Gadling's resident pilot explains what life in the cockpit is like

Video: Gears' top five deadliest Locusts

Using poll information gathered from Gearheads this past February, just posted a new top five video, where they count down the top five Locust types as chosen by fans. The video (conveniently embedded above) is voiced by the one and only Damon Baird and starts off the top five countdown fun with those "dumb" Boomers. We won't spoil the countdown by telling you anymore, but we will say it's nice to see vintage clips of the original Gears. And for the record, it's more than apparent that Gears 2 is no Gears 1.5 ... just saying.

Best Buy offers Gears 2 RC tank with limited edition pre-order

Maybe we were wrong about our stance on the insanity regarding pre-ordering games. According to the next week's Best Buy circular the retailer appears to be including a free remote control Centaur Tank with pre-orders of the limited edition for Gears of War 2.

Based on the image the tank appears to be pretty small but the $30 value and collective awesomeness should be a big enough factor for gamers when selecting their retailer of choice. Just a heads up though, the tank will on be distributed until November 7 -- the day the game ships.

[via Kotaku]

Rumor: COG tag the start of a GoW2 viral campaign [update]

Update: As pointed out by matt247, Eurogamer is giving away one of these metal COGs in a Microsoft sponsored giveaway. Maybe this isn't viral, maybe it's just promotional?

After Gears of War 2 community manager SixOkay Twittered a hint, telling us to take a closer look at the latest GoW2 video featurette (specifically at the 1:07 timestamp), we decided to take another look at the video. And upon launching the HD video, putting on our reading glasses and navigating to the correct spot, we came across something rather interesting.

At around the 1:07 timestamp, a few frames flash on the screen that show a large, metal COG tag in a man's hand (larger frame grabs in the gallery below) with the text "EVERY TAG TELLS A TALE" written below. Could this be the start of some sort of Gears 2 viral campaign? The launch of some crazy awesome promotion? Or could it just be the announcement of a $2,000 platinum COG tag that's going to go on sale exclusively at We dunno, but we think it'd be smart to take SixOkay's advice and "stay tuned..."

Gallery: Gears of War 2 COG Tag

[Thanks, to everyone who sent this in]

Video: Gears of War 2 gameplay, cutscenes and achievement tracker

Spoiler alert for those who don't want their Gears of War 2 experience ... erm, spoiled?

After the break, we've embedded two new Gears 2 videos that showcase some of the campaign's in-game footage including both Hospital and Landown missions. These new videos also show off some of the missions' cutscenes so, if you're uneasy about seeing even the slightest bit about the campaign, then these vids may not be for you. But if you're adventurous enough to watch, you'll see some amazing action, mortar madness, Ticker ticking, and achievement tracker tracking. Yummy yum yum!

Continue reading Video: Gears of War 2 gameplay, cutscenes and achievement tracker

Zune of War, official Gears of War 2 branded Zune revealed

When a company has the luxury of owning the rights to two of the industry's hottest franchises (read that, not the hottest but two of the hottest) you try a little thing called Aggressive Marketing. Aggressive Marketing is a wonderfully terrible thing. It has spawned the likes of Halo branded Mountain Dew, don't kid yourself it was terrible. It makes rotating ads for summer movies a consideration in the map design process (Sup, Rainbox Six Vegas?) and it adds a logo to expensive electronics in hopes of catching the hardcore of guard.

In the market for a Zune? Microsoft has revealed that a limited edition Gears of War 2 Zune bundle will begin shipping on November 7 for $280. The laser-etched "Crimson Omen" plastered 120GB media player comes pre-loaded with 244 pieces of Gears of War media - the soundtrack, concept art, behind-the-scenes videos and other content you've probably already seen here at X3F for free.

[via Engadget]

Gears of War isn't a game, it's a platform

Speaking with Videogamer247, Gears of War 2 lead designer Cliff Bleszinski said that the additions to the upcoming shooter are so substantial that it has moved the title beyond being a game and into a "platform."

"It's no longer a game: it's a platform," Bleszinski said reiterating that the title was designed for replayability. "Basically you can play through the campaign and then Horde, as well as the many multiplayer modes."

Cliff rounded out the comment by stating again that the title is jam packed with enough content to be enjoyed for "months, if not years, to come." Something tells us he's a fan. Oh yeah, it was Cliff when we spoke to him about Gears of War 2 at X'08 in Toronto.

Experience GoW2's Horde mode at E for All Expo

With all the Gears 2 news hitting the interwebs lately, we totally forgot to mention that YOU can experience Gears 2 awesomeness at this year's E for All Expo. You read correctly, this Friday, October 3rd through the 5th at the L.A. Convention Center, you'll be able to play Gears 2's multiplayer Horde mode which is technically the mode's official "debut"!

So, if you're in the L.A. area or are already attending the E for All Expo, be sure to stop by the World Cyber Games booth (#649) to experience violent Gears Horde mode goodness.

Video: A look at the icky enemies of Gears 2

Continuing their in-depth look at the components that make up Gears of War 2, Epic released a new video featurette (it's exclusive to Eurogamer for the time being) taking a look at the enemies of Gears 2. And we'll be the first to say that we're in for some new crazy detailed and totally badass Locusts as is evident by the Locust Palace Guard seen above.

The six minute video is an interesting look into the design, inspiration and creation process behind the Locusts including a detailed description of the new Tickers, Palace Guards, Kantus, and our friend the Skorge. It's another well produced video that you should view ... like right now. Pro-tip: Watch towards the end, when Cliff give real-life comparisons between RAAM and Skorge. It's epic.

Bleszinski: Xbox 360 graphical limit quote "taken out of context"

During a London event where Gears of War 2 was predominantly featured, lead designer Cliff Bleszinski attempted to clarify a point made by fellow Epic employee Rod Fergusson regarding the power of the Xbox 360. Fergusson, senior producer for Gears 2, was quoted as saying the Xbox 360 was reaching its graphical limit but Bleszinski says people took the remark the wrong way.

"[Rod Fergusson's] quote that was taken out of context," Bleszinski told Videogaming247. "I think we're pushing the 360, but the system's not going to get any more RAM, it's not going to get a faster processor, but at the same time that puts the impetus on our programmers and artists to be smarter with what they work with."

Bleszinski went on to compare the Xbox 360 life cycle to that of the Super Nintendo console; graphics gradually increased in quality and just as it seems to reach its limit someone uses "ninja code tricks" to push more out of the system. "It's amazing what programmers can do. I wouldn't count our guys out yet," Cliff added.

Gears of War 2 hits retail this November 7 exclusively on the Xbox 360.

Gears 2 map DLC to be packaged with game [update]

Update: GamePro just confirmed that this news is legit and five remade Gears multiplayer maps will be bundled with NEW copies of Gears 2. Click here for more information.

As if you haven't already been barraged by enough Gears of War 2 news today, we have an interesting downloadable content rumor for you to digest.

Posted over on the Evil Avatar forums is a supposed list of Gears of War 2 information gathered from the latest issue of GamePro magazine. According to Mr. forum poster and his GamePro mag, Gears 2 will ship with a redemption code that enables players to download five remade maps from the original Gears free of charge. The remade maps - Gridlock, Subway, Canals, Mansion, and Tyro Station - will be available to download off the XBLM day one of release, but ONLY to those who purchase a new copy of the game with the redemption code. We aren't exactly sure why Epic would do this other than to influence those who normally buy used to purchase a sealed copy.

Another GamePro magazine rumor is that all who attend Gears 2 midnight launch events will receive a redemption code to unlock an in-game gold plated Hammerburst. It and the Collector's Edition exclusive gold plated Lancer are also said to be unlockable in-game. Interesting, eh?

[Thanks, Jonathan H.]

Bleszinski: Definitely no Gears of War 2 on the PC

During an interview with TVG, Mr. Epic himself, Cliff Bleszinski revealed that they have absolutely no plans to release Gears of War 2 to the PC due, in part, to the fact that the PC market has been dealing with piracy issues.

"Here's the problem right now; the person who is savvy enough to want to have a good PC to upgrade their video card, is a person who is savvy enough to know bit torrent to know all the elements so they can pirate software," explained Bleszinski, "it makes sense for us to focus on Xbox 360 for a number of reasons." And when bluntly asked whether Gears 2 would ever see a PC release, Cliff answered with a simple "no". When pressed further if that was a definite decision, Bleszinski stuck to his answer reiterating that Gears 2 would not see a PC release.

Fresh Gears 2 screenshots and campaign previews hit the net

Not only has the lifting of the Gears of War 2 embargo brought us news about the Skorge, but we're also being graced with a bunch of brand new in-game screenshots, artwork / renders and a mountain of hands-on, Act 1 campaign reviews that have surfaced across the internets. You can view the mushroom infested, Skorge detailed, explosive and generally in-freakin-credible screenshots in the gallery below, then begin your Gears 2 campaign impression search across the internets. Heck, we'll even get you started: IGN, Eurogamer, TVG, Videogamer and CVG.

Note: We'll be adding additional artwork and render images as soon as they're available.

Gallery: Gears of War 2 - Screenshots (9/29/08)

Gallery: Gears of War 2 - Art/Renders (9/29/08)

Confirmified! Skorge playable in Gears 2 multiplayer

With the lifting of today's Gears of War 2 information embargo, we learn that the Skorge Locust creature that was rumored to be included in multiplayer will, in fact, be playable.

According to - who had a chance to chat with the one and only Cliff Bleszinski - they learned that the Skorge will be a character in multiplayer but will be tweaked a bit to maintain some balance. Specifically, the Skorge's dual chainsaw staff will NOT be usable in Gears 2 multiplayer. We are also informed that the Skorge will be the final enemy encountered in Gears' Horde mode, making an appearance at level 50. Huzzah!

Gears of War 2 campaign NDA expires today [update]

Update: The embargo turned out to be true as a whole bunch of Gears 2 assets and hands-on writeups have been unleashed onto the internets. Check it out!

According to forum postings over on both NeoGAF and the Gamespot forums, the media's non-disclosure agreement (NDA) for their Gears of War 2 single player campaign impressions is set to expire later today at 12:00PM Noon eastern (9:00AM pacific). Joy!

A few members of the European media recently received some hands on time with Gears 2's campaign but their impressions have been under embargo. That is until today, when (rumor) all major sites will post their hands-on campaign accounts sometime around noon eastern. But again, seeing that we haven't been able to officially confirm this NDA expiration, we'll slap giant rumor sticker on this. We're still excited though and say bring on the Gears 2 campaign goodness!

Source - Gamespot
Source - NeoGAF

Video: Gears 2 actually has a story, it really does!

The third Gears of War 2 video featurette has made its way to the internets and this time around, we get the inside scoop on the campaign's storyline.

The video, currently only available via and embedded after the break, features Cliff and the Epic crew chatting about the Gears 2 storyline including the relationship between Dom and his wife Maria and gives us a look into the team's mindset when creating new characters to join the COG crew. Best part of the latest featurette occurs at around the 4:20 mark, when the Predator looking Skorge Locust makes a cameo. Total badass'ery!

[Via CVG]

Continue reading Video: Gears 2 actually has a story, it really does!

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