Gears of War is coming back this October and this time things are expected to be very different from the previous installations, as it’s being developed by The Coalition this time around. Gears of War 4 will launch October 11, 2016 for both Windows 10 and Xbox One. This is the fifth Gears of War game, and the fourth main installment.
Since Gears of War 4 is built on a different game engine than the previous titles, it is expected that things will be different, but so far it looks like the developer has done an excellent job at keeping the core gameplay features the same as before, with the improvements you would expect on a current-gen release.
For instance, there is still an emphasis on taking cover to avoid damage, and the enemy AI is just at the right difficulty for it to be challenging, but easy enough for you to sneak up on an enemy and cut him down with your saw.
However, this game will feature new executions, thanks to the new Combat Knife that you can use for both melee attacks and executions. There are other new weapons, like the Dropshot weapon, which fires explosive drills.
The Buzzkill is another new brutal weapon which fires ricocheting saw blades at your enemies, making it an excellent new addition to the game.
There are more ways to take down enemies, and you can even do a short distance shoulder charge to knock them off balance before executing them.
Since this is a Xbox One release, they were able to add more features to the game to give us a more dynamic experience. Things like the weather are now more dynamic, and there are four categories of weather that you will have to endure during combat. Oh, it can get so bad that the weather affects combat and your weapon usage, as the storms can get violent. This is all part of the story and due to what has happened to the planet it fits perfectly in the game.
Judging by everything we know about Gears of War 4 so far, it seems like they kept everything fans love about the series and only added new features when appropriate. The storms make sense, and will give players a whole new challenge. The new weapons fit the GoW style… it looks like The Coalition did this right.
Gears of War 4 is set 25 years after the Imulsion Countermeasure, which really screwed things up for everyone. Basically, this event wiped out all Imulsion and Lambent on Planet Sera, but no, that’s not all. It wiped out all the fossil fuels, causing mankind to adapt as we always do.
This is also why I mentioned how the weather fits in well with the setting, because the countermeasure also caused powerful windstorms called “Windflares” to start occurring across the planet. The weather got so bad that population on Sera dropped significantly, only leaving hundreds of thousands of humans left according to the reformed Coalition of Ordered Governments.
So what does mankind do? Build walled-off cities to protect the remaining population from the insane windstorms. The COG then decided to declare martial law and prevent people from leaving the city. Not everyone was happy with that, and those people started a rebellion, they formed a group and started to call themselves the “Outsiders”. The Outsiders live outside of COG jurisdiction and fight back by raiding COG territory for resources any change they get.
In this game you will play as Marcus Fenix’ son, J.D. Fenix, who ends up dealing with a whole new threat to the remaining population with his friends Kait Diaz and Delmont “Del” Walker.
Delmont Walker is voiced by Eugene Byrd and Kait Diaz voice acting is done by Laura Bailey.
The multiplayer part of the game is being co-developed by Splash Damage, as they have history with the series when they worked on the multiplayer components for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
Unlike other titles, they did not ditch local multiplayer, and you can play the campaign both local and online co-op with two players. This is an Xbox Play Anywhere game with cross-platform support for Windows PC and Xbox One.
There are new multiplayer game types in Gears of War 4, such as Dodgeball and Elimination. Dodgeball does not consist of rubber balls, but it is a more fun game mode for you to enjoy when you hang out with your friends. It’s not that competitive. Dodgeball has similar eliminations rules to a schoolyard game, and when you die you can’t come back until your teammate kills one of the enemies. Completely eliminate the entire team to end the match.
Elimination is an eSports-focused game mode which is built on Execution, the classic competitive mode for Gears of War. There is a Spectator mode for eSports announcers who will be able to customize the perspective and view players from different camera angles using a free-flying mode. The cool thing is they will be able to see all the players, even through the walls, allowing them to get an idea of what is about to happen before the players even know.
DLC Maps Are Free
While you will be able to pay for some customization type stuff, the actual DLC maps will be free and put on a seasonal rotation. There will be no division in the community as everyone will be able to play without worrying about who has what maps and who doesn’t. However, you will not be able to have access to any map at any time, because they are going to rotate on a seasonal basis.
According to the developer, the least popular maps will be phased out during these rotations, and the more popular maps will remain in the rotations. During the downtime for unpopular maps, the developer will do what they can to improve them before bringing them back.
This sounds like an excellent way to keep the online multiplayer community happy and engaged for a long period of time.
Gears of War 4 doesn’t look like its going to disappoint long-time fans of the series, and heck, it might even bring in a ton of new ones thanks to the Xbox Play Anywhere feature. It looks like the developer is aiming for a perfect multiplayer experience, and the campaign will hopefully have a good amount of playable content because the new additions they’ve made to the game look brutally awesome.