So, I know the game came out last year but only now, that I accidentally bought an Xbox One, I got to play it. It was my first time playing a Gears of War game and good Lord how I regret not doing it earlier.
So Gears of War can be summed up in a simple sentence – it is a third person shooter in which you cover and shoot at your enemies – this is it’s essence, it doesn’t apologize for it, it doesn’t try to be anything else, it has absolutely no regrets for being like that and that is why it does it so well.
In Gears of War you play as JD Fenix, the son of previous games protagonist Marcus Fenix, accompanied by your two loyal friends Kait Diaz and Del Walker, without wanting to give much of the story away it revolves around family issues and finding your beloved ones while fighting COG and the Swarm.
This is where the game shines, the fighting. Yeah it is a third person shooter and the game throws you into the map, that is designed with several covering spots from which you target and destroy your enemies. The enemies are either deployed or spawned in the battlefield and in some moments you have to fight waves of enemies coming at you, at that point you are given the possibility to fortify your position with turrets, traps and other stuff to try and slow down enemies while you empty your weapons at them. Combat in this game works like a charm, target and shoot or attack your enemies with melee by either hitting them with your weapon or chainsawing them in half. While covering it is also possible to grab an enemy that is standing on the other side of your cover, pull him next to you and finish him in glorious gore movements, if you are not fast enough he may counter this move and wreck you up.
The game evolves by throwing stronger and smarter enemies at you, their numbers also increase so the challenge is constantly increasing, the game as some other sections in which you have to shoot from a vehicle, chase after a boss, stay alive while hordes at enemies jump at you on an elevator and so on, but it’s core is this “cover and shoot” mechanics.
While doing it your two loyal friends will give you support, not only by killing enemies but also by helping you up every time you get your ass kicked, you have to help them up too because if one of them dies you lose. The interaction between the characters is fun to observe, there is a constant banter between them that will provide for some laughter.
There are several different weapons to chose from and some of them really push the goremeter up a few notches. It’s wonderful.
The controls of the game are really good and responsive, it takes not much time for you to get used to them and to start spilling some serious blood.
As for the graphics they are probably the best you can find at the moment on Xbox One, the animations are impeccable the scenery looks beautiful even when it looks like the inside of a whale’s gut. The performance is rock solid 30 fps in single player campaign and horde mode and 60 fps for online multiplayer.
I guess reading this may make the game look it is linear and repetitive and it is, I mean, in essence you keep doing the same thing over and over again but it does feel great doing it, why? Well the characters’ constant banter, the tight controls, the story, the frenetic action of the game are all really addictive and will make you go on over and over again at it.
There are a few downsides here though, the game’s single player campaign is extremely short, around 9 hours, and sometimes it gets frustrating trying to chainsaw enemies since the action to start the chainsaw takes too long and enemies frequently interrupt it.
Oh… almost forgot, the multiplayer. The game offers several multiplayer options, including co-op mode for the campaign, like Versus mode and Horde mode.
Versus mode includes different gametypes like team deathmatch, king of the hill, arms race, guardian and warzone. There are also two competitive modes – Escalation, where you have to take control of three different rings in the map, and Execution where you only have one life and need to kill your enemies with executions to get points.
Horde mode has evolved and has now different classes like Engineer, Soldier, Sniper, Heavy and Scout, each one with different skills. The fabricator is also present in horde mode allowing you to craft weapons and fortifications.
I’ve had no problem in finding people to play with and the game runs at perfect 60 fps on multiplayer mode, it can get pretty competitive but it’s really fun to get into this once you finish the campaign. The game is also being regularly updated with new stuff for this modes like new maps and weapon skins, so make sure to give it a go.
In conclusion I was happily impressed with Gears of War 4, this is not the type of game I usually go for but It has revealed itself to be huge fun to play due to it’s simple mechanics but still interesting world that makes you want to keep coming back at it, from 0 to 10 I’ll be forced to give it a 8/10.