Gears of War 4. © Microsoft

Gears of War 4 is a new installment in the third person shooter videogame franchise published by Microsoft Studios and developed by The Coalition. The game is a sequel to Gears of War 3 and the sixth installment overall, while being available exclusively on Xbox One. Set for release in 2016, it was unveiled in 2016 after developers announced their intention of adding a new title to the franchise.

Key facts about Gears of War 4

  • Gears of War 4 returns to its roots and will feature more horror videogame elements than its predecessors.
  • Players assume the roles of new soldiers and turn them from rookies into battle hardened veterans.
  • Gears of War 4 introduces new weapons, more than a year and a set of powerful abilities.
  • The single player campaign is at the cornerstone of the new installment in the franchise, with personal decisions impacting the manner in which the story unfolds.
  • Gears of War 4 forces players to master stealth tactics and make better use of the environment to survive the Locust threat.

The Gears of War 4 games

Gears of War 4 promises to introduce new spectacular features while making great use of the advancements of technology. At the same time, developers went to great lengths to convince the fans that this new installment will retain the very essence of what made the original special. That’s why the announcement trailer focused on the core game mechanics and also emphasized the importance of the dark, mysterious and even personal storyline.

Gears of War 4 games are supposed to be able to frighten players every now and then, indicating the developers’ intention to recreate the horror movie-like setting of the first installment. Players will be pit against legions of monsters, but instead of gunning them down in huge numbers, they will need to find ways of eliminating the threats one by one. Instead of a bloodbath, the new installment will feel like an intense hunt in which the hunter can easily become the prey.

With the Locust no longer being a frightening enemy, but a foe that players have defeated on many occasions in previous installments, Gears of War 4 tries to change the players’ perception. It is supposed to be a monster game, with enemies lurking in the night and capable of causing an untimely end one suspecting soldiers. Powerful weapons and unique abilities will improve your chances of surviving in this hostile environment, but they won’t be able to substitute intelligence and the right strategy.

Gears of War 4 games are going to be truly original and will be surprising and to some extent difficult even for the battle-hardened fans of the prequel. The central characters are JD and Kait, young soldiers that learn the ropes and the new gameplay will make it easier for players to relate to their challenge. The learning curve is not going to be insanely high, but while anyone can pick up the basics with relative ease, mastering this third-person shooter will be a tall order.

What is Gears of War 4?

Gears of War 4 is a third shooter developed by The Coalition and published by Microsoft Studios, running on Xbox One consoles. It is a sequel to the previous installment in the franchise, but draws more inspiration from the original title. New characters step into the spotlight and even though they take on familiar foes, the Locust swarm is more powerful than ever before. Gears of War 4 is expected to combine classic shooter elements with horror survival video games, in a completely changed environment

Screenshot of Gears of War 4. © Microsoft
Screenshot of Gears of War 4. © Microsoft

Gameplay of Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4’s gameplay was changed to better reflect the developers’ intention of creating a game that is dark, intimate and personal. Taking cover, using stealth mechanics and ambushing opponents is more important in the latest installment. The enemy is more powerful, the AI was significantly improved and players no longer have the option of rushing into a Locust infested room and gunning everyone down.

The trailers as well as the gameplay teasers suggest the fact that players will take more damage over short periods of time. Opponents are more likely to ambush players and those who play the missions on high difficulty will be in dire need of a smart strategy. Gears of War 4 has evolved from a war game into a monster game, in a way returning to its roots and being very similar to the first installment.

Even the storyline of the new game is in accord with the new direction pursued by developers, as the soldiers are young and inexperienced. Instead of Marcus Fenix and his veterans capable of crushing legions of Locust opponents, JD and Kait are just learning the ropes. The debut demos as well as the few missions available for play indicate the fact that Gears of War 4 has a dark theme and right from the start players have a feeling of impending doom.

The gameplay is more complex and even though shotguns and high explosive projectiles are used extensively, melee combat plays a more important role. The Gears of War 4 gameplay also challenges players to make better use of flashlights, take cover behind debris and lure opponents into traps. The improved AI makes it difficult to survive an ambush if you land among bloodthirsty Locust features.

Plot of Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 continues the storyline of the previous installment but action takes place several years later, in an environment that has changed a lot. This provided the developers with a chance of coming up with a brand-new arsenal, you weapons and soldiers with different abilities. The characters have changed as well and even though their mission is the same, the manner in which they are expected to fulfill them has also change.

Screenshot of Gears of War 4. © Microsoft
Screenshot of Gears of War 4. © Microsoft

Gears of War 4 developers were reluctant to share too much light on the new narrative, but they told the fans that they take the storyline very seriously. Instead of the black-and-white stories that were so popular a decade ago, modern players expect narratives that come in different shades of gray. Moral ambiguity, the importance of in game decisions and other choices made by players are key elements in this new game, shaping the outcome.

Development of Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 was subtly announced in 2013, when Phil Spencer told the media that Microsoft Studios contemplates the possibility of expanding the franchise. Since the game was officially unveiled in 2014, developers worked round-the-clock to meet the projected deadline for 2016. Initially, they planned on making the game available for the Xbox 360, but eventually this console was dropped and fans of the series will have to play the game on Xbox One.

Where can I download Gears of War 4?

Gears of War 4 will be available for download from The Coalition as well as Microsoft Studios official website and through the Xbox marketplace. This is a great opportunity for fans of the franchise to purchase all the games, while those who are new to the Gears of War series should also play the prequels.

What are others saying about Gears of War 4?

Gears of War 4 has some big boots to fill, because the prequel enjoyed an aggregate score of nearly 92% and both players and the critics were ecstatic. With the new installment trying to return to the roots of the series and emphasize the importance of a compelling narrative, the expectations are equally high. The developers had plenty of time and a lot of money at their disposal, so it is only fair to assume that the new game will not disappoint the fans. It is a strong contender for Game of the Year in 2016, next to Uncharted 4 A Thief's End, Mass Effect Andromeda and Recore.

Screenshot of Gears of War 4. © Microsoft
Screenshot of Gears of War 4. © Microsoft

Gears of War 4 tournaments

Gears of War 3 still keeps players at the edge of their seats in multiplayer, while the best of the best fight for glory in the Gears of War Finals. The first season was a huge success and it’s most likely that Gears of War 4 will replace the game as the flagship eSports title from Microsoft Studios. Individual skills as well as teamwork are required to make it to the top of the food chain and those who emerge as champions, claim sizable prizes.

The Gears of War 4 tournament will be played on dozens of new maps and the existing prize pools are expected to be surpassed. At the time of writing, the best teams in the world routinely compete for amounts exceeding $60,000, so the sky’s the limit. The games can be watched live by the community and generate tremendous interest even among those who spend very little time in multiplayer.

My rating of Gears of War 4

So far the developers of the celebrated franchise managed to avoid any false steps and each title was better than the predecessor. It’s hard to imagine how Gears of War 4 will outshine the prequel, given the excellent review scores, but I’m pretty confident that this will be the best Gears of War game yet. Depending on the popularity of the Gears of War 4 tournaments and the success of multiplayer in general, I could reconsider the final review score, which currently stands at 9.5/10.

Overall Score