The long-awaited Gears of War 2 title update has gone live and will be applied when you boot up the game while signed into Xbox Live. It also adds achievements for the two map packs if you've downloaded them.
The patch list is a doozy and I'll be bringing you full impressions after I get some time with the game. Hit the jump for the full list of changes and fixes as well as my expectations for the "new" game.
Gears of War 2 Title Update 2 Detailed Release Notes
The following fixes and improvements are included in Title Update 2.
Title Update 2 fixes these possible exploits, where under certain circumstances:
- A player could melee or grenade tag through certain walls.
- A player could equip a shield and a two-handed weapon simultaneously.
- A player could make their shield invisible.
- A player could become invisible.
- A player could do a "super" mantle or "kung fu flip," flying high into the air.
- A player could gain unlimited ammo with the Lancer Assault Rifle.
- A player could fire while roadie running (also known as "crabwalking").
- A player could pick up a weapon while sliding into cover.
- A player could walk forward while firing a deployed mortar.
- A player could force an opponent to be stuck in the down but not out (DBNO) position.
- A player could prevent other players from picking up a heavy weapon.
- A player could pick up a dropped meatflag without having to knock him down.
- A ragdolled player could be killed without ever going DBNO.
- A player could roadie run while firing the Scorcher Flamethrower.
- A player could get stuck while evading, though they could continue shooting in any direction.
- A player could concuss themselves under the stairs on the River map.
Title Update 2 fixes these other issues as well:
- An issue with client-side hit detection of the Gnasher Shotgun. The fix makes the shotgun more reliable in high-latency situations.
- An issue where players could have shotgun or Boomshot rounds fire into the ground when shooting from the hip.
- A split-screen issue where one player transitioning to the death battle camera disrupted input from the other player.
- An issue that could cause players' Look sensitivity to be changed to their Zoom sensitivity while zooming in, zooming out, and firing.
- An issue that could cause players to get stuck if they tried to pick up a heavy weapon while firing the shotgun at the same time.
- An issue where players could become stuck if they kicked over a shield while ragdolled from a smoke grenade.
- An issue where bots were unable to kick over a shield that was planted backward.
- An issue where players who quit during voting didn't show up in the end game stats, which meant other players couldn't easily provide negative feedback on them.
- An issue where players couldn't chainsaw enemy meatshields if the meatshields were already damaged.
- An issue where some players would not see the animation of a meatshield being chainsawed.
- An issue where players could not chainsaw an opposing team meatshield in a game type that doesn't allow respawns (for example, Warzone and Execution).
- An issue where a player partway through the act of raising or lowering the chainsaw did not transition into a duel when attacked from the front with a chainsaw.
- An issue where occasionally a player waiting to respawn could not respawn when repeatedly hitting the left trigger to switch cameras.
- An issue where some teammates couldn't communicate between rounds in games type that don't allow respawns, because dead team members were left in the dead radio channel until the next round started.
- An issue where a DBNO player could be seen as standing if knocked DBNO while reloading the mortar.
- An issue where a player joining a Private Xbox LIVE game in progress from another specific type of game could potentially lose HUD functionality.
- An issue on the Flood map where a player's dying from Imulsion did not trigger a death message or penalize the player as other environmental deaths did.
- An issue with Guardian games where if the leader is the last player killed on a team, the round may not end, due to the respawn timer.
- A campaign issue where the gamer picture would not be awarded when the game is completed on Insane.
- An issue where a player would continue to fire the flamethrower and damage other players if that player was knocked DBNO while firing it.
- An issue that could cause a player to get stuck while moving and quickly attempting to aim the mortar at the same time.
- An issue with Horde games where clients didn't receive the "waiting for host" message after they failed a wave.
- A Horde split-screen issue that could cause a team to get –2 billion in score, which when posted to the leaderboards looked like +2 billion.
- An issue where dead players may not show up in the metadata for multiplayer photos.
- A system link issue where if a multiplayer match and a co-op game were hosted at the same time on the same LAN, neither could be joined.
- Additional miscellaneous bug fixes.
Title Update 2 makes these balancing changes:
- Made planted proximity grenade mines much easier to shoot off the surface they're planted on, by giving them 50 percent less health.
- Set grenades to respawn less frequently. When a player picks up grenades from a spawned location, a new set of grenades does not respawn until the previous grenades have been used.
- Increased the penalty to rank for players who quit Public Xbox LIVE matches early.
- Buffed the flamethrower to have stopping power (to slow a charging enemy) and to cause a chainsaw interrupt (to force the opponent to lower a revved chainsaw).
- Removed the ability to instantly shoot coming out of a roadie run.
- Added additional spawn protection to prevent proximity grenade mines and chainsaws from killing a player within 5 seconds after spawning.
- Balanced grenade spawn cycling on the Hail map so that both teams have equal access to both types of grenades.
- We continue to test internally and monitor online gameplay to determine what else may need adjusting.
Title Update 2 makes these new improvements:
- Changed Annex games to use execution rules, to prevent players from leaving DBNO opponents on the ground to bleed out.
- Made Horde waves count toward the "Party Like It's 1999" achievement. Each wave is counted as one round.
- Added the ability, during Submission games, to see the flag's final destination by using Tac/Com.
- Increased the frequency of most of the toasts for in-game achievement progression.
- Added achievement progression numbers to the War Journal.
- Added 7 new DLC-based achievements worth 175 points (progress toward them starts after Title Update 2 is applied):
- "Skeletons in Your Closet" (20 points): Complete waves 1 through 10 on all Flashback Map Pack maps in Horde (any difficulty).
- "Trial by, and on, Fire" (20 points): Complete waves 1 through 10 on all Combustible Map Pack maps in Horde (any difficulty).
- "More Mystery, Less History" (15 points): Win a multiplayer match on each of the 5 Flashback Map Pack maps (any mode except Wingman).
- "The Roof! The Roof! The Roof…" (15 points): Win a multiplayer match on each of the 3 Combustible Map Pack maps (any mode except Wingman).
- "Bound by a Shared Past" (15 points): Win a Wingman match on each of the 5 Flashback Map Pack maps.
- "Forged in the Fire" (15 points): Win a Wingman match on each of the 3 Combustible Map Pack maps.
- "Annex: Now with Execution Rules" (75 points): Win an Annex match on each of the Flashback and Combustible Map Pack maps (Public only).
To me, the biggest change (besides much-needed exploit fixes) is putting Execution rules into Annex. I liked Annex a lot. But I'm not the biggest fan of Execution. My play style isn't really the "up close shotgun" type and killing people from long distance is hard with that ruleset. I also liked that King of the Hill was Execution, while Annex was Warzone. They might be a bit too similar now.
The grenade respawning is great and should help reduce camping and spawn-tagging, especially on maps like Blood Drive. Matching grenade types on Hail is good as one team would always get ink, while the other always got frags. I just wish Epic made the same change to Subway, which gives one team the Torque Bow every round.
Finally, the penalty for quitting games early should help out, but I hope the consequences are extremely harsh. I hate quitters, especially when they are hosting.
Have you played with the new patch yet? What are your thoughts?