25 years after the world got ripped apart from the inside, peace was achieved, but it was not to be, as friends and family we loved were taken by an unknown force, everything changed from that point, a storm is coming, put on the armour of the Gears, face the storm and stop this enemy before everyone else dies. Embark on a brutal journey, with a great story, full of emotion, pressure, intense moments and pure thrill ride. GEARS OF WAR IS BACK in what could be the best Gears ever.
From the studio powerhouse ‘The Coalition’ & ‘Microsoft Studios’ Gears of War is back, and this time, it also comes to PC via Windows Universal Platform (Windows 10 Exclusive) and as always Xbox via the Xbox One.
Now fans of the franchise would need to know, have the new developers moved away, from what made the Gears of War franchise so great, or have they kept everything and just expanded to make it better. Well, the cover-based system is back, which is obvious from all the trailers we have seen. GOW 4 makes the cover-based system feel more satisfying as you smack into each cover area, and blast the shit out of the enemy, each area is well designed to take full advantage of this feature.
All in all, nothing much has changed, it’s faster, more rampant, with an all new cast with some old friends thrown in for good measure.
So gone is the original Delta Squad and in its place is an all-new group of kids, JD Fenix,(Marcus Fenix’s Son) who is joined by Kait and Del as they battle an all new underground enemy and the Coalition of Ordered Governments, an organisation that has turned bad since the original trilogy of games.The New kids on the block have their own unique backgrounds that all tie into the game’s story, and this is incorporated well as you progress through the game.
OK, from the very start of the game everything from the prologue to the first act, is fast paced, and methodical and the increase in tempo pushing you around like a rampant dog, trying to find a bitch, that’s totally wrong, but you do get to kill a shit load of enemies, that makes it feel fast-paced and well designed.
I have not played GOW 2 or 3 but from what I know GOW the original and Ultimate Edition is the best of the trilogy, and I have not really missed that much by not playing the follow-ups, and if I have, I can just go to YouTube and watch some gameplay videos to catch up. What I am getting at here, is simple, Gears of War 4 is a brand new game, new story, plot and characters, and the game sticks to it’s its core elements pure adrenaline, the firefight, and does everything impressively, you are never that far away from the next fight, a bit like a Quentin Tarantino movie, shit loads of blood, shit loads of enemies and over the top crazy deaths.
The prologue shows you the past and if you are familiar with the original franchise the ‘locust horde’ and its ultimate demise at the hands of the Delta Squad, so moving on in GOW 4 The Coalition had to create new enemies, welcome the metal heads, or robots, this is what you face in the early stages of the game, but all that changes when the swarm arrives, the ultimate formidable enemy, and an old friend Marcus Fenix, JD Fenix’s dad.
There are some new elements to the franchise, for example, the interactive environments, making the battlefield your playground, or the epic storms that add a whole new level of immersion, pushing your characters back and slowing their movement to a crawl as you fight and battle the wind to complete your objective, this is just such a nice added addition.
I loved the original game, and I loved the group mechanics and how well they bonded with each other, I found this to be slightly missing from this one, maybe I was just missing the original characters. For some reason I just did not really care for this new group of miss fits, that’s possibly why when Marcus Fenix arrives on the scene, everything turns up a notch. Maybe that’s just me and my personal feeling towards the game at the start, new gamers might instantly fall in love with the new characters, for returning players, they might have a little loss.
Replayability is something I look for in all games unless the game is a story driven game with one-time playthrough, or something short and sweet, a bit like FIREWATCH, which for me was a game I would play once and delete, secrets and collectable are for the gamers that enjoy a 100% completion, for me the story head ended and so had the experience.
So before I move to GOW 4 Multiplayer features, I must mention that you can play GOW 4 as a solo player or CO-OP, so bring a friend into the game and bring on the BOOM BOOM BOOM.
So GOW 4 Multiplayer, is it good? is there enough feature to keep us coming back for more? You have a co-op mode and horde mode, not to be confused with ‘For the Horde’ bloody wow players, get a life and play something else. The Horde mode is bloody awesome, with wave after wave of enemies pounding your defence and with every tenth wave a mini boss decides to intervene and do a shed load more damage, screw up your best-laid plans and destroy your fortifications.
In horde mode you will get a fabricator, this is where you will buy your weapons and defences from, this allows you to place and build your strongholds around the map. You purchase your products with a currency called Power, Power currency is dropped by enemies. You will need to gather your power currency during a wave with risk or after each wave, there is also a dedicated class called the Scout that can gather the currency for your team.
Each horde group has 5 positions to fill and also introduces upgradable classes; choose from a sniper, tank or engineer, an engineer is a class that maintains the defensive structures, a tank, of course, takes the damage and sniper obviously, kills from afar.
I can not emphasise how much fun Horde Mode 3.0 is, so I am telling you now, grab your mates, or find some good online players, chuck yourself into Horde mode and go mental, kill everything while trying to survive, but at some point you will be kissing your arse goodbye.
Co-Op features plenty of fun modes as well including arms race, similar to Call of Duties Gun Game, Dodgeball, kill an enemy player and tag a fallen comrade to come back into the game, the playing field can change with a click of the trigger. There is also
There is also
- King of the Hill: Capture and hold rings to gain points to win,
- War Zone: kill all enemies on the opposing team one life per round,
- Guardian: Execute team leader then take out the team,
- Team Deathmatch : Kill all on the opposing team.
I could talk about the game a lot more and spoil everything for you, but I really want you to go out, buy the game and enjoy the game for yourselves, so instead for PC gamers I am going to talk about the UWP and the in-game configuration settings available.
Now I am playing the PC version, and gamers have been having issues with windows UWP since day one and players are still having issues as we wait from Microsoft to make the platform more ‘gamer friendly’. This time though there is a brand new protection system in place, making it impossible to change anything within the game configuration files, this new encryption, has also been used within Recore and Forza Horizon 3, and might be the reason for some of the issue we find within these latest games, as the game needs to decrypt each file every time it needs to execute a game mechanic. (This is just an opinion and not been proven or confirmed by any developer).
So first off the game downloads as a 73.3GB install file, massive and you also need to download the latest NVidia and ATI drivers, ATI Driver 16.9.2 or NVidia driver 372.89 or greater.
Now let’s look at the actual games in-game configuration and there is a shed load to work with.
Video settings include the following, you can also view all these via the below screenshots.
- Default Quality offers you Low, Medium, High, ultra and recommended
- Display mode: Windowed and Fullscreen (Not exclusive full screen)
- Scaled Resolution right up to 4K
- Frame Rate limit: 30, 60, 90, 120, 144 and unlimited
- VSync on or off
- Field of View
- Show stats
- Character Texture Detail
- World Texture Detail
- Effects Texture Detail
- Lighting Texture Detail
- Texture Filtering (Anisotropic)
- Anti-Aliasing Quality
- Temporal AA Sharpening
- World Level Detail
- Character level of detail
- Motion blur: Off, Medium, High & Ultra
- Motion Blur Intensity
Lighting and Shadows
All settings and Off, Medium, High and Ultra
- Light Shaft Quality
- Light Scattering Quality
- Lens Flare Quality
- Bloom Quality
- Shadow Quality
- Capsule Shadow Quality
- Screen Space Shadow Quality
- Ambient Occlusion Quality
- Ambient Occlusion Intensity
- Post Process Quality: Low, Medium, High & Ultra
- Screen Space Reflections: Low, Medium, High & Ultra
- Environment Reflections
- Particle Spawn Rate
Real Time Cinematics
- Depth of Field: Low, Medium, High & Ultra
- Sub Surface Scattering: :Low, Medium, High & Ultra
- Dynamic Resolution Scaling
- Dynamic Resolution Amount
- Tiled Resources
Those are the most important setting for many gamers; you also have the following available
- Mouse Settings
- Key Bindings
- Mature Content
Now my experience playing Gears of War 4 was great and I really enjoyed the constant enemy tempo, but I did experience some issues with the running of the game, when I requested help regarding these issues, the developers were unable to replicate what was happening on my system. So to downgrade the game, just based on what I was experiencing would be downright stupid as every PC system is different to a degree and one person’s experience would be different from another person’s experience.
So final thoughts, mmm, I am still not fussed with Windows 10 UWP and still believe there needs to be a full-screen exclusive mode added to its features. In regards to the game itself, it’s a blood oozing, metal bashing; covering your arse, kick arse shooter, with an OK story shoved in there for good measures. The new enemies are well designed and great to kill, apart from the robots which are just plain boring, maybe I just love seeing blood and body parts flying everywhere.
The ability to reach over cover and grab an enemy is so much fun and something I was doing over and over again, and executing the evil shits with my knife, die, die, die, I was shouting at the screen. The learning curve from the original series to the latest is nothing much for new players and old alike to handle. I enjoyed the single player game, and I love to hate the horde mode, everything was fun, thrilling and one hell of a bloody ride.
There are some niggly issues that i recon will be ironed out through patches and do not really effect the game to a point, where you are going to throw the keyboard/controller out of the window or at the screen in a really miffed of mood.