Defeating the Locust is only the beginning. If you want the full Gears of War 2 experience, you must do more than shoot, run, cover and curb stomp. You must hunt. You must search. You must track down every last collectible.
What makes the 41 “war journals” hidden throughout Gears of War 2 so absolutely crucial? Each one tells a unique piece of the game’s story – newspaper clippings, medical records, artifact analyses, soldiers’ letters and more. Beating the game will provide you with the broad strokes, of course, but the overall puzzle is incomplete without the war journals.
But you’re gonna need help. Unlike the first Gears of War’s COG tags, the war journals are extremely diverse in appearance and location. If you follow our videos, screens and walkthrough text, however, you’ll be done in no time. Let’s get started...
War Journal #1 – “The Eagle Newspaper”
The first journal in the game is also the easiest to spot. In the area where you teach Carmine how to take cover, search the ground for a red-and-white newspaper. It’s after the overturned desk, but before the chain link fence.
War Journal #2 – “Ambulance Driver’s Log”
Near the very end of the mission, after you’ve swung down the ladder from the parking garage, the objectives will order you to head left towards the hospital. Instead, go right to find a large garage. The journal is next to the desk.
War Journal #3 – “Doctor’s Journal – Dr. Nicolette Shannon”
Destroy the Locust squad with the exploding tanks and then run through the four hallways that surround the lower courtyard until you find an open door with a writhing patient inside. The journal is on the floor. Need more precise directions? Return to the larger hospital room with the two patients on stretchers. From there, run down the left hall, turn right at the end and - in the next hall - look for the third door on the left.
War Journal #4 – “Jacinto Medical Center File”
After splitting up with Dom and Tai, you’ll rejoin them in a large hospital administration room. In the center is a massive reception desk. On the floor, between the desk’s two halves, is the red-and-yellow journal.
War Journal #5 – “COG Letterhead”
Following the Reaver encounter in the outside courtyard, as well as the dark and bloody emergency room, Anya will inform you that the “Locust are outside the hospital, taking position in the streets.” Run down the left hallway and turn right at the corner. Behind the first (half) open door on the left is the journal.
War Journal #6 – “COG Proclamation”
The next journal is located in the big, two-tiered atrium with stone columns (where the power loss causes warning lights to flash). As soon as you enter, turn right and follow the upper balcony to a blue ammo crate and the bright red COG Proclamation.
War Journal #7 – “COG Tag”
Reunite with Carmine and exit the hospital into all-out warfare. Turn right at the sandbag and walk through the archway. Immediately spin around to find the journal (in this case, a silver COG necklace) tucked away in the corner.
War Journal #8 – “Grindlift Notice”
You can grab this journal as soon as the mission begins. The red-yellow-and-black grindlift notice is pasted on the metal wall behind you, left of the ladder. Don’t worry if you’re forced to exit the derrick for the first ground fight... the journal is still there when you return.
War Journal #9 – “Munitions Requisition Form”
Another ground fight begins after the roller coaster ride downhill. Seal up the Locust emergence holes and then run back towards the derrick. The journal is on the dirt between the derrick and an overturned jeep. Don’t wait too long to nab it, however; when all the enemies are dead, returning to that area can sometimes trigger the cutscene in which Marcus jumps back on the derrick and continues the mission.
War Journal #10 – “Jacinto Sentinel Newspaper”
In the first building you enter, after kicking down the door with three kicks, jump over the bar. You’ll see a set of stairs that lead to an upstairs room and the journal. The newspaper is on the floor next to the chair.
War Journal #11 – “Memorial Inscription”
Fight your way through Tickers until you reach the church. Left is a Nemacyst attack and a world of hurt; right is a fenced off cemetery. Inside the cemetery is a shiny inscription plaque on a large memorial marker. That’s the journal.
War Journal #12 – “Truck Driver’s Note”
After Cole’s derrick saves you from the turret operator, JACK will cut open a fence on the right. Before going through, explore the gas station to the left. The journal is hidden in a back room.
War Journal #13 – “COG Tag”
Work your way through the dark tunnel full of Tickers until you reach a dead end. The rest of the squad will run up a short set of stairs and through a door. Walk through the shadowy door to the left of those stairs instead and you’ll discover the COG tags on the ground.