So this game has a certain amount of' hype' to say the least. I for one had been waiting with bated breath like a schoolkid. I pre-ordered and when it arrived I couldnt get the wrapper off quick enough.
Campaign mode was pretty damn good. Epic tried a little too hard to put some character into the emotionless characters from GOW1, and ended up laying some of the plotlines on a bit too thick, but overall an enjoyable experience with some amazing vast grandiose graphics.
That was where the fun ended.
Multiplayer mode is a disaster. Anyone who bought Gears 1 and lost entire weekends to maiming other people on XBL will tell you that the Gears online experience is the whole point of Gears. The campaign mode lasts a few short hours, but Online takes days of your life... its an awesome experience.
Epic managed to undo all of this with GOW2. Its buggy, glitchy, temperamental and overall a frustrating experience, and thats just the new god-awful 'matchmaking process' which doesnt work.
Then theres the gameplay. For some reason best known to themselves, Epic decided to fundamentally change the way the game plays. All titles have tweaks, and minor mods, but this fundamental shift in the weapon balances, targetting and movement physics has left the online game virtually unplayable. Some of the game modes such as 'annex' are now ridiculous, with entire teams running in with invincible chainsaws and ridiculous overpowered smoke/stun grenades causing players to spend half the game on their backsides trying to get back up without being sucked into another chainsaw.
Most of the magazine reviews had been issued prior to the full launch and without playing the multiplayer game over the 'real' internet, hence lots of glowing reviews of the Campaign mode. But be aware, if you are thinking of buying this for the Multiplayer mode - go and have a look at the Official Epic forums for a real view on how 'good' this game is.
The Epic forums are crawling with complaints of people spending literally 'hours' trying to get into games. There are tenfold more people who have complained and been summararily banned from the forums - Epic keen to gag the hordes of bad press this could give their 'flagship' title.Epic are saying very little on the subject, and if their overzealous moderators on the forums are anything to go by, they are more than a little embarrassed by all the complaints.
I for one have had to turn the game off and play something else for fear of hurling my controller through the TV in sheer frustration. Online gaming is supposed to be fun... this is not the case here.
Possibly the biggest and most disappointing over-hyped release ever.