Xbox 360 DLC Review: Gears of War 2 ‘Dark Corners’ Map Pack

Gears of War 2 Dark Corners

With the release of the Dark Corners Map Pack on Xbox LIVE this week, players are not only treated to seven new multiplayer maps, but also a bonus deleted scene that was cut from the final version of Gears of War 2.  The deleted scene allows players to maneuver Marcus and Dom through the Road to Ruins either the traditional Gears way of barging through with guns-a-blazin, or donning Theron armor for a sneakier approach.

The Road to Ruins campaign picks up a little after the midpoint from the story of the single-player campaign when Dom is overcome with emotions from a particular event that took place in Gears of War 2.  Marcus approaches Dom with the decision to either make it through the Roads of Ruin stealthily while wearing some Theron armor, or the old fashioned way of killing everything they come across.  Through the stealth mission, you’re guided by Dom, who gives you verbal cues as to what you should or shouldn’t do.  Towards the latter part of the campaign, the game goes back to the traditional Gears of War style with a number of firefights occurring.

Gears of War Dark Corners 2

Taking the stealth route felt a little out of place as I wasn’t used to running from cover to cover, hoping I wouldn’t be spotted by a Locust guard.  It was an interesting idea to offer the option of a stealth mission, but in the Gears of War world, stealth isn’t an option most people would think to use.  Much like a deleted scene from a DVD, the campaign will give players a chance to experience something that wasn’t left in the actual game, and for good reason.  Add the fact the deleted scene can be completed within a half hour, and you can consider it easily forgettable.

As I mentioned earlier, the map pack also comes with seven new multiplayer maps.  The previous map packs that were released had a common theme tying them together.  Whether it be maps where the levels were covered in snow, or maps that had a number of explosive obstacles, they all tied into one common theme.  The Dark Corners Map Pack overall did not have a common theme which I found to be great as having more varied maps allows the players to distinguish their favorite maps with their least favorite maps.  Having a common theme basically puts all of the maps in their own category, which players can either love or hate.Gears of War Dark Corners 3

The locales of the maps vary from certain locations in the single-player campaign, to locales that are mentioned in the Gears of War books.  Way Station and Highway are the first locust-themed maps to be released for Gears of War 2.  The maps give off a feeling that you’re really in an unrecognizable world with strange architecture and colors all around.  Sanctuary has you fighting in a dark graveyard with plenty of cover by way of the level’s architecture.  Memorial has players fighting near the Eternal Flame which pays tribute to fallen soldiers with an open area to fight in, as well as a platform above the level and hallways running underneath the platform.  Nowhere is set in an unlikely location: in the middle of a desert.  The map has some nice, open areas for snipers to take advantage of, but there are also a couple of close-quarter spots for shotgun enthusiasts.  Allfathers Garden is located on the sacred grounds of the Coalition fathers and offers some gorgeous architecture to gander at, but be careful as there are a good number of powerful weapons scattered around the map.  And finally, the War Machine takes place in an abandoned train station.  The Boomshot, Mulcher, and Longshot are all up for grabs, so be sure to grab them before your enemies do.

Gears of War Dark Corners 4

Final Thought: Although the deleted campaign is too short and too lackluster to warrant buying the Dark Corners DLC for, the seven multiplayer maps more than make up for it.  The variety of locales and the number of maps available in this single map pack is worthy of your 1200 MS Points.  Die-hard Gears fans will undoubtedly pick up the Dark Corners pack, but if you haven’t played Gears in quite some time, this may be the reason to get back into it.

8/10

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Readers Comments (11)

  1. Thanks to all of you, your info served me well when it came to the latest news about Gears of War II. Suggestion, being a published high-tech sci-fi author and having tons of readers and fans who respect my work, I recently found out that my conversation amongst them heightened to a point to where almost everything I said was repeated. Especially when it came to you all putting out a bronze Lancer and a gold long shot rifle along with a purchased golden plated armor for our COGS to wear. Think about it Epic, a little extra money for you all wouldn’t hurt. Shoots, you could charge everyone 2000 MS points for the package.
    M. Bangham

  2. @M. Bangham

    Wow, for someone not following the Gears of War series what you said was pretty nerdy.

  3. Gears is for stooges. Sorry to insult people, but I hate that series. I’m also kidding about the “stooges” part.

  4. I still am and will always be a Halo Girl. The End.

  5. @jennifer safanova
    Halo is for girls and kids, so that’s understandable.

  6. Gears is better than halo cause halo is for people like you choob

  7. @Kezins
    What an unnessary comment. If you don’t like the series… well, too bad.

  8. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.

    Patricia

    http://lioneltrains.info

  9. hi everybody

    Just saying hello while I read through the posts

    hopefully this is just what im looking for looks like i have a lot to read.

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