“If you want to go fast, go ALONE. If you want to go far, go TOGETHER” ~ Unknown
Very wise words whether you are debating life choices or finding your zone during TDM on Gears of War 4: Strength in numbers, be an ocean not a puddle & lead, follow or get the hell outta the way are the only philosophies that truly matter. Especially if you want to come out on top.
Gears of War 4, the latest installment in the series is fast, brutal and highly entertaining. As someone who has been a fan of the series & Epic Games from the get-go, I was hesitant to delve into this morphed, newly developed version of my first and greatest love in the video game arena. Cliff Bleszinski, Rod Ferguson along with Epic Games created and developed the original masterpiece that stole my heart back in 2006 with the release of Gears of War. When Gears of War 2 hit the streets in 2008, I was completely and totally forever smitten. Gears of War 3 released in 2011 after much anticipation and while it was truly bigger, better, faster and a total success for all concerned, as a fan I felt there was something lacking. By the time Gears of War: Judgement released in 2013 my fears were confirmed. The heart & the hook were both lack-lustered and a little forced. Even though I put in many hours in on Judgement, the pull of a great story and stir of emotions that greatly written characters can magically make you feel was just not quite there and left me feeling empty. Missing ingredients: Ferguson & Cliffy B. So, of course, I was a little hesitant to pop GoW4 into my tray knowing that the not only were the “Master & the Mage” not involved in the project but also that Epic Games was no longer the owner or the developer. Microsoft & Coalition, a Canadian studio, has taken over both of those rolls. With that in mind, hat in hand & hope in my open heart, I began the journey of the newest generation of Sera’s inhabitants. I pushed the button.
Speaking strictly in generalities so as not to spoil the storyline for anyone who may not have finished this part of the game, here are my first impressions:
I have just completed my first run through of the campaign, a solo or co-op endeavor. First…this game is fast. I mean really fast. Unreal Engine is spot on when it come to movement and flow. The mechanics and motion of this game is breathtaking. I have always thought that frag tagging was the most awesome thing ever but with the addition of the ability to grab and stab (or snatch and stick ) an opponent out of cover is both exhilarating & mega cool. Great job on that one, guys and gals!!
The storyline is as it should be I suppose. The journey is one of battle, humor, bonding and tragedy. The monsters are different yet familiar with new yet similar names to the Locust & Lambent true GearsHeads are used to & are intensely dangerous. The characters, JD Fenix, his Outlander girlfriend, Kait Diaz, fellow Gear, Del Walker & JD’s father, Marcus round out the squad. You also meet a couple of new badass characters along the way that are definitely a breath of fresh air as well as run into some of your old favs.
At first I found JD’s character to be a bit whiny, especially considering he is the offspring of the infamous Marcus Fenix, the biggest badass COG of them all, ever. He eventually began to grow on me though. Perhaps his character grew as the story progressed. At any rate I became a fan. (Although Marcus still rules my world!) The other personalities in this game are endearing, each in their on way. I enjoyed spending the time with them. As someone who values co-op, I was a bit disappointed that the campaign is 2 player and not four. Maybe that is something that will change in the future. That and the fact that the campaign seemed a little short and created more questions than answers are the only two nehhh’s I can give this portion of gameplay. I realize that the trend in video games these days is to leave the consumer wanting more. Obviously. But it has been taken so far in the industry that it has gotten to the point where I feel as though I didn’t get the full game or that the game was marketed before completion. Even though I have paid full price. GoW4 had that quality to me. Maybe the DLC to come in the near future will help repair my feelings in that department.
The Versus Modes are ridiculous! And I mean that in a good way! A fantastic way! Whether it’s KOTH, TDM, Escalation, Arms Race, Dodgeball or Horde, you are in for a great time. Gather your friends and grab your game fuel! Your going to be playing for awhile….Honestly, I have always thought Gears provided the best online versus experience and trust me you won’t be disappointed. Gears4 allows you to play with randoms from around the globe or call your pals and battle each other. There is something extremely fun and fantastically entertaining about shooting you bff in the face or having them frag tag you for kicks and giggles. (Virtually, of course) Good times!
There it is. My first impressions of the next gen GoW. I’m sure I will be talking about it a lot in the future and will definitely be playing often. So push tha button, people! Spin the disc! And if you haven’t picked the game up yet, do so immediately! I promise you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may find yourself falling in love with all things Gears. Just as I have.
Until next time….Peace