speed, it picks up in punch, improving on the boltock's motto by adding even more damage. It fires 4-5 shots in a burst, like a shotgun/burst-machinegun. It has 4 "shots" in each clip, and when used with the shield, gives you a great advantage over tougher enemies. The shield can be carried around, and like the mini-gun and mortar, slows you down when carried. It can also be placed at strategic points to block out enemies (the stupid ones, at least, for it can be kicked down). There are two major frustrations I have had with the game's guns however; the sniping and the chainsaw rev-up. Sniping is made even harder by the constant motion of your enemies. Now, I can hit a moving target pretty good, but when your enemy "twitches" an inch away and back, and you somehow don't get the headshot is beyond me. It is extremely frustrating when a Locust jerks a bit, and you "miss", even though the bullet clearly went through his head. The chainsaw rev-up is another mistake. When you get shot, beat, concussed, bumped, walk into a wall, step on a sharp stone, your chainsaw lowers, and you get raped. When an enemy gets shot with a boomshot, it lowers. Then his mutilated arm comes flying at you and cuts you in half. Exageration aside, it gets freakin hard to chainsaw anyone when they are facing you. So you have to switch weapons and try to beat em. Then you get chainsawed. Overall, the weapons get a : A
This is where Gears of War 2 excells. Creative and enjoyable new modes, some with respawns, give all of the old classics a refreshing new twist. There are also more interactive levels, inlcuding Hail, where "Razorhail" falls down and cuts everyone to pieces unless they are sheltered beneath the various traincars and kiosks. The lobby is much easier to handle, and it even lets you choose between a lancer or the hammerburst as your starting weapon. Another nice feature is the addition of bots. These can be used in any multiplayer match as allies and enemies (Horde mode; enemies only). They can be set from Casual to Insane, and provide more of a challenge than the campaign's enemies. They will sneak up on you. They will flank you. You can still rape them, but it will be harder. Now, these are no substitutes for a human player (unless he/she is a n00b), but they certainly get the job done. Unlockable characters are also added for you by beating certain sections of the campaign and some even delve back to the original Gears. Overall, I'd give it an: A
So, hope this helped with any questions you might have had. If you'd like to ask me something specific, please feel free.
Lock and Load, Bitches.