No online host advantage in Gears 2

And cover's near perfect, says Bleszinski.

Silky-haired game designer Cliff Bleszinski promises there will be no online host advantage problems in Gears of War 2 multiplayer.

Wielding a shotgun with next to no lag produced an unfair advantage in the original game, with connection speeds also responsible for some bizarre chainsawing feats.

"People loved [multiplayer in Gears] but they didn't like the host advantage. They got tired of the shotgun inconsistencies," Bleszinski told GamePro. "We're fixing all of that.

"They didn't like the randomness of the chainsaw, so we put the chainsaw duel in - may the best man win!"

Chainsaw duels will be activated when you try to saw through someone facing you and also wielding the weapon. Bleszinski says the duel itself will be quick and over before others get a chance to train their sights on you - there is no animation invulnerability this time.

Gears of War 2 multiplayer will also expand to five man teams rather than four, as well as introduce new modes like Wingman, where five teams of two battle it out like Maverick and Goose in a sweaty changing room. Guardian and Meatflag are two of the others.

These are not the only irksome quirks from the original to be addressed; Bleszinski and team are busy knuckling down on the core cover system. He reckons this worked about 85 per cent of the time in the original, but says the sequel will be much closer to being perfect.

Gears of War 2 is still on course for a November release, exclusively on Xbox 360 in case you were wondering.

We expect much more of the game to be shown at E3 next month. Until then, you can pop into our Gears of War 2 gamepage for the first pictures and movies.

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