Openly acknowledged by devs Epic to have been left on the cutting room floor, it%26rsquo;s soon clear that %26lsquo;lost%26rsquo; Gears of War 2 mission Road to Ruin is destined to be remembered more as a bizarre curio than one of the sequel%26rsquo;s classic levels.
At the start of the mission, you%26rsquo;re offered an intriguing choice %26ndash; don Locust-lookalike armor and play things all sneaky or do the usual Marcus/Dom thing and open several cans of bloody whoop ass. In the interests of research, we opted for the former %26ndash; and soon regretted it. See, our linebacker-sized, walking pair of tanks simply aren%26rsquo;t in the league of Solid Snake, Sam Fisher or even Velvet Assassin%26rsquo;s Violette Summer when it comes to the silent stuff. Gears 2 without the violence is like a comedy without any laughs %26ndash; pointless.
Never fear, though, because once you%26rsquo;ve drawn your Lancer and started curb stomping that old Gears 2 magic returns in earnest %26ndash; especially when each successive Smash TV-styled arena you%26rsquo;ll fight though contains ever-more deadly Locust like Bloodmounts, Reavers and even a titanic Brumak.
Once you%26rsquo;re done with the single-player, we heartily recommend getting stuck into the wealth of (well, seven) excellent new maps included as part of the reasonable 1,200 Points asking price %26ndash; though we can%26rsquo;t help but wonder if Road to Ruin might have been made available on its own for, say, 400. That said, this is still first-class gaming and an essential pick up if you%26rsquo;re a fully fledged member of the burgeoning Gears fight club.
Aug 13, 2009