The Gears of War 4 hype train is getting a healthy helping of coal thanks to the consistent, month long coverage Game Informer has managed to keep rolling through March. We’ve already met the new cast, learnt of the soon to launch multiplayer beta and just how eSports centric said multiplayer is now. But if you’re like me then you’re wondering just how The Coalition is making the traditionally Epic developed series their own. And the answers are extremely pleasing.
Gears of War has always been immediately recognisable thanks to its iconic weaponry. The Lancer, for example, is ingrained the the minds of gamers from all walks of console and PC life, with the gruesomely violent chainsaw kills that it produces are familiar to the same people. Gears of War 4 is retaining a lot of the series’ greats (with a few cosmetic changes), but its new weapons are a comment on the times after Gears of War 3.
Sera and its people have been rebuilding their ravaged city since the Locust threat subsided, and have developed some advanced mining equipment to help. Unsurprisingly a lot of these tools eventually got fashioned into weapons when the Swarm arrived. Weapons such as The Dropshot and Buzzkill, for example, take many hints from the likes of Dead Space. The Buzzkill in particular launches buzzsaws at high velocities, letting them bounce off walls to clear rooms of enemies in a flash. But they pose a threat to you, as some misguided shots could boomerang all the way back to your face.
The Dropshot, however, is more an exciting replacement to a series great than brand new. The Digger used to launch mines that would pop up from below enemies, but the Dropshot does the opposite. Launching and holding in fire send a spinning drill mine into the air and ahead in a straight line. As soon as you let go of fire the mine drops to the floor, drilling in a exploding if it hits ground. But you actually want to hit an enemy directly – so that you can watch it drill into the skull of a new Swarm drone before it goes up in flames.
The Swarm themselves are familiar in some aspects to the Locust, but different enough for them to feel like a new threat entirely. The standard drones are similar to that of the Locust, taking up weapons just like you and taking up most of your shooting time. The Juvies are easy to compare to the likes of the Wretches, but The Coalition describes them as faster, deadlier and a hell of a mission to control in a large area. They’re able to let off high shrieks that burst open closed Juvies pods, which could overwhelm you in a blink of an eye.
The Pouncer is the most interesting of the enemies Game Informer got to see though, fitting snugly into the idea of Gears of War 4 treading into more horror territory. It’s the creature featured at the end of the E3 demo last year – a hulking enemy that walks on all fours and has a quill equipped tail to fling shrapnel at you from afar. Up close though they’re a different beast altogether, able to pin you to the floor and maul you with their many rows of teeth. Nasty.
There’s still a lot more to learn about Gears of War 4, and the beta in April is sure to help with that. Gears of War 4 is out later this year on Xbox One.
Last Updated: March 17, 2016