Of course the best thing about Gears of War 2's co-op story mode is, once it ends, the co-op doesn't. There's a brand new 5 player co-op Horde mode in the game that is both incredibly addicting and incredibly difficult. It epitomizes what it means to play co-op. It forces players to work together against an AI that is not only relentless, but intelligent. Wave after wave of the locust horde are thrown at you in ever increasingly difficult batches. In between waves you'll have a few seconds to gather weapons and ammo, and quickly discuss strategies with your team mates.
Each map has a few spots you'll slowly learn are the best places to make your little round top. But like any good fort, there's more than one door - and you'll definitely want to coordinate with your teammates who is covering what. Otherwise before you know it you'll have a giant bloodmount on your face, and frankly, they don't lick quite like little Rover.
With 50 waves of enemies, Horde mode is going to keep you and your friends busy for quite some time. In the few hours we put in, we were only able to make it to wave 10, and then consistently got mauled over and over and over again. There's a nice photo tool that'll let you take pictures of the action and upload to the Gears website, I highly suggest it. This way you can point and laugh at your teammates later.
When all is said and done, Gears of War 2 is the game to experience with friends. Whether it's an intimate setting like the story mode with two players, or it's more of a party like atmosphere with five players in Horde mode, there's very little to complain about. Once again Epic has set the bar in terms of a cooperative experience, everyone else - take note.
The Co-Op Experience: Gears of War 1 set the standard for an integrated co-op experience, and #2 looks to raise the bar by having separate difficulties available to each player.The game will also feature a 5 player co-op mode where players face wave after wave of an increasing number of enemies.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.