Dark Light

Gears Of War 4 is a gears game If there was ever any doubt. It’s not a game which re-invents itself to attract a more diverse crowd. Instead it hones down on what made its predecessors great and tries to woo back its fans, both old and new. Under The Coalition, GOW4 stands and builds on what EPIC did so well in the past 4 games. Its a visceral cover-shooter and it still has Marcus Fenix.

Gear Of War 4

Detailed Review

gears of war 4

(+) The more the things change

After the end of Gears Of War 3, the locust were wiped out, so a change of guard was imminent. This time you will have to contend with 2 types of enemies. The Dee-Bee robots which are a mechanized army, have larger Heavy DeeBee jump-jets who leap over cover and self-destructs when it takes enough damage, while the sky-bound, front-shielded Guardian is best flanked from multiple sides in order to expose its weak spots. The Swarm on the other hand are closer to the chaotic Locusts like the Swarm’s Pouncer who flings deadly quills from its tail and hops on top of cover, pinning you to the ground, if you stay in one place for too long.

A look at the various Dee Bee Robot enemies you will face in Gears Of War 4
A look at the various Dee Bee Robot enemies you will face in Gears Of War 4

This mixes things up a bit, and keeps you on your toes for at least for the first 3 hours in the game, as you learn the behavior of the various enemies and then plan your tactics accordingly. Unlike the earlier gears where you kind of knew how every Locust is going to behave apart from the enemies exclusive to that iteration, Gears Of War 4 introduces a completely new rogues gallery to explore and cut through as you battle along.

Any such shooter which forces a pace, requires excellent map designs. Which is another area in which Gears Of War 4 excels at. In the almost 8 hour long campaign, Gears Of War has rarely you doing anything for too long, or fighting too many enemies of the same type. each battle theater is very cleverly mapped out and gives equal opportunity to you to try out the different weapons you may have at your disposal, like the Buzzkill which fires lethal, high-velocity, viscerally satisfying saw-blades which are perfect for close range combat; Or the EMBAR no scope rifle for long ranged hits.

And a look at the Swarm enemies in Gears Of War 4
And a look at the Swarm enemies in Gears Of War 4

Gears 4’s most graphically and mechanically impressive moments are tied to the weather though. Windflares (basically giant electrical dust storms) produce heavy winds actually affect weapons that fire relatively slow-moving projectiles such as the aforementioned Buzzkill, whose shots will arc such that they become almost useless at their normally reliable medium range, forcing you to choose your gear extra carefully in the inclement weather. This is a well thought out facet of the game, which is sure to impress every Gears fan.

(-) The more they remain the same

Amidst all these changes, Gears is still a cover-based shooter, and in that respect it is closer to the original Gears than any of its sequels. Finding the right cover and flanking your enemy is paramount for winning any battles, and going in with guns-blazing is a death-wish. Even in multiplayer, the cover based mechanic is emphasized but any Gears fan will already know this. Most weapons come from a familiar inventory with a few exceptions, and any returning player will feel right at home about 1 hour into the game.

Older but still Bad-Ass Marcus Fenix

Story-wise, Gears Of War follows a tested formula. New Planet, New enemies, new Hero, and new crew; but the underline plot remains the same. The plot revolves around a search for family – here, it’s Kait’s missing mother Reyna Diaz in place of Dominic Santiago’s wife Maria. The return of Marcus Fenix mid way into the game, gives everyone an opportunity to go on a nostalgia trip, before handing over the torch to the new set of heroes which are perhaps a little generic. But give them a few more games and they should grow on you too.

(+) And look damn good doing it

Visually Gears Of War looks stunning. Which is a given, considering its a game Nvidia are giving away with each GTX 1070. I use the GTX 1060, which had impressed me so much earlier, and it did not disappoint. The aforementioned Windflares, are once again, where the visual fidelity of the game shines. The storm produces swirling dust, swaying trees, and dancing foliage which play with your vision and all of it was handled beautifully by the GTX 1060 even at Ultra setting.

Then there is the multiplayer, and the Horde mode, oh how satisfying is the Horde mode. I enjoy online co-op, and I enjoy the against all odds feel of Gears, and they both come together in this online mode. Grouped together with online partners, (each with specific character level bonuses) you are made to withstand 50 waves of enemies, with every 10th wave bringing a random boss along. You can collect blueprints from killed enemies and deposit them in a team pool which can be used to setup turrets and fences to protect your base. Its hugely satisfying especially for people who like a challenge.

The super fun Horde mode is what keep me taking back to Gears Of War 4
The super fun Horde mode is what keep me taking back to Gears Of War 4

The other PvP modes exists too, including the classic Death-match, a Dodge ball mode where every kill revives your own team-mate and Escalation which are far too long in my opinions (best of 13 matches of the King of the hill variety). Its a complete bouquet of options and its very robustly built, but I still believe the Horde mode is the one with the most traction.


1 comment
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts