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The player can also grab a downed character and use them as a meatshield, allowing the body to absorb damage but forcing the player to use a one-handed pistol.
The campaign mode in Gears of War 2 allows for a single player or two players playing cooperatively as Marcus or Dom.
Depending on the game mode or difficulty, if the player takes too much damage, they enter a downed state where they can crawl around the map to get out of battle and seek help.
During this time, a teammate can revive him, an enemy may brutally execute the downed player, or the player may bleed out if too much time has passed.
The game expands technically on the previous game by using a modified Unreal Engine 3.
Each weapon can be used for normal fire as well as for melee attacks; the game's signature Lancer, an assault rifle mounted with a chainsaw bayonet for its melee, can be used to instantly kill foes.
The game introduces the ability to engage in chainsaw duels should the player attempt to chainsaw an opponent also using the Lancer; the player is presented with a controller button to press rapidly to try to win the duel and avoid death.
A new "Normal" difficulty was added between the game's "Casual" and "Hardcore" difficulties.
There is also an 'Insane' difficulty that is unlocked after the player completes the game at least once.