So Gears of War 4 landed last week, it’s beautiful (even more so with added HDR), deeper than any Gears before, and as horrifically gory as ever. A prologue mission takes you through some past events the history of Sera, from the pendulum wars to E-Day.
Taking over from Marcus is his son JD Fenix, along with his friends Del and Kait. You meet JD after he and Del had left the COG to live with the outsiders and is now about to raid a COG settlement under construction for a fabricator. You meet the first of the two new enemies here, the BeeDees. Robots built for security of the settlements, interesting but not thrilling to fight they ease you into the new campaign. It’s not too long before you meet the Swarm, with a range of beasts and soldiers to fight from Juvies to Carriers and Snatchers.
It feels both funnier and darker than previous Gears, with as mentioned before a much deeper story line which has you investigating a mystery between sawing monsters into tiny little pieces. With some rolling combat as well as set pieces, and defensive moments where you may have access to a fabricator to build defensive structures (which also acts as an introduction to the mechanics of Horde mode).
For MP and Horde, Gears 4, has a card system where you spend in game credits (or cash if you must) to open different packs which gain you cards for versus, horde or customisation. You can scrap cards and build others, or in the case of skills cards for Horde you can use duplicates to upgrade skills. For the first time multiplayer mode allows you to co-op against bot forces in a variety of modes. This is a good way to practice your maps and tactics with team mates.
I’ve spent too much time on Horde mode, with a range of classes each with their own skills there can be a wide range of choices for your team. One of my favourites is the snipers exploding headshot. Going against enemies in 5 sets of ten waves, early ones start with BeeDees working up to Swarm and culminating in a boss every 10 rounds. As you progress “poisons” are added, such as muktipliers on health and accuracy for your foe. The main problem with it is that it’s just too easy, with full team of lvl 3-5 horde characters we completed it on Insane difficulty without dropping a wave. Granted we had a good location, worked well together and knew what we were doing, but it shouldn’t be possible to do this until your horde classes are higher level.
With a great story, great graphics and some fantastic voice talent bringing the characters to life this is a game that could grip die hard fans and people new to the Gears universe both, and then probably make their skull pop. Well it is Gears of War.