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'[GAME] Gears of War 4'

Thu 30/03/17 at 09:52:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,041
In my humble opinion, the Gears of War series peaked with the first game and gradually went further downhill with each new game. Perhaps a bit harsh but the more they threw at the games the more repetitive I felt they became. I went into Gears of War 4 expecting the trend to continue so I guess in some ways I wasn’t disappointed.

Set 25 years after the story of Gears of War 3 wiped out all of the nasties things aren’t quite as rosey as they should be. The counter measures used to save the humans has led to loss of fossil fuels and the introduction of some pretty nasty weather. The human race is still trying to survive but with a different threat. And not surprisingly, it is not too long before things start to feel a little more familiar.

Gears 4 introduces us to new characters, new enemies, new weapons, new moves and weather. Unfortunately this all sounds more refreshing than it actually is. There is some nostalgia in there for Gears fans with a little interactive refresher of how we got to the present day and some cameos from some familiar faces. Mission accomplished with these sections, even for a jaded Gears of War player like myself.

The new characters are JD (son on Marcus), his girlfriend Kait and Del who is the token wise cracking character. Gears of War was never overflowing with character but somehow there seems to be a little less of it with this trio. On the plus side, they aren’t quite the macho ‘we can take on anything’ types – they seem a bit more normal.

The new moves we have are a vault over an obstacle when running. No longer must you stop behind cover and then vault over. It makes for a more flowing game, if you get it right, which I seldom did. I also rarely felt the need to do it. A nice introduction is the ability to lean over cover and grab an enemy from the other side before executing them in typical Gears fashion. And as I discovered, the enemies have also learned this new trick. Like the vaulting, it isn’t something I found myself in a position to use often. I had actually forgotten about it until I was pulled over.

The new weapons are a mixed bunch and I felt only two really stood out. The first was the weapon that fired circular saws. That could be messy and added fun with the saws bouncing off walls and cover blocks. The second was a gun that seemed to fire a floating hammer of dawn style projectile. It whizzes over in the direction you aim and then unleashes a devastating blast. The enemies seemed more competent with this one than I did. The bulk of the weapons will all be familiar to Gears veterans.

The enemies are where things get less interesting. For the first while you will be battling robots and it all just feels a little wrong and out of place. Things do get a bit more familiar after a while but there is a mixed bunch but somehow seems less varied than Gears 1. The big boys also seem to lack the character, if that is the right word, of previous versions. I’ve always liked the Boomers and their “BOOM” as they fire. They sound as if they enjoy firing their rockets. In Gears 4 we have “launching” and “suppressing” and it doesn’t have the same impact. The Juvies in Gears 4 are the equivalent of the wretches in that they are small, bounding creatures that are really just chainsaw fodder but again, without a characteristic like the screeching, they just lack something.

My main issue with Gears 4 is the volume of enemies. It is just wave after wave after wave. It all gets highly repetitive. Now Gears 1 wasn’t the most varied game in the world but it didn’t overdo it. As the Xbox 360 games proved, more enemies does not make for a more interesting game. Even the AI seems to acknowledge the volume increase with comments like “there are 2 of them this time”. The use of Boomers in Gears 1 was spot on but in Gears 4, their equivalent is seldom not there and they appear in more numbers. The Juvies are also almost ever present and become annoying. Everything is lumped together in one package so you get all of them at once. With so many enemies and quite a few bullet sponges within them, I felt I was forever reloading or running out of ammo which became a little tedious. I appreciate the rapid reload can give a damage boost but botch it and you are in a spot of bother but again, Gears 1 didn’t overdo it.

With more and more enemies it all becomes quite repetitive. With this being the 5th game in the series then it also becomes a bit predictable. Big open space with conveniently placed cover is a big give away but even smaller aspects can be predictable. For instance, I was at a small enclosed area with a turret on the upper level. I said at the time, I expect I’ll be on that turret soon and sure enough, as we passed the turret the enemies came from where I’d just been.

Co-op play is naturally available and at times it does feel it was designed for this. There is no doubt other humans would have been more helpful. I often felt I was taking down most of the plentiful enemies myself and there were a few occasions that I died due to the AI being unable to save me.

Graphically the games is a mix. I came straight from the stunning Horizon Zero Dawn to Gears 4 and was presented with a cut scene that wouldn’t have looked special on the Xbox 360. Things are better in the main game but the first thing I noticed was the hair. I went from realistic flowing hair in Zero Dawn to hair that looked painted on. A trivial point but noticeable and in general I expected more from a big name exclusive. But as I say, generally in game the visuals do improve upon than initial impression and some of the locations do impress.

The weather is the highlight of the game. The storms come and they take no prisoners. Your movement is restricted, things are blowing all over the place. Dead bodies will fly past you like a bit of debris. The fun becomes in the debris that is stuck behind a barrier. Destroy the barrier and wrecked cars or big pipes will flatten the enemy and bounce right over your head, provided you are in cover. It is very well done. Throw grenades is utterly pointless and you have to take the wind direction into account. I’ll ignore the fact that some debris seems to go from left to right and then the next lot comes straight at me.

Horde mode has crept into the single player mode. A few times you will have to set up some defences and defend against numerous waves of enemies. At these points co-op play would be better but it does give a taster of the main event in the online mode.

And talking of online, I’ve never been a fan so I played one non-Horde match which reminded me of why I don’t like it. I did dive into Horde as I was a fan of that. 20 levels done and it just isn’t the same. You have a resources to spend of defences. Downed enemies leave ‘cash’ to be spent on reinforcing the defences before the next wave. Of course, trying to grab that cash can leave you exposed. My main gripe with Horse is that the defensive setup means players tend to stick to the same small area and seldom venture out. The way the enemies attack seem to centre upon this area so there isn’t even a need to venture out. I didn’t take to it in the same way I did when this mode was first unveiled in Gears 2.

Gears 4 is a tough one for me to score and it would probably be unfair for me to do so. I’m jaded with the Gears series and this one has done nothing to reverse that. On the other hand, it hasn't done a great deal wrong as such so for those that aren’t jaded then you’ll get more of what you enjoy. I do think it will be best played with others rather than solo.

It is a lot more of the same so take from that what you will.

There have been no replies to this thread yet.
Thu 30/03/17 at 09:52:
Regular
"And in last place.."
Posts: 2,041
In my humble opinion, the Gears of War series peaked with the first game and gradually went further downhill with each new game. Perhaps a bit harsh but the more they threw at the games the more repetitive I felt they became. I went into Gears of War 4 expecting the trend to continue so I guess in some ways I wasn’t disappointed.

Set 25 years after the story of Gears of War 3 wiped out all of the nasties things aren’t quite as rosey as they should be. The counter measures used to save the humans has led to loss of fossil fuels and the introduction of some pretty nasty weather. The human race is still trying to survive but with a different threat. And not surprisingly, it is not too long before things start to feel a little more familiar.

Gears 4 introduces us to new characters, new enemies, new weapons, new moves and weather. Unfortunately this all sounds more refreshing than it actually is. There is some nostalgia in there for Gears fans with a little interactive refresher of how we got to the present day and some cameos from some familiar faces. Mission accomplished with these sections, even for a jaded Gears of War player like myself.

The new characters are JD (son on Marcus), his girlfriend Kait and Del who is the token wise cracking character. Gears of War was never overflowing with character but somehow there seems to be a little less of it with this trio. On the plus side, they aren’t quite the macho ‘we can take on anything’ types – they seem a bit more normal.

The new moves we have are a vault over an obstacle when running. No longer must you stop behind cover and then vault over. It makes for a more flowing game, if you get it right, which I seldom did. I also rarely felt the need to do it. A nice introduction is the ability to lean over cover and grab an enemy from the other side before executing them in typical Gears fashion. And as I discovered, the enemies have also learned this new trick. Like the vaulting, it isn’t something I found myself in a position to use often. I had actually forgotten about it until I was pulled over.

The new weapons are a mixed bunch and I felt only two really stood out. The first was the weapon that fired circular saws. That could be messy and added fun with the saws bouncing off walls and cover blocks. The second was a gun that seemed to fire a floating hammer of dawn style projectile. It whizzes over in the direction you aim and then unleashes a devastating blast. The enemies seemed more competent with this one than I did. The bulk of the weapons will all be familiar to Gears veterans.

The enemies are where things get less interesting. For the first while you will be battling robots and it all just feels a little wrong and out of place. Things do get a bit more familiar after a while but there is a mixed bunch but somehow seems less varied than Gears 1. The big boys also seem to lack the character, if that is the right word, of previous versions. I’ve always liked the Boomers and their “BOOM” as they fire. They sound as if they enjoy firing their rockets. In Gears 4 we have “launching” and “suppressing” and it doesn’t have the same impact. The Juvies in Gears 4 are the equivalent of the wretches in that they are small, bounding creatures that are really just chainsaw fodder but again, without a characteristic like the screeching, they just lack something.

My main issue with Gears 4 is the volume of enemies. It is just wave after wave after wave. It all gets highly repetitive. Now Gears 1 wasn’t the most varied game in the world but it didn’t overdo it. As the Xbox 360 games proved, more enemies does not make for a more interesting game. Even the AI seems to acknowledge the volume increase with comments like “there are 2 of them this time”. The use of Boomers in Gears 1 was spot on but in Gears 4, their equivalent is seldom not there and they appear in more numbers. The Juvies are also almost ever present and become annoying. Everything is lumped together in one package so you get all of them at once. With so many enemies and quite a few bullet sponges within them, I felt I was forever reloading or running out of ammo which became a little tedious. I appreciate the rapid reload can give a damage boost but botch it and you are in a spot of bother but again, Gears 1 didn’t overdo it.

With more and more enemies it all becomes quite repetitive. With this being the 5th game in the series then it also becomes a bit predictable. Big open space with conveniently placed cover is a big give away but even smaller aspects can be predictable. For instance, I was at a small enclosed area with a turret on the upper level. I said at the time, I expect I’ll be on that turret soon and sure enough, as we passed the turret the enemies came from where I’d just been.

Co-op play is naturally available and at times it does feel it was designed for this. There is no doubt other humans would have been more helpful. I often felt I was taking down most of the plentiful enemies myself and there were a few occasions that I died due to the AI being unable to save me.

Graphically the games is a mix. I came straight from the stunning Horizon Zero Dawn to Gears 4 and was presented with a cut scene that wouldn’t have looked special on the Xbox 360. Things are better in the main game but the first thing I noticed was the hair. I went from realistic flowing hair in Zero Dawn to hair that looked painted on. A trivial point but noticeable and in general I expected more from a big name exclusive. But as I say, generally in game the visuals do improve upon than initial impression and some of the locations do impress.

The weather is the highlight of the game. The storms come and they take no prisoners. Your movement is restricted, things are blowing all over the place. Dead bodies will fly past you like a bit of debris. The fun becomes in the debris that is stuck behind a barrier. Destroy the barrier and wrecked cars or big pipes will flatten the enemy and bounce right over your head, provided you are in cover. It is very well done. Throw grenades is utterly pointless and you have to take the wind direction into account. I’ll ignore the fact that some debris seems to go from left to right and then the next lot comes straight at me.

Horde mode has crept into the single player mode. A few times you will have to set up some defences and defend against numerous waves of enemies. At these points co-op play would be better but it does give a taster of the main event in the online mode.

And talking of online, I’ve never been a fan so I played one non-Horde match which reminded me of why I don’t like it. I did dive into Horde as I was a fan of that. 20 levels done and it just isn’t the same. You have a resources to spend of defences. Downed enemies leave ‘cash’ to be spent on reinforcing the defences before the next wave. Of course, trying to grab that cash can leave you exposed. My main gripe with Horse is that the defensive setup means players tend to stick to the same small area and seldom venture out. The way the enemies attack seem to centre upon this area so there isn’t even a need to venture out. I didn’t take to it in the same way I did when this mode was first unveiled in Gears 2.

Gears 4 is a tough one for me to score and it would probably be unfair for me to do so. I’m jaded with the Gears series and this one has done nothing to reverse that. On the other hand, it hasn't done a great deal wrong as such so for those that aren’t jaded then you’ll get more of what you enjoy. I do think it will be best played with others rather than solo.

It is a lot more of the same so take from that what you will.

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