Monday, October 24, 2016

Gears of War 4 Review

Hey Guys, after putting in the time into Gears of War 4 almost 2 weeks since its release it's time for me to finally get this review to you guys. It's been probably been over 9 months since my first formal review, so I'm excited to get to review something. You could also skip down to the "score" and summary, but know that I'm going to as much detail as possible without spoiling the story. Anyways, let's do this.

If you haven't seen the trailers, then I just spoiled that Marcus returns...

What I Liked
The story is going to be divisive. I've seen people who loved the story while others are the exact opposite. Personally, I liked the story. Sure, it's reminiscent of some elements that have been done before in almost every drama video game ever, but it still works just fine for the game. Additionally, there is a plot twist that I will not spoil. Trust me, you'll know what I mean when you play the game yourself.

However, you shouldn't be going into this game expecting to see a full-on war going on. If anything, it's more of a father-son tale. If you've played Gears of War 3, then you already know that humanity already won the war and are merely trying to rebuild society. That doesn't mean there aren't any action sequences. If anything, this game has some great action sequences! I wish I had a large TV with some 7.1 audio surround sound to get the full experience of the game.

The core gameplay hasn't changed much. Whether that is a good thing or not is completely up to you. I didn't see much use in the new CCC mechanic. However, whenever I did manage to use(usually in the campaign) I got this tingling sensation in my balls purely due to satisfaction. Imagine being able to pull it off in multiplayer. You'll feel like the biggest badass ever. I must also add that the weather system is a hit or miss. There are only a handful of missions that involve you being able to use the environment in a storm to take out your enemies. Nonetheless, these sections did promote some strategy, but it wasn't as challenging as I was hoping for it to be.

Trust me, these are a lot more intense than they look....
Let me also mention the visuals. This may easily be one of the best looking Xbox One games to date. I now understand why this game just couldn't be possible to develop on the Xbox 360 because it would kill the visual experience. Obviously, I've never played the PC version of the game, so I imagine it looks a trillion times better on PC.

The multiplayer has to be the best portion of Gears of War 4. There has been some changes from the Beta, but there was nothing too major. Dodgeball is my favorite to play due to how similar it is to Search & Rescue. I'm sorry, but I suck at execution where you only get one life. Just like any Gears of War game, shotguns are the way to go. If you don't use a shotgun in multiplayer, then I have no idea what to tell you other than good luck. Personally, I've never had a problem with people using shotguns in multiplayer because I kind of had to learn out of desperation how to be a relatively good shot.

We went on this lose this match in the most embarrassing way possible...

This is what sucks...
I didn't really find JD Fenix to be as interesting as his father. However, I found his friends as well as the older cast to be far more likable! I understand that I might be a bit biased due to being a Gears of War veteran, but I think the smartass protagonist has been done too much. Additionally, he just seems to take things way too lighthearted. If you played the gamed, then you'll know what I mean. He isn't a bad character by any means, but he's not the next iconic video game character that Marcus Fenix already is.

Okay, I played the game on Insane difficulty, which is why it took me a while to complete the game. It literally took me almost 17 hours in order to complete the campaign on Insane. I've played all the Gears games on Insane, so I know for a fact what it's like to play through the hardest difficulty. This is the difficulty where the problems start to show up.

This checkpoint system is bullshit. Seriously, if you get fucked in the ass due to a Drone rushing you or one of the Juvies killing you in just two hits you have to start all the way back to your last checkpoint. This doesn't make the game more difficult. It literally just causes anger due to having to start back to a checkpoint. Trust me, some of the boss battles can get difficult especially one in Act IV and lead to some of the most frustrating deaths possible. Fuck Insane. I literally sat and wondered why on Earth I would put myself through such punishment. For the love of God, please don't pop the pods. It isn't worth it.

Additionally, it just murders the immersion of the game. Why would I put myself through such difficulty when there is an interesting story lying just ahead of me? By the way, I have no idea why some reviewers are saying there are moments where you do nothing but take in the atmosphere. Man, I wish that could happen because I felt like the pacing was too inconsistent. One moment I'm done clearing enemies and the next minute here comes another wave of enemies.

For the love of God, please don't shoot the pods especially on Insane...

Speaking of waves of enemies, there are about 2-3 missions where horde elements were implemented. Trust me, these were not fun at all especially on Insane. However, I'm indifferent to horde mode, so I can't really talk shit about the mode. I put in about 40 minutes into horde mode and it just didn't appeal to me. However, I'm not going to dock it points just because I'm indifferent to it. I used to play a ton of horde mode on Gears of War 2 & 3, but that was back when I had a ton of time on my hands.

As fun as the multiplayer is, there are a few big issues with it. First off, if you want to play Core playlists it's going to take a while to actually join a match. It's annoying to have to wait like 5 minutes in order to join a game. Additionally, it's especially annoying to join a match with an uneven amount of players on each team! What kind of bullshit is that!? I'm not sure if balancing has to do with anything or maybe the player count isn't high enough for these playlists to be populated. If you really want to get into a game and don't care about being ranked, then please go to Social Quickplay.

Let me go back to the story. I know I said it was interesting and the set pieces were great, but the game feels like it ended too abruptly. If I had played the game on Normal or Causal, I could probably beat the story in under 10 hours. Seriously, this game just feels too short. I understand that the game's events take place within 24 hours, but there should at least be a satisfying conclusion.

I'm not going to spoil the ending. However, the final boss and ending were just way too underwhelming for me. Hell, I think the final boss in Gears of War Judgement was more epic than this shit final boss we got in Gears of War 4. Gears of War and Gears of War 3 easily tie when it comes to their final boss fights. They were tense as well as challenging if you were playing on a high difficulty. They could even last hours if you are struggling. The ending itself is pure sequel bate. I have no clue where the franchise heads from here, but I am still curious what happens next.

Final Thoughts
I don't understand why this game is getting 9s from a lot of reviewer sites. I'm sorry, but this is just not a 9/10 game. If I had used a number scale anymore, I would rate this an 8. 7 is way too low as this game is still pretty good. Yeah, I have no idea what that reviewer from GameSpot was on when they posted up their review of the game. I'm 100% sure it's only getting 9/10s is because it still has Gears of War in the title. Otherwise, it doesn't feel like a Gears of War game.

Final Thought: Buy it
Even though the campaign maybe short, you are still getting a bang for your buck based on the content alone. If you like to play Zombies from Call of Duty or any other game with a horde mode, then this is the game for you. Keep in mind that Gears of War has been doing this for quite some time and has managed to get to top itself every time when it come to horde mode.

Additionally, you get a code that allows you to own every Gears of War game that released back on the Xbox 360 and each of them were great games that got better each time. Well, Judgement is divisive, but it's not a terrible game as a lot of fans claim it to be.

If you do pick up the game and are a new player, please play the previous games before you jump into the campaign. If you don't want to play the campaign or get bored of it, then multiplayer is a lot better. Seriously, multiplayer will provide hundreds of hours worth of entertainment and can totally see it being supported years down the line.

If you have an Xbox One, this is a game that you should pick up. You could wait for a price drop, but I'm not sure if this game will be getting one anytime soon.

Before I close out, I plan on talking about the state of Call of Duty after the community backlash over the Infinite Warfare beta. Additionally, I want to revisit a specific game in time for Halloween and talk about how it may or may not hold up today.
Till Next Time!!
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