Home Gaming Epic Fail? – Did Epic drop the ball with Gears of War 2 Multiplayer?

Epic Fail? – Did Epic drop the ball with Gears of War 2 Multiplayer?

6 min read


Gears of War 2 has been a massive success, pulling in tons of sales in it’s first week as well as breaking a couple of Xbox Live records.

The original Gears of War multiplayer laid down the foundation to which all of the hype and excitement was formed for the coming of the sequel but one must wonder if Epic got lucky. While a lot of us have been enjoying Gears of War 2 this week, there are many fans out there who do not feel the same way. The Epic Gears of War 2 forums have been set ablaze with posts complaining about changes made to the core gameplay as well as a few new unwelcome additions.

More after the jump.

Pump-Action Peanut Lobber

While it becomes pretty obvious from the start that Gears of War 2 is far from perfect in terms of bugs and glitches, the main beef seems to be with the weapon balancing and how the games pace has been slowed down significantly. A lot of “Shotgun Bunnies” as I like to call them, are not happy with the fact that the good ol’ shotty has been nerfed (weakened) significantly, especially since the introduction of stopping power has already made it so difficult for shotgun runners to get closer to their enemies. Then comes the new and improved Lancer.

Saw Losers

The new Lancer is very powerful in that it does a lot of damage and also has stopping power working in it’s favour in a big way. The main issue at the moment is coming from the use of the chainsaw bayonet that we have all learnt to love and hate over the past two years. It seems to be a problem that is specific to internet play but someone who has a revved up chainsaw seems to be sitting somewhere on the verge of invincibility at times. I tested it out myself this weekend after reading about all the complaints and it is true. If you rev up a chainsaw and walk towards someone you can walk through a whole bunch of lancer fire and even a take a couple of shotgun hits without too much issue, leaving the enemy almost defenseless against your incoming saw attack.

A glitch in the matrix

We have heard that glitches like the “crabwalk” have already been discovered as well as some issues that we have personally experienced with players starting rounds with no weapons in their hands, as well as the inability to select a different one or pretty much make any use of themselves whatsoever.

Leave the matchmaking to Cupid

With Gears of War 2, Epic also decided to switch from the simple multiplayer and lobby interface of the first game and change over to a matchmaking system not unlike the ones seen in Halo 3 and Call of Duty 4. This change should have been for the better but I think that Epic have kind of missed the point.

The real charm of Gears of War was the ability to simply setup a game with a map cycle, customise the settings if you like and jump into the fun. A lot of the fun was had in the fact that there was no real lobby, maps would load up one after the other and everyone was able to have fun playing the game, or enjoy chatting to their friends if they were out for the round.

Epic changed all that. I am going to assume that the reason that dead people and live people cannot chat to each other after each round is simply a bug and not a choice made by Epic and I hope it gets fixed soon. The nutcracker however, comes in the form of a very long string of screens that leave you waiting. In the first Gears of War, when a match ended, the next map loaded up and everyone carried on as usual. It’s not as simple this time around.

Once a map is done, you are first put back into a pre-game lobby, where the host can change the game mode and settings again. Once the host accepts the settings, you sit through another loading screen to get to another lobby, which allows map, character and team selection (no invites can be sent from this lobby). Once the host is happy, he can start the game. At first the game has a five second countdown, then the lobby will tell you that the map is loading. After the loading is done you are taken into the map but still sit in a lobby waiting for textures (and if needed, bots) to load up as well. After all of that, you then get given a 10 second countdown to the start of the match, as if everyone wasn’t ready 2 minutes ago.

This new lobby system really breaks the flow of the game and has frustrated some players to no end. The idea behind the new lobby is however the matchmaking system that allows people to join into games easily, but even that isn’t working so well. Some players are left waiting up to 20 mins (!) to join a game and once in a public match, you aren’t even able to choose what type of game mode you want to play, only playlists that include certain game types.

Is anybody out there?

Gears of War 2 is a fantastic game, however there are no doubts there but it has become heavily apparent that Epic needs to make a few major changes to the game if they want the game to be as addictive and successful as the first. While a lot of people played the original Gears of War’s multiplayer right up until the day of the sequels release, this weekend, only one week later had a lot of people on my friends list playing other games and even some who had jumped back into Gears of War 1 to get a bit more of the action that they are used to.

If Epic are smart, they will listen to their fans because no matter which way you look at it, it is them who will keep the game going strong for years to come. While I personally do enjoy the multiplayer I do have to accept that deep down, it doesn’t have the same appeal as the first game and I do kind of wish that they would release a patch to change a couple of things. I have obviously not mentioned anything about the missing map pack codes as it is region specific.

It will be interesting to see if Epic sticks to their guns on their decisions or if they are going to make changes to keep the fans happy. The ball is now in their court.

What do you think, does anyone have any complaints or do you think that Gears of War 2 is perfect just the way it is? Let us know by leaving a comment below.

Last Updated: November 17, 2008


  1. We play as a clan. So always have full lobbies with people you like.

    Non of these issues have ever come up in any of our games.


  2. gazza

    November 17, 2008 at 09:14

    Wow Nick you whine alot lol.


  3. Goose ZA

    November 17, 2008 at 10:11

    1) Shotgun is fine. Honestly. I don’t see what all the crying is about.

    2) I have noticed that the chainsaw doesn’t lower easily but that said, if you let them get close enough to chainsaw you before you can unload a clip of ammo into their face then it’s your fault.

    3) The new lobby thing IS damn annoying. I miss going from map to map with no waiting etc…

    So… basically just the lobby for me. Otherwise I’m LOVING this game and the new game modes too =)


  4. Vern

    November 17, 2008 at 10:48

    The shotgun is a big dissapointment.Anybody who played Gears 1,will notice it straight away.Epic can make up for it by releasing those 5 extra maps to us…I wish


  5. Milesh Bhana

    November 17, 2008 at 10:55

    I like the map voting. I just wish it in to that screen in between games instead of the first lobby. I also love how they’ve stream lined sending bulk invites. The lobbY system is definitely slower but there are some nice touches.


  6. janrik

    November 17, 2008 at 11:01

    Goose for Prez.

    Right on the money.
    And how cool is those bots? You never have to wait ages to play with people anymore. Just start with Bots and the friends will follow.


  7. Aequitas

    November 17, 2008 at 11:17

    imho Gears 2 is *way* better than Gears 1. I don’t get stuck to every piece of cover like I’m wrapped in sticky tape anymore, and that on it’s own has made the game SO much better for me.

    And really … anyone who complains about the shotgun is an idiot. The gun still outputs insane damage, you just can’t do the old “run-roll-instakill” anymore, and the assholes that used to exploit that are pissed. Just because a gun is more formidable at close range than at long, doesn’t make it unbalanced people! The shotgun in Gears 1 is unbalanced!

    The new lobby could be better, a map cycle etc, but that’s an auxiliary system. The fact is, the gameplay in Gears 2 is way more fun than Gears 1, and That’s what’s important.


  8. Strife Lives

    November 17, 2008 at 13:34

    I need help guys,please help me.I have finished GeOW1 on insane. BUT Raam and Carmine are still not unlocked in the unlockables.Yes its the same gamertag as my GeOW2 game.Also,it says I unlocked Scorge,but cant choose him.Its the menu as being unlocked,but when I choose him in multiplayer ingame it becomes another type of locust. Its really annoying.and the matchmaking sucks! im waiting 20min a game with a 7,2mb Wireless line.


  9. DarthPenguin

    November 17, 2008 at 13:36

    I defnitely prefer the new shotgun over the shotgun in Gears 1. I think they only dropped the ball in one area.. and that is the lobby. The only change I think they really need to make is an option to put the maps that you want to play in a “map play list”, and then after each map it should instantly go into the next map. Just like it used to. And then when all the maps are finishe, then go back into the game lobby.

    And they defnitely reased the ball a hell of a lot higher with the campaign!


  10. koldFU5iON

    November 17, 2008 at 13:44

    Well while they’re contemplating what new fixes they should ad how about a “RECORD MATCH FEATURE” Come on! all the “cool” games are doing it!! pwetty pwease 🙄

    koldFU5iONs last blog post..Welcome to Delta(Gears of War 2)


  11. doobiwan

    November 17, 2008 at 13:50

    I’m really enjoying it but I’d agree with the following critisizms:
    1. Shotgun is fine but should drop a chainsaw
    2. Bring back map rotation
    3. Smoke grenade should only down you if you’re tagged
    4. Super weapons should not be in some gametypes like submission, (Hammer of dawn/mortar, I’m looking at you)

    doobiwans last blog post..Gears 2 Flashback Map Pack, gimme! Please.


  12. Nick

    November 17, 2008 at 14:17

    When it comes down to my own issues with gears 2 it really is just the lack of a map cycle and the long times between rounds.


  13. Dev

    November 17, 2008 at 14:42

    Also the fact that you can’t have your own private games that aren’t joinable, you have to set yourself to offline the whole time…


  14. Wolfy

    November 17, 2008 at 15:20

    hmm i havent experienced the multi player yet but i noticed at the mission where you get those mutilated locuts things Dom gets trapped in a invisible wall and is hanging from the air.. that was weird i ahd to kill all those things myself.. There is an I in teamwork after all its just silent 😉


  15. doobiwan

    November 17, 2008 at 17:24

    Trust me AI Dom did you a favour getting stuck, sometimes he’s such a tard 😉

    doobiwans last blog post..Gears 2 Flashback Map Pack, gimme! Please.


  16. Yeti

    November 17, 2008 at 19:23

    On two occasions on river I have been sent flying by a smoke grenade and got stuck. The first time was where you pick up the rifle. I got flung onto that little ledge around the whole on the wall. Eventually had to blow myself off with my smoke grenade.

    The second time was inside the same building, I got flung through the metal fence on the bottom right and had to have a team mate kill me.


  17. Orphan

    November 17, 2008 at 21:25

    Pfft! waiting for the day when 19 patches are released. Right on with your most accurate review!Cheers!


  18. Wolfy

    November 18, 2008 at 07:54

    ‘nough said 😆


  19. Wolfy

    November 18, 2008 at 08:01

    That mission just didnt seem to like you at all . Atleast your Dom isnt a David Blaine and just floats in mid air. Trying to avoid the danger


  20. Anacreor

    December 12, 2008 at 10:32

    I think the writer of this article is doing a great job by writing this article.. He’s telling the story of every hardcore Gears fan out there. Including me, I agree with you on every point! I want a hardcore game, not some easily enterable, laggy, long waiting for a match- game..


  21. cortex

    December 18, 2008 at 03:10

    Gears of war 2 fails the people that like it are mostly the bad kids/scrubs that couldn’t get a kill in the 1st one because people would wallbounce or blindfire you. Sure the shotgun was random, but it was much better and so was the chainsaw.


  22. cortex

    December 18, 2008 at 03:13

    Also, you have to look at it from the competative side, no one wants to go against a bad kid and lose to a random who thinks there good because EPIC FAILED.


  23. onetime

    August 15, 2009 at 23:59

    on your point 2) I have noticed that the chainsaw doesn’t lower easily but that said, if you let them get close enough to chainsaw you before you can unload a clip of ammo into their face then it’s your fault

    well if that the case then the same can be said for the shotgun bunnies in the way of if u let them get close enouth its ur fault so why put stopping power on (funny how its not active when some idiot with no skill comes wandering over to u holding the bitch button (b button))


  24. ROFL

    October 31, 2009 at 06:18

    WTF the whole game is broken it has no consistency at all the shotgun only seems to want to kill ppl at point blank range sometimes, the lobbies are shit and the host is so powerful at some points ive seen them kill whole teams. Smoke grenades add nothing to the game apart from just 3 seconds of just standing there waiting to die (very annoying). Plus the shot roll thing has been replaced by just smashing/holding the b button until they die at close range. What is better about number GOW2 over GOW i enjoyed GOW and so did every1 else now all ppl seem to do is get angry at how shit/fake GOW2 is. Also unless u only have four friends its hard to choose who to play with and if you get 10 friends and do private 1 you get nothing from doing it and there are way to many loading screens.


  25. HeLLo ProDiGY

    April 28, 2010 at 06:43

    In most cases i respect peoples opinions, but honestly if you like gears 2 your a fucking random ass bad kid who was just to shity or too impatient to learn how to be good at GOW1. ANYBODY CAN PICK UP THE FUCKING CONTROLLER ON GEARS 2 AND DO FUCKING GOOD. ITS THE WORST FUCKING FAIL OF THE CENTURY. Gears wasnt my life, but i liked it so much it was the only online game i played, played competitively as well. I had so many great times on the game that i still play it. 2006 to now, and will untill gears 3 comes out. If GEARS 3 is not the same as GEARS 1 or even resembles the multiplayer bullshit of gears 2, i will never, ever buy an epic game again. Gears of war 2 release crushed my expectations and i broke it in half and went on a fucking rampage. KIDS WHO MOVE IN GAME LIKE THEY HAVE NO THUMBS ARE FUCKING BEATING ME BECAUSE THEY PRESS B, THE FUCKING SHOTGUN DOESNT WORK ETC ETC. SHUT THE FUCK UP IF YOU THINK GEARS 2 was good, you obviously didnt take the time to play gears 1 when it was at its prime.

    AND CLIFFY, if you by chance read this, your lancer is not as original or as cool as you think, it is not the new “lightsaber” WE WANT THE FUCKING NASHER BACK AND THE GNARLY ASS SNIPE BLINDFIRES MOTHER FUCKER!

    my apologies for the rant, but i feel better now.



    April 28, 2010 at 07:32

    I think this dead horse moved… wait for it wait for it… no; just my imagination; this horse is definitely dead…


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