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Published January 23, 2018

For the Gears of War 4 Horde 3.0?

Gears of War 4 dropped last October with more story, kinetic sound and a revamped version of its signature players-vs-AI Horde mode. It is a return to form and easily the best game in the series thanks to new weapons and an all-new class-based multi-player mode.

Along with a new story and heroes, GOW 4 features new monsters, locations, enhanced multiplayer, and, for the first time in the series, cross-platform play, meaning an Xbox One gamer can challenge a Windows PC player or vice versa. The PC version even includes split-screen co-op for the campaign, as well as cross-platform multiplayer with the Xbox version when playing the multi-player and campaign modes.

Defense building plus new enemies/weapons and you have everything you need for a great Gears of War 4 adventure on the Xbox One X!

While the gameplay and storyline certainly aren’t lacking and will likely keep Gears fans amused, The Coalition seems reluctant to let the past go and to move on. Away from the campaign, there are tweaks to competitive multiplayer that include a couple of new game modes, but the real focus of the title is the improved Horde mode. Make no mistake: Horde 3.0 (as it’s been dubbed) is the biggest draw of Gears Of War 4. The series basically invented the craze of multiplayer wave-based gauntlets, and it’s spent the last three games refining that formula to a science.

Human players bring an intensity and danger to multiplayer that shows there’s plenty of life in the moving and shooting of Gears of War, and the drop-in matchmaking experience has been mostly seamless on PC. If killing waves of enemies is your prerogative, while working with other Gears players to complete objectives, then this multi-player mode might be the game type for you.

As much as I’m drawn to Horde — an old staple of the series, where players work together to repel waves of increasingly difficult enemies — newer modes like Dodgeball and Arms Race also have caught my attention. Gears essentially invented the modern cover shooter as we know it, and bouncing between walls and barricades while mowing down squishy enemies still feels fantastic and just like in previous “Gears of War” games, you can chainsaw enemies to death.gears of war 4

The core gameplay feels just as solid as ever. Some gameplay elements might seem dated today, but at its heart, Gears of War resonated because of the way it melded addictive gameplay with our nation’s feelings. That being said, there haven’t been a whole lot of gameplay changes from Gears of War 3 to Judgment and this is both a good thing and a bad thing.

One of the things 4 did did best—and I should know, because I just replayed the first two games and finally played the third to prepare for this review—is make every game feel like an important story.

I haven’t binge played a game this way since the witcher 2 came out: simple but great mechanics, the campaign advances a little slows but never feels boring and keeps getting better and better, new interesting weapons, a more personal story than in previous GOWs, nice new enemies, smarter AI and very, very challenging to play in higher difficulties, and the best of all, haven’t found not even a single bug or crash (a topic very recurrent in this gen) and also, Horde 3.0 is amazing!

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