Tag Archives: gears of war

XBOX 360: Games with Gold: April 2015 Games Notes 30 MAR 2015

Officially kicking off way back in July 2013, Microsoft’s Games with Gold programme has since then steadfastly been rewarding gamers who fork out their monthly XBOX Live subscription with two or more free games a month – a pretty decent reward in my book.

microsoft xbox 360 games with gold call to action banner

Some months are certainly better than others in terms of the free games being given away,  but if you are an XBOX 360 owner with an active XBOX Live account in April 2015, then you’ve most definitely got some pretty decent freebies to look forward to!

(To be fair though, March 2015 was pretty damn good too – the superb Tomb Raider (2013) from Crystal Dynamics was available for the first half of the month, followed up by the excellent BioShock Infinite (2013) the latter!)

To celebrate the Games with Gold programme as a whole, Microsoft is giving away an unprecedented four free XBOX 360 titles for April, three AAA releases and one hit indie title.

This is the list as it stands right now:


Review: Gears of War 2 (2008) Games | My Reviews 01 APR 2013

gears of war 2 box artCliff Bleszinski and the team over at Epic Games came back to hit gamers hard with the follow-up to their first successful Gears of War outing, launching Gears of War 2 in 2008, basically a bigger and badder version of the original, with an even greater choice of weapons than before, and not forgetting to mention their tried and tested cover system!

Gears of War 2 takes place six months after the detonation of the Lightmass Bomb at the end of the first game and though most of the underground army of the Locust Horde was destroyed in the resulting explosion, the fall-out from this would be devastating to the human population. Vaporised liquid Imulsion seeped out of the ground and went on to cause the debilitating Rustlung sickness to quickly spread among the diminished human population.

After months of peace, the cities of Tollen and Montevado suddenly and mysteriously disappear underground, leading the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) to suspect the resurgence of the Locust. Soon after, the once impenetrable Jacinto, one of the last remaining safe havens for humans, begins to show signs that the same fate awaits it. Needless to say, in order to stop the fall of Jacinto, COG responds with a large-scale counter-offensive against the Locust, which basically boils down to Marcus and Dom being once again knee deep in Locust shit!

Gears of War 2 is a third person shooter with an emphasis on the tactical use of cover, and retains much of the same gameplay from the first game. The player, playing as either Marcus or Dominic in the campaign mode, or as any of the human or Locust characters in multiplayer mode, and can only carry a pistol, one type of grenade, and two other weapons at any time, though they may swap these for weapons found in strategic locations or left by downed foes or fallen allies. Each weapon can be used for normal fire as well as for melee attacks; the game’s signature Lancer, an assault rifle mounted with a chainsaw bayonet for its melee, can be used to instantly kill foes.

gears of war 2 screenshot 1

What follows is a tightly woven storyline with fantastic cut sequences and relentless action as you face down rush after rush of locust attacks, not to mention the occasional ambushes they set up for you given the chance!

I played through the campaign in an online co-op with my brother, and I have to say that for the first two thirds of the game I was thoroughly enthralled, enjoying the intense shooter action, taking in the fantastic soundtrack and just enjoying the game in general.

However, one of the things that did eventually get to me was the predictability of the cover system. Once you’re two thirds into the game you know exactly how it is going to play out – you walk into an area, spot the cover ledges, tables, etc, and then scramble over into cover and await for the Locusts to come running out at you.

Rinse and repeat.

This spoiled the last bit of the game a little for me, but it isn’t enough to rate this game poorly. It looks fantastic, has a wonderful array of well designed levels, has solid AI and is genuinely an enjoyable shooter to play.

Definitely recommendable and even more so if you can find a friend to join you for the well set out campaign storyline.

gears of war 2 screenshot 2

gears of war 2 screenshot 3

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gears_of_War_2

The Long, Long Weekend My Life 06 APR 2010

Well, we’re finally back from what has been an absolutely brilliant break from work, the excellent four day weekend courtesy of Easter Weekend. Unfortunately Chantelle worked every single day of my four days off, but luckily for me, I was able to sketch in some great social time dashed with a splash of personal time! :)

This is what your brother does behind you when you're trying to hide behind oven mitts!

Thursday evening kicked off with a braai at our place (well technically I suppose I should mention that we had already gone out on Tuesday night to Ben’s on the Beach to celebrate Chantelle’s raise and on Wednesday night to Panarottis to celebrate my new car), with Chantelle and myself playing host to Terrance and his new beau, Lize. As what now seems the order of the day, I put in a fantastic performance behind the coals (must be the new braai and classic Champion Braaier apron I tell you!), and ignoring the darkness all around me, managed to produce some rather tasty goodies if I say so myself! We sat and chatted and ate like kings, before Terrance and I managed to goad Lize and Chantelle to accept a round of 30 Seconds, in which the team of C&C actually did rather well for a change! :P

Friday saw me tackle some housework in the morning before my doorbell rang and I ushered in Mr. Brown, back again but this time sans the new partner. In other words, it was gaming time. And so we got stuck in to some Resident Evil 5, Gears of War 2 and Modern Warfare 2, before eventually powering down and heading out to the mall with the plan of grabbing some new gear… which unfortunately didn’t exactly pan out as what we had planned. It turns out that on a public holiday, Somerset Mall pretty much shuts the doors of all its shops! So settling for a delicious Subway for lunch, we headed back home in the Getz and got to grips with our game controllers once more. Evening rushed upon us pretty quickly and so the decision was made to pick up some Ooskus for supper (as per tradition) and Rush Hour 2 was selected as the viewing for the night, an action-packed Jackie Chan comedy that simply never lets one down! (Needless to say, Chantelle was quite keen to still be at work when she heard that was what we chose to watch for the evening!) :)

Saturday morning I busied myself with housework (still left over dishes from Thursday evening!) and some shopping, trying my best to hunt down a chocolate Lindt bunny for Chantelle – but can you believe everywhere I looked they were simply sold out!! I also tried my luck in getting some transfer papers from the traffic department, but alas, I should have known that the GB office was closed. Back home I pottered about, writing some blog posts and watching some Mazinkaiser anime, before heading out to the mall once again with the purpose of meeting up with Chantelle and her two miniature charges, Holly and Maddy, for a movie and a hunt to try and locate a standalone scanner.

Now the movie, How to Train Your Dragon, was a really fun blast, thoroughly enjoyed it, but the hunt for a standalone scanner was a completely different animal. Browsing around, it quickly became apparent that it is in fact cheaper to buy a all-in-one printer with a scanning option than purchasing a standalone scanner unit – are these people insane?!? Anyway, I couldn’t find one that I like on the shops’ floors, so it looks like I might buy the entry-level Canon LIDE 100 scanner, but hell, that’s going to set me back R737! On the other hand, I did stumble across Red Faction: Guerilla for a R100 at Incredible Connection, and of course knowing me, couldn’t resist this bargain which I then purchased and went home to play, spending the next three or four hours straight with controller in hand!

Sunday and Chantelle was straight off to work again, leaving me behind to take care of even more household chores and get a little blogging in, before I put on my walking shoes and trotted down to Pick ‘n Pay in order to buy a cooldrink which was to accompany on my lunch time trip through to Claire and Riley’s pad in Newlands.

As it turned out, lunch at Claire and Riley’s was really enjoyable, as it was a family affair starring Mom, Dad, Ryan, myself and obviously Claire and Riley, making it the first family get together since Mom’s birthday back in Feb. Claire’s newly renovated flat looks amazing and now with their large and in charge 50 inch Panasonic plasma and matching PS3 to dominate their lounge, the flat is really beginning to look rather ultra stylish! I took some photos of the pad for Chantelle’s sake, and boy is she jealous! :P

Oh, the food was simply divine as well. Weber chicken, roast potato, etc. You get the idea, proper Sunday lunch! :)

Back home I managed to convince myself not to do any work and instead told myself I’ll just quickly play an hour or so of Red Faction: Guerilla. Yeah right. I spent the rest of the entire day, well into midnight playing the damn game and loving every minute of it. The only break I took was to watch a quick episode of Mezzo DSA (fun show) and have some of the delicious stew Chantelle brought back with her from work. Oh, and to make Chantelle a much needed cup of coffee!

Monday morning, and having survived the embarrassment of Chantelle once again recording my snoring concerto, I set about quickly tidying up the place in expectation of Ryan’s arrival, for a planned day of manly bonding over a super long XBOX 360 session. And when I say play XBOX I mean play XBOX. We started just after 10:00 playing Gears of War and drove all the way through until about 18:00, polishing off all five chapters without resorting to violence towards one another. The only pit stop we put in was for a stroll over the road to Pick ‘n Pay and then a making of toasted cheese sarmies in the pan, but man was it worth it. From start to finish, I can see just why the original Gears of War was a popular a game as what it is.

However, the time for Ryan to finally go home was upon us, and kicking him out into traffic, Chantelle and I finally got to spend some quality Easter 2010 time together by hitting the Tallahassee Spur in Somerset Mall for a nice supper and then into Ster Kinekor for a viewing of Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side.

And that wraps it up for what in the end turned out to be quite an enjoyable Easter 2010, even if it was filled mainly with an inordinate amount of gaming! :)

Happy Birthday Mr. Brown! My Life 30 DEC 2009

So yesterday marked Mr. Brown’s 29th birthday and as such I found myself in Bellville on the day to spend some time with him – though it was done a little differently to the norm I’ll admit! :)

I skipped my planned morning walk for a change thanks to getting up a little later than what I originally had wanted to, and instead shot through to Ryan just after 10:00, seeing as the poor bugger was shackled to his house for the day awaiting the arrival of a Telkom technician in order to at last install his long-awaited telephone line.

Naturally we immediately got to grips with the XBOX, fitting in a quick game of FIFA 10 and NBA 10 (which looks absolutely sublime I tell you!) as well as a bout of Gears of War, though the latter didn’t go quite as well as what we had planned and after throwing a mini hissy fit after dying for the upteenth time, Ryan quickly canned that particular path of action.

However, with Terrance’s gift in our possession but the inability to go and visit him thanks to the Telkom shackle, we instead phoned Mr. Brown and invited him over to us, which he duly did – but possibly only because we promised him a present if he came! :P

(As it is, we got him an awesome gift of a Angel/Devil Homer from the Simpsons figurine, as well as one from Family Guy, of which thanks to Ryan, he too is now a big fan.)

Anyway, more gaming was on the cards, though we did have to make a bit of a side trip in which Terrance and I abandoned Ryan and headed of to Mr. T’s pad in order to pick up an extra game controller, Figure Fanatix to check out their new stock, and finally McDonalds in order to pick out lunch for everyone.

On returning to Ryan’s house, we were greeting by the welcome figure of the just arrived Telkom technician guy and while we let him get on with his job, the three of us settled in to eat our food and break out the gaming, with bouts of PES, FIFA, NHL and NBA all taking centre stage – as well as a sneak peek of the awesome Batman: Arkham Asylum courtesy of Mr. Brown.

But as all things usually do, our day was to come to an abrupt end as the clock struck five and Ryan shooed us all away, eager to hit the road and go and rescue Michelle from that horrible thing called work.

Still, it was an excellent day of camaraderie and gaming, and so Mr. Brown, you had more than earned your Philly Cheese Steak last night! Enjoy man, enjoy! :)