Same sensations, better control
The first thing that draws attention is that at the level of playable Gears of War 4 feels just as fun as the previous titles, however, new features have been incorporated in all sections and have been polished the game mechanics to get more control precise and fun, always keeping the essence of the franchise . In general terms, the control system is continuist (for the good and for the bad), so we will have the camera in third person, a selector of arms in the crosshead, a locator of points of interest and the famous system of coverages that allows us to move from one place to another on the stage.
The coverage system continues to operate without cracks.
While it is true that this system is no longer as surprising as the original, it still maintains all its functionality, although sometimes it is somewhat crude. However, despite the obvious playable legacy, new mechanics have been introduced that work very well . One of the most used is the possibility of hiding against a cover and take the enemy stationed on the other side to pass over and run. Also very useful is the possibility to skip the covers without having to stop. This system, which was a revolution in its time, is still very current and, although at times it may seem "outdated", it guarantees everything a fan of the saga expects from a fourth installment.
The mobility of the characters, always very strong and with their feet firmly anchored to the ground, is now a bit more agile, something that is appreciated given the appearance of some enemies much faster than the classic Locust. Even so, at times the animations are still somewhat rigid and, although this feature can be understood as one of the hallmarks of the franchise, some players will find that the playable formula has not evolved enough. Despite everything, we have a precise control and tremendously functional .
Classic armament with great novelties
Where Gears of War 4 really surprises, is in the huge variety of weapons at our disposal . Basically, we will tell the mythical Lancer, the retro Lancer, the explosive bow, the shotgun or the sniper rifle, all of them well known by the players and that, despite the refinement of their controls, keep all the essence of the originals. However, GoW 4 has incorporated a new catalog of really interesting robotic weapons . Here we will find new submachine guns, sniper rifles, grenades, shotguns and, in short, a whole set of new weapons that, although they are not as charismatic as the original ones, have a very interesting control and in some cases even more functional than previous.
But the title does not stop here, The Coalition has incorporated a number of special weapons that, although we can not always use, will be very present in the development of the story. Among the funniest we have Bajonazo , an ideal disc thrower to use the rebounds and tremendously devastating, or Dropshot , a weapon that throws grenades through the air. These weapons, together with the powerful machine guns, missile launchers or grenades that we will find, provide Gears of War 4 with an enviable weapon that will always give a point of extra fun and different to each new mission.
The new weapons are very well designed.
These weapons, as it could not be otherwise, have the classic recharging system that constantly incites us to hit the timing to have extra power, thus avoiding long periods of recharging or dangerous jamming. When it comes to finding ammunition, we have boxes scattered around the stage, in addition to the always useful option of stealing weapons and ammunition from the enemy. Another functionality to mention, is that we can share ammunition or weapons with our allies, something very useful for more complicated situations.
Some enemies are really scary.
Another section that has improved GoW 4 is the great variety of enemies we will find throughout the story. Initially, we are going to fight against a whole new army of robots called DeeBees . These machines, will have among their ranks combat sentinels armed with submachine guns, large machines equipped with double-shot shotguns, rolling balls that will explode upon reaching our position, and even flying robots protected with shields. All of them will have unique behaviors and, although it is true that they do not have the same charisma as the Locust classics, they offer a new type of enemy AI.
On the other hand, and here we will be careful to avoid spoilers , it is already known that Gears of War 4 incorporates a new type of biological enemy called Juvies . These disgusting monsters are one of the great novelties, not only for their appearance, but for their fighting style. All of them are very fragile, but also tremendously fast and jumping, something that will make us suffer a lot to kill them given the slow movement of the reticle of the weapon. In addition, these beings attack together, so using the shot from the hip or body to body will sometimes be the best solution.
The chainsaw is the best weapon against the Juvies.
This basic enemy belonging to "The Swarm" will have different evolutions that will come equipped with assault rifles, shotguns or, for example, large-caliber machine guns. The behavior of these beings will mean returning to the essence of Gears of War that was lost with the robots and, although their artificial intelligence is not as advanced as it should be (something that also happens with robots), they will adapt their behavior to their weapon. that will give variety to the combats. In addition to this factor, looking to give more realism to the clashes, have created some scenarios with several lines of attack to make flanking and team strategies .
Finally, Gears of War 4 incorporates a number of great enemies that, sometimes acting as final bosses, are very well designed and offer some of the most exciting moments. The first to appear are the Pouncer , very fast beasts that will always jump to our position in the cover to throw their terrible stingers in the tail or directly devour us. These creatures are tremendously resistant and will attack as a group, which makes fighting even more fun.
The coordinated attack of the Pouncer can be devastating.
As the story progresses we will find more and more complicated enemies, one of the most impressive being the Raptor . This gigantic being, also endowed with a sting in its tail, is another very interesting addition since, in addition to trying to kill us, when we are dying he will put us in his gut and try to flee to his burrow. If we see that he has eaten a partner we will have to shoot him to let him go, being totally useless and at the expense of the rescue of our friends if it is us who are in his stomach.
Gears of War 4 also incorporates in its final part a series of increasingly larger and more fearsome enemies that require more complex mechanics to destroy them, having to collaborate with colleagues and use the environment to finish them off. Without a doubt, The Coalition has done a sensational job creating this "new" universe of creatures , not only because of the obvious playable variety they provide, but also because of the visual coherence they have with the legacy of the franchise.
The split screen is a gift for the fans.
With a friend it's always better
But not everything in Gears of War 4 tries to kill us, in this new release we will have one or several companions by mission that will help us at all times. This allied AI is limited but very efficient and functional , since our companions can revive us, give us ammunition and even flank the enemy, basic elements to be able to overcome the most complicated moments.
If what we want is a more real behavior we can enjoy the whole story in cooperative. The most fun option, although it affects the visual finish of the title, is the split screen . Unlike Halo 5: Guardians , the new Gears of War has not hesitated to maintain one of its hallmarks and is something to be grateful for. However, for when we can not have a friend at home, the game includes the option to join a friend online or make a matchmaking to play with someone random. Undoubtedly, whether offline or online, sharing the experience with a partner is always more rewarding .
The motorized phase is one of the most spectacular in the game.
In the variety is the spice
If something has surprised us Gears of War 4 is for the variety of missions. A great job has been done granting a huge dynamism to the game, thanks to the different types of missions because, although it is true that most of the time we will be entering ranches and shooting enemies behind the coverages (something that can be ended up doing very repetitive and tedious), the game replaces that effect with a good variety of missions in many unique cases, which will surprise us until the end of the game.
The visual finish of the Flares is amazing.
One of the most striking is the motorcycle phase . Here we will have to flee through the field piloting the motorcycle that we can see in collector's edition, while we are attacked by a fighter plane. This mission, in the purest Uncharted style , has a very cinematic cut and is loaded with action. But it is not the only one, the title includes several missions similar to the Horde 3.0 mode so, as in the multiplayer mode, a Manufacturer will put weapons and defenses at our disposal to spread them across the stage and resist waves. With limited credits, and with the freedom to organize defenses ourselves, these specific missions are really fun.
Other very spectacular are those that include strong electrical storms called Flares . This climatic modification will completely change the scenario, both visually and playable, which adds a different factor to the confrontations. Due to the strong gusts of wind, we will advance much slower and we must be careful not to be crushed by a structure, since the stage will have points of destruction that can be our great allies or our worst enemies.
In the last moments of the storms, the so-called walls of lightning will appear , a devastating phenomenon that we will have to dodge with great care, since all the rays that are directed towards us can fry us automatically without the option of being reanimated. Undoubtedly, beyond the great technical section, are missions that bring diversity.
The electric walls are a complicated challenge.
On the other hand, continuing with the enormous variety of missions offered by the title, we will have some small vehicles to kill the enemies and interact with the environment that, although they are not a fundamental part of the gameplay, are another point in favor of the variety. In order to finish, and avoiding to reveal any secret of the despicable nothingness, the title presents spectacular battles against final bosses that demonstrate a great work of design and a fun jugabilidad, although some of them present peaks of difficulty somewhat exaggerated.
The new plot is solid and very well constructed.
In this sense, GoW 4 has four difficulty modes: Informal , oriented to new players; Normal , a relaxed style, but with more demanding shootings; high ; the original difficulty and a good challenge for the fans of the saga; and Madness , something really terrible and within reach of only a few. Depending on the election the duration of the campaign will vary, being about 11 hours in High difficulty .
The beginning of a new story
When we analyze the stories of the first titles of the saga, it is easy to realize that they do not have a very complex plot or very deep characters, however, Gears of War 4 has refined that section and, although it maintains the tone of the previous ones, now presents a more complex plot, with more credible characters and with those touches of humor essential in the saga despite the seriousness of the events. On this occasion, the main trio is formed by JD Fenix , son of the mythical Marcos Fenix; Kait , a young warrior who has been given a mature and respectful treatment in the narrative, clearly moving away from the stereotypes of the feminine gender to which the industry has accustomed us; YDelmot "Del" Walker , the best friend of JD and the character that puts the touch of humor and that, despite its importance in history, is perhaps the flattest of them all in terms of the evolution that suffers during the plot .
the old rockers never die
As is logical, Gears of War 4 is aware of his legacy and, without going into unnecessary spoilers, the presence of Marcus Fenix (mitiquísimo character that now sports an imposing beard that makes it more badass if possible) is the most emotional touch, although It will not be the only one.
The plot puts us 25 years after the end of the war against the Locust . Sera has been decimated by the conflict, and its climate puts the population at risk. Given this situation, the protagonists have decided to defect from the CGO and start a new life in one of the few population centers with defenses. However, as they flee the army they will realize that something is happening on the planet, and that the decision to bury the Locust in gigantic underground mass graves may not have been the best idea. Under this proposal, which spins with what happened in previous installments, a well-developed plot is structured. Very emotional moments, cinematic spectacularity and a darker and personal touch, are some of the traits that build a story that may be the beginning of something much bigger.
The new color palette achieves a more realistic setting.
Gears of War 4 is the first title in the saga created exclusively for Xbox One and Windows 10 , something that graphically shows from the start. On this occasion, the development team has used Unreal Engine 4 . With a resolution with dynamic scaling on Xbox One, 30 fps in the campaign and 60 in the multiplayer and up to 4K and unlimited fps on PC, the new Microsoft title shows a sensational finish.
The video game presents a perfect modeling of all scenarios and, although it is true that some have a greater artistic finish than others, each of them has a credible and well represented. In this case, we will find very small scenarios, such as houses or caves, and other larger ones with even several paths, although never with an excessive size. Depending on the missions, the weather may be clear, with light rains or unleashed with the fearsome thunderstorms. This last phenomenon present in the game, although it is not the most frequent, has a remarkable visual finish, including a very credible destruction of the environment and a large number of particles scattered throughout the stage.
The lighting of some locations is sensational.
Beyond the visual quality, GoW 4 stands out above all for the excellent ambience of all its rooms , as they perfectly convey the realistic aura and mystery that history offers. To achieve this, The Coalition has invested a lot of work in polishing the lighting and, although speaking of Rise of the Tomb Raider are big words, Gears of War 4 presents some locations at the height of the detail and polish of it.
The title also presents an excellent modeling and texturing of all the characters and scenarios. However, if something highlights the new release of Gears of War , it's because have completely changed the color palette dull and gray of which they showed the previous titles, and that was a sign of the previous generation. On this occasion, with a change that, in my opinion, feels great to the title, The Coalition has opted for a more lively palette that brings a new, more realistic personality. The blood will now be more forceful, the richer landscapes and the cinematic have gained artistic weight. Undoubtedly, although the title has at times a very dark and little colorful touch, the new visual style feels very good.
The version of Windows 10 to Ultra is graphically superior to that of Xbox One.
The same game, two realities
But, and here we enter a complicated terrain, Gears of War 4 has also come out for Windows 10 with the Play Anywhere function . Thanks to this, if we buy the digital version of the title in Xbox One or Windows 10, we will automatically have access to the game on the other platform, keeping all the advances we make in any of them. Honestly, I think a real luxury service for those users who have a good computer and an Xbox One, something that other companies should learn.
Thanks to this simultaneous release, we have also been able to test the Gears of War 4 version on PC and the sensations can not be better. This version presents , which is an impressive visual and playable jump. Due to this, although the difference is not crazy, the version of Windows 10 has a much better graphic finish with higher quality textures, new particle effects, a much more detailed global lighting and a fluidity that, without detracting from the version of Xbox One, is tremendously stable. a sensational finish and an enormous amount of graphic configuration options , being able to define elements such as the quality of the textures, the quantity and quality of the particles or the lighting and shading system. In addition, we will be able to play with resolutions up to 4K and an unlimited frame rate per second
PC optimization has been perfect.
The version for Windows 10 allows to exploit to the maximum the excellent visual finishing and, the most important thing, it is completely stable and functional from day one , something that the last titles of Microsoft can not say. Undoubtedly, the version of Windows 10 is superior to that of Xbox One because, although the changes are not exaggerated, the sum of all the small elements constitutes a much more solid set.
A new Horde
Horde is a classic among online multiplayer modes, and Gears of War 4 has undergone major changes, but without losing the essence of the originals. One of the most striking aspects is that now we will have to select one of the five available classes: Soldier, Sniper, Engineer, Heavy and Explorer . All of them will have unique abilities, which will slightly modify our style of play, and whose combination between players will be key to mount a good defense. Each class, according to your level, will have up to 5 skills that we will fill with Gears Cards. These cards, which can be purchased with real or game money, will grant passive skills to the player and we will be able to raise them level to be even more effective. Finally, the Horde mode offers the possibility of activating Reward Cards . These special items, which we will acquire in the packs, will grant us extra rewards if we fulfill the indicated objectives.
Once inside the game, the Horde mode includes a total of 10 maps, all of them well designed and with a symmetrical configuration. Before the battle we will have to choose the difficulty of the AI with the objective of resisting 50 waves with up to 5 players . At the beginning, we will see that the figure of the Manufacturer has been introduced. This machine, which we can place at the point we want at the start of the game, will manufacture all kinds of weapons and defensive protections thanks to Energy. This currency of trade, which we will achieve as we eliminate enemies and overcome rounds, will be essential to obtain the best resources.
The manufacturer offers a new strategic approach.
The Horde mode includes many more novelties, such as the possibility of reviving an enemy in the Manufacturer by handing out their identification badges, something that will increase in cost as the rounds pass, or the enormous customization available with new characters and weapons skins. In short, the Horde 3.0 mode is just as fun and demanding as in previous installments, however, the new control, playable personalization, maps and the strategic figure of the Manufacturer, give this mode a good face wash .
The confrontation mode is the most complete and varied multiplayer mode that has been seen until date in a title of the saga. The main section includes 6 different game modes: Team Duel , the classic confrontation between two formations; Dodgeball , confrontation by teams in which the first one wins in finishing the other and each death grants a resuscitation; King of the Hill , in which we must maintain some points of the map until obtaining a certain score; Weapon War , in which every three casualties the team changes to another random weapon; Guardian, whose objective is to kill the leader of the other team to avoid the reappearances of the other players and then finish with the rest; and War Zone , a fight to the death against the other team with only one life per round. All of them are tremendously addictive and with a gameplay that breathes Gears of War .
The packs offer skills, rewards and personalization elements.
If we choose to enter the competitive one, we find two new game modes: Climbing , in which we must capture an area until obtaining certain points, and whose quick victory is achieved by capturing three of them; and Execution , in which we must eliminate the enemies only with executions and one life per round. However, if we feel overwhelmed by the huge number of modes, we can opt for Social Quick Match . Here the player will join other users to vote the game mode and the map, a procedure that will be repeated at the end of each game.
In the same way, Confrontation allows Cooperative Modes to play (choosing one of the four available difficulties) with up to four more friends against the enemy AI. In Clashes we can also organize games on LAN and create private clashes. Finally, despite the initial doubts that the beta left, Gears of War 4 looks great graphically with 60 stable fps in Xbox One and, without reaching the levels of the campaign in lighting, modeling and particles, the multiplayer mode is the height of the expected.
The graphic performance of the multiplayer is superior in Windows 10.
In playable terms, the Match games offer a huge variety of options and maps, which will be extended with 2 maps per month during a year thanks to the Season Pass. Without a doubt, with the good performance of the servers and the loyalty of the great Gears of War community , the title has an unstoppable online journey during the next months.
Living up to its name
Regarding the campaign mode, The Coalition has managed to form a very solid and fun narrative and playable structure and, although it is true that many players will be able to attribute a very limited evolution in some game mechanics, I believe that, with an evident margin of improvement, the title is pure essence Gears of War and in the end that is the most important thing. The coverage and constant shootings are what have forged the character of the saga and give up on it in search of current fashions I think it would have been an unforgivable mistake.
For its part, the multiplayer offers a lot of game modes and maps to spend hundreds of hours playing with friends. Special mention deserves the new Horde mode that, while maintaining all the essence of the previous ones, has introduced new features that make it even more fun. For its part, the graphical section has improved substantially compared to what we saw in the beta and, without reaching the quality levels of the campaign, shows a great visual finish.
After all, it is clear that Gears of War 4 offers a proposal that maintains all the essence of what fans have always wanted, but incorporating new features in terms of online game modes, enemies, weapons, characters, narrative, visual finish , missions and most importantly, everything fits naturally and logically with the existing legacy.