Thursday, April 21, 2016

Gears of War 4 Beta Impressions

Hey Guys, I've put in my time on the Gears of War 4 Beta. Just as a disclaimer, this is the Early Access version of the beta impressions. Things may or may not change in the open beta that will start on April 25th. I am not going to be talking about the game in any particular order. I'm going to just say whatever comes to mind.

There is only three maps available to be played in the beta. These maps aren't bad by any means, but they are not anything special either. However, it's still just the beta, so I really can't give it slack because of the lack of any compelling maps.

Three maps. That's it
Talking about maps, let me go on to the map selection. There is no automatic map rotation. Like most games, players get to vote for the next map. However, you can keep playing on the same map continuously if there are enough votes. Depending on your personal preferences, this could be a good or bad things. I don't really mind because I have to see the same maps anyways since these are the only maps available. However, they really should change this once the full game releases because there definitely will be more maps available.

Before I go more into the gameplay itself, let me talk about this new rank system that is in the game. It's reminiscent of Halo 5's ranking system if you are familiar with it. Since a majority of my readers are PlayStation users, I don't think Halo 5 should be a good comparison. As a matter of fact, this post shouldn't even be relevant to PlayStation users unless you're interested in the Gears of War franchise. Anyways, this ranking system is virtually meaningless. The game matches you up with people who have a similar rank to you, but that never happens since I'm always in a game with people who were either significantly better than me or worse.

Colorful, yet useless

I think the only reason why this ranking system exist is only for people to have bragging rights. However, there is no point to having to worry about this for two reasons. One, stats are going to be reset for everyone when the game releases. Two, Gears 4 isn't a game that should be treated so competitively. If someone was easily angered over having a low rank in this game, then said person has some issues.

Let me move onto the gameplay. For the most part, the gameplay has not changed much. There is this new mechanic that is added to the game called CCC. You could now yank enemies out of cover and finish them off if your timing is right or they could counter it. I have mixed feelings about this because I hardly see anyone staying in cover for extended periods of time. Most people stick to walls, but don't press the A button. I find myself doing the same thing because I like to surprise my enemies if the situation allows me to.

I made a quick montage video of some of my "best" moments in the beta. The first clip shows what you can do with the new CCC mechanic. However, I kind of failed and succeed at it.

You may have noticed that most of the kills I got from the video are from shotguns. That is because that's the only useful weapon in the game. Like in previous Gears of War games, shotguns are the most used weapons because they lead to quicker kills. The lancer is the trademark weapon of the games, but people don't really use them since it takes so many hits to put a player down!

And speaking of many hits, is it me or does health regeneration seem quick? One moment I'm so close to going down then the next moment I'm just fine. I do wish health regeneration could be slower, but not that slow either.

Going back to the lancer, I wouldn't say it's completely useless. It has it's uses for long range combat, but you better hope the person you're shooting at doesn't have any kind of cover to get into. Players can still pick themselves up if they are in cover or if nobody is around to take them down. Regardless, I feel that the lancer should get a buff in order to get people to stop using shotguns. If a scrub like me can get a kill with a shotgun, then anyone could.

You're going to want to camp this one area especially

Even though this is a beta, I didn't really run into a lot of bugs or glitches. As a matter of fact, I thought I wouldn't be able to even get on the beta because of the amount of people that could potentially crash the servers.

Speaking about people, let me go onto a mini rant. Why am I always placed with terrible teammates? Why am I always placed on a team that is already losing or is about to lose? I can't count the number of times I lost because I was either on a bad team or placed in a losing game.

Additionally, if you down an enemy and your teammate kills the enemy while he's down your teammate gets the kill. I'm not even joking when I say this! You'll get the points for downing him, but your kill won't be counted! I don't know if this was in the previous games, but this is something that should be readjusted!

Allow me to introduce you the "memorable" characters from left to right: Man bun guy, Marcus's son, Crew Cut guy, Hipster Girl, and Man-Woman

This may sound trivial to some of you, but I am not a fan that your character is randomly selected for you. Additionally, they should have been provided with some kind of background info. I know JD was given something, but what about everyone else?

In previous betas, you were able to pick your own characters. However, we already were familiar with the characters then, so it does makes sense why characters are assigned randomly here. I should also add that maybe it's to avoid people picking the same characters.

Team Deathmatch and Dodgeball are the only games modes available as of writing this. I do like team deathmatch, but dodgeball is easily what holds the beta up. It's like search and destroy, but you get you get to bring people back from the dead for every enemy you kill.

Dodgeball is also equal opportunity. There is a certain amount of time people have to respawn once they are brought back from the dead. I find it fair and quite useful once it's used to my own benefit.

What are my final impressions? Well, it's the same Gears of War I know. Not much has really changed. I did enjoy my time with the beta and am still addicted to playing it, but I think there should be more done to the multiplayer to make it fun. There is nothing wrong with the gameplay itself, but I do have an issue with the community because of bad teammates. The character selection could use some work as well and maybe random map rotation should be set in place. Seriously, the lancer should also be buffed a little bit.

One more thing, explosives are seriously too powerful. I get that they have little ammo and are slow to use, but people have been getting better. Not only does this lead to cheap deaths, but it leads to frustrating cheap deaths. The Torque Bow itself seems to have a buff since it doesn't have that bright glow when it's charging up. Who's genius idea was it to put two explosive weapons on one map? Don't even get me started on the Dropshot

With all this being said, I totally can't wait until October to get my hands on Gears of War 4. However, I'm mostly in it for the story.
Till Next Time!!

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