Gears of War 4 Review (Xbox One)

GEARS OF WAR 4 REVIEW

REVIEWED ON XB1 / OCT. 27, 2016


THIS MEANS WAR

Gears of War 4 is the newest addition to the critically acclaimed, and maybe one of the most important gaming franchise in Xbox, if not in all of gaming history. Gears is back, and it feels so good and familiar, just like the good old days, but better than ever.

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When Lightning Strikes…. Take Cover….

NEW BEGINNINGS

Gears of War 4 takes place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, wherein the Immulsion Countermeasure Weapon was activated and ended all of which that are infected with Immulsion, and also the Locust and Lambent life on Planet Sera. You star as J.D. Fenix, the son of Legendary War hero, and legendary video game character, Marcus Fenix, alongside his friends Kait, and Del, to deal with a new threat to humanity.

Along the story, you encounter interesting characters such as the main 3 characters, also Reyna (mother of Kait), and Oscar. These characters are easy to like, and fits very nicely in the narrative of the game. And the transition from the old characters to the new ones are handled really nice, not unlike in Halo 5: Guardians. Keeping it fresh, funny, and serious most of the time. Gears of War 4 handled the pacing really well not only of the narrative, but also the mission and level designs of the campaign. Brilliant set pieces are spread all throughout the game. There are chapters wherein you need to defend your position, kind of a small tutorial for Horde 3.0; Missions wherein you ride on a motorcycle to chase down a huge hostile airplane; and just looking at the beautiful sceneries that the Acts offer. And Surprisingly, the DeeBees are a welcome fit to the story. They don’t feel out of place, but they actually make the game fresh, and gives a huge variety in enemy types. Also DeeBee weapons are very well designed and balance. The Charged Sniper Rifle EMBAR, close ranged SMG, Enforcer, and a super charged and overpowered shotgun, Overkill.

There is no shortage of gameplay in Gears 4, in fact, the game is best played in one sitting. And that is not a bad thing. The campaign can last around 8-12 hours depending on what difficulty you are playing it on. The gameplay/narrative loop of the campaign is so good, I regret getting out of my bed to cook  and eat my dinner. You get to experience a lot of holy shit moments throughout the campaign. That is just how good the Campaign of Gears of War 4 is.

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Lighting is top notch and dynamic.

SAME OLD BRAND NEW YOU

The gameplay of Gears of War 4 still hasn’t changed a single bit. It feels familiar because of its signature cover shooting mechanics, and boy, it feels good to have Gears back again in our lives. Despite it being unchanged and familiar, it feels fresh and kind of new. Thanks to the enemy types that are present in the game. DeeBees who are basically hard to kill and walks through everything, especially Guardians; The swarm which now have monsters jumping and lurking all throughout the map. It makes the game more dynamic, and mildly promotes movement and speed rather than just sticking to one cover. With additions of DeeBee weapons like Enforce, Overkill, EMBAR, and also exotic one like the DropShot, the game offers variety of ways to kill and crush your enemies.

The gameplay mechanics translate to the multiplayer. While the main Campaign runs at full 1080p 30fps, the multiplayer(versus) modes run at 60fps. It gives a different feeling in speed and reaction for gear heads. This is a technical feature that was present in Last year’s remake of the original Gears of War, Gears of War Ultimate Edition.

Versus is still the Gnasher Shotgun gore fest that it is, and this is one thing I don’t really like about the game. Yes it is unique, yes it is still gears of war, but for people like me that is more of a Halo, COD, or Ghost Recon player find it hard to jump in and dominate games. Luckily, I don’t know if its just me, but I feel the lancer is a lot more useful in Gears 4. I tried to learn the advanced movement in versus and to my surprise, I have a 0.98 Kill Death Ratio. Bounties are also introduced to Gears 4. These cards serve like burn cards in Titanfall. These cards give you a certain of XP or credit bonuses if and only if you successfully fulfill the cards requirement.

In game credit system is another big problem. It takes so long that you need to play several matches to earn enough credits to finally buy a pack full of goodies ranging from bounty cards to customization items. Even with recent updates, the credit system still feels slow to me, and I am not a fan of grinding. I don’t believe that playing a game forever is good for gaming.

Which takes us to Horde 3.0. Horde is back. And it is better than ever. Honestly, Horde 3.0 can be a separate game for itself, maybe a $20-$40 game. Horde 3.0 now features a class system, Sniper, Scout, Engineer, Soldier, and Heavy. Each one is unique from each other. Different classes will have different starting weapons, and different set of skills. But these classes are not locked out to weapons and deployables. Each class will have skill sets that will determine on how you can gain a certain advantage in the battlefield. For example, Engineers are best used for deploying Sentry Guns, since they have skills that will increase the damage of the sentry guns, and skills to make them cheaper. Scouts can trace enemies even through walls, Heavies will be a solid killer with boomshots and dropshots. It is up to the players to choose their game style.  Experimenting and practicing is key in Horde 3.0

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Through the fire.

VERDICT

Overall, Gears of War 4 is a welcome addition to the already critically acclaimed series. It offers a great campaign with an interesting narrative filled with colorful characters. Also provides hardcore competitive style versus modes wherein you could fight the best of the best in the world and slug it out in a gore fest. And provides maybe one of the more robust game mode out there in Horde 3.0, which I said can be a stand alone game itself, that can eat up all of your time without you knowing it. I recommend this game to all gamers out there. Gears of War 4 will come with Gears of War 1, 2, 3, and Judgment. Talking about bang for your buck. Well done Coalition, well done Microsoft, well done Xbox One.

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Best night time graphics as of yet

PROS

  • Great Graphics. Day & Night. Weather Effects.
  • Solid & Familiar gunplay.
  • Interesting characters & story.
  • Horde 3.0

CONS

  • Earning XP/Credits is a grind.
  • Versus is not noob friendly.

9.5/10

Amazing
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