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 411mania » Games » Columns

GAME POW 08.16.09: Gears of War 2 Special
Posted by Sam Pow on 08.16.2009

GAME POW---August 16th, 2009

It's time for another GAME POW! That's right! Woooooo! Ok, enough of that. This week we got 2 articles on Gears of War 2: a map guide and an article on the executions. So it's going to be an all-out Gears fest as we delve into strategy for fending off Locust (or COG, for that matter). Because I know you're so excited, we'll skip my week in gaming. Before we start, I just wanted to remind everyone to comment!

Gears of War 2: Executions

Gears of War 2 took the gaming world by force with its spot-on cover system gameplay, bloody gruesomeness, and visuals that were nothing short of amazing. It made significant improvements over the first game, including a small but interesting detail: executions. While they were in the Gears 1, the sequel really made them an important gameplay piece, bringing the methods of beheading/destroying your opponent up to 11 unique moves. In this fun little mini-guide I'll run down how to achieve 7 of the more original executions and when and where to use them.

The classic Curbstomp has been immortalized within Gears of War as a distinctive feature. In Gears 2, all you need to do is press X near and downed enemy to flip them over and play a little game called "Mr. Foot meets Mr. Face". In simpler terms, you're going to step on their head and take it right off. The ultimate stress reliever. Anyway, this is also one of the faster executions, and can be done regardless of what weapon you're using, making it the best one to use when you're in a hurry or under fire.

This one is a little longer than most. With the Beatdown you get on top of your enemy and basically bash their face in using your bare fists. This one can be particularly humiliating, but it does take a while to perform, so only use it when safe. Just press Y with any weapon that doesn't have a pre-made animation.

Neck Break
This one is actually a two part execution. To start, press A to pick up a downed foe as a meatshield. Now, you can walk around with them, filling them with lead to your hearts content, and when you're done, just press X to snap their neck and drop them. Easy as pie.

Longshot Smash
This move requires the longshot sniper rifle, which can be a bit hard to obtain. Once you do, press Y over a fallen enemy to reverse your gun and bring it down like a sledge hammer. After the residual smack, you can go about sniping. I should note that you may want to take out the enemy with a different weapon and switch to the longshot for the execution. That way you don't look silly trying to kill someone with a sniper from ten feet away, missing every shot.

Shotgun Golf Club
Taking a cue from Tiger Woods, the Locust and COG learn how to swing their lancers and hammerbursts just like pro golfers, except this time the receiving end is your head. Oh well. To execute enemies this way yourself, you'll first need a shotgun. Luckily, you start matches with it, so all you'll have to do is use the D-pad to switch. Then, press B over a downed enemy. Fore!

Boltok Whip
The Boltok is a powerful handgun, and obviously flashy enough to have earned its own execution. To begin the Boltok Whip, find an adversary crawling for his dear life and press Y near him. First your character will majestically flip around his six shooter like a cowboy before slamming it into the now dead body of the aforementioned adversary. Yeehaw.

Torque Rip
Perhaps the most gruesome execution (second to the curbstomp if any) in the game is made with the torque bow. Pulling down the string behind a rival's body, you use it as leverage to rip the enemy body in half using your leg. That's right, I said rip them in half with your leg. This one is gonna make the other team think twice about going after you.


Well now, all those executions are useless if you can't down the enemy in the first place. The best way to beat your foe and win the match is to know your map, so I've prepared a map guide for everyone's favorite warzone/execution field: Blood Drive. Here goes.

Gears of War 2: Blood Drive Strategies

Blood Drive is a very simple map, just two bases, two staircases, and a courtyard. Each team starts on one side of the map in one of the bases, and over the course of the round will either push into the other base or get pushed into theirs. In such a simple map, the two best methods for success are to know the weapon spawns and use the element of surprise.

Your team will spawn in the top room of either base when the round starts (where the SP is on the map). While the map is symmetrical, there are minor differences between the bases. Due to the pillar arrangement, the bottom base will have a minor edge in getting the scorcher flamethrower on the left side of the courtyard; however, the top base has a better chance of getting to the right courtyard weapon spawn first, which cycles between a longshot and torque bow.

I'll first run down the weapon locations so you can amp up your firepower early on. On the opposite side of the starting room there is a small room that houses a handgun spawn. This cycles between the gorgon and boltok pistols, and is great to run to at the beginning of the match. You'll find that this is a great map for meatshields, and having the right gun when you're using that meatshield only boosts your odds.

From there you have two staircases. One leads down to what I'll call "the mid-point". Look on the map; it's in between the two close staircases on either side. From here you can go left (or right if you're at the top base) to get to a hallway. A room down the hallway contains a grenade spawn which will cycle between ink and frag. Continue down the hallway and you'll find a large room with a small staircase. Go out the door at the bottom and you'll soon come to that scorcher. From there you're pretty much looking at the other team's big room with small staircase. The only other weapon is the longshot/torque bow cycle at the other end of the courtyard, which is kind of out in the open and directly in the line of fire.

You probably notice that there's only one staircase at the bottom of each base. The side where the other staircase should be forms a wall, which is a greatly protected point on the map, and great for fending off attacks or sniping.

Another great place to get to is on the bottom side. Right after the bottom bases last stair case is a bench, which is excellent for all kinds of attacks. You can easily get here from the beginning of the match to start off ahead.

This is the park bench near the botttom base

If you picked up the grenades, there are lots of great uses. The first is tagging. Oftentimes, enemies will try to sneak into your base through the hallway. Normally this works excellently, because anybody in the base is completely distracted by the front area. All too many times an opponent will get past the hallway with a scorcher or a frag grenade, easily eliminating half your team or more. A well placed mine will help. Try sticking a grenade on the wall right past the grenade room. It should decimate any would-be base raider, and even if it's just smoke it will still give you and your team ample time to prepare. Alternatively, you could place one team member in the grenade room watching the halls. This person can also accomplish three other jobs.
1. If they somehow got the longshot or torque bow, the grenade room is a terrific sniping point.
2. This room is also great for throwing grenades out of, as the window provides good cover for lining up your aim.
3. This person is also much protected, and can be deemed the "hold out and beat the odds if everyone else dies" guy. They have easy access to the spawning room (the MOST protected place on the map) if that should happen.

Now, you can easily turn the tables on this strategy. For a moment, let's pretend that no body on the enemy team reads GAME POW (even though that's a flat-out lie, I mean, who doesn't?). They might not know about defending or grenade tagging the hallway, so you can easily slip across the courtyard and creep down the hallway with a frag grenade. Better yet, bring an ink. Throw it right in the middle of the group that's (assumably) behind the wall. This should take out some, and cause the others to ditch, leaving them exposed to fire from your team. Easy win.

This is a very dynamic map. Because of its size, almost all the game modes play very fast on it. If you want to win, you can't camp, or even pop and fire. This time you'll have to be aggressive. There are many way to get into each base, so suppressing the other team into their's will raise the odds in your favor. When the game starts, rush the courtyard. Try to get as far as possible before you get fired at. As the match plays, move up a pillar row whenever possible; just make sure you're covered. Anyone exposed in the courtyard will soon die, as that will end up being the main point of fire. Soon, enemies may retreat back into the upper reaches of their base, so get on the bottom of the staircase, have someone come through the halls, and have more at the bottom to throw flushing grenades. It also wouldn't hurt to have one person stay back at the base wall with a longshot and watch everyone's back. From there, just use cover and teamwork and the rest will come naturally.

There you go, bunches and bunches of crazy Gears action. By now you should be a pro (well, maybe if you're just playing execution on blood drive). Anyways, hope you enjoyed the column, check back next week for some more awesome strategy content. Remember to COMMENT, and until next time, POW!


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