Gears of War 4 – Early Impressions

After the promise shown with The Coalition’s work on Gears of War Ultimate Edition we finally get to see what they can do with a new game in the series. And so far with Gears of War 4 it looks like they are fully aware of what makes the games great and have worked hard to ensure players get exactly what they want without straying too far from the established formula.

Considering its been ten years since the first game was released, it’s cool how the opening of the game to operates like an introduction to the game world and its lore via a set of small self contained missions based around events related to the past games. It gets players involved from the outset without hitting them over the head with excessive cinematics.

Your first taste of Gears of War 4 throws you into the deep end. But it looks so good...

Your first taste of Gears of War 4 throws you into the deep end. But it looks so good…

Gameplay feels identical to the past titles with controls such as reloading and movement between cover unchanged. A couple of new tricks have been added to the mix but don’t take away from any of the existing functionality. Being able to drag an opponent over a barrier and take them out with a finishing move is pretty neat but I’ve only had one chance to use it so far and that was in the very tutorial that explained it. The new enemies I’ve faced so far are a little unexpected (no spoilers yet!) but the story so far does explain the reasoning behind the twist.

Visually the game is a treat. The recognizable architecture is there again as are the exaggerated builds of the main characters. The difference this time is colour as there is a lot more of it now compared to the often criticised greys and browns that seemed prevalent previously and the game is so much better for it. The Windows 10 version does give gamers the chance to really push their graphics cards (up to 4K and 60fps) but the Xbox One version is still an incredible looking game doesn’t at all feel like a lesser version.

Haven’t yet had a chance to jump into multiplayer but the campaign does give you a taste of what to expect from the new Horde Mode so I’m looking forward to seeing more of that soon. Playing Horde was one of my favourite co-op experiences on the 360 so looking forward to more of it.

As mentioned at the beginning, first impressions are that the developers aren’t trying to reinvent the franchise (at least right now) but are doing their best to give gamers that classic Gears of War experience they all enjoy. And it looks like they’ve done just that.

Gears of War 4 is out now for Xbox One and Windows 10. Impressions are from both versions via Xbox Play Anywhere. A review will come soon.

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