From the first Gears of War game, my first play through of the campaign has always been co-op with my friend, K. For the last three (excluding Judgement) we’ve both taken days off work to play it in one sitting. It’s better that way, what we do, say and laugh everything is contained to that period of time. Now that we’re both older and wiser (I think), we knew we had to do this again when Gears of War 4 was announced.
We consider ourselves veterans of the Gears of War franchise. Our skills may say otherwise but we are both definitely fans of the game. I think it’s important to point this out because there are so many nostalgic throwbacks in the game that we could identify and appreciate. This definitely enhances my enjoyment of the game. Like how they used different important times in Gears history for the prologue and to serve as the “tutorial” for the game. It was awesome to play as just faceless COG units following the characters we know and love.
The Coalition took a risk by extending the Gears story rather than rebooting it or placing it so far into the future that the previous games didn’t really have an impact in it. To me, this pays off. I liked the new characters. They were young, energetic, daring, funny and relatable. The banter in this game, and yes, the whole series is probably one that stands out for me – playing with K we laugh and joke like they do so it’s what makes the couch co-op so good for us. Like Marcus, Dom, Baird and Cole, the things our young heroes say often makes me (or us) laugh. Like when Dom was reminded of a bet by Marcus he replies “yeah? See me after the war”. I like these funny quips dotted around the story. There’s plenty of these in Gears 4 and I’m glad they didn’t overkill it. Like the Rock. Paper. Scissors. Or as Del knows it as “Paper. Paper. Paper.”. haha it was hilarious. Marcus Fenix is also a lot older now and it shows. Even as an AI part of the team, he was the most reliable to revive downed team mates. He was awesome. He’s still the hero he was, but now without his wife Anya, he’s been alone and preparing everything for when things go bad – call him paranoid but he was able to help his son escape an army of robots because of this so… I guess he was right. I really liked the voice acting in Gears 4. Everyone sounded awesome and there wasn’t any dialogue that sounded like it was “phoned in”. There was one particular scene where I felt chills down my spine. Where Kait “delivers a message”. That scene was just awesome, the acting, how it was presented, everything was perfect. Great job Laura Bailey. I also liked her mum where she destroys a robot with two BIG knives. I was like “I want to play as HER!”. I really love the characters in this game. The story ends at an interesting point and will probably open up many speculations regarding Kait and her lineage. I can’t wait to see where the story goes and the fate of our heroes.
The gameplay mechanics is so smooth. Totally different to what I was playing in the beta. The beta felt clunky and difficult to control but in the game, everything just worked and my character did everything I wanted… except when I missed an active reload. Speaking of weapons, I felt the Coalition could’ve done better in designing new weapons. I felt that the new ones except the Makza MK 1, didn’t feel good to fire. I think it’s because the feedback vs the look of the weapon doesn’t match in my opinion. The Embar looks like a powerful weapon but it doesn’t feel like it. So I would like to see this changed in the next game.
Gears of War 4 is my favourite in the series followed by the first one. This game feels like Aliens. It felt like I was playing a game that existed in Ridley Scotts movie. It really is that much of an awesome game.