Premiering at the Microsoft press conference the other day, Gears 4 seems to keep much of the flavor that made the first games such hits, but there’s plenty of newness lurking on Sera as well.
So, for starters, there’s no Marcus here, or anyone else from Delta Squad for that matter. We get instead a pair of new heroes, on the hunt for a brand new enemy. And while it’s unclear just what kind of bad guys we might be looking at in Gears 4, they seem way more savage than the Locust ever were, using adaptations to fight over the more human-like hardware.
Though these monsters might not be wholly representative of the baddies that the humans of Sera will face in the game, as certainly the Locust had a wide range of creatures and such inducted into their military. Actually, who’s to say that they’re not a part of a reinvigorated Locust force?
Also new in the trailer is that storm. Whether weather (roger, Roger) elements will be a standard occurrence in Gears 4, or this is a one-off, stage-specific happening is anyone’s guess right now, but the war against the Locust definitely could have had wider consequences for the planet of Sera on the whole. Remember that the Emulsion that the humans had mined for years was taken right out of the world itself, and it had started to have some very strange effects on both humans and Locust by the end of the trilogy. So there might be more to that as well.
Lending itself to that idea are those pods, which busted open and pasted the male character of J.D. in the demo, making him all glowy. That certainly sounds like it might be Emulsion-related. The growths also look to have overgrown the ruin that the team is exploring, so it could be that we’re seeing a natural progression of the substance as it becomes more prevalent on the surface world- remember that they also mentioned something about the ground water, so that specific resource might be getting scarce thanks to contamination.
As for what’s the same though, there’s plenty. The base aesthetic still holds the bulky character designs and ‘destroyed beauty’ of the opening trilogy with Marcus Fenix and co. The run mechanic is also still there and of course, we’ve still got those wonderful Lancers to play around with. It’s just that everything looks way better than ever before thanks to the Xbox One’s power boost over the 360. Not that Gears ever looked bad really, but it’s just so much prettier now.
Lots of stuff to mull over for Gears fans, and it definitely looks like the new development team at The Coalition (which has a few members of the old development team on it) is heading in the right direction. Of course, we’ll still have to wait a while for our Gears fix.
If you don’t count the upcoming Gears of War Ultimate Edition remaster, then the next Gears title will land with Gears 4 some time next year.