Gears of War 2's Horde mode is the greatest multiplayer game ever made for a console. It's better than anything in Halo or Call Of Duty, and anyone who tells you otherwise is certain to be one of the fly-bitten foot-lickers who plays Gears 2 with a golden Lancer and have upper-case letters interspersed throughout lower-case in their Gamertag.
With that dramatic intro out of way, and having deliberately coaxed Halo 3 fanboys into emailing me their grammatically questionable hate mail, let me explain what Epic needs to fix about Horde. It might be great, but it's far from perfect.
Problem: Quitters are ruining the game
No-one has any real control over which map you play in a public match. This results in casual gamers instantly dropping out if they don't want to play the map you're stuck with. You only have a team of five, and this regularly means you're immediately reduced to four or even three players when someone leaves to play a different map.
Solution: Map selection should come before teammate selection
Horde's public menus should let you pick the map you want to play, and then find teammates to play on it, instead of forcing a pre-grouped team to choose between just two maps. This is how it works in Team Fortress 2, for example.
Furthermore, now that Horde grants XP to players, quitting out of a game straightaway should take one round's-worth of experience from the player.
Problem: You cannot invite friends to join mid-game
This makes problem one even worse: if someone drops out at the start of a public game, it's impossible to invite another friend in to take their place. And if a second person drops out later on, your team of three can kiss goodbye to finishing all 50 waves on their own, thus ruining the game entirely.
Solution: A 'Join a session in progress' option should be created
This feature would allow gamers looking to jump in and out of a game quickly to do so, and it'd help a team out when the inevitable early-leaver skedaddles. Being able to invite another friend in mid-game would be beneficial, too. This takes nothing away from the game, as the idea is to fight 50 waves with a full team, not 10 waves with a full team and the rest with only part of one.
Problem: If the host leaves, the game ends
Horde doesn't have dedicated servers. Instead, Xbox Live subscribers have to host the games on their Xboxes. And if a host's connection fails -- or they just leave (see problem one) -- it's game over for everyone.
Solution: Let another player take over hosting duties
In lieu of dedicated servers, one of the other members of a team should be able to host the rest of the match if a host leaves the game. Because automatically switching to another console for hosting duties is logistically a challenge, players should at least be able to return to the Horde lobby and restart their current wave with another teammate hosting.
Please, Epic, fix these problems in an update. It's driving your dedicated fans mad.