With the latest in the Gears of War series less than a month away I’ve been jumping back into some games again with Grocs and few mates to get a feel for it again in anticipation of Gears 5‘s arrival on the 10th of September. The developers at The Coalition have certainly been doing their best to incentivise players to do that too with a little promotion called Road to Gears 5 that provides a few challenges for players to complete before the new game arrives. These challenges not only unlock items for immediate use in Gears of War 4 but the same items will also be available in the sequel too. Long term fans of the franchise will likely have a couple of items already unlocked too.
It’s a couple of months shy of three years since Gears of War 4 launched and twelve months at least since I last played so getting myself up to speed did take a little time. I had forgotten about the class system that was added to Horde mode – the franchise’s innovative PvE mode – and so had to acquaint myself with that and start from scratch. The basics of it are a team of up to five players are tasked with surviving 50 waves of enemies with every tenth being a boos fight before the difficulty goes up for the next wave. Dead enemies drop power (credits) which are cashed into a fabricator which is used to build fortifications to help you survive longer. Each player chooses to play as a certain class which dictates their default weapon loadout and they all have access to their own set of skill cards that offer new abilities or tweaks to existing ones. As you level the class up you can use more cards in play while earning in game credits lets you unlock more cards to boost your collection and level up what your have. The more you play the more you can skill up your classes and make them useful in playing the game.
Leveling up means you’re going to be spending a lot of time jumping into games and blasting away and for me it’s actually been quite cathartic – I’m fairly certain video games are not going to turn me into a violent offender but there’s nothing in games quite like the gratuitous explosions of blood and chunks you see in Gears. No wonder the guys in these games are walking around wearing a metric tonne of body armour… they’re like walking balloons filled with tomato soup. It’s so comical how everything pops, squishes and explodes that you can’t take the violence aspect of it all that seriously. But it makes for some major fun when you and a group of four other meatbags all get together and survive fifty waves of enemies you know it’ll get pretty messy but it feels great to knock it over. 🙂
Getting back into the game has also helped me to complete a few more Xbox achievements too so THAT particular addiction has continued to be fed in the nicest way possible. I couldn’t believe I’d never completed 50 waves of Horde in Gears of War 4 but turned out I hadn’t so was happy to knock that one over. And it also got me excited again for the new game when it arrives so with the time I’ve been spending I’ll be back in a rhythm again with the controls ahead of schedule. Game Pass Ultimate are owners getting access to Gears 5 at the same time as those who preordered the “Ultimate Edition” (getting a Terminator Dark Fate character pack too) which is an unexpected bonus. This is the first time I can think of that Microsoft bundled one of their higher tier editions of a game into the service so it will be interesting to see how that impacts releases in the future. They might see it as a way to provide incentive for players to go all-in on the top tier pass that covers Game Pass for PC and Xbox as well and Xbox Live Gold… I think it might work too! Has for me anyway…
I was hoping to post up some new screenshots of my playing (and dying) in Horde but then I started getting caught up in the action again and completely forget what I was doing. 🙂