Gears Of War 4 Review
Gears Of War is better than you in every single way possible. No matter what you think you’re good at, stop, take a second, and quickly learn that it’s not true. You suck. Gears Of War 4 does not. So, yes, you’ve been beaten by something that’s not real. Tough to be you right now…
It’s no surprise that one of the biggest positives to spill out of The Coalition’s new powerful shooter is its refusals to pander to babies. Unlike most digital toys that have an infatuation with being quaint or ‘charming’, Gears Of War 4 goes in the opposite direction. This a story about a real game, for real men (and women), in a real war, about real guns. It’s not some hocus-pocus made up by nerds in their geek chamber.
From the moment Gears 4 begins to the minute it finishes, it slaps a weapon in your hands, punches you in the face and says ‘Get out there, dammit! And don’t let me down’.
With that said, it’s fair to say it starts off slower than Nintendo’s ability to understand the internet. As it tries to establish its new world and cast of characters, you’re left thinking: ‘Come on, poindexters. Get to the face-crushing already. It’s 2pm and I’ve got to have meal #5 in less than 42 minutes.’
Once enough context has been established, however – AKA, it’s done pandering to idiots who sit down with their Xbox One and can’t work out their ass from their elbow – Gears 4 does what Gears Of War does best: be Gears Of War.
Never taking itself too seriously – unlike you, who for some reason thinks they deserve constant praise just because you have a few Twitter followers. Seriously. What’s that about? It makes no sense? You don’t deserve anything. Anyway…
As I was saying… Never taking itself too seriously, everything here is focused on making sure you chuffing enjoy yourself. You pull that trigger: joy. You Rodey Run: joy. You slam into cover as if you’re going to break through it using your damn ass: joy. The Coalition knows games exist to make you feel like you’ve punched down a wall and found a protein shake just waiting to be consumed. It’s wonderful.
All of this flails in comparison, of course, to when Marcus Fenix arrives on the scene. Now a few years older with a beard that would make a walrus sing and still wonderfully jacked, he reminds you straight away why his name has gone down in history: he’s awesome.
The hero of the previous trilogy has more personality in his delt than Gordon Freeman has in his whole body, and he demonstrates that here within 5-minutes. Also, look at that glasses-wearing idiot. What the chuff is he meant to be? He looks like a scared pencil that’s about to be sharpened half the time. No one wants that. That’s why Valve has given up on Half-Life 3. They know what they did.
Marcus Fenix barges his way in to proceedings and all of a sudden Gears Of War 4 picks up the pace. It’s a shame that you’re obliterating robots for large periods, because robots heads don’t explode when you shoot them. That doesn’t stop the feeling of satisfaction rising up in your biceps every time you nail one right in its fake skull, however.
Where Fenix triumphs, mind, this new cast of jerks fail. They’re fine, if you’re into thin idiots, but none of them have seen a squat rack in their lives. It’s no wonder the relationship between J.D Fenix and his dad is so strained. He’s a crossfitter. Marcus is a bodybuilder. That pairing is never going to work. It’s like trying to put mature cheddar cheese on a cheese cake. You’ve just read the instructions wrong and have made a mess of everything. Don’t mix savoury and sweet. It’s not on. Fool.
Thankfully, it’s a minor criticism, mostly due to how polished Gears Of War 4 is. A third-person cover shooter than actually remembers what genre it’s in and gets those attributes right – as opposed to Assassin’s Creed that would try and outdo Mario Kart if it could – it continually improves as time rolls on.
Act II is better than Act I, in the same way Act IV is better than Act III. It builds, like Arnold did, but never forgets that it’s a game about being really strong and shooting things. There’s no plinky-plonky sad piano so you can pretend that precious indie title you love is high art. There’s music of despair and pain so you know you’re playing the best damn blockbuster of the year.
In you’re one of these hard to please fools and need more, too, Gears Of War 4 also comes packed with a fantastic multiplayer suite. Be it Horde 3.0 – where you kick the crap out of enemies in waves to continually prove you’re a hero – or the standard online modes, The Coalition have tweaked rather than evolved and it’s absolutely the right decision.
If I wanted something with evolutions I’d play Pokémon. But I would never play Pokémon. Because I’m not 5-years old. And know how to operate heavy machinery.
It’s sad that participating in the multiplayer means interacting with other human beings who are the dregs of the Earth, but you can always be rude to them down your headset using such terms as ‘jabroni’, ‘pleb’, ‘plonker’, and ‘thin piece of trash’.
Gears Of War 4 deserves all the plaudits I’m sending its way, even if as a whole it’s my favourite franchise. It’s earned them. Too many individuals nowadays are keen to rag on the franchise simply because they have nothing else going on in their lives and cannot fathom that – like Cindy Lauper – it just wants to have fun.
So the opposite to Bloodborne. Which is so ‘dark’ and ‘desperate’ it probably shops in Hot Topic. We’ve cleared that up. Gears and an 80s pop icon are better than that rubbish…
Gears Of War 4 is good. Gears Of War is great. Gears Of War 4 is everything you damn well need.