The next installment in the Gears Of War series is here, and is the first main series title in over 5 years with Gears Of War 3 in 2011. When the Xbox One was announced in 2013, gamers around the world knew it was just a matter of time until Gears Of War made an appearance on the console. Gears Of War was the last major Xbox franchise to have a game on the console with Forza 5 being released in 2013 and Halo 5 being released in 2015. It seems that the extra waiting has been beneficial for Gears Of War 4 as it’s one of the best titles in the series.
Now I’ll admit this, and it’s not going to be a popular thing to say but I’m not the biggest fan of Gears Of War single player campaigns. They’re not bad at all but I was never really interested in them, and was more of a multiplayer fan but that has changed with Gears Of War 4’s campaign. I was fully invested in this five act campaign, and wanted to keep going to see the mystery unfold. I also liked that the campaign wasn’t too long because I felt that when it ended was just about the right time to end the game. If it had gone on any longer then it would have started to feel like it was dragging along.
One of the best features of the campaign was the use of a weather system, and this isn’t any ordinary weather system either because why should anything be ordinary in a series like Gears Of War? The combination of extreme lightning, wind, and a design that looks similar to a deadly tornado make up windflares. These windflare moments happen throughout the 5 acts and help create an intense moment were you have to find shelter fast because of how deadly these windflares are.
Gameplay also drastically changes during these windflares as attacking enemies are increasingly difficult to shoot because of the extreme wind. Bullets will not go where they were intended to go, and you’ll need to think even more about your aiming during a windflare outbreak. Movement is also restricted during a windflare as you’ll be much slower moving forward, and unable to make the kind of movements you can make when not in a windflare. It makes confrontations that much more intense and although these are scripted into the campaign and not random events, you still wonder when the next windflare will occur.
The enemy choice in Gears Of War 4 was extremely intriguing, I’ve been used to shooting up waves upon waves of monsters throughout the series of Gears Of War. It came as a surprise to me when in the opening act I was actually shooting up robots, yes you read that correct. The robots which are called DeeBees give a feel of freshness to Gears Of War 4 because now it isn’t all about fighting these monsters all the time.
Then again it wouldn’t be Gears Of War without these monsters, and of course they are in Gears Of War 4 but these are not the locust that caused terror in the original games, these are The Swarm. The Swarm are shrouded behind mystery which you will learn and found out more about their origins in this very interesting campaign. Both DeeBees and The Swarm offer unique challenges with both having different enemy types.
Gears Of War 4’s online offerings also left me impressed with Horde Mode being a personal favorite of mine and has always been. If you’ve never played Horde Mode before then the goal of the mode is to fortify the area with defenses like turrets and spikes to keep enemies at bay while you try and defeat waves of enemies. In a interesting twist this time with Horde Mode you will be battling the DeeBees robots and the monsters known as The Swarm. Many hours will be put into this mode long after the review has been posted.
The Final Verdict
Gears Of War 4 is another incredible entry in the Gears Of War series. I’m happy the team took the extra time to get their first new Gears Of War title on the Xbox One as the extra time seems to have paid off. Like I said in the review, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the campaigns in previous Gears Of War titles but in Gears Of War 4 I was extremely impressed. I feel Gears Of War 4 made some great changes to the series without moving away too far from what made the series so successful. Fans of the old games will be pleased with this entry in the series while new fans will be impressed with what’s being offered in Gears Of War 4.
Final Score: 9/10