Gears of War 2

Platform(s): Xbox 360
Genre: Action
Publisher: Microsoft
Developer: Epic Games
Release Date: Nov. 7, 2008

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'Gears of War 2' (X360) Rolls Out Title Update #6, Adds Balancing, Tweaks, Improvements

by Rainier on May 26, 2010 @ 8:31 a.m. PDT

Gears of War 2 is an epic saga of survival, loss, and retribution, continuing the story of Marcus Fenix and Delta Squad, locked in an increasingly desperate battle against the nightmarish Locust Horde for the survival of humanity.

Gears of War 2 picks up six months after the events of "Gears of War," and thrusts players back into a deep and harrowing story of humankind’s epic battle for survival against a nightmarish force of underground creatures known as the Locust Horde.

Players continue as Marcus Fenix, a reluctant war hero and leader of Delta Squad, six months after the events of “Gears of War.” The last cities on Sera are sinking, swallowed by a new Locust threat from below. A massive counterattack is humanity’s last hope for survival.

Gears of War 2 blends a best-in-class third-person shooter with unsurpassed high-definition visuals, all layered on top of an engaging story of survival, loss and retribution.

The title update introduces a new public multiplayer match feature called Social Matches that allows you to jump in or out of games without disruptions, including Horde mode matches.  Social matchmaking also lets your party join a match already in progress or start a new match if there are no suitable matches to be found.

Social matching is open to anyone who owns all four downloadable map packs, available as a single download by purchasing the “All Fronts Collection,” now at the new discounted price of 800 Microsoft Points or bundled free with the “Gears of War 2: Game of the Year Edition” for $29.99 ESRP.  Those looking for specific map packs to round out their collection will also find individual map packs on Xbox LIVE Marketplace at a new lower price as well.

To celebrate the new title update, Epic and Microsoft have also announced a Triple Experience Weekend on Xbox LIVE. Starting tomorrow, Thursday, May 27, at 9:00 AM EDT, fans can earn triple experience in any “Gears of War 2” multiplayer mode on Xbox LIVE. The Triple XP weekend will run until Tuesday, June 1 at 9:00 AM EDT.

Title Update 6 makes these new improvements:

  • Adds a new public multiplayer match option called Social Xbox LIVE (aka player matches), open to anyone who owns all downloadable maps (that is, All Fronts Collection). We’ll be having a promotion that will dramatically reduce the cost of the All Fronts Collection.
  • You can join Social Matches in progress and can quit any time without penalty, although players who quit a match early don’t receive earned experience (XP) from that match.
  • Social matchmaking lets your party join a match in progress. If a match is not found, your party hosts a new match, filling any empty player slots with bots.
  • Social Matches automatically cycle to the next map without further matchmaking.
  • Teams are rebalanced between matches based on XP level without splitting parties.
  • If you quit, your spot is taken by a bot until a new player joins the match. That new player can join while the match is in progress.
  • If you join a match in progress, you are assigned a team based on XP level and party size.
  • If you join a match in progress, you replace a bot at the earliest opportunity: at the first bot’s death for respawning game types (for example, Annex) and at round completion for Warzone, Execution, and Wingman.
  • Social leaderboards become part of the War Journal.
  • Renames Public Matches to Ranked Xbox LIVE Matches to differentiate these from Social Xbox LIVE Matches, and adds some improvements to these matches.
  • Improved host selection using bandwidth testing and previous hosting data has been added.
  • Before the match begins, teams are balanced based on XP without splitting parties.
  • Renames Private Matches to Custom Xbox LIVE Matches and makes these matches invite-only.
  • Adds the ability to join Horde sessions that are in progress.
  • In Social Horde, you can join a session in progress through matchmaking and you are able to continue your session from the last wave you failed without starting over.
  • In Ranked Horde, you can join a session in progress only through invites.
  • If you join a session in progress, at the end of the session you receive the score you achieved during the time you spent in the session.
  • Improves the precision of weapon selection using the D-pad.
  • Improves client-side hit detection for ballistic weapons.
Title Update 6 fixes these possible exploits, where under certain circumstances:
  • Execution rules could be ignored when using certain weapon types.
  • On the Subway map, you could get outside of the playable environment by sliding into cover and rolling between a train car and the side of tracks.
  • On the Blood Drive map, you could get outside of the playable environment in various locations.
  • Players could grief other players on Submission, Annex, King of the Hill, and Guardian games by preventing the objective from being completed while racking up experience. Title Update 6 adds match time limits to each of these game types to prevent this practice.
Title Update 6 fixes these other issues as well:
  • An issue that could cause your profile to be overwritten, erasing XP level, and achievement progress.
  • An issue that could cause a campaign save slot to be overwritten if you previously chose to continue without saving and then signed in.
Title Update 6 makes these balancing changes:
  • Changes the Gnasher Shotgun pellet pattern to increase hit consistency.
  • Changes the Guardian game type to select the leader based upon XP level (highest to lowest).

Features:

  • Gears of War 2 takes the award-winning gameplay of the original and improves upon it in every way. The genre-defining cover system is further refined, making the “stop and pop” gameplay more intuitive. Dynamic cover is given new meaning as downed opponents can be picked up and used as shields. The intimate violence of the battlefield is heightened when combatants engage in chainsaw duels. Destructible environments and vicious new finishing moves add to the over-the-top experience.
  • Gears of War 2 continues to raise the graphics bar through its breathtaking visual effects, made possible through advances in Unreal Engine 3.
  • Gears of War 2 takes deep and immersive storytelling in video games to greater heights. Players connect with humanity’s battle for survival on a personal level as they move through a story that introduces new characters and sheds light on the histories of familiar ones.
  • Team up with a friend to fight through the harrowing story of Delta Squad in the enhanced campaign mode, now featuring drop-in/drop-out gameplay, as well as individual player difficulty options. Or recruit four friends to battle in the new game mode “Horde,” where you’ll fight together to fend off a seemingly endless onslaught of Locust forces to attain the highest score.
  • Gears of War 2” features eight distinct multiplayer modes,2 including the new Wingman, Guardian and Submission modes, where up to 10 players choose a side and pit their courage and battlefield mettle directly against others. In addition, multiplayer bots are available to sharpen your skills offline or to fill out your online private matches on Xbox LIVE.
  • New to “Gears of War 2” is a party system that allows players to form a full or partial team with friends and continue together from match to match without the need to reform after each game. “Gears of War 2” also supports a skill-based online matchmaking system, powered by TrueSkill, which groups players of similar skill level together in competitive multiplayer matches.

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