A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a bloody, violent shooter. Players use a standard array of weapons from assault rifles to shotguns and grenades. Bodies are blown to bits, with flesh flying across the screen. On head shots, you'll sometimes see heads blown apart. Melee kills are particularly brutal. One rifle includes a chainsaw bayonet players can use to rip bodies to shreds, while blood splatters on the screen. This is definitely a game meant for players 18 and older. The game is also playable online.
What's it about?
Space marine Marcus Fenix is back in the highly-anticipated sequel GEARS OF WAR 2, a gory yet gratifying action shooter. The Xbox 360's latest superstar picks up where the original Gears of War left off: with an explosion that seemingly eradicated the evil alien race known as the Locust. Instead, the Locust have gone underground, rebuilding their forces and growing stronger. Their latest scheme involves sinking cities in the land of Sera, and it's up to Fenix and his Delta Squad to thwart their efforts.
For those new to the franchise, this is an action shooter where cover plays a critical role. Players must strategically pop in and out of cover as they mow down enemy Locusts. Leaving yourself in the open often results in defeat, as enemies prove to be relentless. Players have a bevy of weapons to choose from, including an assault rifle with chainsaw attached, shotguns, sniper rifles and flamethrowers. The entrenched firefights are very bloody, and often result in bodies being blown to bits. Players can opt to move the action online by participating in the game's myriad of multiplayer modes.
Is it any good?
Instead of drastically altering the mechanics, developer use Gears of War 2 to make smart refinements. Players now use human shields, allowing them to move more freely while holding a wounded enemy in front of them as cover. Players can also carry out new execution moves near opponents. They vary from curb stomping an enemy to slamming an enemy's head with the butt of your gun. Overall, the game exhibits a high level of polish. Landscapes are vast, with intricate details along mountain facades and other objects.
The battles are as intense as ever. Locusts range in all sizes, from speedy Tickers to Brumaks the size of buildings. New weapons freshen up the combat and are satisfying to use, especially the flamethrower and Mulcher, a powerful machine gun. Multiplayer mode has been tweaked as well. Players can now be matched based on skill, and can group with friends. The online highlight, however, is Horde Mode. Players can join four others online to fight off endless waves of Locust. As you defeat one wave, another appears that's bigger and tougher. It serves as a fantastic extension of the game's co-operative component.
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