Just thinking back to Gears of War 2 hits me with a huge wave of nostalgia. Epic Games' follow-up to the revolutionary Gears of War launched right around the time I picked up an Xbox 360, and it certainly wasn't a bad introduction to what the system could do. In fact, almost 15 years on and this is still, for my money, the very best Gears of War campaign to date, and while it looks great to this day thanks to Xbox's backwards compatible enhancements, I think this is one 360 exclusive that deserves a full remake.
That is, in part, because Gears 2 is in a weird spot in 2022. On the one hand, the title looks and plays better than ever thanks to a recent FPS Boost update, bringing things to 60FPS. However, with Gears of War getting a remake in 2015, and Gears of War 3 feeling much more modern after its own back compat enhancements, Gears 2 really does feel like it's ready for an overhaul in comparison. The Last of Us Part I is making me want that even more.
I'll be clear here, The Last of Us didn't need a remake. The game's PS4 remaster is still a looker, not to mention the PS3 original isn't even 10 years old yet. However, I can't dispute just how bloody gorgeous the remake looks, especially when it comes to facial animations, character performances, and big set pieces. These areas are where the older Gears games suffer (like a lot of early 360-era stuff) and I'd love to see this story presented in a similarly modern fashion to TLOU Part 1. Full-scale remakes aren't usually what Xbox does, but I'd take an exemption to the rule for this one.
Gears of War 2 ramped its campaign right up to the max as well. Coming off the dark, atmospheric, and at times, creepy vibe of the original, Gears 2 felt like a full-scale war. The Locust came out swinging after the events of the first game, and it led to some truly incredible set pieces in the sequel. Exploring half sunken cities? Check. Riding a 'Brumak' to destroy waves of Locust drones? Check. Cutting through the arteries of a giant worm? Err, check. These battles would be incredible to re-live through the power of Xbox Series X and S, and we'd argue that a Gears 2 remaster would make the whole series feel pretty modern in 2022.
Some of my favourite Gears 2 memories do lie in the quiet moments that harkened back to the first game too, so it's not only cutscenes and set piece moments that'd benefit from a remake. The whole sequence where you're being led through a dark, abandoned facility by the haywire AI 'Niles' is a particular highlight, and we're already imagining a fresh run through the New Hope Research Facility with all the Unreal Engine 5 bells and whistles.
What The Coalition has delivered with the modern Gears games, on a technical level, would excite us even more should such a project come to fruition. Using Unreal Engine 4, Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 look and play phenomenally well, even if they do miss some of the character of the original trilogy. A fusing of said character with The Coalition & UE5 though? Sign me the hell up.
Next year, Gears of War 2 hits 15 years of age, which feels like the right time to me to unleash such a remake. We've heard rumours before about a Marcus Fenix Collection that haven't yet to come to pass, but truth be told, a Gears 2 remake is all I believe we really need. I'm still clinging on to this vaguely-connected tweet (that happens to contain modern-looking Gears 2 artwork) in the hope that one day soon, we get to re-visit the Locust Hollow with all that glorious next-gen goodness.
But, what do you think? Should a Gears of War 2 remake happen? Vote in the poll and let us know!