What a couple of great days it's been. Gears of War 2 came out (officially) at Thursday night, at midnight, and not only did several of my friends rush out and wait in lines with 75 other people to snag a copy, but six of them took Friday off of work to play it all day. And play it we did. For at least 12 hours on Friday. I admit I felt bad about canceling my shift at the food bank on Friday to stay home and play videogames all day, but it really was like a holiday.
My east-coast friends had gotten online at 8am their time and leapt into a game of Horde before I woke up and could join them, so I spent much of Friday morning working through the single player campaign on Hardcore mode. There were a few tricky spots, but I've so far made it to a pretty significant boss battle at the end of Act 4, Chapter 6. The rest of Friday and all day Saturday (quite literally, all day) was spent playing online with the gWp crew I've been inducted into. I had accumulated 1400 kills by Saturday night, before turning it off when Kristin got home from school.
It's really a fantastic game. The story campaign is very well done, with excellent pacing, well-placed checkpoints, and even a bit of emotion which I wasn't expected. Horde mode (5 player co-op) is absolutely fantastic and probably worth the admission fee alone, and the various 5 vs 5 multiplayer modes are a blast. I have to say that between Fallout 3, Rock Band 2, and Gears of War 2, I really don't see me needing to buy another game for six months. Well, maybe Mirror's Edge, but nothing else!
Speaking of Rock Band 2, Kristin and I played for several hours Saturday night after dinner and it's absolutely amazing how much better she has gotten. She now plays guitar on medium difficulty and other than struggling with the guitar solo at the end of "Alive", she's really doing quite well. I was a bit rusty the first couple of sets on guitar while she experimented with the drums, then we switched off. By the end of the night, we each played all four instruments and completed several challenges in the game. It's truly great to have a game that both of us can play, that has such great music, and that has a difficulty curve that isn't only beginner-friendly, but one that really helps you get better. I know I'm probably sounding like a broken record by now, but I have no idea what I was thinking in buying Guitar Hero 3 instead of Rock Band last year. GH3 made me all but give-up on this genre of game -- now I couldn't be happier. And I'm really looking forward to this Tuesday's release of the Foo Fighter's track-pack coming this Tuesday for RB2.
Of course, this all means that my Fallout 3 time has dwindled to nothing. I have to get back into it before I forget what I'm up to in that game and/or forget how to play. It's such a great game, but it's just a testament to how fun and addictive (in a good way) the multiplayer aspects of RB2 and GOW2 are.