Developer: Epic Games
Publisher: Microsoft Games Studios
Also on: N/A (Xbox 360 exclusive)
Console played on: Xbox 360
Release Date: Tuesday July 28th 2009
Age rating: BBFC 18, PEGI 18
It’s kind of unfair to review a brand new piece of DLC for a game that we never got to review full stop when it was released. We were meant to, but we got so swamped by the amount of games that did get released around the same time that Gears of War 2 was released at, we just never got round to it.
But none the less, we’re still doing this. Why? Because we’re here to tell you why you should probably fork out 1600 MS points for the All Fronts Collection. But not for the reason you may think it is.
To clarify, when the DLC is released on Xbox Live on Tuesday (July 28th), there will be two pieces of DLC to buy. There will be Dark Corners, which will see 7 brand new multiplayer maps as well as the much talked about deleted chapter (more on that below). And the second being All Fronts, which includes Dark Corners. But it also includes subsequently all the other map packs released so far including Flashback (which was available in launch copies), Combustible and Snowblind.
As to what this deleted scene is all about, sit down children and I shall tell you. After an introduction from Cliff Bleszinski, we get going properly for the chapter, known as “Road to Ruin”. It takes place after a major scene in the game, during Act 4 of the game. Marcus and Dom are outside Nexus, the Locust capital, where they have two options of entering Neuxs: either go in Gears style guns blazing or, a first in Gears, go in using stealth using theron Locust armor.
We have to say, if your going to buy Dark Corners or All Fronts just for this deleted scene, your going to be very disappointed. Even for a Gears chapter, which tends to last roughly about 30 – 45 minutes, this only lasts on average 25 minutes. And thats just on the guns blazing option, on stealth, it’s even shorter.
As far as the stealth option goes, needless to say it doesn’t work very well. It’s very out of place, especially in a game like Gears of War. As well as that, there is nothing dynamic to it, compared to Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell, even though they are two totally different games compared to Gears of War 2. As well as that, all your doing is following Dom and keep out of Locust sights. If they get a sniff of you, literally, your spotted and all goes out the window. Even then, halfway through the level on stealth, you revert to guns blazing, regardless of if you’ve been seen or not.
Finally, the chapter just adds nothing really exciting or important to the story. All you do is go through the level either guns blazing or stealth, meet a character from Gears 1 who doesn’t add anything to it and then before you get going, its all over.
Simply put, if your buying the All Fronts collection just for “Road to Ruin”, don’t. Unless your a proper hardcore Gears fan, it adds no real substance to the game’s already brilliant story, even though it directly ain’t linked to the story within the game (it’s accessible via the main menu). And stealth for the game just doesn’t feel right.
If this was an experiment to see if stealth would work for Gears of War 3 from Epic, I’m afraid it just doesn’t work at all.
As for the Dark Corners map pack, we have to say they are impressive as maps, especially Nowhere. It’s a map which, I feel, is the perfect map for Horde: it’s frantic, sandstorms everywhere which makes it hard to see any Locust oncoming, rooftops everywhere to defend your ground from and more.
Simply, maps like Nowhere, Memorial, War Machine and Highway were the maps that impressed us most, Highway could even be a sniper’s paradise.
Overall: If your going for the All Fronts collection just for the deleted chapter, dont. It really doesn’t serve it’s purpose really well if I am honest. It’s too short, stealth doesn’t work and adds nothing new that is big to the story. We recommend just going for the Dark Corners map pack, which only gets you the 7 brand new maps for 400 MS points cheaper then All Fronts.
However, for anybody, who hasn’t bought any of the map packs yet, we highly recommend you buy this. All 4 map packs, plus the deleted scene, means that it’s worth good value for money for multiplayer.
Story – 6: Adds nothing new to it or anything interesting.
Gameplay – 7: The stealth option for Road to Ruin doesn’t work at all, it feels out of place in a game like Gears. Simply put, no stealth for Gears 3 please. That said, we love the new maps.
Graphics – 9: They still look as good as they did when the game was released a year ago.
Sound – 7: Not much new dialogue in the game, very little from the deleted chapter in fact. But for what it is, it’s decent.
Overall – 7: Gears of War 2: All Fronts Collection is somewhat a mixed bag. On one hand, Road to Ruin doesn’t add anything much and if you have all the map packs already released, it’s best to go for the Dark Corners pack, which has the new maps and Road to Ruin. On the other hand, if you don’t already have the map packs, this is a good value bundle for you to pick up.
All Fronts really boosts the game’s multiplayer more then the game’s story.