Chris’s Top Ten Videogames of 2016: #8
Gears of War 4
Developer: The Coalition
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Xbox One, PC
Although Gears of War: Ultimate Edition came out on PC and Xbox One last year, Gears of War 4 is the first brand new Gears game to appear on the latest console. Some would argue that Gears of War helped to redefine the third person shooter genre with its fantastic cover system and brutal combat. Let’s face it, what other game features a chainsaw attached to a machine gun!?
Gears of War 4 is set 25 years after the events of the third game and features a new cast of characters including Marcus Fenix son JD. One of the things that really surprised me was just how funny the game was in places. The interplay between the characters genuinely made me laugh aloud and it was much lighter in tone than previous games.
Gears of War games aren’t known for their subtlety and there were several fantastic moments that really got the blood pumping. The game features new weather effects called wind flares and a trip back home to JD’s family home created a particularly memorable set piece.
Graphically the game looks absolutely incredible with the aforementioned weather being a real highlight. The characters all felt like they had weight to them and the level of detail in the game far exceeded what we have seen in previous instalments.
Although Gears of War 4 doesn’t do anything radically different to the other games, it does add some new enemies, characters, and weapons but, fundamentally it plays the same which is no bad thing at all. Playing Gears of War 4 felt like meeting up with an old friend that you haven’t seen for ages. Within minutes you pick up where you left off and are sharing old and new experiences and at the same time having an absolute blast.
Extra credit should go to Microsoft for their play anywhere scheme, meaning that PC and Xbox One players could play together. This worked an absolute treat and helped to make playing Gears of War 4 a wonderful co-op experience.