Things I Miss From Gears Of War 1

  • The destructible furniture. I miss being able to run into a room with my Xbox Livey pal and just go apeshit on chairs and desks using the “machine gun + chainsaw = weapon perfection” Lancer. I miss that specific room in Gears 1 where both players knew instinctively to hold the thumbstick just-so, whilst also mashing a thumb into the B button, so that when the level began you’d both aim straight for the first destructible desk in an unspoken, desperate race. That one room was a perfect ice-breaker; you’d forget about the story and the proper gameplay for twenty seconds of unadulterated, unneccessary furniture-based carnage, just because you could. I miss it (to be fair, the destructible desks make a very brief return near the end of the game, but they’re a bit shit).
  • The story. Well, not exactly – both games have stories, but where the first one went from weird to batshit insane, the sequel actually has a half-decent plot. There’s beats (plot beats like what films and novels have). There’s a little sprinkling of emotional content (Bruce Lee would be proud). It holds the batshit insane stuff til the very end. The first game had B movie written all the way through it, the sequel is trying to be taken a bit more seriously. Although it’s good, it’s damn good, I miss the B movie feel.
  • Decent AI. Not for the enemies, but for your teammates. Jesus H Titty-Fucking Christ, why the hell have your in-game teammates all been lobotomised? You get shot, you hit the deck, and you wait for a teammate to revive you. You wait some more. You look around and find your teammate is right next to you, but instead of saving your ass like they should, they’re trying to hit an enemy fourteen miles away with a pistol. Get rid of Dom, Baird and Cole and replace them with bananas on tricycles. At least you know the bananas really can’t get off their arses to help you.

Having said all the above, and I’m hoping I got this across already, I fucking loved Gears of War 2. From start to finish, it was entertaining and enjoyable as hell. It was even quite intentionally sad in places; while I was expecting it, the game handled it in such a way as to surprise me anyway.

And the last level? Best last level I’ve played. Just wish it was longer!

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