Gears of War 4 is Now Available on Xbox One and Windows 10

Posted on October 11, 2016 by Paul Thurrott in Games, Windows 10, Xbox One with 3 Comments

Gears of War 4 is Now Available on Xbox One and Windows 10

Today, Microsoft is celebrating the worldwide release of Gears of War 4 for Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. The single player experience continues the story line from the original Gears trilogy, and Microsoft has amped up multiplayer in this release as well.

“Gears of War 4 marks the beginning of a new saga for one of the most acclaimed video game franchises in history,” Microsoft’s Will Tuttle explains. “Set 25 years after the end of Gears of War 3, Gears of War 4 has been a hit with critics and who have described the game as the ‘best-looking game on Xbox One’ and ‘stunning in 4K’.”

Well. Not all critics.

As I wrote in my Gears of War 4 Review and Gears of War 4 Review: A Quick Follow-Up, the game is indeed beautiful, though I lack the computing horsepower to play it in 4K (a feature that is only available in the PC version of the game). But it’s also monotonous and repetitive, and far too similar to the previous games in the series. (Be sure to check out A Timely Reminder of Why Call of Duty is So Great, too, to see how a nine-year-old COD game is far more innovative, fun, and differentiated than the new Gears title.)

But to each his own. And certainly Gears of War 4 has some things going for it.

For starters, the game is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, is in fact the biggest Xbox Play Anywhere title yet, and is thus a nice proof point for Microsoft’s plan to make Xbox exclusives far more inclusive across device types. (Note: You have to buy the game digitally to take advantage of this functionality.)

It’s also an excellent chance for Microsoft to create a second great Xbox-exclusive gaming franchise, along Halo. Given this, playing it safe might actually make sense for the first new game, and maybe the experimentation we saw in the final act is something that will be expanded in future titles.

Also, Microsoft has big plans for DLC over the next year, and has instituted a season pass-like system, like we see in Call of Duty and other games. So Gears fans have lots to look forward to: You don’t have to wait for the next game.

I’ll be fumbling around with multiplayer in the meantime. So far I’ve just played a bit of Horde mode, which works a lot like Zombies mode in the COD games, albeit without any of the story line and settings side-trips we see there. Off to the races…

 

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Comments (3)

3 responses to “Gears of War 4 is Now Available on Xbox One and Windows 10”

  1. 6212

    I’ll be fumbling around with multiplayer in the meantime. So far I’ve just played a bit of Horde mode, which works a lot like Zombies mode in the COD games, albeit without any of the story line and settings side-trips we see there. Off to the races…

    Well, I hope Paul likes Versus and Horde better than the campaign.  The truth is that Gears campaigns haven't really been that good since the original GoW. 

    As for Versus, it will be hard to get into if what you're coming from is CoD.  GoW plays very differently than the big FPS tentpole games of today. A big part of it is learning to move around and use cover.  There are a lot of quirky mechanics, like active reload.  Once you get used to it all the game opens up signficantly, and the addicting pace and intensity of GoW multiplayer fights becomes accessible to you.

    My recommendation to new players is to stick with Horde mode at first.  Use Horde to master the game mechanics, moving around, using cover, roadie running, reloading, etc.  Then once you feel somewhat comfortable, only then should you try Versus. 

    In any case, I hope Paul and others give it a chance.  GoW offers a rich and unique experience among contemporary shooters.

     

  2. 6223

    Play Anywhere is only an advantage if you're primarily an Xbox player, as you're getting two copies of a game or the same price as a 'normal' XBONE game. Even if you don't own a gaming PC you're no worse off than you were before.

    If you're primarily a PC player it's a good deal if you have an XBONE and fancy making the game more challenging by using an inferior control scheme for a shooter. If you don't own an XBONE then the cost of your copy has risen by £10-£20 (and presumably a similar ratio in $, euro, etc.) for no advantage. You're now effectively paying the console makers royalty fee for a game that isn't on a console.*

     

    *For those who think I'm hating on the XBONE specifically I'd feel the same about the same deal from PS4, whatever Nintendo makes these days or A N Other console.

  3. 5240

    Unfortunately, Gears 4 is missing the 4 player co-op of some previous games in the series. That leaves mu brother, sister and me out this time.