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this is amazing value for money. yes 1600 microsoft points may sound like a lot, but for what you get if anything its under priced. lets look at what you get: you get a new chapter of story mode which can be done in co-op and also has 2 different ways of playing (stealth option were you dress up as locust and sneak past them and the guns blazing option were you go in and just kill everyone or everything) then on top of that you also get all the map packs (flashback, combustable, snowblind and the all new dark corners) all of which make for a much more interesting online experiance. every single on of these beautiful looking maps have thier own unique weapon set which means you will always have a bit of variety. so should you buy this game add on? yes you should or you will regret it.
The All Fronts Collection was released on July 28, 2009 and is the main downloadable content pack for the Gears of War 2 game. So this is a review just about what is in this downloadable content and not the game or gameplay itself.
It costs 1600 Microsoft Points, which equates to about £14. However, as the smallest pack you can buy is 2100 you must pay slightly more than this, but if you buy things from marketplace anyway this will not affect you. (You can actualy buy 1600points if you buy the special GTA points, however these seem to me the same price as normal 2100 point packs so offer worse value for money)
Dark Corners Content
All Previous Map Packs for online play
Where All fronts represents value for money is the fact it contains the latest Content of Dark Corners which i shall go into later. But also all the previously released maps. There were 3 previously released map packs, which cost a 600 points each. Therefore at 1600 points you are already making a saving by buying All fronts.
This contains a brand "Deleted Scene Style" new chapter which extends the the storyline of the game. It also has two methods of completing it, "Guns Blazing" Or "Stealth", so this also means more game time.
There is then also a Dark Corners Map Pack, this contains seven new maps for online.
Besides offering great value the collection has over most downloadable content it is also a pretty good pack. The maps offer a much needed freshen up to online play, and are mostly quite fun and innovative. There are also a lot more fun achievements to try and aim for. I'd recommend this to anyone who plays Gears 2 on a regular basis.
The all fronts collection is DLC for the game Gears of War 2 avaiable on the Xbox live marketplace for 1600 points. It includes all DLC map maps including a new 'dark corners' map pack and a deleted scene.
The map packs this DLC includes is the flashback map pack (5 maps) which was available for free with new copies of the game. The Combustible map pack (3 maps), the snowbind map pack (4 maps)and a new map pack called dark corners (7 maps!). With all these new maps to play with 1600 points is a bargain. All these maps can be played on online multiplayer and local. The maps themselves are great and include lots of variety.
Not only are all these maps included but you also receive a small bonus, a deleted scene. This small part of the game took me 20 minutes to complete first time round but this scene includes two different paths to take. The deleted scene isn't amazing but its a nice bonus on top of the maps.
Value for money is something this DLC does right. If you haven't bought any of the maps packs for Gears Of war 2 and enjoy the online multiplayer then you should definitely buy this. If you don't play online or are only thinking about buying for the extra deleted scene then its not worth it.
Gears of War 2 All Fronts Collection
Downloadable content on Xbox Live can be a troublesome thing. On the one hand, there's the infinate supply of songs on Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero, as well as terrific DLC maps and add-ons like the World at War Map Packs and GTAIV: Lost and Damned. Yet there's also ludricrous downloadables like two hour long add-ons which cost a whooping 800 microsoft points, stupid and merely cosmetic costumes which should be in the game and freaking horses armour which disappears if your horse dies and cannot be re-used again! So in the midst of this awesome but also average marketplace comes Gears of War 2: All Fronts which takes all the map packs previously available and halves the price in this collection. Is it worth enlisting still?
Gears of War 2, released in November of 2008, has been one of the top selling, most played Xbox 360 games since, well, the first game. This is because of its terrific campaign which sports more variety, an incredibly addictive Horde mode and a really good competitive online component. Since its release we've had several map packs which add maps to the multiplayer and horde mode including the firey Combustible map pack and the chilling Snowblind map pack. But it was the recent Dark Corners multiplayer map pack which also included a brand new single player chapter-a deleted scene from around the begining of the fourth act of the campaign. It was quite a bit of DLC, but if you were to buy all the map packs it would have cost a whopping 3200 Microsoft points, which is quite expensive. But out of their hearts, Epic games made the All Fronts Pack, bundling all of the map packs together and slashing the price in half. Of course it's only worth buying if the actual content is good but thankfully you should get your money's worth with this pack.
Let's start with the Flashback Map Pack which was first released and also came with the collectors edition of Gears 2. This is basically a collection of maps from Gears of War 1 which have been completely redone to fit the better graphics of Gears 2. For example, the iconic map Gridlock, which was one of my favourite maps, was completely covered in green moss compared to the first game, making it look different, but with mostly similar weapon placement, it's still a map Gears vets will be able to jump into and play. Other maps have drastically changed too, like Canals which is completely frozen over with snow, and Mansion looks a bit lusher yet feels a lot more deserted compared to the first game. It's a nice selection of maps taken from the first game yet they same weapon placement will make veterans feel at home.
The map pack released after that was the Combustible Map Pack. This featured three new multiplayer maps which had a sort of firey theme to them. The new maps are quite thoughtful thankfully slightly making up for the fact there's only three maps. Flood is by far one of my favourite maps in the game-the open and challenging map features imulsion, the environmental hazard which can block you from running away from a hail of bullets. It does damage if you go into it by the way, meaning avoiding it if possible is a smart idea. Gold Rush, a remade map from the PC version of Gears, features a lot of high ground but isn't very original with no hazards or dangers in the level. The final map, Fuel Station, feels similar to Tyro Station but this is unique by featuring plenty of explosive fuel tanks which can take out enemies just like that.
The final multiplayer-only map pack released was the Snowblind Map Pack. Featuring four new maps, the pack, as you can probably guess by the title, features a dominent snow theme. The courtyard map is exactly that-a rectangular courtyard which is quite open and deadly for snipers meaning using the minimal cover is neccersary. There's also Underhill, which strangely takes place on a Highway rather than a hill, and features an exterior and interior with a perfect camping spot right in the middle, but it can leave you trapped as well. There's also Grindyard, an oval map with a perfect camping spot tower in the middle, and the popular Fuel Depot remade with the snowblind theme and the snipers hidden in each of the trucks at the ends of the map.
The final and recently released map pack is the Dark Corners Map Pack. The theme of this map is that, well, it's a fair bit darker than the other maps. There are seven multiplayer maps including the large and sniper-perfect Allfathers Garden, the cramped and confusing Highway map which features a brumak being let loose in the background, Memorial is another big and open map with a central area where most of the fights will take place, Nowhere which is a very simple map which can become confusing thanks to evil sandstorms blocking your vision (if only we had masks-damn you Carmine!), Sanctuary which is features several paths as well as a central area, War Machine which has been ripped from Gears 1 and has hardly been changed except it's got a bit more colour to it, and Way Station which again is cramped and great for close combat. They are well designed with solid weapon placement but the Gears 1 map has hardly been changed. Also, while the theme of the Snowblind and Combustible map packs feels unique, this Dark theme doesn't feel that different from the maps already included in the game.
Of course the big story about this map pack is that it also included a single player deleted scene. In the Campaign, after Dom suffers a traumatic event, Marcus suggests they could sneak in to Nexus. Dom denies that completely as he 'wants to kill them all'. We then cut to what happens after that and don't see how they got to Nexus. What this scene does is give you the choice on what happens inbetween the two events. You are given the choice to either sneak your way into Nexus or go in guns blazing. Depending on which of these options you choose will completely alter not only the way you play the game, but also the quality of the chapter.
The first, and simpler option, is the guns blazing. Here you're just going in guns crazy and killing everything in sight, much like the game already on the disc. It's servicable, but not very different from the campaign and you can see why it was cut from the game. The other option is sneaking into Nexus by donning the Locust armour and basically walking through Nexus. However, you can't go near Locust otherwise they will smell your human scent and shoot you down. It's not very fun to be honest-for about 40 minutes you're just literally walking past all the enemies, hiding so you don't get caught with your 'scent' and peforming some actions to distract the enemies. It's actually quite boring, and if you play in co-op, there's no way to tell where the route t go is without being caught as in single player Dom guides you the right way. And the best bit about all of this? After those 40 minutes of carefulness so you don't get caught, the game forces you to be caught anyway as part of the story and you must gun your way to the end. Screams of pointlessness in my opinion and this deleted scene is only around two hours long meaning it's not that brilliant.
You may be thinking 'there's a lot of multiplayer maps here-what if I don't like multiplayer?' well thankfully the multiplayer maps aren't just supported in multiplayer-you can also access all the maps on the addictive horde mode as well as local multiplayer too. Horde mode is great fun, but the limited maps limited its appeal. Now, there's a ton more maps you can use to bolster the five-player co-op fun and local multiplayer. Considering all the modes you can access with these new maps, it's quite good value for money and with this collection there are a lot of maps at your disposal. Top that with the new experience system for multiplayer and horde, as well as updates to fix bugs and issues with the online, and you've got a top tier multiplayer experience.
It's also worth mentioning that achievement hunters can gain access to 750 gamerscore worth of new achievements by downloading this collection. There are 29 achievements which range from easy, complete a match (public or private) on each of the four snowblind maps, to the insane, reach level 50 on the nowhwere map in horde and earn enough Experience to reach level 50. Both of those will take a lot of time to accomplish. It's quite challenging to earn all the achievements from the DLC, considering one requires you to reach level 100 and win a public multiplayer match on the four snowblind maps. It's a decent list, with a nice focus on some horde achievements, and plenty of time consuming yet fun achievements.
Is the All Fronts Collection good, bad or ugly?
Gears 2 was already a solid multiplayer experience, but considering all the maps, improvements and enchancements you get with this DLC, it's well worth it's discounted price of 1600 microsoft points. You're essentially getting 3200 points worth of multiplayer maps, new updates and a single player deleted scene for half the price, making it a cracking deal. However it's only worth buying good deals if what you're getting is good and thankfully, the new multiplayer maps are well designed and great fun whether you're playing them against strangers online, teaming up with your mates to take on the horde or just messing about in offline multiplayer. Its new deleted scene isn't all that great, but that's about two hours of the many more hours worth of gameplay you'll get from everything else. In the end, if you have an online account with Xbox Live and a remote interest in Gears 2 multiplayer, you'll be hard pressed to say no to this great deal.
This downloadable add-on was created by Epic Games for Gears of War 2. You can download it on the Marketplace for 1600 Microsoft points. You must have a copy of the game to be able to play with the new content.