When the first installment of the video game franchise, Gears of War, was first released to the gaming world in 2006, people didn’t know whether or not it would be a thriving game in a world filled with so many popular first-person shooter styles of gameplay. Halo had already become a hugely popular franchise since it released its first game in 2001 and Call of Duty began to covet a huge fanbase when they first released their initial game in 2003. Gears of War already had a large amount of competition, so they had to have gameplay that allowed it to stand out from the the other video games in the market. As a third-person shooter game, the initial game had players following along the storyline of Marcus Fenix. Having an actual character, rather than anonymous military personnel, was a great way to get gamers invested in the storyline.
As the franchise continued and more games were released in the Gears of War series, gamers began to see the evolution of Marcus Fenix and the continuous conflict with Locust Horde and the Lambent forces. The storyline continued to get even more intricate after two sequels in the video game franchise and a prequel that put the focus on a squad mate of Fenix. Yet, the latest installment in the franchise, Gears of War 4, offers a whole new take on the video game series. It is set in a futuristic setting that has the gamer follow the story of JD, the son of Marcus Fenix. With an all-new character and brand new foes, check out the 15 things you didn’t know about Gears of War 4 and get ready for a new spin on an old video game series.
15. New Development
The first three Gears of War games were all developed by Epic Games. Yet, Gears of War 4 is developed by The Coalition. The development company went through a series of changes, since it used to be called Microsoft Vancouver and then Black Tusk Studios. The studio actually closed in 2012 and then received a lot of attention when they announced they would be working on a new game that would be the next Halo in the world of gaming. Instead, Microsoft claimed the rights to Gears of War from its previous developer, Epic Games, and also took on its executive producer. This may not seem like a big deal to the novice player since it’s still within the Gears of War franchise and therefore, it shouldn’t matter who the development team is behind the scenes. Yet, it’s actually a huge deal in regards to gameplay and features of the game. A great example is how the Call of Duty developers have flip-flopped on occasion and have released Call of Duty games that were either developed by Treyarch or Infinity Ward. It has sparked a huge debate amongst gamers as to which developer has done the game justice when they have released their latest installment of the video game. While some prefer the gameplay by Treyarch, others feel that the gameplay given by Infinity Ward is far more user-friendly. It’s important to keep this in mind with the latest installment by Gears of War, since there will be changes to the actual gameplay from the previous installments. This isn’t just because it’s a new game but it’s because
14. Turmoil Created From Previous Game
For those that are familiar with the previous installments in the Gears of War video game franchise, it may seem a bit strange that there will even be a Gears of War 4 in the first place. At the end of Gears of War 3, it seemed that all of the characters were in a pretty good situation and the Earthlike planet, Sera, was left in great condition after the created device was able to focus the attack on creatures with a high level of Imulsion. This meant that the human race was finally safe and the characters were able to look forward to having “a tomorrow.” In Gears of War 4, gamers realize that Sera is again in danger because of the residual effects after the triumph of Gears of War 3. The device depleted the planet of fossil fuels and left Sera in complete disarray. Also, a new race of enemies called, The Swarm, attacked the planet and put the new characters in the predicament they face in Gears of War 4.
13. Story Told In One Day
The gameplay for Gears of War 4 is changed in more ways than just the storyline. The co-op mode was previously set for a four-player support in Gears of War 3 but the new co-op mode for Gears of War 4 will only offer a two-player support. The main character will always be JD Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix. However, the second player’s character will either be Delmont (Del) Walker or Kait Diaz. The entire storyline takes a nod from the hit television Fox series, 24. Just as 24 took place over the time of just one single day, so will the entire storyline of Gears of War 4. The setting is 25 years after the conclusion of Gears of War 3 and the gameplay will allow the players to see what the cast of characters will endure in just a 24 hour period. While this may not seem like much, anyone that has seen the 24 series knows just how much can happen in a single day.
12. Two New Weapons
Oftentimes, one of the biggest draws to getting a new game within a video game franchise is the addition of new weaponry. Gears of War 4 has added two new incredibly satisfying weapons to its armory roster: Dropshot and Buzzkill. The Dropshot is an upgraded variation from the Digger weapon from Gears of War 3. Instead of burying underground upon firing, the Dropshot shoots an aerial mine that fires in a straight line while holding down the trigger. Once the gamer releases the trigger, the mine spins downward and can drill into the ground before exploding. One feature that gamers will definitely want to try out is getting a direct hit to an enemy’s head. Not only will the drilling feature go directly into the head but it will actually decapitate the enemy and create an exciting convulsion feature upon exploding. The Buzzkill fires a myriad of buzz saws and is a great way to clear out a room filled with enemies. The only downfall to this new weapon is the fact that the ricochet of buzz saws can actually cause damage to the player, as well as the enemies.
11. New Close Combat Feature
Previous installments in the Gears of War video game franchise revolved mostly around the intense combat through weaponry but not so much in regards to close combat. Yet, the Gears of War 4 game will have new features that will allow gamers to use knives on top of advanced guns and launchers. The graphics within the new game are also incredibly enhanced, so that even the knife kills will look just as detailed as the other kills that involve explosions and extra fire power. Knifing an enemy in the face is pretty much a new favorite in the gameplay for those that are excited about the added features with knives. The new combat knife can be used with a variety of different moves. The way the player is able to use an obstacle to crouch behind and then stun the enemy to make them open to a knife attack is a great way to get a clear view on what will become of the enemy during an expertly executed knife attack. This vault kick feature can be a bit tricky to execute but if it’s done correctly, it will definitely rank up your skill points in the gaming world.
10. Connection To Locust Horde
The latest installment in the Gears of War franchise boasts an all-new set of enemies since the previous game, Gears of War 3, had a storyline that wiped out the entirety of the Locust Horde and Lambent forces. The Swarm are a whole new alien race that have replaced the Locust Horde but gamers might be surprised at how similar they are to the previous enemy force. The smaller crawling enemies in The Swarm are known as Juvies and they are very similar to the Wretches from previous Gears of War games. The twist to The Swarm version is that they may emerge from small pods that can pop if they take on too much power. The larger, human-sized enemies within The Swarm are also very reminiscent to other enemies from the Locust Horde. Gamers will find that fighting these enemies will be very much like fighting previous Drones, Hunters, Snipers and Grenadiers.
9. New Active Reload With A Full Magazine
The reloading issue in shooter-style video games has always been an issue. In previous Gears of War games, there has been a damage and stopping power bonus on their bullets during gameplay. This has been a huge factor in the gameplay because players need to make use of every single bullet they use while playing. In previous games, there was a necessity to reload in order to game these bonuses. However, the game developers have put in a new feature in Gears of War 4 so that players can preload specialty bullets into a full magazine. This allows players to ensure a full magazine has the intended specialty bullets to allow for the maximum power on each powered up bullet. There is a slight trick to getting this feature to work perfectly during gameplay. Perfect active reloads are on a cool-down timer. After powering up the bullets with a perfect active reload, you must wait for the meter next to the bullet refills.
8. Connection To Spartacus
While video games were once voiced by anonymous actors, they have now evolved to include some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry. In fact, sometimes the best portrayals in video games have been voiced by some of the favorite actors in Hollywood. In the case of Gears of War 4, gamers might be interested to know that one of the favorite characters is voiced by an actor that’s famous for his own TV role as a skilled fighter. The main character, James Dominic (JD) Fenix, is voiced by Liam McIntyre who is best known for his role on the Starz hit series, Spartacus. McIntyre might have felt a tad weary in replacing the Marcus Fenix role as the new lead but that isn’t something new to him. McIntyre also replaced the actor, Andy Whitfield, on the Spartacus series when Whitfield had to step away from his part due to increasingly poor health after contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Whitfield ultimately succumbed to cancer but fans felt that McIntyre did a great job in having to fill those gladiator shoes.
7. Mirrored Camaraderie
James Dominic (JD) Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix, is said to be named partly after his dear friend Dominic Santiago. In Gears of War 4, JD has a similarly close relationship with his comrade, Delmont (Del) Walker. The storyline regarding the closeness JD has with Del is very reminiscent of the relationship between Marcus and Dominic from the previous Gears of War video games. Obviously, the game developers liked the whole concept of brothers in arms within the Gears of War storyline. It’s interesting that they were able to include the closeness Marcus felt with Dom into the new game by naming the son after his friend. It’s also interesting that they liked this aspect of the storyline so much that they chose to mirror the relationship with JD and his friend Delmont. This can be seen in the way the plot unfolds during gameplay but it’s also similar in the way each of these characters have a nickname close to their original names.
6. Connection To Battlefield
One of the supporting characters in Gears of War 4 is the best friend of JD Fenix, Delmont (Del) Walker. This character is voiced by the actor, Eugene Byrd. While Byrd has had quite an extensive career in film, most of his roles have been in lackluster films or practically non-existent roles in big budget hits. Some of his most memorable roles on the big screen have been in 8 Mile, Anacondas and the most recent Will Ferrell film, Daddy’s Home. Yet, fans might remember him more for lending his voice to another video game franchise. Byrd lent his voice to the first-person shooter game, Battlefield Hardline. He played the role of Marcus “Boomer” Boone and must have done a pretty good job since he was able to land another job in the realm of video gaming. Typically, an actor would want to stay away from being typecast but this might not mean the same thing when it comes to video games.
5. Professional Voice Actress Used
It seems like the game developers of Gears of War 4 weren’t taking any chances when it came to finding the right voice actress for the female supporting character. A lot of video games input a female character since it helps to bring female gamers into the fold and it also creates a more diverse storyline. Typically, the female characters are used as part of a love story with the main character and can even add some eye candy to the game. In the case of Gears of War 4, the Kait Diaz character would have just as much of a role in the game as the sidekick to JD, Delmont (Del) Walker. Rather than picking just any female actress to voice this role, the developers chose to go with a proven phenomenon, Laura Bailey. While those that aren’t in the gaming world may not instantly recognize this name, Bailey is actually a highly seasoned voice actress that has lent her voice to a plethora of different video games and television series over the years. From Dragon Ball Z to Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, gamers will inevitably recognize the voice of Kait Diaz while playing Gears of War 4.
4. Make The Most Of Your Fabricator
One of the most popular elements of the new Gears of War 4 gameplay is the implementation of the latest version of Horde mode. Unlike previous Horde modes in the Gears of War franchise, the new version requires players to utilize a Fabricator. This device is the starting point with which to operate but it is also where players can buy, store and upgrade their weaponry. The trick to best utilizing the Fabricator is placement. Players must try and choose a location that will be easiest to defend since the Fabricator will act as a base for each character. Every time an enemy is killed, there is a pickup that will unleash Power which is then used to level up the Fabricator. Players can build and upgrade their fortifications by reaching certain levels of power. At level 2 the requirement is 30,000 in Power, at level 3 the requirement is 90,000 in Power, and level 4 the requirement is 120,000 in Power.
3. Class Base System
Another new feature to the gameplay in Gears of War 4 is the implementation of a class system within the Horde mode. The class base system encourages players to play a specific role on the team by choosing a specific class. Gamers can choose to be an Engineer, Heavy, Scout, Sniper or Soldier. Each of these classes specialize their role on the team. While the gameplay doesn’t require each team to have one of every class base type on their team, the developers definitely put this feature in there for a reason. A big mistake gamers have made when they first try playing the new Horde mode in Gears of War 4 is to completely ignore these class based categories and simply allow team members to play as whatever they most like. While gamers can have the option of all playing as soldiers, snipers or whatever they may choose, it will prove to be a huge mistake if gamers wish to further themselves in latter levels.
2. Run And Gun Play As The Scout
In the world of gaming, there has always been a distinction between the various playing methods in gamers. While some like to hang back and become the sniper to help out their team from afar, others like to master the ability to shoot from the hip and maintain a much faster gameplay. In Gears of War 4, the Horde mode caters to all the different styles of players in the gaming world. The best way to utilize each gamers’ skills, it’s important to know all the features of the categories in the class base system. For those that prefer a run and gun style of playing, they would work best as a Scout. This player is the most durable character and plays the role of having to pick up Power to bring back to the Fabricator. This character scores double the amount of Power during combat. Whether you’re allocating who will work best on your team or you’re in search of a character that will allow you to roam deep into enemy territory, the Scout is the way to go.
1. Two Games In One
One of the most unique features of Gears of War 4 is the fact that it is integrated into a cross-buy and cross-play system. This means that gamers can play on Xbox One and Windows 10 on their PC without having to buy the game twice in different platforms. This includes the co-op, multiplayer and Horde mode. The gamers’ progress and achievements will be saved across all platforms, which means that if a gamer is solely playing on Xbox One and reaches a certain level, they can pick up where they left off by continuing their gameplay on their PC. This is a huge deal in the gaming world and has been implemented in Gears of War 4 in a way that will make it easier for gamers to continue without being tethered to one particular platform. This feature is also a huge added gaming element to bring all types of gamers together. PC gamers can interact with Xbox One gamers and vice versa. While other games haven’t quite yet caught on to being able to allow gamers to interact through varying gaming consoles like Xbox One and Playstation, this is the first step in to achieving that overall success in the video gaming world.