Gears of War 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Gears of War 4
Gears of War 4.jpg
Box art showing the three main protagonists
Developer(s) The Coalition
Publisher(s) Microsoft Studios
Director(s) Chuck Osieja
Producer(s) Rod Fergusson
Walter de Torres
Designer(s) Matt Searcy
Programmer(s) Mike Rayner
Artist(s) Kirk Gibbons
Writer(s) Tom Bissell
Composer(s) Ramin Djawadi[1]
Series Gears of War
Engine Unreal Engine 4[2]
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows
Xbox One
Release
Genre(s) Third-person shooter
Mode(s) Single-player, multiplayer

Gears of War 4 is a third-person shooter video game developed by The Coalition and published by Microsoft Studios for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One.[4] It is the fourth main installment in the Gears of War series, and the first entry not to be developed by Epic Games. The game was released worldwide on October 11, 2016.

Upon release, the game received generally positive reviews, with critics praising the game's combat, visuals and set pieces, while criticism was directed towards the single-player campaign and writing.

Gameplay[edit]

Many gameplay elements from the previous games are reintroduced, along with new elements such as the Dropshot weapon that fires explosive drills and the Buzzkill that fires ricocheting sawblades at enemies.[5] Players can also perform a short distance shoulder charge, knocking enemies off balance and enemies can also pull players out of cover and perform their own takedowns.[5] The game features 4 categories of weather: from heavy breeze (trees, leaves, dust kicking up) and grow into violent category 3 windstorms that can affect combat and weapon usage.[5]

Story[edit]

Setting[edit]

Gears of War 4 takes place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3. Although the use of the Imulsion Countermeasure weapon destroyed all Imulsion on the planet Sera, killing the Locust and the Lambent in the process, the weapon forced humanity to adapt to new ways of survival after knocking out the use of fossil fuels, and bringing powerful windstorms across the planet called "Windflares".[5] To protect the surviving human population from decline, estimated to be hundreds of thousands, the reformed Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) established walled-off cities to protect its citizens from the dangers outside, while declaring martial law to prevent any travel outside the cities. However, some human survivors rejected the viewpoints of the COG and formed a group called the "Outsiders" that live outside of the COG jurisdiction, conducting raids on COG territory to gather resources.[5]

The game's main story focuses on J.D. Fenix (Liam McIntyre),[6] the son of Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud, who, alongside his friends Delmont "Del" Walker (Eugene Byrd)[6] and Kait Diaz (Laura Bailey),[6] deal with a new threat to humanity's survival.

Plot[edit]

The leader of the reformed Coalition of Ordered Governments, First Minister Jinn (Angel Desai), commemorates the 25th anniversary of humanity's victory over the Locust. Meanwhile, an elderly Hoffman who is present at the ceremony recounts past battles at Aspho Fields, Emergence Day, and Anvil Gate.[7]

Meanwhile, J.D. and Del have recently deserted the COG after disagreeing with Jinn's hardline policies and join a group of Outsiders led by Reyna (Justina Machado). In order to help their village, J.D. and Del decide to raid a nearby COG settlement under construction to steal a special fabricator. They are accompanied by Kait, Reyna's daughter, and her uncle Oscar (Jimmy Smits), a former Gear and Locust War veteran. Though they are forced to battle the COG's new robotic DeeBee soldiers, J.D. and his group manage to successfully steal the fabricator and escape back to their village. They are then confronted by Jinn (broadcasting via a DeeBee), who accuses them of kidnapping her people, much to their confusion, before launching an all out assault on the village.[8] J.D. and his friends manage to repel Jinn's forces and get to work repairing the village's power generator. However, in the midst of repairs, unknown creatures raid the village, capturing everybody including Reyna and Oscar. As her last act, Reyna locks J.D., Del, and Kait inside the power station to protect them.

Dubbing the unknown attackers the "Swarm", J.D. reluctantly asks his father Marcus Fenix (John DiMaggio) for help. Marcus, who is still angry at J.D. for joining the authoritarian COG and then endangering himself by abandoning it, is reluctant to help J.D. until he shows him that the Swarm is not human. Suspicious, Marcus decides to lead the group to Fort Reval, where thousands of Locust corpses were buried to dispose of them. After escaping another attack by Jinn's forces, the group reaches Fort Reval, where they are ambushed by a Snatcher that captures Marcus. As J.D. and his friends pursue the Snatcher, they find evidence of the Swarm being responsible for the abduction of COG citizens, whose bodies are being harvested to create more Swarm creatures. They also hypothesize that when the Locust were hit by the Imulsion Countermeasure, they did not die. Instead, their bodies underwent a long term metamorphosis over the last 25 years until the Locust evolved into the Swarm. J.D. eventually manages to track down Marcus and free him. Marcus reveals that the Swarm operates on a hive mind and that he was briefly connected to it. Reyna is still alive and being kept at another Locust burial site, but none of the other villagers survived.

Determined to save her mother, Kait demands that Marcus lead them to her. He takes the group to Tollen Dam, where they discover that the burial site has been converted into a Swarm hive. Realizing that the hive's defenses are too formidable for them to breach on their own, the group fights their way to a radio antenna, where Marcus calls for the assistance of Augustus Cole (Lester Speight), Damon Baird (Fred Tatasciore) and Samantha Byrne (Claudia Black), with the latter two now being lovers. Baird, now a famed industrialist and the creator of the DeeBees, brings a pair of mech suits that J.D. and Kait use to fight their way into the hive.[9] Inside, they find Reyna has been forcefully integrated into the hive's network, and removing her would result in her death. Despite this, Reyna requests that Kait end her life, which she tearfully does. She then inherits her mother's amulet, which had belonged to Kait's grandmother. However, upon closer inspection, it bears a resemblance to the symbol of the Locust Queen Myrrah - implying that Reyna was her daughter and Kait is her granddaughter.

In a post credits scene, it is revealed that Oscar managed to survive his abduction by the Swarm by cutting himself out of the Snatcher that had captured him.

Development[edit]

Gears of War 4 was originally being developed by Epic; selected aspects of their work were incorporated into Coalition's work.[10] During E3 2013, Microsoft Studios vice president Phil Spencer said he thought more Gears of War games were possible.[11] On January 27, 2014, Microsoft announced that they had purchased the rights of the franchise from Epic Games, and a new game would be developed for Xbox One by Black Tusk Studios, an in-house studio which was later renamed The Coalition to better signify its responsibility for the Gears of War franchise.[12][13][14] Rod Fergusson, former Director of Production at Epic Games on the Gears of War franchise, joined Microsoft and plays a key studio leadership role at The Coalition on the development of the franchise going forward.[15][16][17] Epic Games’ Ray Davis admitted that "having been through shipping hell with Rod Fergusson on past Gears of War games I can say that I’m absolutely confident he’ll do a great job with the franchise at Microsoft."[18] On April 1, 2015, The Coalition producer Allie Henze confirmed that Gears of War 4 would not be released for Xbox 360.[19]

Gears of War 4 was presented for the first time during Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference.[20][21] Studio head Rod Fergusson stated that the gameplay presented during the press conference was meant to reflect the overall tone of the game, returning to the franchise's roots as being a "monster game", and "something personal, intimate, dark, and mysterious";[21][22] and the setting's design took heavy inspiration from Northern Italy.[5] Gears of War 4 would be set on Sera, nearly 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, with Marcus Fenix's son JD Fenix as the lead character.[6] Owing to the people of Sera rebuilding their society after the Locust war, the game's new weapons are inspired by construction equipment. The game features a new enemy faction known as "the Swarm"; the Swarm's "Drones" behave similarly to the Locusts of previous games, "Juvies" are fast moving and their screams can burst "pods" that contain more enemies, while Pouncers can pin the player to the ground and fire quills from their tails.[23]

The multiplayer components of the game are being co-developed by Splash Damage, who also developed the multiplayer components of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition[24] A multiplayer beta was released on April 25, 2016; those who purchased Ultimate Edition received early access to the beta beginning on April 18, 2016.[25] The campaign will support local and online co-op with two players.[26] Gears of War 4 was the first game to make use of SGX developed by Speech Graphics to automatically animate gameplay dialogue.[27] Speaking about the future of the game, and the Gears of War series itself, Fergusson stated that "one of the things that's nice about Microsoft's investment is that we know, unless this does horribly, we're probably going to do another one."[28]

Gears of War 4 will run at 30 frames per second in its single player modes, and 60 in its multiplayer modes, both at 1080p. Similarly to Halo 5: Guardians,[29] the game will employ a dynamic scaling system to maintain a consistent frame rate, under which the resolution will be automatically decreased and upscaled back to 1080p during more intensive scenes. Ferguson stated that the Xbox One S had an improved CPU and GPU which would be capable of more consistent resolution on Gears of War 4.[30] During its E3 2016 press conference, Microsoft announced that Gears of War 4 would be released on PC exclusively for Windows 10 Windows Store. It will be an Xbox Play Anywhere game, with digital cross-buys and cross-platform multiplayer available between Windows 10 and Xbox versions.[31] In August 2016, Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi confirmed he would be involved as the main creator of Gear of War 4's soundtrack.[1] In an interview, Djawadi spoke about the sound of the score, "Obviously, I want to make it very different to Game of Thrones. "Whenever I approach a new project, I want to make sure I'm setting up a new sound - even though we're still using a lot of orchestra and percussion."[32]

On September 19, 2016, The Coalition announced that the game had "gone gold", meaning development had finished and manufacturing production had begun.[33][34]

Microsoft at its E3 keynote on July 11, 2017, explained that several Xbox titles would be receiving a free 4K visual update. The Coalition's technical director Mike Rayner said that The Coalition had been working with Microsoft's Xbox One X console for some time now. Gears of War 4 will support native 4K resolution, with higher resolution textures across the entire game including characters, environments, visual effects, and more on the Xbox One X console. Combined with the 4K resolution, Gears of War 4 on the Xbox One X will also feature High Dynamic Range (HDR) colors with Wide Color Gamut Support. Two technical improvement to the visuals beyond higher resolution textures are fully dynamic shadows and improved reflections. With this new update comes support for Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 sound technology that adds additional sound channels for a more immersive game environment.[35]

Reception[edit]

Reception
Aggregate score
Aggregator Score
Metacritic (PC) 86/100[36]
(XONE) 84/100[37]
Review scores
Publication Score
Destructoid 8/10[38]
EGM 9/10[39]
Game Informer 9.25/10[41]
Game Revolution 4/5 stars[40]
GameSpot 7/10[42]
GamesRadar 4/5 stars[43]
Giant Bomb 4/5 stars[44]
IGN 9.2/10[45]
PC Gamer (US) 75/100[46]
Polygon 9/10[47]
VideoGamer.com 9/10[48]

Gears of War 4 received "generally favorable" reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[36][37]

Ryan McCaffery of IGN gave the game 9.2 out of 10, stating in his verdict: "I never expected to compare Gears of War 4 to The Force Awakens, but I couldn’t be happier to do so. Like the latest chapter in the story from a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away, Gears of War 4 is directed by a new generation of creators, shares a lot of similar narrative structures to the beloved first piece of the trilogy it succeeds, and is an experience you’ll walk away from with a big smile on your face – in campaign, Versus, and Horde modes alike. It’s about as good of a franchise reawakening as I could’ve hoped for. J.J. Abrams would no doubt appreciate what [Gears of War 4] accomplishes." He also added "Gears of War 4 plays it fairly safe but brilliantly executes on a variety-packed campaign and meaty multiplayer suite."[45]

Mike Mahardy of GameSpot rewarded Gears of War 4 a score of 7 out of 10, reasoning "This is a shooter teetering on the edge of something greater, but despite the improvements it makes to the storied franchise, its missteps hold it back. There is inspiration here, and creativity in the way Gears of War 4 rethinks its multiplayer modes. But the lackluster campaign and technical issues are blights on an otherwise exhilarating shooter. The result is a whole that doesn't reflect the quality of its often stellar parts.".[42] Arthur Gies of Polygon scored the game with a 9 out of 10. Gies stated at the end of his review: "When I was finished with Gears of War 4's campaign, I remember wondering why it didn’t do more. The next morning, I was playing the game again, not out of obligation, but because I wanted to. Taken all together, Gears of War 4 doesn’t completely reinvent the genre, and it’s not always "bigger." But it’s a remarkably consistent, complete package with the kind of refinement and focus few other games can manage, providing excellent solo, cooperative, and competitive options that rank it as one of the best action games of 2016."[47]

While many critics applauded the multiplayer and horde mode, the campaign bore the brunt of the game's criticism.

Sales[edit]

It was the second best-selling retail game in the UK in its week of release, only behind FIFA 17.[49] In the United States, Gears of War 4 was the third best selling game in the month of October, behind Battlefield 1, and Mafia III.[50]

Awards[edit]

Year Award Category Result Ref
2016 The Game Awards 2016 Best Action Game Nominated [51]
Best Multiplayer Nominated
2017 15th Annual Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Real-Time Project Nominated [52]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Ultimate Edition for the game was released on October 7, 2016, while the standard and collector's editions were released on October 11.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Game of Thrones Composer Creating Score for Gears of War 4". dualshockers.com. Retrieved August 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ McCaffrey, Ryan. "Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Beta Preview: Nice to Saw You Again". Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Beta Preview: Nice to Saw You Again - IGN. Retrieved April 28, 2016. 
  3. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (April 6, 2016). "Gears of War 4 Release Date Confirmed, Box Art Revealed". GameSpot. Retrieved April 6, 2016. 
  4. ^ Dyer, Mitch (June 15, 2015). "E3 2015: Gears of War 4: First Gameplay Details". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 16, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Gears of War 4 Gets Tons of New Details on Game Informer". DualShockers. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d Reeves, Ben (March 8, 2016). "Exclusive Reveal: Meet The New Cast Of Gears Of War 4". Game Informer. Retrieved May 3, 2016. 
  7. ^ The Coalition (October 11, 2016). Gears of War 4. Microsoft Windows/Xbox One. Microsoft Studios. 
  8. ^ The Coalition (October 11, 2016). Gears of War 4. Microsoft Windows/Xbox One. Microsoft Studios. Jinn: I don't care about the goddamn fabricator! You're taking my people! / J.D.: What?! 
  9. ^ The Coalition (October 11, 2016). Gears of War 4. Microsoft Windows/Xbox One. Microsoft Studios. J.D.: Kait, Del, meet Damon Baird, CEO of DB Industries, whose bots have been trying to kill us for the last twenty hours. 
  10. ^ Reeves, Ben (March 28, 2016). "Details On Epic's Abandoned Vision For Gears Of War 4". Game Informer. Retrieved April 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Evans, Edwin (June 14, 2013). "Gears of War Xbox One will take "some time", says Microsoft". Official Xbox Magazine. Future plc. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  12. ^ "Gears of War studio Black Tusk Studios has been renamed The Coalition". VG24/7. Retrieved 15 June 2016. 
  13. ^ Griffiths, Daniel Nye (January 27, 2014). "Microsoft Acquires 'Gears of War' From Epic, Assigns Next Game To The Coalition". Forbes. Forbes, Inc. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  14. ^ Karmali, Luke (January 24, 2014). "Gears of War Rights Acquired by Microsoft". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  15. ^ McWhertor, Michael (January 27, 2014). "Microsoft acquires Gears of War from Epic, hires series producer Rod Fergusson". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  16. ^ Crecente, Brian (August 1, 2014). "The fixer: Why Rod Fergusson returned to Gears of War". Polygon. Vox Media. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  17. ^ Hicks, Jon (September 13, 2014). "Epic streak: Rod Fergusson on bringing Gears of War to Xbox One. Series veteran talks The Coalition, Bioshock and betraying fans". Official Xbox Magazine. Future plc. Archived from the original on September 13, 2014. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  18. ^ Toney, Martin (June 7, 2015). "Epic Games: Coalition Will Breath New Life Into The Gears of War Series, Will Do A Great Job". GamingBolt. Retrieved April 8, 2015. 
  19. ^ Albert, Brian (April 1, 2015). "The Next Gears of War Game Won't Come To Xbox 360". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved June 24, 2015. 
  20. ^ Cooper, Dalton (June 2015). "'Gears of War 4' First Trailer & Gameplay Details Drop at E3 2015". GameRant. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  21. ^ a b Dyer, Mitch (August 3, 2015). "Gears of War 4 Is 'Personal, Intimate, and Dark'". IGN. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  22. ^ "April Cover Revealed – Gears Of War 4". Game Informer. March 8, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  23. ^ "The Weapons And Enemies Of Gears Of War 4". Game Informer. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Co-Developed By Quake Wars, Brink Studio". GameSpot. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  25. ^ "Gears Of War 4 Multiplayer Beta Kicks Off On April 18". majornelson.com. March 15, 2016. Retrieved April 8, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Gears of War 4 Scales Back Co-Op, Story Takes Place Over 24-Hour Period". GameSpot. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  27. ^ Allen, David (2016-11-15). "Gears of War 4 is first to use SGX software by Speech Graphics". Techmash. Retrieved 2016-11-15. 
  28. ^ Loveridge, Sam (April 14, 2016). "Gears of War 5 is happening - as long as Gears 4 doesn't go "horribly"". DigitalSpy. Retrieved April 16, 2016. 
  29. ^ "How dynamic resolution scaling keeps Halo 5 running so smoothly". Ars Technica. Conde Nast. Retrieved June 13, 2016. 
  30. ^ "Games can perform better on Xbox One S". Polygon. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  31. ^ "E3 2016: Gears of War 4 Is Cross-Buy, Cross-Play on Xbox One, Windows 10". IGN.com. Ziff Davis Media. Retrieved June 15, 2016. 
  32. ^ Ian Sandwell (August 28, 2016). "Gears of War 4 to be scored by Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi". Digitalspy. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Gears of War 4 Has Gone Gold". IGN. Ziff Davis. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Oh hey, Gears of War 4 went gold for PC and Xbox One yesterday". VG247. Retrieved September 29, 2016. 
  35. ^ tech2 News Staff "E3 2017: Gears of War 4 on Xbox One X will bring 4K HDR, Dolby Atmos and more", Firstpost, June 12, 2017. Retrieved on 26 September 2017
  36. ^ a b "Gears of War 4 for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  37. ^ a b "Gears of War 4 for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  38. ^ Makedonski, Brett (October 6, 2016). "Review: Gears of War 4". Destructoid. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  39. ^ Carsillo, Ray (October 6, 2016). "Gears of War 4 review". Electronic Gaming Monthly. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  40. ^ Paras, Peter (October 10, 2016). "Gears of War 4 Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved October 10, 2016. 
  41. ^ Reiner, Andrew (October 6, 2016). "Back To Square One - Gears of War 4 - Xbox One". Game Informer. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  42. ^ a b Mahardy, Mike (October 6, 2016). "Gears of War 4 Review". GameSpot. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  43. ^ Houghton, David (October 6, 2016). "Gears of War 4 review: An instant flashback to the best of Gears, executed with freshness and vitality". GamesRadar. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  44. ^ Gerstmann, Jeff (October 17, 2016). "Gears of War 4 Review". Giant Bomb. Retrieved October 17, 2016. 
  45. ^ a b McCaffrey, Ryan (October 11, 2016). "Gears of War 4 Review". IGN. Retrieved October 11, 2016. 
  46. ^ Fenlon, Wes (October 13, 2016). "Gears of War 4 review". PC Gamer. Retrieved October 13, 2016. 
  47. ^ a b Gies, Arthur (October 6, 2016). "Gears of War 4 review". Polygon. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  48. ^ Orry, Tom (October 13, 2016). "Gears of War 4 Review". VideoGamer.com. Retrieved October 13, 2016. 
  49. ^ Hussain, Tamoor (October 17, 2016). "Top 10 UK Sales Chart: FIFA 17 Holds Off Gears of War 4 and Stays No.1". GameSpot. Retrieved October 24, 2016. 
  50. ^ "October 2016 NPD: Battlefield, Mafia, and Gears dominate the sales chart". November 17, 2016. Retrieved May 28, 2017. 
  51. ^ Makuch, Eddie (November 16, 2016). "All the 2016 Game Awards Nominees". GameSpot. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  52. ^ Giardina, Carolyn (January 10, 2016). "'Rogue One' Leads Visual Effects Society Feature Competition With 7 Nominations As 'Doctor Strange,' 'Jungle Book' Grab 6 Each". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 10, 2016. 

External links[edit]