Gears of War 2 title update – Hands on

26 03 2009

gears-of-war-2by Matthew Moore

4 months post release and 3 title updates later, Gears of War 2 is hoping to retake its rightful place as one of the premium online experiences for hardcore shooter fans.
Since release, the title has received mostly negative press from the fans of the original Gears of War like myself, with incredible lag and an inconsistent ranking system bring top of the complaint list.
As each update came and went, fans like myself would jump back into Gears 2 in the hope that memories of the original game would come flooding back, each time to have our hopes dashed.
With the third and hopefully final update upon us, lets take a look at the major improvements –

Bot replacement
Never have I seen the tide of a battle turn so quickly than when one team drops a player or two.  However the update has addressed that, if a player is to leave a match mid game they will be replaced by a CPU controlled player (insane difficulty setting)

Ranking system
I like to think of myself as capable Gears of War player, however through my time online with Gears 2 I’ve yet to advance from the initial rank.  With this update each point you score in a match is added to your rank regardless of if your team wins the match or not.  At the end of the match these are added to your current score and levels are awarded from 1 to 100 (with achievements for reaching specific levels)

Improved connectivity
The biggest improvement by far has to to be better chance of getting into a game which is playable, where as my previous experience had a 50/50 chance of this.  The update has pushing this up to 90/10 in favour of a good connection.  Although not perfect, its much better, there will be times where one or more members of our team will have no weapon at all (perhaps the most ridiculous problem to ever grace a shooter).


As well as these we have the following taken from Epic’s release note –

Exploit Fixes
Title Update 3 fixes these possible exploits, where under certain circumstances:

* A player could swap from a pistol to a two-handed weapon during a cover slide and then mantle greater distances.
* Players could kill themselves in Wingman to avoid giving their opponents more points. Now, suicides and team killing will reduce team score.
* A player holding a meatshield could melee through some walls.
* A player could equip a two-handed weapon with a shield using either the Boltok or the Gorgon pistol.
* A player could equip a two-handed weapon with a meatshield using either the Boltok or the Gorgon pistol.
* A player could prevent planted shields from being picked up by other players.
* Players could launch themselves into the air with a smoke grenade while mantling.

General Fixes
Title Update 3 fixes these other issues as well:

* An issue that caused chainsaw interruption when a player is shot to be less reliable in some body positions than in others.
* An issue where a third player could join a Public Wingman party lobby and remove another player from the game.
* An issue in Submission games where occasionally the meatflag would immediately run back to the spawn point after being dropped.
* An issue where players that were knocked down but not out (DBNO) while planting the Boomshield would appear to be standing.
* An elevation-based issue where the detection for a headshot might not align properly with certain character model heads.
* An issue that could cause Wingman teammates to have different character models.
* Additional miscellaneous bug fixes.

Title Update 3 makes these balancing changes:

* Reduces stun duration of smoke grenades. Currently, characters always start to get up after 2 seconds.
* Gives melee the same delay after roadie running that shooting received in Title Update 2.
* Removes spawn protection from the Horde in Horde mode.
* Increased the forward angle that triggers chainsaw duels so that players with Lancers equipped won’t be sawn from the side without a duel.
* Reduces the delay before a player can climb up after entering low cover.
* Makes minor changes to weapon spawns on the Subway map to provide greater balance.




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