One of Microsoft’s most iconic exclusive series makes its return with Gears of War 4 in all its gory glory. With fans aching for more current-gen content after the amazing remastered version of the original game, this third-person shooter franchise is surely aiming to please. Does it meet the standards set by fans?
War never changes
Despite humanity defeating the Locust 25 years ago, the future is not really a bright one. In order to protect the little population left, the COG made it illegal to leave the walls of the cities. The player takes control of J.D. and his team members, who are part of the Outsiders, a group that defies the COG’s jurisdiction. The gameplay feels greatly mixed up by the story, as you fight against a lot of robot enemies, that behave very different from what the series is known for. Bigger bulkier ones for example charge at you as their health reaches a critical level, which completely changes the way you approach encounters. Overall the campaign succeeds in conveying the story, with the only point of critique being that the squad gives of a bit of a teen vibe when compared to previous entries in the series.
Apart from the new enemy types, the gameplay stayed relatively the same. The controls feel as fast and responsive as you expect from a Gears of War title. Lining up your reticule with the enemy feels so rewarding as you dash and roll through the battlefields. I have a knack for exhilarating run-and-gun gameplay that really gets you adrenaline going, and Gears of War 4 completely satisfies my needs in this regard. The game performs at a smooth 30fps in the story mode, while the multiplayer cranks up the framerate to 60. With the return of Horde mode and multiplayer in addition to the wild ride that is the singleplayer, every fan will have enough time to end their Gears craving for a while.
The gritty grey of the first chapter that functions as flashbacks is wiped away pretty fast by more colourful and diverse levels. The beautiful textures and facial animation make for a great presentation overall, especially with the amazing lighting effects. With the addition of the robotic enemies, oil can splatter the camera and adds to the regular blood and mud. Expectations after Gears of War: Ultimate Edition were high, which are definitely met in the graphical department as well. And as one of the first Xbox Play Anywhere titles, you can take it up a notch if you have a PC powerful enough. No worries about which version to get, if you buy digitally.
Gears of Four
Gears of War 4 doesn’t revolutionise the series, but with some additions, the graphical upgrades and the same great controls as ever, the sequel shows that it withstood the test of time. As the first series entry to be initially developed for the new console generation, it shines as bright as ever, albeit covered in blood and guts. In terms of third-person shooters the series definitely stays in a class of their own.
What we liked:
- Fast and responsive controls
- Beautiful, yet gory
- Fresh new enemy types
- More vibrant scenery
What we didn’t like:
- Adolescent squad
- Less burly dudes
This review was written using an Xbox One review code provided by Microsoft. Do you like the addition of Xbox Play Anywhere and cross-platform multiplayer? Tell us in the comments, on Facebook, or on Twitter!