Gears of War 2: Dark Corners - review

Openly acknowledged by devs Epic to have been left on the cutting room floor, it’s soon clear that ‘lost’ Gears of War 2 mission Road to Ruin is destined to be remembered more as a bizarre curio than one of the sequel’s classic levels.

At the start of the mission, you’re offered an intriguing choice – 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 – and soon regretted it. See, our linebacker-sized, walking pair of tanks simply aren’t in the league of Solid Snake, Sam Fisher or even Velvet Assassin’s Violette Summer when it comes to the silent stuff. Gears 2 without the violence is like a comedy without any laughs – pointless.

Never fear, though, because once you’ve drawn your Lancer and started curb stomping that old Gears 2 magic returns in earnest – especially when each successive Smash TV-styled arena you’ll fight though contains ever-more deadly Locust like Bloodmounts, Reavers and even a titanic Brumak.

Once you’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 – though we can’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’re a fully fledged member of the burgeoning Gears fight club.

Aug 13, 2009