Microsoft's Kudo Tsunoda is acting as the go-between for upcoming Xbox 360 exclusive Gears of War 2. So! What are the big differences between Gears of War and Gears of War 2? Says Tsunoda:
I think if you've played Gears of War 1, it's clear there's stuff you'd want to improve on in Gears of War 2. The story wasn't necessarily as robust as it could have been, and that's stuff we're really going to blow that out in Gears of War 2. We've got Josh Ortega who's a great comic book writer, and he's totally focused on the story. We want to do a much better job of that... If you look at the character line-up from Gears 1, they were very stereotypical characters. There wasn't much variety between the different types. That's something that not only in the development of existing characters we're changing up, but also adding some new characters that add their own individual flair to it... From a game-making perspective you want to get as much uniqueness and variety with the characters as possible, for them to have individual flair and for people to identify with them. You don't want to build stereotypical characters, not just racial stereotypes but stereotypes of any kind.
Seems rather retroactive at this point, but whatever.