Gears of War effectively closed out its original storyline with the third installment several years ago, but it seems you can't keep a good video game franchise down - especially one as influential as Gears has been in terms of popularizing the cover-based third-person shooter, and turning John DiMaggio's Marcus Fenix into one of the most iconic digital heroes of the modern era. Gears of War 4 promises to bring the classic gameplay back, along with all-new features and a new cast of characters centered on Marcus' son and his friends.
Now, the launch trailer for the hotly-anticipated title has dropped in advance of the October 11th release date. Set 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, the new title finds an ageing (but no less macho) Marcus Fenix joining fellow ultra-violent gaming icon Kratos in the increasingly popular game-hero hobbies of offspring-training and beard-growing, as the newest arrival to gaming's booming Tough Dad pantheon. Having successfully beaten back the monstrous threat that had imperiled Sera, Fenix has been able to raise his son JD in relative peace. But when a new threat (that looks quite a bit like the old threat) emerges in the form of The Swarm, father and son must rally JD's fellow new-generation soldiers Del and Kait to take up arms and beat back the evil once again.
Fans searching the trailer for clues to the most hotly-debated mystery surrounding the title - namely, whether or not Marcus Fenix is actually a main character in the game itself - are not likely to find a definitive answer here. The focus on a new generation of characters has led many to suspect that the series' former central protagonist will exit the narrative (in one way or another) early on, but the new trailer doesn't give much indication either way; instead focusing on showing off new enemies, a revised visual aesthetic, and new elements like giant mechs.
From the official Gears of War 4 press release:
Narrated by John DiMaggio, the voice of Marcus Fenix, the new trailer features high-intensity action orchestrated by a cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” as performed by Lissie. You can also catch the trailer’s television debut later tonight during Monday Night Football on ESPN (5:30PM PT/8:30PM ET).
With the October 11 launch date just a few short weeks away (or on October 7 with early access for Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition owners) Gears of War 4 encourages players to ‘Never Fight Alone’ by teaming up with a friend through cross-platform co-op gameplay on Xbox One and Windows 10 platforms. As Gears of War 4 is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, you’ll be able to play across both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC, as all game progress, Gamerscore, and Achievements are saved on and accessible through Xbox Live.
Update: Gears of War 4 just officially went gold (meaning they've completed development on launch version of the game. Rod Fergusson, who started his career in game development at Xbox before joining Epic Games where he was executive producer on the Gears of War trilogy:
“This has been a real homecoming for me. Coming back to Xbox to lead a studio of talented people from around the world, all focused on Gears of War, and doing so in my home country of Canada in one of the best cities in the world for technology and entertainment has been a dream come true.”
“With Gears of War 4, I’m very proud of what the team at The Coalition has achieved. Not only is it the most technically ambitious Gears game yet – with split-screen play on both Xbox and Windows 10, Xbox Play Anywhere support, Cross Play across all co-op modes, and available 4K graphics – it’s a return to the grounded, tense and brutal tone that made so many fall in love with this universe, story and characters for the first time.”
Gears of War 4 will release for Xbox One and Windows PC on October 11, 2016.