Gears of War

Review: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition


Nine years ago saw the release of Gears of War from Epic Games. A game that paved the way for third-person shooters. Before releasing Gears of War 4, The Coalition had partnered with Epic Games to bring us Gears of War: Ultimate Edition remastered for the Xbox One. You can now slay locusts in beautiful 1080p and 60fps and get five new campaign chapters and access to the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta. The multiplayer also gets two new modes: Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill.  All this sounds fine and dandy, but is it worth the $50 price tag for a game almost ten years old? Let’s see…

Saying the graphics have improved would be an understatement. The graphics were revolutionary when Gears of War first came out in 2006. Now nine years later, it feels like a whole new game. The Coalition has redone and rebuilt the cut scenes from scratch with technology leagues ahead of what they had in 2006. The flat textures are replaced with rich detail, and dull landscapes are replaced with brighter, livelier environments. The improvement in visual quality is something all fans of Gears of War must experience one way or the other.


The controls feel improved upon as well. Don’t get me wrong, there are still some faults (we’ll talk about that in a bit), but for the most part, I found controlling Marcus Fenix much smoother in this redux. The mechanics are good; the cover system is pretty tight. The voice acting fits the characters and the situation well. John DiMaggio (you may recognize him as Bender from Futurama or Jake from Adventure Time), Carlos Ferro (fan favourite Leonardo Da Vinci from the Assassin’s Creed games), Lester Speight (from Reebok commercials), and Fred Tatasciore (does voices in almost everything, look him up) lead the bill as Marcus Fenix, Dom Santiago, Augustus Cole, and Damon Baird respectively.

Every great game has its faults. Unfortunately, there are quite a few for this game. Let’s start with the numerous glitches. Although very cool, using the Lancer’s chainsaw can lead to some ugly glitches. Most of the time, I used my Lancer to mow down some locusts; my Lancer wasn’t even touching them; there was an apparent gap between the Locust’s skull and my chainsaw. The AI is the worst thing about this game. In some places, your teammates will suddenly start running back and forth, running into things, and even wall running (running in place against a wall).  Two separate times in the game, your partner will get himself killed repeatedly, and there’s nothing you can do about it. My game was delayed by about four hours thanks to this asinine AI. Speaking of AI, whenever you have to rely on your AI partner to push a button or anything that prompts the continuation of the game, you will most likely have to restart from the checkpoint, as your partner will not do what he needs to.


Although the controls are great, the scheme relies too heavily on the A button. The A button enables you to run, leap, take cover, vault from cover, and switch to different covers, thus resulting in a lot of accidental moves into the oncoming threat. Speaking of running, I found the turning radius while running was pretty tight. Not all too bad; it just takes a lot of getting used to and is a pain in the ass sometimes. Occasionally, a character will move across the screen without moving their legs, making it look like they’re just sliding. Lastly, the game is a little repetitive. Go down this dark street, oh bad guys, take cover, shoot, continue down the dark street. Rinse and repeat.

The cons greatly outweigh the pros, but I won’t give this game a bad review simply for the fun and nostalgia. The game is beautiful and a must-play if you enjoyed the original. The cons don’t ruin the game but are a problem if you’re a nitpicker like me. If you find an extra $50 in your wallet, want a taste of nostalgia, and don’t care about the occasional glitch, then I recommend this game.


Gears of War: Ultimate Edition











  • Major Graphics Improvement
  • Re-did the cinematics beautifully
  • Improved Controls


  • Very Glitchy
  • Relies too much on the A button
  • Very repetitive