After confirmation of its existence during Microsoft’s E3 Xbox presentation, messages started filling player’s Xbox Live inboxes with codes for the beta to Gears of War Ultimate Edition. Being a fan of the series since its first release in 2006, any opportunity to revisit the multiplayer mode on the Xbox One was going to be an easy sell.
After a relatively short download (beta comes in at around 7GB) you’re only a few button presses away from jumping into matchmaking and some games. During the course of the beta, some modes and content are being unlocked and for those dedicated enough to play regularly, it appears that weapons and character skins earned will be available to them when the final game ships.
I got to dive in on the second day of the beta and played a few rounds of two maps: Gridlock and Canals. And like my early experiences with the game almost ten years ago, I was thoroughly owned. I don’t know whether the sequels changed the balance of the game but I remember the original could severely punish those who aren’t at the same skill level as their opponents.
As a result, I did find myself spending a lot of time watching my guy get shredded by a variety of different weapons but I can still see it being that same game I’d join up with a few mates years ago to play. Additions like tagging opponents don’t change the core game at all so as long as you go into it only expecting a better looking/sounding version of the 360 game you won’t be disappointed.
The game will be released on August 25th this year. Details of the beta can be found here.