Gears of War 2 is a hard game for me to write about. Partly because (drum roll, please) I didn't play the first one and mostly because of all the restrictions placed on last week's three-day GOW2 marathon. I'm not really allowed to talk about campaign mode's "plot spoilers" and I can't talk about
the glorious Horde mode multiplayer until October 15 (not sure if that includes co-op campaign mode). So what can I talk about? I've got a handy-dandy list of weapons and vehicles, new screen shots and a few details about my experience with the game. To avoid embargo-breaking territory, you'll have to wait ‘til at least Oct. 15 for my full impressions (since Horde mode and co-op made up most if it). Hit the jump for a Gears of War 2 fix.New or not, there's a buttload of content to this game. So much so that the PR rep handling the event couldn't even name all the different weapons, vehicles and enemy types off the bat. Instead, he sent out several word docs with lists and info blurbs and an admonishment not to print any of it in full. So here's a castrated list of weapons: * Boltok Pistol – A "high-caliber revolver." It's the future, right? Why do they still have revolvers?! This is a one-handed sidearm that (along with the Snub and Gorgon pistols) is the only weapon you can use while holding an enemy in front of you as a shield. I like pistol-whipping people with it. * Boomer Shield – You get this one when you kill a Mauler and take its shield. I never found it in the game, but I'm told that it makes you way slower and you can only use your pistol with it. Lame. * Boomshot Grenade Launcher – Another weapon you've got to take off a Locust. I heart this gun – it makes things go ‘splode and produces baby cluster bombs. Alas, the range is limited and it takes forever to reload, so I had to ditch it almost as soon as I got it. * Frag Grenade – Duh. * Gnasher Shotgun – Yay! Shotgun! I carried this weapon the whole time and went out of my way to use it even when the game obviously wanted me to be using something else (feh, sniper rifles). It's only got eight rounds, though, so make ‘em count! * Gorgon Pistol – Never found it. I guess it's got a small clip and takes an abnormally long time to reload. * Hammer of Dawn – This sounds pretty boss. "An Imulsion-powered satellite that rains down a devastating particle energy stream." Why didn't they just give me this weapon right from the start? Could've blown through campaign mode in, like, three hours. * Hammerburst Assault Rifle – I didn't like this one as much as the Lancer. It might be more powerful and you can zoom and stuff, but I never seemed to hit what I was aiming at and the scoped view was useless thanks to the heavy kick. * Lancer Assault Rifle – You know it. You love it. Use it. * Longshot Sniper Rifle – Normally, I love sniper rifles, but I just wasn't into it in Gears. Maybe because I think of sniping as more suited to stealth games and Gears is anything but stealth. * Mortar – Again, duh. Don't shoot it into the side of the wall in front of you. * Mulcher – It's like a mini machine gun. You have to mash the Left Button to cool it down pretty much at the same time as you squeeze the right trigger, because this sucker overheated way too soon for my taste. Stupid point-and-spray tease… * Poison Grenade – Never found it and I'm pretty sure it's a good thing I didn't. I probably would have stuck it to myself and wound up poisoned because – as I'm sure you can guess – I'm a wee bit incompetent with the shooters. * Scorcher Flamethrower – I didn't find this one, but I watched freelancer Adam Pavlacka crisp the beejesus out of many a Locust in one level. He seemed to dig it. And I guess it blinds enemies – but really, you're not shooting this thing to blind them, you're shooting the burn them. * Smoke Grenade – I'm sure you can imagine what this does. * Snub Pistol – Arg. More pistols. * Torque Bow – I saw this in action in multiplayer. The targeting reticule maps the arrow's trajectory, so it's easily one of the most accurate weapons in the game. But, we were playing on Horde mode, so I can't tell you how wrong that went. Yet. * Troika Cannon – Duck. Fucking duck. And there's no point in using one because you've probably frag grenade'd all the Locusts standing near enough to use it just to stop that bastard from raining rapid fire death down on you. "Gears of War 2" Vehicles * APC – "Armored Personnel Carrier." I wouldn't have figured that out without the PR rep to tell me what it stood for. It reminds me of a Jawa sandcrawler – but with guns. Love to see the Sand People take on one of these… * Assault Derrick – Another fuck off huge personnel carrier that deploys Grindlifts. They have sexy names like "Betty" (wait – that's my mom's name. Ew.) and they tend to run off cliffs easily. It has a bulletproof windshield, but shoot at it anyway. It'll help with that cliff problem. * Centaur Tank – I don't think I got far enough in campaign to see one. Supposedly, it's "surprisingly maneuverable" despite its size and it can turn on a dime. Sounds like the perfect thing to run people over with. * King Raven – The only helicopter in the game. I'm not sure if you actually get to pilot it – I do know you spend a lot of time in them. They make Black Hawks look like horse flies. There you have it, kids. When that nasty embargo expires on the 15, I'll get into why I found this game fun. That's right – fun. And it didn't matter one bit that I a) don't like shooters and b) never played the first one. I'll be buying Gears of War 2 when it comes out November 7.