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Gears Of War 4 Review

Its finally here. The next chapter in the Gears Of War epic series is back on Xbox and Windows PC. I couldn’t be happier. Gears has long been one of my favorite games with countless hours of my life being invested into Gears of War 3. There are some great new maps in both the hordes and the VS modes. Tons of new weapons and lots of great new characters and bad guys. Let’s get into it and check out what the new Gears of War 4 is all about.

Gears of War 4 is created this time by the company called The Collation. (Which as you maybe know is the name of the Gears in game unit name). This Vancouver, Canada based team  was previously made up of Zipline Studios, Microsoft Game Studios Vancouver and Black Tusk Studios. They have specifically focused on creating,  designing and producing gears games. They have previously released Gears of War: Ultimate addition. How does their Gears of War stack up?

Campaign Mode in Gears of War 4

The game does not follow our previous heroes but takes on some new faces and characters. As the end of the last gears was well, rather an ending, it would be hard to continue the story along from there. But without any spoilers this talented group has found a way to continue the story without being overly silly. The game shares similar game mechanics as the earlier gears, pressing a to roadie run, using the select keys to change weapons. The seens also have a similar pacing and style of classic gears campaigns. Repeated enemy battles and slowly increasing as you move through the level to a higher boss battle encounter. The story moved along at a reasonable pace and allowed some surprises and glimpses into various parts of “What has been going on in the Gears Universe”. Solo and Co-op is still an option and one of the best parts of the game franchise. Playing in a party with 4 other people to get through the various imposible missions on a higher level has been some of the highlights of my gaming life – This version does not disappoint and continues that same feeling.xbox4

Store, Golden Coins and Cards in Gears of War 4

There is an entire new card system in Gears of War 4. Each match you play you will earn gold coins. You can visit the in game store and then use these coins to purchase skill upgrades for various classes used in Horde or Versus modes. You can also purchase packages that will unlock skins that can be used in game. This is a unique system and I think is better than the previous “level up” or achievement version that was used in Gear’s 3 to get the various skins. You are also able to purchase these card packs directly with real money if you so desire. These cards allow you to customize your game play and can really make or break your game in Horde mode.

Horde Mode in Gears of War 4image1

Of course many people play Gears Of War exclusively for the Multiplayer modes. Horde is when you are faced with constant onslaught of enemies round after round. You and your team mates must destroy them all and survive to the next round. What is nice about this version is they have created different character classes – Soldier, heavy, scout, engineer, sniper. Each of these roles is helpful for your team to beat the increasing difficulty rounds. Each person has a specific role. No matter what a Scout and an Engineer is a required part of the team. Here are some Top tips for Horde mode that I have found:

  • Scouts should be picking up power DURING the matches. It will double the amount of power you revive immediately. Taking someone with the scout is important because a dead scout looses all power picked up. 😐 Between matches and after combat, the Scout does not get this bonus (unless they have a card activated) so the Scout must be good at running around and close encounters for you to make the most power. Make sure your team is not running around and picking up power as much as possible – leave this to the Scout.
  • Engineers are able to fix your purchased items as well as get them at a discount. They include a gun that fixes items from a distance. They wont be running around after the match to pick up weapons so much, so its best they get a turret that they can use for heavier enemies. They should generally be the person purchasing and planning your items.
  • Sniper can take out even the largest enemies with head shots, but they have very limited ammo. Getting a weapons locker can provide unlimited ammo by having the gun placed inside and it will slowly refill. Snipers can sit back and take out the biggest threats behind the protection of the other characters.
  • Solider is the all in one class. They should be running around with the Scout during the match as cover and to revive a downed Scout. Don’t lose that power!
  • Heavy really works better at higher levels when some of their bonus cards are used. They can take out a lot of damaging enemies at once with a properly shot explosive. Splash damage is real and so is self destructing off a missed throw though. Generally a harder class to play.

All in all these unique classes bring a fun additional element to the Horde mode and make it really fun to play when you get a good team of people playing their proper role. Each of these roles you can level up with game play. The higher the role level the more bonus cards you can use. These are things like additional power added for the Scout or Additional damage to marked enemies for the Heavy character.

Versus Mode in Gears of War 4xbox5

Versus mode has been brought back with Team Deathmatch, Dodgeball, King of the Hill, Guardian, Arms Race and Warzone.

  • Team Death Match – Each team kills the other team and has a certain amount of re-spawns. Once the re-spawns have been depleted and you die, you are out. Last team standing wins.
  • Dodgeball was a fun new twist. Each player has one life. Killing an enemy brings one dead member of your team back to life. Whoever is left at the end, wins.
  • King of the Hill is the classic King of the Hill but now has Several hills to capture. Whoever captures the most hills for the longest time will win.
  • Arms Race starts everyone off with a weak bad gun. Killing an enemy means you whole team gets a slightly better gun. Whoever gets through all the guns first wins. This is a great way to get some practice with the different types of guns that exist in the Gears world.
  • Guardian is a new game type. Each team is randomly assigned 1 player to be a leader. As long as the leader lives, the team can re-spawn. Once the leader is killed, you can take out the entire team and win.
  • Warzone returns once again. Team Death match but each person only gets one life.

Each of these puts you directly into playing with and against other live players. You play 5 games of each and then are ranked according to how well you did. A ranking system of Gold, Silver or Bronze. I’ve never been much of a Versus player personally as I found I couldn’t quite get the skill set of running around, sneaking up on someone and blam – Gnasher to the face. This ranking system knew that. After (mostly) losing quite a few times, it placed me at a lower level allowed me to slowly adapt and learn this skill with other people who also seemed to have a hard time with it. Playing against those “gold players” in those first few matches was frustrating but I’m glad they have included this system so I can finally PLAY Versus without constantly dying and feeling like I am letting my team down.

gears4-1Additional Cool Gears Of War 4 Thoughts

Several dad’s and mom’s I know play Gears of War around their children. They simply turn of gore mode, and the bad language under settings and boom. A game that can be played in the company of children. This Gears of War also includes this feature. Removal of head shotand gushy gore explosions doesn’t take away from the game at all. This game also has PC players and Xbox players. If you get a digital copy of the game you are able to use it on both systems. A nice little bonus for those who would rather PC game than console. Perhaps one of the best part of gears though.. is playing once again with fellow Xbox friends I  haven’t played with since the first gears. The same teams i’m playing horde with this time… I beat insane Horde in Gears 3. Also making new xbox friends, like the random team I beat 50 levels of horde with last night quickly got a new friend request. There really is just something about this game that brings out the team player modes.

Over All Review of Gears of War 4

The new Gears of War 4 hold up. Although the character and bad guys are different, I still feel like I am in the same Gears universe. There is enough similarities and compelling differences to be interested in the game. The mechanics are familiar for the most part and not much had changed there. Versus has had significant improvements in match making to pair levels of player together. Horde mode is the same but so much improved with the class system, giving each team mate a specific important role.  If you haven’t purchased this yet – You should. Especially if you enjoyed previous versions of the franchise. I look forward to playing horde with you 😉

I was provided a copy of this game to review by Xbox but thoughts as always are totally my own.

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