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.
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.
Expectations and Views 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 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?
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. 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.
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 nitpick 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.