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Gears Of War 4 (Xbox One) Review

October 25, 2016 | Posted by Doug Yates
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Gears Of War 4 (Xbox One) Review  

Title: Gears of War 4
Developer: The Coalition
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Players: 1-10

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Gears of War is one of my staple co-op titles. With fewer and fewer developers keeping couch co-op alive—I’m looking at you Halo 5—it’s always a welcome sight to have a Gears title come out. The newest entry is the beginning of a new story with a mostly new cast of characters.

The main characters this time around are J.D. Fenix, Del Walker, and Kait Diaz. Before you can get to their story though, you must first play through the prologue which does a decent job of bringing you up to speed on the gears universe while throwing you straight into the action.

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Once the main trio’s story starts, however, is where things get interesting, although it is a bit more slow-burn compared to previous titles. The characters are planning a raid on a C.O.G. city to try to steal a fabricator that they can take back to their village. After arriving and dealing with the C.O.G., the village is accosted by a new and terrifying threat: The Swarm. The three must then go on a mission to retrieve the kidnapped villagers. Despite the dark premise, the relationships this time around are a bit more organic and lighthearted.

The Swarm upon first meeting seems to be a more creepy and almost horror inspired enemy. With plenty of dark corridors and flashlights, the more tense setting was an interesting change for Gears. Unfortunately it doesn’t last too long and reverts back to a more standard Gears experience fairly quickly. That having been said, the story has some interesting possibilities, but overall seems like a retread of previous elements.

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Most of the weapons that you know and love make their return, as well as a few fun newcomers as well. The Buzzkill is a saw blade spewing death bringer. Another addition is the Overkill: a double firing shotgun that can make quick work of even some of the larger enemies.

Horde mode makes its return with Horde Mode 3.0. You and up to four others must hold your ground against wave after wave of baddies while using a fabricator to fortify and protect your foxhole. While the first few rounds go quickly it becomes obvious that smart defense and a coordinated team are a must if you want to make it through the dreaded boss round. Not much of a horde mode person myself, I still had quite a bit of fun trying to keep all of the base’s defenses in good health and trying to figure out where to place the next turret.

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The other multiplayer options are a bit more by the books with king of the hill and multiple deathmatch setups. One of the new additions dubbed Dodgeball is a fun perma-death team deathmatch of sorts. You must take out the entirety of the other team, but each kill they make will bring back one of their own and vice versa this interesting twist makes for some incredible clutch matches.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Gears will always be one of my top couch co-op choices. While the story fairly quickly starts retreading ground there are still elements at play that make for possible interesting plot points later in the series. The gameplay is still solid and a great time whether you play campaign, versus multiplayer, or horde.

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Gears of War 4, Doug Yates