Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Collection: XBox One Review
Platform: XBox One
Released by Microsoft / The Coalition
The shooter is a fine art.
When done perfectly and when everything is firing (pun intended), it can be a beautiful thing as it all comes together in both fluidity, story and blasting the hell out of everything.
When the first installment of Gears was released back in 2006, the gaming industry was still moving at a pace. Today, with the next gen consoles, it seems that everything old is new again, particularly if the word remaster has been thrown in. But also, for many, there is a new generation taking the games on - and these remasters really are a window to some of the finest material around, which has been dusted off, given a once over for the powerful consoles and let loose.
However, it's still all about the gameplay and Gears delivers, purely and simply.
Featuring every multiplayer mode and map from the original game, plus new content such as Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill modes, five campaign chapters never released on Xbox and more, there's more than enough for the seasoned player of Gears to reacquaint themselves with the game.
With a cinematic opening telling of the Emergence Day, the game kicks in pretty quickly, thrusting you into the position of Marcus Fenix, a COG soldier and giving you a chance to fight back against the Locusts which have invaded.
It's quick-paced, requires a degree of quick reaction and nerves of steel as you play this third person shooter. But it's also incredibly sharp too, from the enhanced graphics that give the game the sheen it needs too, to the reaction time which kicks in quicker than expected. Gameplay is seamless and fluid, and it's easy to get sucked into the various campaigns as well as the online mode.
All in all, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition makes a fine curtain raiser to the fourth installment later next year - and it makes a compelling argument for a remaster when they're done properly and lovingly, rather than a swift cash in that aims to grab the money and run. Complete with a smooth multiplayer and clever reaction, if you're serious about shooters, you can't afford to be without this.