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Gears of War 4 (XBOX One) Review


Game Name: Gears of War 4

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Developer: Chuck Osieja

Release Date: October 11th, 2016

Platforms: Microsoft Windows and XBOX One


Introduction


Here I am continuing with the Gears of War series. I have been slowly getting through the games. It works out right now as the campaigns are not too long and it is perfect for what I can stream lately.


I was looking forward to Gears 4 as I did like Gears 3. However 3 kind of continued the formula of Gears of War 2 and ran with it. I was curious to see where they take the story next.


Let's get into it.


Story


The story takes place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3. By this point, the Countermeasure weapon destroyed all Imulsion. In the process they also eliminated the enemies from the first 3 games, the Lambent and Locusts.


This time for the first time in the series, you do not play the iconic Marcus Fenix. This time you play his son JD Fenix. Like his father, he is a little rebel and he decided to leave the COG. This happened after he and a few others thought that Jinn (Leader of the COG) was going too far with her way of doing things.


JD and his crew decide to steal a fabricator. Think of this as a 3D printer for Gears of War. They decide to bring it back to the village. However, things are not going well. It seems that there is an attack on the village. Everything is being damaged and destroyed. However, in the end Reyna (Kait's mom), gets captured. The crew finds this weird as they destroy everything else. The goal for now for JD and the rest of the gang is to save Rayna from the Swarm.


In order to continue on the mission to save Reyna, JD does something that he does not want to do. He wants to ask for the help of his father Marcus. Marcus is not happy with JD for joining the COG in the first place. However, he also does not like the fact that he left the COG as well. JD put himself in higher danger by doing this. Reluctantly, Marcus decides to help out.


While on their travels, Marcus realizes that they never really destroyed the Locusts. They were just dormant. They are still there and ready to pounce. At one point, Marcus gets captured by a Snatcher for a short time. Once rescued, he advises that the Swarm live based on a hive mind (Borg anyone???). This is where they get their instructions.


Once they get finally to Reyna, she is connected to the hive mind and she advises Kait to cut her loose. Before this is done, she gives Kait a family Heirloom from her grandmother. Looking closer to the heirloom, the symbol is very close to the symbol of the queen, Queen Myrrah. This would lead the player to believe that Kait is related to the queen and would be her grand daughter.


Gameplay


The gameplay is very similar to the previous games. They did not really rock the boat here. There are a few new weapons but the gameplay is the same as before. Duck and shoot.


Bottomline


Since I am playing this series back to back, I do find that it does get repetitive. However, I did appreciate that they decided to go in the future, 25 years later. I really appreciated the fact that we see a grey haired Marcus Fenix. He is tough as nails but all the fighting through the years does take its toll.


I actually liked JD Fenix. At first he comes off as a brat, but you end up liking his decision making. As you continue playing, you realize that he is more like his father than he would like to admit. Kait even mentions this during one of the cut scenes.


I actually really appreciated that there was more colour in this game. The environments seem more vibrant, which made the world lived in and real.


The story is an old tale. Someone gets kidnapped and then the hero needs to save her. Super Mario has made a career of doing this. The thing with Gears 4 is that the story is well put together. I also feel that as the series progresses, the characters are more and more relatable. I agree that you might not like everyone, but the characters are well developed. I said this before, for a game that lasted about 10 hours, that is a huge feat.


I will admit that at this point the series, although fun, is starting to get stale. I personally think that they should take notes from the Metro series and more specifically Metro Exodus. In the Metro series, the first 2 games were very linear and dark. Metro Exodus however, was vibrant and was a faux open world. It had just enough of that exploring quality to make the player believe that he is in a semi open world.


They would also need to find a new enemy. Seems that now the Swarm and Locusts are starting to get a little boring. They need a new challenge. Having said that, I have not played Gears 5 yet. So I will judge only when I have completed the full series.


I would recommend Gears of War 4 as on its own, it is very fun. At the same time I do feel, it is starting to get stale. That does not mean that it is not fun though. There is something about having to duck and shoot that makes this fun. I think that this game is the middle of the pack.


Having said that, I cannot wait to start playing Gears 5. I think that this series has a lot of potential and I know that not every game will be a home run.


What do you think? Was I off the mark with this or was I on the money. Let me know below.


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