Thursday, December 04, 2008
Now that nobody cares, my Gears of War 2 review is up at thephoenix.com. If you're a regular reader, you probably know the gist: campaign is good but not great, Horde is awesome.
With a little distance from its release, though, I have a couple more thoughts, neither of which necessarily has to do with the game itself. First, I understand that game publishers want to capitalize on holiday buying, and that's why they tend to release their biggest games in October and November. But as a gamer, it continues to frustrate me that I'm forced to choose between good games during this short period of time. If something like Gears had come out in wintertime or summertime, I probably would have happily devoted weeks to playing Horde. Instead, I pretty much had to drop it in order to move onto Left 4 Dead, which I like better. Granted, in different circumstances I might have bought Gears 2 and only Gears 2, and been quite satisfied with it. I still don't understand why publishers don't make more of an effort to release games when the spotlight will be all theirs.
Second, am I crazy, or is Gears 2 not making nearly the impact that the original did? When the first one came out, I feel like it's all people were talking about, and if I recall correctly it was the most popular Xbox Live game for a time. That doesn't seem to be happening this time.* It's not as though Epic did a faceplant or anything, and there's still not that much multiplayer competition this season. Far Cry 2's multiplayer doesn't seem to have caught on. Dead Space, Mirror's Edge, Fable 2, and Fallout 3 don't even have multiplayer. Is everybody playing the new Call of Duty? (Is everybody playing the old Call of Duty?) Or is everybody playing Gears 2 and I just don't realize it because I dumped it as soon as a good-looking newer game came along?
*Note: I am too lazy to look this up and confirm.