Is the new Gears of War what everyone expected?
The war on planet Sera begins once again as Gears of War 4 hits both the XBox and PC players. Most fans of this upcoming sequel are obviously super excited but they don’t exactly know what to expect. Here’s the countdown of the cool new things you’ll find in the new Gears of War.
1. New Developer
As we all know, the developers of this game were Epic Games and People Can Fly. Epic Games was the game’s developer for the first 3 years and People Can Fly was in charge of developing the sequel Gears of War: Judgment back in 2013. This time, the developer of the game is The Coalition who is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
2. The Weapons
Gears of War is a series built upon gunplay with weapons that hit that sweet spot of visceral satisfaction as you’re drilling shots into an enemy’s head, blowing them to smithereens with a shotgun, or slicing them in half with a chainsaw bayonet. Gears of War 4 looks to continue that tradition.
The 2 new weapons that have been revealed are the Dropshot and the Buzzkill, which both have some pretty exciting options to the game play. The Dropshot is much similar to the Digger Launcher from Gears of War 3, but instead of burrowing underground only to pop up and explode, the Dropshot fires a drill that gets logged into the air.
It will then fly straight as long as the player holds down the fire button. Upon release, it will drop down and explode after digging for a brief moment. Skilled or lucky players can actually have the drill go directly into an enemy’s skull and blow it up with a satisfying pop on direct hit. -144
The Buzzkill, on the other hand, might remind you of the weapons from other games like the Ripper from Unreal Tournament and the Buzz Blades from Ratchet & Clank. Basically, it can fire a ton of buzzsaws that can bounce around the room cutting anything in its path including you.
Yes, it’s the weapon that you need to be extremely careful with as it’s very efficient in cleaning out rooms. If you get too crazy and fire too many blades in a tight room, chances are it’s going to clear you out as well.
3. Closed Cover Combat
Gears 4 isn’t just about shooting stuff in the enemy’s face. It’s now also about stabbing things in the face. Thanks to a new combat knife that players will have at their disposal, in addition to several new moves that will actually make them use of it.
There’s the Vault Kick, which allows players to run to a piece of cover. Press B and seamlessly go over at kicking anyone on the other side to stun them and open them up for stabbing through the neck. Players on the receiving end of the Vault Kick has a small window of opportunity to counter by pressing B at just the right time making the technique a bit of a risk vs. reward maneuver because if it gets countered, you can expect to get shot in the face.
Another new trick is the Yank, which allows players who are already in cover to literally yank someone on the other side stunning them and once again opening them up for stabbing in the neck. Like the Vault Kick, this can be countered with a precise press of the B button so if the enemy is waiting for it, this could be a dangerous technique to use.
4. The Swarm
We don’t really know the history of the Swarm but we do know that there are several types of enemies we’re going to face. The honest truth is that they are like the Locust with some twists.
First, we got the small crawly enemies known as the “Juvies”, which will evoke memories of wretches from prior Gears of War games. The little twist is that “Juvies” may emerge from small pods that could be used as cover but these pods will explode if they absorb too much fire. In addition to that, “Juvies” can let out a scream that can pop all the pods in the vicinity.
The standard human sized swarm enemies seem familiar to Gear’s fans–you’ve got your standard drones, grenadiers, snipers and hunters.
Perhaps the most interesting of the currently revealed enemies in Gears of War 4 so far is the Pouncer, which is a giant armored four-legged beast that can fire razor sharp quills from their tails and are especially adept at pouncing. Their bellies are their weak spot and it seems like crafty players will be able to find ways to blast them as they pounce or flip them over and cut a hole in their gut with a chainsaw.
5. Full Magazine Reload
You can do an active reload with a full magazine now. Active reloads have always been an integral part of the Gears games with players being able to time a reload perfectly to gain advantage.
In the past, you always had to reload. Now, players can preload special bullets in a full magazine to make sure your every shot will have powered bullets. It’s also important to note that perfect active reloads are actually on a cool down timer now. After powering up your bullets with a perfect active reload, you’ll only be able to get poor or good reloads until the meter next to your ammunition refills.
6. 3 New Main Characters
There are 3 new main characters in Gears 4 so let’s go over and learn a little more about them. First off, we have James Dominic “JD” Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix and Anya Shroud and named after Dom from the original trilogy. JD is voiced by Liam McIntyre who people may know as Spartacus from the star series of the same name.
Then we have Delmont Walker as JD’s best friend ever since the two were in boarding school together. When JD ran away to join the militia, Del followed suit. The two have a very deep friendship reminiscent of the camaraderie shared by Marcus and Dom in the original trilogy. Eugene Byrd is the voice behind the character of Del.
Finally, we have Kate Diaz, played by the incomparable Laura Bailey, who is a well-known voice actress and director. Kate is an outsider, which means she was raised outside of the Walled City that protects humanity. She has no idea what the Coalition of Ordered Government (COG) is and how it works–the players kind of exposed to the world through her as they are just as in the dark as she is.
In one of the 3 demos, she and JD are seen working towards saving her mother who was one of the surviving leaders of the group of Outsiders.
The Coalition has said that Gears 4’s Multiplayer is being given the most attention than any other prior gaming series. It’s being co-developed by Splash Damage, the developers of Quake Wars, Brink, and most relevantly, Gears of War Ultimate Edition.
Multiplayer will run at 60 fps and it has also been announced that it will use dedicated servers. This is basically the best 1-2 combo you can hope for in a competitive shooter. The Coalition also announced that it is making a big push for eSports this time around but without making the game unfriendly for the casual audience. Most importantly, Horde mode will return.
Gears 3 set the bar as high up as it could as far as Co-op goes by introducing full 4 player co-op through the entire campaign. Gears of War 4 will not be doing the same as only two players can play through the campaign cooperatively. Player 1 will always play as JD while player 2 will take control of either Del or Kate.
There will be points where the team must split up and the story will have several differences depending on who player 2 is. Gears 4 is also playable entirely in split screen meaning Gears 4 is going back to a feature that truly made it special back then when Gears 1 came out.
9. XBOX Play Anywhere
Gears 4 will be part of the first wave of the games in the Xbox Play Anywhere lineup. When you buy this game for the Xbox One you will also get a copy of the game on a Windows 10 PC. You can play any of the multiplayer modes across Xbox One and PC platforms.
You can also play the game on your Xbox One and then pick it up right where you left off on another Xbox One or PC. Essentially getting two copies of the game for the price of one.
The game had an initial release last October 11, 2016 and the Coalition is also planning of making a Gears 4 movie. Gears of War 4 is definitely the best game to lead the charge of this new initiative that Microsoft is taking.