Westworld: Season 1 Episodes 7-9 (Television Review) – Bernard…….

We have only one more episode of this season of Westworld left which really saddens me because this has been a wonderful show to watch. For me personally, this is a show which has got progressively better and it was already really good from the start. It is visually stunning, the acting is superb, the characters are layered and each episode has built upon the previous both in the progression of the story and fleshing out the lore of Westworld. It has been a pleasure to watch and the past three episodes have been fantastic television.

Dolores and William in Westworld Season 1 Episode 7 Trompe L'Oeil

My Thoughts on Episodes 7-9 of Westworld

One of the main reasons why this is the case is due to the reveals in these episodes, particularly in relation to Bernard. In ‘Trompe L’Oeil‘, we learnt that he is indeed a host and in ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier‘, we also discovered that he is a host version of Arnold. Both of these reveals have been theories amongst fans that went down the rabbit hole of speculation since the early episodes of Westworld. Still, it was fascinating to see the way these revelations played out and they were big moments.

The quality of acting in Westworld continues to be consistently brilliant. As I have said many times, Anthony Hopkins is brilliant and continued to be in these recent episodes but others have come to the forefront. For instance, I like how Tessa Thompson brings a cold, arrogant nature to her character.

Jeffrey Wright in Westworld Season 1 Episode 8 Trace Decay

Moreover, the presence of powerhouses like Jeffrey Wright, Ed Harris and particularly Thandie Newton, who plays Maeve, elevate the show. Certainly, Maeve has become an absolute boss in Westworld, so much so that she is rewriting stories in the park which shows just how powerful and how much of a threat she has become.

Multiple Timelines

In addition, we also have the added element of multiple timelines/time-frames which has near enough been confirmed in these recent episodes, particularly when we focus on Dolores’ story. Clearly, if we dig deep enough we can infer that Dolores seems to be relying on her past experiences with William (who is really embracing the park and has to be the Man in Black, I mean seriously it is so obvious!!) to guide her in the present. This has really added another layer to the show and makes Westworld quite unique compared to a lot of other shows.

Logan surrounded by dead bodies in Westworld Season 1 Episode 9 The Well-Tempered Clavier

All of this means that we are set up nicely for the season finale which I am sure will deliver and have a few surprises up its sleeve. I am sad to see this first season of Westworld come to an end as it has been a fascinating show to watch but the fact that it has been renewed for another season really excites me. It seems that HBO has a lot of faith in this show and I hope the season finale reinforces this feeling with the fans.

Star Wars Rebels: Season 3 Episode 9 (Television Review) – A Good Heist Episode

We are edging closer to the mid-season finale of this season of Star Wars Rebels and what we have had so far are a blend of episodes which have focused on the main story-lines in the show and episodes which have been side-quest episodes. The past few episodes have been the latter.

This episode, titled ‘The Wynkahthu Job’, is another side-quest episode which will understandably cause frustration amongst fans who want the show to focus more on the main story-lines involving Maul, Thrawn, Ezra/Kanan and the birth of the Rebel Alliance.

Ghost in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 9 The Wynkahthu

Why I Am Not Frustrated

However, for me, the side-quest episodes we have had this season are considerably better than the similar type of episodes which were in Season 1 and 2 of Rebels. This means that it does not bother me that, for the time being, we are not focusing on the main story arcs. Certainly, these episodes have been enjoyable and I found ‘The Wynkahthu Job’ to be a good episode.

My Thoughts on ‘The Wynkahthu Job’

The main reason why I enjoyed this episode is because we saw the return of Hondo who provided some good humorous moments in the episode. While I believe that Ezra is still naive about Hondo’s true intentions/character, he does provide a different personality to the show and it is nice to see him pop-up once in a while. One character I could have done without was Azmorigan as he is a bit annoying but it didn’t detract too much from my enjoyment of the episode.

Imperial Sentry Droids in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 8 The Wynkahthu Job

Seeing AP-5 back was also nice as the dry delivery of his dialogue also provided some comedic moments in this episode. Indeed, particular bits of dialogue throughout this episode were really funny. One line which really made me laugh was Ezra’s reply to Chopper during a battle which was “What do you mean every-man-for-himself, you’re a droid!”. In the moment it was said, it did make me chuckle!

The actual story in the episode, i.e. the heist, was fine. Unlike other episodes, I don’t know how relevant this heist will be in future story-lines but overall, it was enjoyable. Still, we do need to get back to the main story-lines sooner rather than later to quell discontent amongst fans of the show and to progress the story and I think we will seeing as we are very close to the mid-season finale.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (Film Review) – Wonderful and Vibrant

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a fantasy film directed by David Yates and stars Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, Ezra Miller, Samantha Morton, Jon Voight, Colin Farrell and Eddie Redmayne who plays the lead as Newt Scamander. The story follows Newt, a magizoologist who journeys to New York City with a briefcase full of magical creatures, some of which have been accidentally set free which causes havoc across a city which is no stranger to magical disturbances. This film is a spin-off prequel of the Harry Potter films. It is the first instalment in the Fantastic Beasts franchise and the ninth instalment in J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World.

My Love of Harry Potter and Expectation of Fantastic Beasts

I have to say, Fantastic Beasts had a lot to live up to. This is due to my belief that the Harry Potter film series is, in my opinion, the greatest saga ever. All eight films in that series are, at the very least, very good and this consistency of greatness is quite a remarkable feat considering how other franchises struggle in this regard.

Dan Fogler, Eddie Redmayne and Katherine Waterston in Fantastic Beasts

For instance, Star Wars has the Prequel Trilogy (and the Special Editions but that’s another discussion), the Middle-Earth film series has the Hobbit Trilogy and Indiana Jones has Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull to diminish the quality of their respective franchises. Harry Potter had no films which were bad. They were all quality films and, going into Fantastic Beasts, I hoped that this streak would continue.

My Thoughts on Fantastic Beasts

I am absolutely thrilled to say that I had a fantastic time with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. This is a wonderful film that has great characters. Certainly, Eddie Redmayne is brilliant as Newt Scamander who fitted into the world seamlessly and his little quirks in the film made his character really likeable. Still, while Redmayne is great, the character of Jacob Kowalski, played by Dan Fogler, was my favourite part of this film. He is really funny in Fantastic Beasts and gives the film a lot of genuine heart.

Additionally, the strength of the script, which was written by J. K. Rowling herself, is also a standout in Fantastic Beasts. Rowling successfully expands on the lore of the Wizarding World she created and crafted a story which is able to stand on its own two feet while, at the same time, able to set the foundation for future instalments. I also liked how the different stories within Fantastic Beasts all linked well with each other once the film had ended.

Eddie Redmayne in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Moreover, I thought that David Yates did a great job directing this film. He is no stranger to this franchise. Indeed, he directed the last four Harry Potter films and was able to continue his great work by creating a vibrant film in Fantastic Beasts. Certainly, the visual effects were really good and none of the CGI took me out of the film. I was captivated throughout.

Fantastic Beasts had a tough task on its hand to follow the brilliance of the Harry Potter film series and be a film which sets up a franchise while still being able to stand on its own two feet. For me, it succeeds on all levels. An entertaining story supplemented by great characters and great visual effects makes Fantastic Beasts a film which continues the greatness of the Harry Potter film series and makes me really excited for future instalments which can really build upon what was established in this film.

Star Wars Rebels: Season 3 Episode 8 (Television Review) – Another Enjoyable Side Story

The past couple of episodes of Star Wars Rebels have been stories which have been separate from the main story-lines established in the series. Yet, they are bound to have some relevance in future episodes and this recent episode, titled ‘Iron Squadron’, is just the same. However, I found it to be one of the best of these side story episodes which have been in this season so far.


One of the main reasons was due to the small part that Grand Admiral Thrawn had in this episode. This guy just oozes confidence and class to such a large degree that he just stands head and shoulders above the rest of the Imperials. He is my favourite villain that Star Wars Rebels has had and that is down, in part, to the fantastic voice work by Lars Mikkelsen (Brother of Mads).

Thrawn and Admiral Konstantine in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 8 Iron Squadron

My love of Thrawn is also caused by how patient, strategic and calculating he is as a character. Certainly, he is playing the long con in regards to dealing with the flourishing Rebel Alliance and this episode also established that he has a past with Commander Sato which could be an interesting dynamic in future episodes.

The Kids

I also really liked the comedic elements of this episode which were largely seen between the interactions between Chopper and R3, a droid who was part of Iron Squadron which itself was largely formed of three kids who, to be honest, were a bit whiny and naive which was a bit annoying.

Still, it didn’t really detract from my overall enjoyment of the episode, especially as the kids featured in some really good space combat. Certainly, the space combat was a pleasure to watch and it just added to the episode which, while a side story, will have larger significance in the future.

Arrival (Film Review) – A Slow But Engaging Film With A Clever Twist

Arrival is a science fiction thriller directed by Denis Villeneuve and stars Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker. The film is based on Story of Your Life which is a short story written by Ted Chiang and Arrival tells the story of twelve mysterious extraterrestrial spacecraft landing across various locations on Earth and how humanity responds to this event.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Arrival

This has been a film which I have been looking forward to seeing for a while. The calibre of the cast was partly responsible for this, especially after I saw Amy Adams in Nocturnal Animals which I recently reviewed. Nevertheless, it was the fact that Arrival was being directed by Denis Villeneuve which really made me excited.

Denis Villeneuve and Amy Adams on the set of Arrival

He is one of the best director’s working at the moment and he has made some really great films such as Prisoners and Sicario with the latter itself being one of my favourite films to come out last year. Additionally, Arrival had been getting great reviews and critics I highly admire really liked it so my expectations were quite high going into this film.

My Thoughts on Arrival

I was not disappointed. Arrival is a very good film which is visually impressive. Moreover, it challenges the audience and it features great performances from its cast with Amy Adams being the standout in the lead role. You should not expect this to be an alien invasion film full of action. Instead, you should expect to watch a film which is slow but engaging, deep and full of important themes such as communication, co-operation, rashness and irrational fear.

Villeneuve structures Arrival in such a way that suspense and sound are critical tools to tell a story which is quite unique and, as I said before, challenging for the audience. Certainly, Arrival will make you think deeply about what choices you would make in the situations the film presents to the audience, especially in the latter stages of the film which delivers a very clever twist that changes your whole perception of the film. For some, the twist won’t deliver but, for me personally, it worked very well.

It Left Me Feeling Sad

As you can see, I think that Arrival is a very good film but the overall feeling I had at the end of the film was one of sadness. The reason why I felt this way was down to the fact that one of the strongest themes throughout the film was the eventual need for humanity to communicate, to work together and to overcome fear and prejudice.

Poster showing an Alien Ship in Arrival

The incident in the film which allowed this to happen was, quite frankly, a miracle and it just shows how flawed we our as a species that it takes extraordinary events to make us come together and work for the greater good. It made me realise that this is not likely to happen in the near future, especially after a certain election caused a bigoted, racist, xenophobic, misogynistic “man” to become President of the most powerful country in the world.

Overall, Arrival is a film which has great performances and has a unique story which challenges its audience and can cause a variety of emotional responses. For some, this film will be a nice tonic at a time of fear, prejudice and hate. For others such as myself, it will make us sad and reaffirm the harsh reality that times of widespread co-operation, love and understanding amongst humanity is a rare thing. It will be even rarer with the way the world is going at the moment.

Nocturnal Animals (Film Review) – Disturbing, Unsettling, Brilliant

Nocturnal Animals is a psychological thriller written, co-produced, and directed by Tom Ford and stars Amy Adams, Jake Gyllenhaal, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Isla Fisher and Michael Shannon. This is Tom Ford’s second directorial effort and it tells the story of an art gallery owner, played by Amy Adams, whose actions in the past are now at the forefront of her mind due to reading a novel which was written by her ex-husband, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Nocturnal Animals

I knew little about this film when sitting down to watch it at my local cinema. Quite honestly, it was the strength of the cast which made me really interested to see Nocturnal Animals in the first place. Additionally, I knew little about Tom Ford whose only previous directorial effort was 2009’s A Single Man which is a film I have not seen yet. As a result, I went into the film not really knowing what to expect.

Amy Adams in Nocturnal Animals

My Thoughts on Nocturnal Animals

I have to say, I am so glad about this because Nocturnal Animals floored me. Any expectations I had about how good this film would be were exceeded to a very large degree. Firstly, the performances in this film are incredible. Amy Adams is great and Aaron Taylor-Johnson is unrecognisable in this film by giving a chilling, dark performance. This was a stark contrast to his previous work in films such as Kick-Ass and in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the character of Quicksilver.

Yet, the standouts are Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon. They give performances which rank amongst the very best they have given in their careers so far. Gyllenhaal plays two characters in Nocturnal Animals and he shines in his raw, powerful and heartbreaking portrayal of Tony Hastings. He gives his absolute all in this film and Shannon gives an equally great performance which I hope will be recognised.

The Stories

In this film, three stories are happening at the same time and it can be a struggle for a film to tell these stories with equal importance. Nocturnal Animals finds the right balance and the stories are seamlessly interwoven which makes the more emotional moments hit that much harder. While there are small moments of humour which relieve the tension, this film is emotional and harrowing and I struggle to think of another film released this year which has impacted me in the same way.

Michael Shannon in Nocturnal Animals

Truthfully, you will not forget Nocturnal Animals. You will think it about for a while after you’ve seen it and I am still trying to figure out the overall meaning of the film due to the various themes in this film such as cynicism, revenge, regret, proving yourself, shallowness and the barbaric nature of humanity.

Overall, Nocturnal Animals ranks amongst the very best films I have seen this year. While I may struggle to watch it again due to the harrowing elements within the film, it will stay with me for a long time due to the fantastic performances by the cast, its themes and the impact each story had on me.

Because of this, I definitely feel that Nocturnal Animals will be recognised once awards season starts and it deserves to be recognised as the film is a wonderful achievement. Tom Ford deserves a lot of credit for making this film and I look forward to seeing what he does in the future.

Westworld: Season 1 Episodes 5-6 (Television Review) – The Best So Far and It Will Get Better

I will get straight to the point; the past two episodes of Westworld were fantastic and the best this television show has given us so far. Don’t get me wrong, the first four episodes were great at setting up the characters and the world. It was a fantastic foundation which has now been built upon thanks to past two episodes which have given us some really interesting developments.

What were these developments?

The most important of these developments happened in ‘Contrapasso‘ and this was the fact that we got close to confirmation that William and Logan’s storyline is taking place in the past. This is a theory that has been going around amongst fans of the show for some time and it was a theory seemingly proved to be correct throughout various stages within ‘Contrapasso’. It would take too long to fully explain in this review but reasoning behind this theory being proved in ‘Contrapasso’ can be found here.

This is a really exciting development, especially as it could eventually lead to the proving of another theory which is the thought that William becomes Ed Harris’ Man in Black. Certainly, William is showing signs of slowly becoming corrupted by the park and moving away from his strong morals. His relationship with Dolores, played by Evan Rachel Wood is also fascinating, especially as Dolores is rapidly evolving and becoming more self-aware with each episode that passes.

Dolores in Westworld Season 1 Episode 5 Contrapasso

Again, Hopkins is the Star of Westworld

Still, the best part of this show is the character of Robert Ford played by the brilliant Anthony Hopkins. I have praised Hopkins in my previous reviews of Westworld and he continues to enhance the show in these episodes where we see a vulnerable side to his character in both episodes. In fact, some of the scenes where we saw this vulnerability were really sad and made me feel a deeper connection towards Ford even though he is a morally ambiguous character.

Still, while we saw this different side to Ford, he still showed his power within the park, especially in his interaction with Ed Harris’ Man in Black in ‘Contrapasso’ which was fantastic. In this scene, we learnt more about the history of the park, the state of the outside world and the motivation of these characters which do seem to differ which goes against my previous opinion that they wanted the same thing.

Additionally, we see that Arnold is having a greater impact within Westworld and I have my doubts about just how ‘dead’ he is due to what occurred in these episodes, especially ‘The Adversary‘ which itself had my favourite opening scene of the show so far thanks to the use of music. Certainly, the piano renditions of contemporary music have been a wonderful element of this show and it was great again in the beginning of ‘The Adversary’ with the use of ‘Fake Plastic Trees’ by Radiohead. It’s a song which perfectly fitted the tone of the episode and, if you think about it, the show as a whole.

Maeve in Westworld Season 1 Episode 6 The Adversary

Maeve and Teddy

Another great thing within these episodes was the character of Maeve, played by Thandie Newton, who is becoming an increasingly important character in Westworld. Her arc in these two episodes heavily suggested that she will have a significant bearing on the exciting events to come. Additionally, Teddy, played by James Marsden, is also being developed as a character that has a greater purpose and his use of a certain weapon in ‘The Adversary’ was great to watch and reminded me of playing Red Dead Redemption (which is always a good thing!).

All of what was discussed above continued the good work of the previous episodes and made these two episodes fantastic and, in my opinion, the best this show has given us so far. Still, even though these episodes were the strongest in the show so far, I feel as though Westworld will continue to improve as we edge closer to the end of this season. We have four more episodes to go and I am expecting greater things to come.

Star Wars Rebels: Season 3 Episode 7 (Television Review) – A Fun Side Story

Imperial Supercommandos’ was the title of this episode of Star Wars Rebels and the focus was on Sabine and the Mandalorians which is the race that Boba Fett belonged too (Well, he did until the Prequels ruined him and made him just a generic clone of his Dad). We are now well into Season 3 of Star Wars Rebels which, on the whole, has been an improvement over Season 2 and even side story episodes like ‘The Last Battle’ have been entertaining and worthwhile in their own right.

Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 7 Imperial Supercommandos

My Thoughts on ‘Imperial Supercommandos’

This episode is another side story that is self-contained and entertaining. One of the positive aspects of this episode was that we learnt more about Sabine’s background in terms of her past and also her mother who is bound to show up in a future episode. It was really good to see some character development with Sabine who I hope has a bigger presence in Season 3 going forward.

Additionally, we also saw the return of Fenn Rau who was first introduced in Season 2 in ‘The Protector of Concord Dawn’. It was nice to see that he was not a throwaway character and his arc in this episode leads me to believe that he will become a more important character in the future. While he probably won’t appear in every episode, I have little doubt that he will be more involved in the show in relation to the wider conflict between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire.

Ezra, Chopper and Gar Saxon in Star Wars Rebels Season 3 Episode 7 Imperial Supercommandos

These were the most interesting developments in this episode which are most likely going to have some importance in the future. Nevertheless, this episode still took place away from the main story-lines in this season and, while it is not a filler episode, it does make me wish that we can get back to focusing on other elements of the show such as Maul and Thrawn sooner rather than later.

I understand the need for episodes like ‘Imperial Supercommandos’ but I just hope they are not the majority of episodes going forward. Overall, while this episode was not part of the main story-lines within Star Wars Rebels, it was a fun side-story with interesting developments for both Sabine and Fenn Rau which I’m sure will be important in later episodes.

Queen of Katwe (Film Review) – A Feel Good Film with Great Performances

Queen of Katwe is a biographical sports drama directed by Mira Nair, produced by Walt Disney Pictures and starring David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o and Madina Nalwanga. Nalwanga makes her feature film debut in Queen of Katwe and stars as Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl living in Katwe which is the largest slum in Kampala.

This film tells the true story of Mutesi who learns to play chess and reaches such a high level that she could become a Woman Candidate Master and escape from poverty and the harshness of life in Katwe for herself and her family. Nyong’o stars as the mother of Mutesi while Oyelowo plays the role of Robert Katende, Mutesi’s chess coach.

My Knowledge and Expectation of Queen of Katwe

My interest in seeing this film was largely down to the impressive cast. Certainly, Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo are highly talented and have been brilliant in other films, especially Oyelowo who was fantastic in The Butler and in portraying Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma. Additionally, this film had been receiving critical praise prior to its release which only served to enhance my anticipation and give me a sense that Queen of Katwe was, at the very least, going to be good.

Madina Nalwanga as Phiona Mutesi in Queen of Katwe

My Thoughts on Queen of Katwe

I am pleased to say that Queen of Katwe is a very good film and this is largely down to the excellent performances. Madina Nalwanga is really good which is quite remarkable considering that this is her feature film debut. She gives a performance beyond her years and I hope to see more of her in the future. Nevertheless, while Nalwanga is really good, Nyong’o and Oyelowo are the stars of this film. They give the film class and help to captivate the audience and make them become emotionally invested in a story which has a good balance of dramatic and light-hearted moments.

Moreover, the themes which are present in Queen of Katwe help to make this a feel-good film which is something we all need considering everything that has happened in the world recently. Evidently, there a lot of good things in this film. However, if I was to pick out one thing that I think could have been improved it would be the running time. This film did feel a bit too long and I feel that certain things could have been trimmed and cut to reduce the running time by 10-15 minutes. This would have made Queen of Katwe tighter in its storytelling.

Madina Nalwanga and Lupita Nyong'o in Queen of Katwe

Still, this is a small, personal negative which does not take from the overall quality of the film. Certainly, Queen of Katwe is one of this year’s more uplifting films with excellent performances by Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo, a really good debut by Madina Nalwanga and a positive message is showcased at a time of negativity. If you are looking for a film which will inspire you and improve your mood, then Queen of Katwe will certainly do the job.

Gears of War 4 (Video Game Campaign Review) – ‘The Force Awakens’ of the Franchise

Gears of War 4 is a third-person shooter video game for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One. It is the fourth main instalment in the series and the first not to be developed by Epic Games. Instead, The Coalition have taken over development of the Gears of War franchise with this particular campaign taking place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3 which heralded the destruction of the Locust and the Lambent. The protagonist of this game is J. D. Fenix, son of Marcus Fenix, who has to deal with a new threat to humanity known as The Swarm with the help of his friends Del and Kait.

The Swarm in Gears of War 4

My Views on the Gears of War Franchise

For me personally, Gears of War 1, 2 and 3 (the ‘original trilogy’) are video games with fantastic campaigns (Gears of War: Judgement…..you’re decent but not as good as the games in the main saga). Within these games, the continuous story-line was engaging, the characters were really likeable, the weapons were varied and the gameplay was very unique to other shooters. All of this made Gears of War standout as one of the elite shooters in the video games industry. Moreover, the games in the main saga (sorry Judgement!) got progressively better both with storytelling, graphics and gameplay.

My Expectation and Thoughts on Gears of War 4

Because of this, I was really looking forward to the release of Gears of War 4 to see if the campaign could successfully build upon the standard set by the ‘Original Trilogy’. I have to say, what Gears of War 4 does is strikingly similar to what Star Wars: The Force Awakens did for the Star Wars franchise. In essence, Gears of War 4 is a passing of the torch to a new generation of heroes. It draws inspiration from the first game in the franchise while still being able to add new elements to make it stand on its own two feet.

Sound familiar to what a certain film did in December 2015?

J. D. Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix, in Gears of War 4

Subsequently, while I find the campaign in Gears of War 4 to not reach the same level of quality of the ‘Original Trilogy’ (just like The Force Awakens), it is still a really good campaign and a worthy addition to the franchise which sets up exciting new narratives (just like The Force Awakens). Certainly, there are a lot of positive elements within this campaign. The graphics are the best in a Gears of War game so far and the gameplay is just as good and varied as it has been in every Gears of War game.

The Weapons and The Characters

Additionally, the new weapons in the campaign add a lot of variety, especially the Buzzkill which fires ricocheting saw-blades (which is….you know…awesome!) Still, the best part of this campaign was, for me personally, the new characters. I really like the dynamic between the new characters, particularly between J. D. and Del. Their dialogue provided some good comedic relief in times of peril.

J. D., Del and Kait in Gears of War 4

The game also finds a nice balance of mixing new characters and old characters together (just like The Force Awakens!) which enhances the story and the emotional pull for fans of the franchise like me. This is particularly evident in the prologue but it is a common theme throughout the campaign. It really pulls on your heartstrings and the way the campaign ends sets it up nicely for new stories even though the end was, in my opinion, quite abrupt.

However, that is a small nit-pick in what is otherwise a great first effort by The Coalition. Overall, the campaign in Gears of War 4 accomplishes the same feats that The Force Awakens did for the Star Wars franchise. It pays respect to what has come before while, at the same time, it stands on its own two feet by introducing new elements within its story and setting up exciting new adventures to tell in future instalments. If you are a fan of Gears of War, then you must play this campaign.