I recently purchased Gears of War 2 for Xbox 360 over the weekend and although I am only a few hours in I am enjoying myself greatly. The look of the game is certainly in keeping with its creators; Epic. What I am most impressed by within the game is the highly intelligent and fluid cover system Epic has created. Moving into cover is as simple as pressing the A button. From here the player has a range of options available to them all with a change to the direction of the left analogue stick and a further press of A. I cannot explain how exciting and satisfying it is to send your character rolling, leaping and diving between sections of cover while in the heat of battle. On top of this while you plot your next move your options are displayed at the base of the screen through the use of a cleverly colour coded explanatory image. All up it feels as though the game has somehow tapped into my brain waves, read what I wanted to do and shown me exactly how I can achieve it. Soon I sense I will develop some sort of symbiotic relationship with the game although I’m certain I’ll rely on it much more than it on me.
I have been amazed by the simplicity yet complexity that the system brings to the game and believe it should become, if it isn’t already, the benchmark through which we can base future systems like it. Not only this, I believe the way of thinking that lead to its creation should become common practice within the videogames industry itself. Just imagine the calibre of work that could be produced if we were simplified our thinking, our control schemes and even our games. No longer would we have to scramble to find the booklet to remember the long sequence of buttons last spoken of in a tutorial session hours, days or even months prior. I hold out hope that someday that components like Gears of Wars 2’s cover system will become commonplace within the video games industry; we all know we’d be better for it.