Gears of War 2: Dark Corners

Some things should stay buried. We've left no dark corner unexplored as we tackle the latest Gears of War 2 DLC.

Epic Games

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By Edwin Evans-Thirlwell

It was an escape so close you could practically feel the wind from the passing chainsaw. About two-thirds to three-quarters of the way through Gears of War 2, lovable manly men Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago are considering the outside of an underground Locust city. "You know, old sport," reflects Marcus, quite possibly not in a caricatured English accent. "I dare say I've found a way to enter yon heavily guarded edifice undetected. But-" and his face creases with compassion for his friend - "If you'd rather charge the blighters head on and hit them for six, I can't blame you."

(At this point in the story, Dom has good reason to take the Locust's assault on humanity personally. We won't spoil the surprise, but suffice to say it has absolutely nothing to do with his dead wife.)

Oh crap, was my thought at the time. They've only gone and done a stealth sequence. What an appalling thing to spring on a player after six exhilarating hours of chainsaw duels, guttural one-liners and skull-busting curb-stomps.

Thankfully, Dom refuses to play ball. "Sounds ripping, what what," he says, again possibly not in a plummy nasal whine. "But I think I would indeed prefer to battle these mutant wallahs face to face." And so, but for the faintest of wobbles, the campaign resumes its progress towards a rip-roaring 9/10.

Little did we know back then that this wobble was the tremor preceding a mighty avalanche. An avalanche that would finally come crashing down around our ears in July 2009, with the arrival of Epic's Dark Corners downloadable content pack.

All right, so I'm getting a bit melodramatic. But there's just no call for this sort of treachery. Hang your head in shame, Mr Blezenski. And Mr Rein? Consider that dinner date cancelled.

Dark Corners contains the first ever piece of Gears 2 single player DLC, "Road to Ruin", and as you've probably guessed that piece of single player DLC is the stealth sequence hinted at in the original code, which was edited out before release. There's no need to replay the entire campaign to get at the restored chapter, which is fortunate, because it's rubbish.

The stealth bit is optional, to be fair. Not to mention ridiculously straightforward. Disguised in the rusty red armor of the Theron Guards, you and Dom must get to the other end of a series of bridges thickly sprinkled with Locust. Grubs, Boomers, Grenadiers and other tangos whirr back and forth across the path like Subbuteo soldiers, and all you need worry about is staying out of smelling distance (the Locust nostril is well-attuned to your mammal musk).

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