gears of war 4 review
Gears of War 4 has a lauded history to follow with the first three Gears games all being award winning and critically acclaimed. To say that the newest installment of this series has high expectations would be a gross understatement. For the first game without Gears mainstay Cliff Blizenski, and coming out of newly minted studio The Coalition, some Gears Fans were understandably reticent about the newest installment of the franchise.
Opening credits bring a recap of the past COG battles and a back story of the Gears Franchise showcasing some epic battles for players that may be unfamiliar with the franchise. You’ll find yourself quickly catapulted into battle alongside Gears mainstays, and without spoiling too much, you may find some “old friends” along the way as well. The story centers around an incident that arises 25 years after the last installment of the Gears series and thrusts players nearly immediately into battle.
Gears Veterans will quickly recognize the combat mechanics that will make them feel right at home, be it the “on the ground executions” or brutal chainsaw deaths, all of the Gears mainstays are here. Cover-based shooting, Roadie Running and all the best part of Gears are all here to make the player feel at home. There are new guns, skins, and characters available but at its core Gears of War shines through. The single player campaign is as cinematic and beautiful as we’ve all come to expect, with the next-gen polish that should be inherent in a AAA title.
As much as the single player campaign shines, multiplayer does not fail to disappoint. With multiple modes, skins, and the option for public and private matches Gears of War 4 once again shows that it will be a juggernaut of on-line play for quite some time. As servers came up, players with early access flooded into online play and showed that Gears is a franchise that will sit at the top of multi-player ranks not just now but for years to come. The Coalition added, “Booster Packs” an in-game purchasable “pack” that will add the skins, characters, bounties and many other items that on-line players crave today.
A new addition to Gears and to Xbox One is the addition of Xbox anywhere the ability to download selected Xbox One titles both on PC and on Xbox with a single purchase. As a player that has enjoyed Gears of War since it’s initial entrance to the scene, being able to play the newest addition to the franchise with a keyboard and mouse was an opportunity that this reviewer could not turn down. While installation of the game did require an upgrade to the latest “Anniversary” edition of Windows 10, installing the game after that point was quite simple, and all DLC and add-ons easily were available. The game ran flawlessly on Windows 10, averaging just under 60 FPS on my GTX 970 equipped gaming rig, and handled quite well with the keyboard and mouse setup. Controls were much as you would expect if you’ve played other PC shooters, and with the promise of fully compatible Xbox and PC cross-play, there’s not much of a downside to running this on your home computer (provided you have the specs to handle it).
All in all Gears of War 4 is an honor to the franchise, giving players exactly what they expect. While some may say that there is a lack of true innovation, I would argue that there needn’t be any with a game that has so closely approached perfection in the past. While the third person, lumbering beast of a shooter may not be for all, for those that enjoy this franchise I would staunchly recommend the game, and caution only that you may need to watch the number of hours that you drop into this game. With support for this game certainly continuing and a promise of a mind-boggling 24 maps on the horizon, Gears of War 4 should provide many hours of entertainment and will not disappoint neither the seasoned COG veteran nor the newcomer. Do yourself a favor and pick this one up.