Gears of PHWOOARR!
Shaping up to be a worthy successor.
A worthy successor
Gears of war 4 was built from the ground up to resemble and carry on from its’ 3 legitimate predecessors, and from the first few days I’ve had hands on with the beta, I would say that SO FAR Gears of war 4 is shaping up to be a worthy successor.
Due to this being a Beta I won’t go into to much detail as everything is subject to a heavy amount of change, but what I will do is give an insight into my thoughts and feelings as to the direction of the game’s multiplayer.
As a long time fan of the Gears of war series and a competitive Gamebattles participant, they are most definitely going in the right direction in terms of bringing back the highly competitive atmosphere that was lost around the ‘Gears of war: Judgement’ time.
The roadie running feels familiar yet much sleeker, though I do get stuck in cover from time to time. Although I see this more as a ‘me getting to grips’ with the game issue rather than a technical one, another game mechanic which stood out to me a lot was the ‘wall bouncing,’ wall bouncing was a happy, jumpy, glitchy accident in the early gears as it was a manipulation of the games ‘cover’ mechanic and when trying to pull it off in high pressure situations the fact that it wasn’t intended to give you the ability to slide in multiple places in quick succession became apparent quickly, and over the next few renditions of Gears the bounce was tweaked, but now with Gears of war 4 they’ve found the sweet-spot for it and cancelling bounces and sliding into cover has never felt more silk-like.
The maps are all symmetrical arena types with 2 power weapon focus on either end and a clear route and ‘flank’ to each one. For the competitive scene I understand the need for this level of scrutiny, meticulous attention to detail and need to make each side as similar as possible to the other but its boring really REALLY boring; the maps have no identity, each one is the same as the last, when given a choice the vote on which map I’d like to play next I never do, because it doesn’t matter and this is a worry trait, some of my favourite Gears maps had differences in them and I understand that those maps such as escalation are in the minority when it comes to Gears of War but I feel like they’re needed to break up predictability. They’ve announced that there will be 10 maps on release date and so far these 3 are the ‘same’ and I hope that’s not an indication of what’s to come, howbeit a part of me feels it is, as the Beta is their chance to convince their fans both new and old that this is the Gears for them, and that Judgement was just a pothole on an otherwise smooth surface so their best bet was to put their 3 best and most diverse maps forward in order to give you a strong enough sample to know the full game would be worth the pick-up. So with this logic, and you would assume it’s the correct logic to have in this circumstance the 3 maps they chose to be the shining beacon to draw people in are unexciting doppelgängers.
Dodge-ball…….Perfect. They really hit the nail on the head with this, what I love so much about the early Gears games were that they were punishing; you have one life and if you lose it, that’s it, you’re out, you have to sit and watch someone else play until that round is over. That one and done aspect lead to so many fun clutch plays and it made you really appreciate the life you had and fight ferociously to preserve it, however with the rise of Call of Duty and studios growing practise of ‘tending to the massive’ TDM was introduced, I wasn’t exactly against the game mode and I understood and appreciated the need for it, after a while and all the same I just seemed to find my self yearning for the one and done, too many games of hitting the back button and seeing my team-mate go 1-8 and eat all the lives and being 7-1, dying for the second time on a 15 respawn game and wondering how our respawns got depleted, but dodge-ball perfect combines both aspects I’ve had an even number of both 25 second and 5 minute rounds, it’s a mode that reward individual player skill as well as team skill. It’s a wonder how this is the first time we’re seeing it.
Oh, and the Dropshot is amazing, the versatile , highly explosive, highly game-changing and highly challenging flying bomb gun is sooo satisfying to shoot and kill with, and unlike the Boomshot, its ability to blow up an enemy isn’t just a point and click, there’s a lot of skill mastery involved, and for that reason I think is the perfect blend of powerful and hard to use.