The legacy of Gears of War protagonist Marcus Fenix will live on as the game series’ story continues from his son’s point of view in the fourth entry. A previous trailer indicated that the plot will deliver an emotional experience and make up for the mediocre Judgment.
That’s all well and good for Gears of War 4′s single player campaign but what about multiplayer? Gears has become known for its online offerings and fans have already been able to test out the latest title’s core modes in an ongoing beta which just became open for any Xbox One player to test out. the gameplay so far in worryingly familiar with a few odd design decisions that may need to be tweaked. There is a comfort to be had in that though and what isn’t broken shouldn’t be necessarily be fixed and the new Gears of War 4 multiplayer trailer shows why.
Xbox and The Coalition released the trailer (showcasing the new Buzzkill and Dropshot weapons) in anticipation for their presence at the PAX East convention this weekend where more multiplayer details were showcased, and today Microsoft (now not only the publisher but owner of the IP) unveiled Gears of War 4’s DLC season pass and pre-order details.
Microsoft is releasing a special edition of the game so fans can get their hands on everything they need for the full Gears of War 4 experience. Given the same subtitle as the remake of the first game on Xbox One, the ‘Ultimate Edition’ will be available digitally and at retail and will include the core game itself plus the season pass for all future DLC which includes 24 additional maps along with weapon and character skins.
Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition includes:
- Gears of War 4 ($59.99 USD value)
- Gears of War 4 Season Pass ($49.99 USD value)
- Includes exclusive Vintage VIP Pack featuring Vintage JD and two Vintage weapon skins, permanent access to 24 additional DLC maps (two per month for a year) for private play on dedicated servers, an exclusive Developer Playlist that grants access to new maps, modes, and features that can be tested prior to broad release and six Gear Packs (which unlock character and weapon skins, emblems, equipment and boosts)
- A limited edition SteelBook case
- Early Access to Gears of War 4 on Friday, Oct. 7, 2016, four days before the game’s worldwide launch.
And more importantly, you can try the game right now! The Versus Multiplayer Beta is open for all Xbox Live Gold members beginning today – a nice followup to to the news coming out of the Gears of War 4 tournament at PAX East where a new game mode was also revealed. Called Escalation, it is a development of the Execution mode and looks to force players to create complex strategies. YouTube user ProGear360 uploaded footage of the debut matches, which also demonstrated the new spectator mode. Fans are still waiting for confirmation on whether Horde Mode will still be present.
One thing we do know will be a controversial feature Gears of War 4’s microtransactions. The developer states that these will only offer cosmetic customization options and not affect actual gameplay. In an interview with GameSpot, the head of The Coalition, Rod Fergusson explained that players will have the option to purchase crates which will include cards (yes, cards again, just like Halo 5) of varying rarity that will unlock things like weapon skins. Players of FIFA Ultimate Team should understand the concept, as instead of using real money to buy the best player outright, you spend cash on packs, hoping what you want is inside. Fergusson emphasizes that the feature is not a ‘pay to win’ scenario:
“I feel like that paradigm of cards is really clear to understand for collectibles, like the ability to collect things. We had weapon skins and character skins, so that idea of collecting cards is just easily understood, We’re going to be balanced where you’re going to be constantly getting crates, or enough credits to get crates through the game, so it really is just about your choice.”
The Coalition is attempting to live up to the Gears of War name both as a single player and online multiplayer experience. Time will tell if the new features the developer is adding actually enhances the experience or starts to suggest that the series is getting stale.
Gears of War 4 releases October 11, 2016 exclusively for Xbox One.