By far the most anticipated PC and Xbox One exclusive of the year, Gears Of War 4 is a brand new chapter in the series that shifts the focus to a new group of heroes with ties to the old COG team we grew to love. At the same time, there is enough of the old here to give long time Gears fans the warm and fuzzies. Please read on to see what we thought of one of this year’s biggest PC games. Also please note there are no spoilers to the main story in this review.
Gears Of War 4 is set in the future. Well, not just the regular future as Gears Of War is already set in the future, but 25 years after the Locust wars where Marcus and his team finally won the battle. Without giving anything away the main protagonist of this game is J.D who is the son of Marcus Fenix, a hero of the original trilogy of games. J.D along with his friends, Del and Kait need to do something after their village is ransacked by a mysterious new and vile enemy.
They need to find out what this enemy is, who sent it and save their loved ones. The story in the Gears Of War series is very underrated and if you loved the first games in the series then you will be hooked by this new chapter. The way they handle Marcus Fenix and pass the torch is just so well done that it is impossible not to be impressed.
The new cast of characters is excellent and the banter between them is just first rate stuff as it really does make you connect to these characters and feel for them. Which when you think about it is quite remarkable as the Gears series at its most basic level is about a group of meatheads! But the storytelling and acting are so well done that, you cannot help, but grow to love these characters. The new ones mix with the returning cast very well. While the story is well told and the characters well developed. This is a game that is clearly going to have a sequel and there are some moments in the story that feel huge which do not have a payoff, clearly saving it for the next game. Is this a bad thing? Well not really is just shows how engrossing the game is as you really want all the loose ends tied up.
Gears of War is known for not changing a whole lot as the series progressed. The gameplay here is just like the other Gears game. So if you loved them then you will love this. Some may turn their nose up here, but the Gears Of War series has really perfected the cover shooter game and this just takes what made the first games in the series work and add a few things.
One thing that we loved was how the game always had you on your toes. You walk into an area, there is things to hide behind all over and you think that some serious stuff is about to go down, but nothing happens and then BAM out of nowhere a huge fight breaks out. There is a lot of tension in Gears Of War 4 and just when you think you can have a breather some huge boss will tell you otherwise. There is not a whole lot of new moves you can do here, but the coolest and most noteworthy one is when you are in cover, you can grab an enemy and give them a quick kill. It is efficient and it looks really cool. The cover shooting, active reload gameplay from the other games is still here and it is just as good as it has always been.
Gears of War 4 does have some really cool sections that change things up from all the running, covering and shooting. The vehicle sections are really cool with one seeing you hauling ass on the back of a motorbike as all hell is unleashing around you. This makes for a very fun, tense and memorable moment of the game. Another new thing that changes things up is the Wind Flares. Now we cannot say too much about these, but these are huge epi storms that when they hit cause utter devastation. Trust us when we tell you, do not throw a grenade when there is a Wind Flare. The graphical effects of these Wind Flares are truly incredible and are sure to make you saw wow multiple times.
One really cool thing is that you can play the campaign of Gears Of War 4 in three ways. You can play it by yourself with the AI controlling your teammates which are not bad at all as the AI is actually pretty smart and when you are down they will actually come and help you. You can also play the campaign in multiplayer. Either with a buddy sitting next to you in split screen or online.
We did not get a chance to put a lot of time into the multiplayer mode, but all the game modes you would expect are here. Horde is here along with Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Guardian, Warzone, Execution, Dodgeball, Escalation, and Arms Race. A couple of these are exclusive to competitive play only. There is a large selection of characters to play as and ten different multiplayer maps. So as you can see the multiplayer aspect of the game has had just as much attention spent on it as the campaign.
One thing we have to mention is that Gears Of War 4 is a game that supports cross buy. So if you buy the game for PC, you get the Xbox One version for free. This also works the opposite way around as well where if you buy the Xbox One version, you get the PC version for free. But as is the case with the other cross buy games, you can only play one at a time so you cannot give your free game to a buddy and have them play it at the same time as you.
Gears Of War 4 is an epic triple A title that is well worth the asking price. This is one of this year’s biggest games and it certainly, has not disappointed. The campaign is a good 8-12 hours depending on your skill level and how much you like to look around and it is fair to say the camping will be supported for a very long time. If you are a fan of the series then this game will not let you down. At the same time for a gamer new to this series, Gears Of War 4 is so good that you can just jump right in.