Gears of War 4: XBox One Review
Platform: XBox One
Developed by The Coalition
Gears of War 4 is perhaps one of the best looking shooters of the next generation.
Taking place 25 years after the events of Gears of Wars 3, the game picks up and thrusts you into the role of James Fenix, the son of Marcus Fenix - and into a world of trouble.
With a prologue that essentially gives you some recap of the previous games and also sends you directly into the action before ensuring you have to face a new threat in the form of critters known as The Swarm, it's clear that Gears of War 4 under The Coalition's watch is going to be about action.
And quite frankly, it is all about the action and the shooting.
With characters that wouldn't feel out of place in an action film, and with dialogue that fits too, Gears of War 4 is cinematic in ways you wouldn't expect.
Graphically, the game's excellent with its post -space world and rendering feeling bright, futuristic and day after tomorrow as well as vibrant and engaging.
Creature design for the Swarm is pretty spot on and feels both enticing and occasionally repulsive. But the cut scenes which introduce the new threat are filled with as much adrenaline as they are threat, and give the game a sheen that reeks of quality.
Early sequences see you taking on guard robots and their rolling buddies (which feel like they wouldn't be out of place in Terrahawks) before the game switches things up. The sense of peril explodes and the game matches the scope of what transpires with ease. It looks so pretty on the XBox One and the worlds rendered around JD and his gangs are worthy of exploring on their own.
Add in some good solid character edges and you begin to understand why Gears of War 4 feels like the full package.
There are a couple of niggles with the cover elements of the fighting though.
Far too often I'd press the button to go to cover and it wouldn't be as fluid or intuitive as I'd expect - or trying to vault over pieces of cover, it didn't work as well as expected. It's a minor complaint, though in tougher boss battles and in waves of attacks, it becomes an ongoing concern.
There's plenty of Multiplayer for Gears of War 4 too, but these will be explored a little further once the servers are a little more populated; my initial quest to get a game on Horde was met with a lot of waiting for the server to give enough people, so I'll review that at a later date.
Ultimately Gears of War 4 does what you'd expect on the box.
But the fact that it does it looking so utterly incredible is a real testament to all involved. It may be one of the best looking shooters on the XBox One, but it certainly never takes that for granted, and doesn't rest on its laurels.