Gears of War 4 Review-in-Progress
Gears of War is back, and better than ever. Published in house at Microsoft by The Coalition, the new fight brings back everything we loved about the original trilogy, but pads the edges with new combat systems, new multiplayer modes, and more. While some have past of Gears of War 4 as a retread of the originals, we feel that this is one of the best in the series!
Gears of War 4 can be broken down into two distinct categories: your campaign that runs anywhere from 6-8 hours, depending on your skill, and a plethora of multiplayer modes that will have you coming back again and again.
The Gears of War 4 campaign is set 25 years after the end of the Locust war. As far as you the player are aware, there is relative peace across the land, although there is a distinct difference between those who decided to settle within the walls of major city centers under the authority of the COGs, and those that choose to live free spirited, on their own.
JD Fenix, son of the famous Marcus Fenix, is the latter, and along with his two friends as allies, and his father as a mentor, begins a new adventure to uncover and expose the COGs and fight the new Swarm.
The writing is fairly well done throughout the story, drawing a distinct line between the JD and his father Marcus, two very different characters approaching very similar wars. While Fenix is, and always has been, a complete bad ass, JD is much more reserved, perhaps a little goofy, and more of a `pretty boy`than a rogue fighter.
This changes as the game progresses, showing that The Coalition put time into developing a somewhat interesting character progression arc for JD. Getting to the end of the story is both rewarding in the challenges you will complete, but also rewarding to see where JD ends. Along with his two friends, the story is not something that`s new, but something that will easily pull you through.
What`s good about Gears of War 4 is that it never keeps you in one spot too long. Outside of a few, fairly long drawn out requests, each area you explore never wears out its welcome, and all seem to come with a variety of different things to take into consideration.
Most impressive in Gears of War 4 are the weather affects, both in how they are presented to you and how they may change your decisions on the fly. The lighting storms and wind storms look fantastic, probably the best I’ve ever seen in a video game to date. What is more impressive, however, is that the storms also affect the situation in a direct way.
This added feature is most evident during wind storms. The wind will dislodge unsecured items around the map, often hurling them towards you depending on the wind trajectory. This will require you to quickly duck in and out of cover, something that has never been easier in a Gears title. The wind will also affect weapons, causing bullets to fire and spiral out of control, meaning you can never really take a direct shot at approaching enemies (dependent on the weapon used).
The new array of weapons also changes the way you play the Gears of War campaign, and this, coupled with new cover mechanics, add enough to make a somewhat predictable story line, great. New cover mechanics – like being able to pull enemies over cover and behind, finishing them with a final blow, and more destructable cover spaces – make the game better than ever before, and not just an old and tired formula with a new coat of paint.
The new enemies are also varied, and react in much different ways than the Locust did in previous Gears of War titles. Different approaches must be taken with the wide array of mutant and robotic enemies that you will fight, and again, these moments are aided by new cover systems and great new weapons.
We will be touching on multiplayer, but have not been able to fully realize that with actual consumers; once we are more comfortable with that, we will write our final impressions of Gears of War 4.
Right now, we have scored Gears of War 4 a solid 9.0/10 for it’s great new additions to the series. Although we haven’t spent considerable amounts of time with the multiplayer yet, what we have played has been fresh and exciting, building off of previous games’ best ideas, while incorporating game mods made popular in other shooters.