It’s an exciting time for Gears of War fans! Last August, we were graced with the release of the Gears of War Ultimate Edition for the Xbox One, and now this upcoming October, we’re getting the 5th installment of the series, Gears of War 4! Not only is this a new chapter in the series, but it’s also the first Gears title published by The Coalition, who have taken over from Epic Games.
The Gears of War 4 beta allows players to try out one of the two versus multiplayer modes; Dodgeball or the Team Deathmatch (which is the traditional Heroes vs. Villains, in this case, COG vs. the Swarm). One of my favourite things about the Gears of War titles was the multiplayer mode, and how unique the gameplay was in comparison to other multiplayer shooters, such as the Call of Duty or Battlefield series. It’s also a third person shooter, and that combined with awesome-ass weapons, made for a really fun time, especially if you got together with your friends. And that’s one of the things that has remained the same with the Gears of War 4 beta… but it’s not the only thing that has remained the same.
While it was cool trying out the three new maps, and harnessing the power of the Lancer once again, it was almost exactly like that of the multiplayer modes from the other titles, which was fine, don’t get me wrong, but I felt like there wasn’t anything new and exciting while I was playing it. Now obviously, this is just the beta, and we have not seen anything from the main storyline yet, so it is too early to make any harsh criticism. I also found the gameplay was kind of clunky, and it took a while for me to make any progress when I first started, until I played more and leveled up, since my opponents ripped me to shreds the instant I moved from cover or tried to fire… especially by players using the shotgun, which was basically everyone on the entire map!
BUT… man, did it ever feel good (and sound amazing) getting off gory Lancer kills, and carving into the bodies of my enemies! And it was awesome having the ability to grab an opponent and stab them repeatedly! Another cool thing was that players can also set bounties before each of their matches, and if they succeed, they will gain the rewards that are unique to each bounty they select.
The Early Access Beta is from April 18th – 24th, while access to the Open Beta is from April 25th – May 1st. Those who purchased copies of the Gears of War Ultimate Edition were granted entrance to the Early Access Beta, before anyone else.
While the game was amazing to look at (stunning visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4), and the nostalgia was there, I couldn’t help but feel that there wasn’t anything new or special about this particular multiplayer, especially since it’s a newer Gears titles. But, that being said, I am really looking forward to seeing how the story plays out once Gears of War 4 is released October 2016!