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Tuesday, 11 October 2016 21:05

Review: Gears Of War 4 – unrelenting action escalation Featured


The Gears are back, well, sort of. What do you do when you wrapped up the story at the end of the third game? Look towards the Son-of-a-Gear to start things afresh.

If you play a lot of games, perhaps across platforms, there can be some weird moments in the latest Gears game.

First impressions are that the brown is largely gone. In fact, the opening scene features a butterfly, and from then on, while the screen at times is smothered in blood, this Gears game packs a broader palette of colours.

Then there is the voice acting: while it is a different actor (Liam McIntyre, rather than Nolan North) the intonations of the character JD Fenix (your player) and that of Nathan Drake of the Uncharted games is a little disturbing at times.

Even the quips between the shooting is very Drake style. But of course, the shooting then starts, and it is clear you are playing a Gears game. Then, of course, a greying Marcus Fenix, AKA Dad, turns up and the comforting gravel of voice actor John DiMaggio is back.

There are new weapons, mainly because there are a whole host of new enemies to deal with. Lots of time has passed (25 years) since the end of Gears of War 3 (not counting Judgement) and this is a different setting, a kind of dystopian government gone mad world.

So, there are security robots to battle initially, and a whole host of other new enemies to take on over the course of five acts. They have differing abilities: some can buff other enemies and others move at differing speeds and clever AI.

There are also some gigantic boss enemies with classic glowy bits to shoot at.

Weapons-wise, there are plenty of new ones that largely are a great addition. The charge rail-gun style takes some getting used to, as does the hovering and then drop-exploding Dropshot, but the Buzzsaw (shooting out spinning blades) and the aptly named Overkill are just fun to use.

Even the environment has some tricks; the earth is ravaged by Wind-flares, epic storms that will be deadly if you are caught in the open. But they do allow for some interesting interactivity.

As per the new Hoard mode, there are times during the campaign when you can use the Fabricator.to set up defences of barriers and turrets to defend certain areas from waves of attackers.

The pace of this new game is very familiar. When you enter a new area, and the scene is littered with wasit-high cover, and the icon for your weapon appears in the top right corner, that pretty much means the brown is about to hit the gear pretty darn soon.

This is a great campaign in a game that also features co-op and plenty of great multiplayer fun. And it can be played on the Xbox One or Windows 10 machines.

Should you buy it? If you are a fan, yes. Despite the change in development team and the slight change in atmosphere, you won’t be disappointed with Gears of War 4.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for iTWire.com, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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