Gears of War 4 is the fourth entry in the third-person shooter series.
Gearing up for more.
ears of War set a new standard for third-person shooters. When it originally debuted on Microsoft's 360 console, it became a huge success. It stood out from other shooters on the market, and it's easy to see why. Aside from having the best visuals on the current hardware, most impressively where it's refined gameplay mechanics. There was nothing quite like it, and it's something other shooters have tried to be and failed. Cliff Bleszinski and the team at Epic Games had something special. Gears of War was the big new bad-ass of shooters. And if Gears 4 has proven anything, it's that the series still holds up well in the shooter genre today.
Since Gears 3, we've not had a true follow up. Judgment - developed by People can Fly - was more of a prequel. It was a solid entry, but didn't receive the same praise as it's predecessors. Now under new leadership, "The Coalition" are the new studio passed the reins to Microsoft's exclusive series. What a great move it was too. Gears of War 4 not only harkens back to the original, it also reinvigorates it without stepping out of it's comfort zone. Gears 4 is a more sleeker, prettier and refined version of the past entries. There's some fresh new additions to the formula, but Gears 4 plays it safe more often than not.
The opening prologue throws you straight into the action. It's visually stunning, loud, and filled with the gory, blood-soaked goodness the series is renowned for. Not only does it provides a tutorial for newcomers, it also serves as a brief history lesson. You begin as a nameless hero, as you help fight against the locusts during a key battle from Gears 3, E-day. From the brief opening, it's apparent how little the formula has changed. The Coalition stay true to Epic's original source material. Everything, from the aesthetics, controls and level structure. It's all very familiar, but that's fine. Gears 4 plays it safe most of the time. It sticks to the series roots, rather than attempting to reinvent them, but that's fine. That's not to say The Coalition don't add anything new to the mix. There's certainly some nice surprises, but mostly, Gears of War 4 is more of the same.
The story-line takes place half a century after the events of Gears 3. The planet Sera has changed a lot since then. Humanity is slowly rebuilding and populating after the end of the locust war. Structured walls are in place to help keep the remaining population safe. The settlement is controlled by robotic security forces known as Deebees. They are designed to protect the people, and also help with construction work. You take the role of JD Fenix, who is, you guessed it, Marcus Fenix son. He's joined by his two friends, Kate Diaz and Del Walker. They disagree with the policies set by Minister Jin, the leader of Coalition of Ordered Governments, They want to leave the settlement, but with that comes consequences. Not only does that make them enemies against the robot army, they also have a new locust-like breed of monsters to contend with, known as the swarm.
Flowing throughout the hectic battles lies a more focused, personal story. It focuses more deeply on it's new cast of characters. It's more personal, touching upon close friends and family. There's the farther and son relationship with JD and Marcus,. Then there is Kate' search for her missing mother. It's brings a more emotional approach to storytelling than in previous entries, but it's well executed. It helps develop them as characters. I found them a likable cast, too. But soon as Marcus tags along for the ride, it's easy to see why he's so unique and memorable. The Coalition do a great job at capturing his much older self. He's still the gruff, grumpy man we've come to know. It's nice to see him play a role in the story, and he provides some great banter between the new team.
" The older Marcus Fenix provides some great banter between the new team"
The Coalition's first stab at the Gears universe is a worthy one. It's solid, great fun that stays loyal to it's original source material. It may play itself safe a little too much, but the new multiplayer modes and tweaks to the formula are great. Let's just hope the next one doesn't play the safe card once more.