GEARS OF WAR
By Ferry "Sadhonker" Adams on October 17, 2016
We want more
Body parts and brains
Blood on the floor
We've been here before
We are the Gears of War!
This, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, neatly sums up what Gears of War is all about! And for the last three years, a lot of us have been hoping and yearning for another installment in the Gears of War series... and with good reason! From the time of its original release, Gears of War has thrilled millions with its awesome story, kick-ass characters and its proclivity for action and violence. And now, finally, the Gears are back! Although this is the first game in the series not to be developed by Epic Games, we're still eager to see what this latest iteration of Gears will bring us.
In Gears of War 4, it's been 25 years since the detonation of the Imulsion Countermeasure which, unfortunately, also set mankind back a couple of centuries by wiping out the usefulness of fossil fuels. We get to play as J.D. Fenix, son of legendary hard-ass and everyone's favorite alien killer: Marcus Fenix. J.D. and his friend Delmont Walker have just abandoned the COG because of the new First Minister's hardline approach to governing what's left of the human population on the war-torn planet, Sera.
The game starts with Prime Minister Jinn, giving a speech about the heroic actions of those who fought the legendary battles at Aspho Field, Emergence Day and Anvil Gate. On stage beside her is an old acquaintance of ours, Colonel Hoffman, to whom the years have clearly not been kind. As Jinn tells her story, we are immediately drawn into flashbacks, Which lets the player take part in the action of these legendary battles and witness firsthand the effects of the lightmass bomb that was detonated 25 years ago.
After this speech we meet up with J.D. and Del for the first time. Duly fed up with the totalitarian bullshit that passes for society, the two former COGS have decided to defect and join a group of like-minded people that call themselves 'Outsiders' and choose to live outside of COG-controlled territories. Raiding COG settlements is part of their daily routine and their main means of survival. As one might expect, Prime Minister Jinn is no fan of these raiding parties and is hell-bent on stopping the outsiders dead in their tracks. Nevertheless, J.D. and Del, accompanied by Kait Diaz, daughter of the Outsiders leader, and her uncle, Oscar, are planning a raid on a COG installation. Before they can even enter said installation, the fearless foursome must first run for their lives, because of windflares that are heading their way at incredible speeds.
These Windflares are violent gusts of wind and dust that can seriously maim, or even kill, a character, so make sure to take cover or you might just get your head really blown off! Overcoming nature's obstacles and a large number of mechanical guards, the Outsiders manage to successfully raid the installation and 'borrow' a highly specialized piece of equipment, called a Fabricator. This contraption lets the user fabricate weapons and defensive measures, as long as the machine has enough power. That's some pretty handy tech, isn't it? And it's a good thing they took it, because Prime Minister Jinn's forces attack the Outsider settlement as soon as our four heroes return home. Immediately, defenses have to be fortified and this is where our newly acquired piece of machinery comes in to save the day. We were able to craft a defensive turret, and set it in place before the first wave of enemies floods the camp. After a number of waves, Prime Minister Jinn's forces are vanquished and the camp is safe once more... for about five minutes, that is. Out of nowhere, mysterious creatures start appearing all over the Outsider camp and slaughter most of its inhabitants. Stumped by the appearance of these monsters, J.D., Del and Kait turn to the only one who might be able to help them, our old friend Marcus Fenix.
Overall, all the aspects that made previous Gears of War games so cool are all back, with the addition of a few new tricks. There are a few new weapons, like the Dropshot: a weapon that fires drills...THAT EXPLODE, and the Buzzkill, a sawblade launcher in the spirit of the 'Ripper' weapon in Dead Space. Apart from that, a combat knife is added for melee combat and players can use the roadie run to smash into and topple over their foes from a short distance. On the downside; the enemy has also learned a new trick: the bastards can now pull a player from cover and inflict damage with a new attack of their own. As previously stated, the weather has a larger part to play than in previous games, which I personally think is also very, very cool!
The graphics of this latest installment in the Gears of War series look amazing. Lots and lots of detail went into the environment as well as the characters, giving the game a very rich overall look. The soundtrack is, as always, sublime, the characters are very well written and performed and the controls work like a charm. Gears of War 4 is truly a worthy successor to the blood stained throne and, hopefully, not the last entry in the series. I mean, come on; we just can't get enough of the fast-paced action, breathtaking environments and extremely cool characters, now can we?
There's something about playing a Gears of War game that always feels like coming home or slipping into an old pair of shoes. It's highly comfortable and always awesome! This has been true in the past and is certainly true now! Gears of War 4 is all it is supposed to be and more. Grand environments, awesome characters and tons of enemies to mow through. So be honest; what's not to like?!