I enjoyed the first Gears of War. I completed the single player campaign and then went back to try to finish it on the hardest difficulty, although I don’t think I ever finished it. I played the multiplayer a bit and realized that I totally sucked at it and getting constantly killed didn’t appeal to me, so once Call of Duty 4 came out I dropped Gears all together. Now we have Gears of War 2 coming out on November 7th, which is weird cause it’s a Friday and most media (games, dvds, music) all get released on Tuesdays. I just preordered my copy of Gears of War 2 from Amazon since they were giving away $10 gift cards and with the upgraded “Release Date Shipping” I would still come out ahead as opposed to just buying it at the store. I think it came out to around $65 with the upgraded shipping from amazon since there is no tax, and in the store it would have been ~$64, with no gift card. Awesome.

The real point of this was to post about some info that Kotaku recently posted regarding the game’s unlockables, new party system, new multiplayer modes, and more. So check after the jump for all this great info on Gears of War 2!

Unlockables: Beyond the default characters in MP, there are additional playable characters in that are unlocked as you achieve certain milestones within the campaign of Gears 2:
—Dizzy Wallin: Unlock by completing Act 1 on any difficulty
—Kantus: Unlock by completing Act 2 on any difficulty
—Tai Kaliso: Unlock by completing Act 3 on any difficulty
—Flame Grenadier: Unlock by completing Act 4 on any difficulty
—Skorge: Unlock by completing Act 5 on any difficulty

As a way to reward players who have completed varying levels of content in Gears 1, we are providing unlockable multiplayer skins in Gears 2 as a reward for those dedicated fans. Gears 2 is the first game on Xbox 360 to offer this unique reward system through Xbox LIVE. The unlockables consist of the following:
—Complete Act 1 in “Gears of War:” Unlock Anthony Carmine multiplayer skin in “Gears of War 2”
—Find 10 COG tags in “Gears of War:” Unlock Minh Young Kim multiplayer skin in “Gears of War 2”
—Defeat RAAM in “Gears of War:” Unlock RAAM multiplayer skin in “Gears of War 2”

New things to do when dead in a MP match:
—New battle cameras now move smoothly from one camera to another and auto focus on the nearest action. Allows players to learn the map while watching.
—The new “ghost camera” allows the spectator the ability to fly around the map and watch whatever action they want.
—You can still use the player cameras to follow a teammate to watch their play.
—Now you can take screenshots using any of those cameras and save them locally where they will get a score based upon the quality of their screenshot (how much action is on the screen, etc.) and in the War Journal they can upload their photos to the web site GearsofWar.com.

Party system: Gears 2 contains an all-new party system that allows players to fully customize their Multiplayer experience. The Party system allows players to team up with their friends in full or partial teams and stay grouped together from match to match in multiplayer and Horde modes. This is one of the most demanded features for Gears 2.

What’s Up: We’ve added the What’s Up feature, an innovative LIVE integration feature that allows friends to easily contact their friends and pull together a party in “Gears of War 2” without needing to access the Xbox Guide. With one button press you can see all of your friends who are playing “Gears of War 2,” and with another you can invite them all to join you in a party. There’s never been a faster way to get all your friends together for some MP Gears action!

New Competitive Multiplayer Modes: Gears 2 retains all of the popular competitive multiplayer game types from Gears, in addition to several new modes:
—Guardian (a highly modified form of Assassination from Gears 1) – Each team has a leader. Players re-spawn as long as their leader is alive, so protect him at all costs! The goal is to eliminate the other team’s leader and then the members of the opposing team before your opponents do the same. Teams must carefully balance their tactics to protect their leader while managing to execute the opposing leader in a timely fashion. The location of the opposing team leader appears as a blip on a player’s radar.
—King of the Hill (originally only payable in Gears of War for Windows) – Hold down one strategic location on the map. Execution rules are in effect, so enemies revive unless you kill them at close-range or with a one-shot kill. The team that does not control the point will re-spawn after being killed. If your team controls the point, you will have to wait until the active point is neutral or in enemy hands to re-spawn. Teams must completely control and stay within the objective target circle to score points.
—Wingman – Up to five two-player teams compete against each other until one team reaches the target amount of points. Each team gets 1 point for every kill and a bonus point for being the last team alive at the end of a round. Execution rules in effect.
—Submission – A twist on capture the flag, where the flag can fight back! Players must down a neutral Stranded character, take him as an enemy shield, and carry him back to a set ring on the map.
—Horde: This is a new co-op mode that is playable on every Multiplayer map in the game. In this mode, up to 5 players can take on wave after wave of increasingly difficult Locust. The goal is to complete wave 50. Once a wave has been unlocked in any match type (public, private, system link, or local), players can restart from that wave in private, system link or local games. Public games always start from Wave 1.

Xbox LIVE: “Gears of War 2” benefits from the robust technology and features offered by Xbox LIVE, such as TrueSkill matchmaking for competitive multiplayer matches. “Gears of War 2” is one of the few games where the party system lets you match your team against a similar skilled team, as well we display your online rank next to your name so you can see your skill progress. And to make it clearer about which type of match to play and when, we’ve moved away from the terms “Ranked Match” and “Player Match” and now call them “Public” and “Private” matches.
Other LIVE features in “Gears of War 2” include extensive Leaderboard support for both private and ranked matches, and the ability to upload photos taken during multiplayer matches to GearsOfWar.com.
Achievements can be earned in both single-player and multiplayer games, and in ranked matches and private matches alike. This change will help players reach their Achievements faster. Players will also be able to view their Achievement progress from within the game. Additionally, player stats will be tracked for both ranked and private matches.

Maps: All maps in Gears 2 work with every MP mode, Horde included! Gears 2 comes with 10 all new multiplayer maps:
Avalanche
Blood Drive
Day One
Hail
Jacinto
Pavilion
River
Ruins
Security
Stasis

The Flashback Map Pack: included in every copy of “Gears of War 2” is an Xbox LIVE token to download the Flashback Map Pack for FREE. The Flashback Map Pack will be available immediately at launch, and consists of five popular maps from Gears 1. Each map has been specially updated with new graphics for Gears 2. The 5 maps are:
Canals
Gridlock
Mansion
Subway
Tyro Station

Golden guns: For gamers looking to distinguish themselves online in multiplayer matches, an Xbox LIVE token to unlock an in-game gold-plated version of the iconic Lancer Assault Rifle will be included in the Limited Edition of Gears 2.

source: Kotaku

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