New Blood Same Old Cogs – Gears of War 4 – Game Preview

Xbox released gameplay footage for the upcoming Gears of War installment. We have been patiently awaiting the launch of this game and are eager to continue our journey fighting the horde so we can ultimately play horde mode once the campaign is over. Let’s review what we already know about the coming game to get you Geared up for Gears of War 4.

Gears of War has been a solid franchise delivering heavy visceral combat with a much-appreciated focus on co-op gameplay in an era where  couch co-op has been all but abandoned by console games.

In the footage, we see the kind of intuitive and non-intrusive tutorial that we expect from the franchise and most First-Person-Shooters. An element that has thankfully returned is the weight and grit to the characters and their movement. The camera shaking just violently enough as you roadie run and then slide into cover give the sense of mass and volume that sets this series aside. It seems that Gears ow War 4 might just infuse enough New Blood with the classic gears style to be a big hit for fans of the franchise.

Close Quarters Game Changer

With a large focus on Multiplayer, Horde 3.0 is an upgrade to the old Horde mode introducing things like classes and skill cards. However, the major change is the risk/reward mind game involved in attacking from and assaulting players in cover. Along with dynamic cover that can be damaged and destroyed, now players have the option to rush at a spot of cover doing an attack like the incredibly satisfying.  One example of this is the “Yank and Shank”. The player grabs the other from out of cover and executes them with their combat knife. Be advised, if you attempt these actions you can be countered leaving you open for all kinds of dismemberment.


Okay, so one of the other things we have grown to expect is the uber-violent weapons ripping up your enemies.  Most weapons like the signature Lancer provide players with the opportunity to melee their opponents with crazy execution moves that are on par with Mortal Kombat Finishers. The creator’s of Gears of War 4 have decided that the Digger was so last year.  Enter the Drop Shot. A gun that fires a massive drill over the target dropping from above and detonating shortly thereafter.  Skillful players will be causing rage quits all over the planet while their opponents watching helplessly as a drill bit is lodged into their character’s head and then blows the rest of their body away.

and we thought the Sawed-off was bad...

and we thought the Sawed-off was bad…

Gears of War 4  also introduces the Buzzkill. This new gun is another Home depot/Battle Royale bastard child. Using the Buzzkill involves shooting buzzsaw blades that ricochet off of surfaces and cut through enemies like the all the knives through all the butters. There are quite a few more new guns joining our old favorites but we will leave something to the imagination.



One thing that we are not eagerly anticipating is a return to a dependency on stereotypical characters. This is not the sole practice of Gears but it is one that the gaming audience is ready to see retired. The usual suspects–again, what we mean by that is; White male lead (the anti-hero), Black/POC supporting (the wingman)  and tough girl (the love interest).  It is the cast line-up for almost all the action movies Games and TV of the 90s.

Look familiar?

Look familiar?

In recognizing this “PC trinity” (like Trinity, Morpheus, and Neo) we know this story is about J. D. Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix.

Marcus, the protagonist in the original story, had no real point in being the main character other than for the sake of the demographics.  Based on the backstory of the new characters, neither does his son. The original Gears story would have had a greater emotional impact playing from Dom’s perspective. At first glance, it seems the same opportunity is being missed with this new female protagonist.

Not only does she introduce something new and different that we do not want to spoil, but centering the story on her would give the player a satisfying reveal.  Through story progression, we would find out that one of her companions is the son of the great Marcus Fenix.  With what has already been released we know the latter cannot happen. But, perhaps Kait will become the leader that young Fenix refuses to be or even more radical he concedes to her because of her experience, or character, or badassery. That is a bit of a stretch, considering the status quo and established trope of lineage and legacy characters. Unfortunately, it seems like Gears of War 4 is going to miss out on an opportunity to showcase these characters and thereby showcase diversity in a more meaningful way. Regardless of what we may assume, it would be rash to jump to too many conclusions just yet. We will have to wait and see (and hope) for some twist causing a more dynamic use of the protagonists in this game.

So what do you think? What features in Gears of war 4 are you most excited about?

Do you think there will be some more twists and turns?

Let us know, in the comments below…

–H00k 0ut


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