Competitive or Fun – How do you play Gears of War?

31 01 2009

gears-of-war-2-chainsaw-duel

by Matthew Moore

While playing Gears of War 2 last night in preparation of an old school Gears 1 match tonight, I starting to notice something strange happening, I actually started to do well. To my surprise I was getting a lot of kills and my team were constantly fighting for the number 1 position.  I realised that my team mate and I were working together really well, keeping constant updates of enemy positions and finding good defensive cover spots. With a Boomshot in my hands and my wingman by my side, we pushed ourselves forward!

After a few head nodding successful rounds, it dawned on me that I’d started becoming more competitive, which totally changed my mindset and how I was now enjoying the game even more.  I’d find myself sticking close to my wingman (kind of a no brainer really), jumping in front of him if he was taking damage and really learning advantage points of each and every map.

gowguy

I did ponder why this was now the case, from what I could tell, there were 2 powers at work which has been keeping me back.  Firstly and annoyingly I think I was far too reliant on my Gears 1 skills and tactics, which although great last year it just wasn’t cutting it anymore.  After relearning the range, damage rate and active reloads of the existing and new weapons I felt a lot more confident going up against another average player.  The second power I’m going to put down to lessons learned by Epic from the original Gears of War.  After playing it for 2 years I like to think I was quite a skilled player when I got into the zone.  But the problem seemed that the matches I would have were full of either very good players, or very bad played.  I dont recall any middle ground.  With the sequel I am able to see a more realistic difficulty and learning curve within the online battles, for example, even the experienced players can still get chain-sawed by a lucky novice.

After playing even longer, not only did I enjoy the times I was on fire, it was also more interesting when just spectating the rest of the match.  I was able to watch other players and pick up tips, or even be blown away by some crazy ninja head shot.  Even watching your own team picking up the pace after I fell by the way side was fun and exciting as it felt a lot more like a team effort.

I can now also see the enjoyment serious players of any competitive game get out of Clans and the like.  Being able to track your skills against hundreds of teams around the world must really put some pressure on

gears-of-war-for-the-pc-release-date-november-6So with this new Gears of War 2 mentality, I’m really looking forward to learning more of the intricate balancing differences.  However with that in mind, I heard last night that the “pat and splat” technique with the shotgun is due to be “fixed”.  This must be a real pain for anyone who plays competitively, the amount of title updates we saw Gears 1 get changed the likes of the Roadie Run and Boomshot alike.  So I hope I’m not going to have to relearn these all over again.

So to quote Augustus Cole “Yeah! WHOO! Bring it on, sucka! This my kinda shit!”

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