When you’re developing a game with a certain console in mind, you’re bound to take into account its limitations, its strong points, and its specific control scheme, as well as the “screen” the game will run on. For this reason, I suspect it’s a bit difficult to patch up your title at a later date to “adapt” it for another platform, in this case the PC.
Although from a technical point of view the PC is vastly superior, the control scheme is more flexible and the online matchmaking options are more varied (and free), a game created on another system (and then ported) will not present the same experience: the graphics will be weaker, the controls will be different, the crosshair will be the size of China, and it just won’t offer the same sensation as the original product for the reasons mentioned above, and another few hundred more.
Gears of War was a very good game at its time, on its platform, regardless of the flak CliffyB and Epic got because of the PC version. The key element here is “on its platform”. If Gears of War 2 will ever show up on the PC, this will be even more obvious, nut it will not, however, detract from the fact that the sequel of Epic’s blockbuster is still a very good game.
CliffyB compared his creation with a summer action movie, with 3 tons of explosions per square inch and a few kilos of popcorn at your side needed to fully enjoy it. Both Gears 1 and 2 fit this description very well, focusing on cool scripts, cool characters, sharp one-liners and a lot of action. It’s not an RPG, it’s not an adventure game, it doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it’s just perfecting its genre. With style. By these qualities alone, Gears 2 is more explosive, more fun and more badass.
From an objective point of view though, the game is the same as the predecessor. There are no new additions to the base mechanics, the main characters are the same ones from the previous title, the story picks up where the first one stopped, the fight will continue along the same lines, etc. The story continues the tale of “Man vs. Locust” after the failed attempt to wipe the latter out with a single blow. The whole thing evolves to another even more desperate attempt to end the war, which once set into motion leaves a huge place open for Gears of War 3.
Unlike the first Gears, the story is a bit more fleshed out this time around, the cut-scenes are longer and more interesting, but the unanswered questions from the first part continue to remain so in Gears 2 as well. The story of Marcus Fenix is still a mystery, his father is mentioned and that’s about it, there is no back-story on the events preceding the locust wars, nothing.
True, there is a book out, called Gears of War Aspho Fields, but I resent having to buy a book to find out part of the back-story of a game. There are new mysteries added too, some parts of the story are “mysterious” just because someone thought it’s a good idea (and it’s not), and by the time the credits rolled I remained with absolutely nothing worth of note, from a story point of view.
I did understand I had to fight the Locust once again, and the reason for that was “if you don’t, you die”, but that’s pretty much it. The “conspiracies” didn’t click, because nothing is explained, the stories of the main characters are also pretty much ignored, with the notable exception of Dominic, to a point that I simply didn’t care what they were telling me on the screen anymore.
The developer’s attempts to spice up the story with human elements and drama filled events are nice, and work well, but at a “macro” level, the Gears universe remains barren and unexplored. Then there’s the punch lines, which were cool in the first part, but this time around, they’re a bit too much, as if I switched the channel to MTV to watch some reality show the modern and “cool” people are enjoying these days. And the voice acting didn’t help either; while I understand the need for rugged men delivering rugged lines, there’s a fine line between “cool” and “corny”.
Overall, the story is more fleshed out than the first part, but it’s not necessarily better.