On October 11, the Coalition will attempt to fill the enormous size sixteens left by Epic Games when they release the Xbox One exclusive Gears of War 4. For longtime fans of the third-person action series, there’s a lot to look forward to when a new generation of freedom fighters throw themselves into the heart of the oncoming storm.
Here’s everything we know about the highly anticipated action game.
It’s a New World, Not a Better One
Gears of War 4’s story takes place 25 years after the cataclysmic finale of Gears of War 3 when Marcus Fenix and his homies destroyed the Locust and Lambent horde across the planet of Sera. In doing so, however, Fenix and his crew also made it impossible to use the planet’s fossil fuels, rendering humanity virtually helpless. Oops.
While Fenix settles down with fellow combatant Anya Stroud, the world around the couple has been left devoid of natural resources. The remaining scraps of humanity either huddle together in cities run by the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) or scrape out a living on the desolate planet as Outsiders.
A New Generation of Warrior
It’s not Marcus, but JD Fenix that will be taking the reins in Gears of War 4. As a geriatric, Marcus isn’t much use in the ongoing battle against alien evil, so it’s JD, his childhood friend Del Walker, and an Outsider named Kait Diaz who will be doing most of the murdering in Gears of War 4.
Meet the New Evolution of Enemy: The Swarm
We’ve already gotten some information that suggests that the new enemy in Gears 4, the Swarm is actually related to the first trilogy’s Locust, but that doesn’t mean the Swarm isn’t a new breed of evil.
It begins with Juvies, scrambling little bastards that travel in packs. If they live long enough, Juvies can develop into Drones. Drones can use weapons like average soldiers and come in the standard three variations: Grunts, Snipers, and Hunters. Beyond these enemies, the Coalition has unveiled the Pouncer, a giant, bug-like trooper that — guess what — pounces.
Don’t Expect a Lot of Marcus Fenix
It seems as though Anya Stroud has already shuffled off this mortal coil by the time of Gears of War 4’s story, though the Coalition has said that old man Marcus Fenix will be showing up in some capacity.
Mark my words: He’ll hand over the COG gear and then get murdered, sacrificing himself to save his kid (who will, in turn, have big-time incentive to extinguish the Swarm with extreme prejudice).
The World Isn’t Prepared, and Your Weaponry Will Reflect That
In the wake of the Locust’s destruction, the world has been too focused on survival to really think about a massive external threat. As a result, a lot of the game’s weapons are simply construction equipment that have been repurposed to fend off the new enemy.
The Story Unwinds Over the Course of 24 Hours
Expect things to move quickly, Jack Bauer-style.
Fear and Respect the Weather
Another first for the series, Gears of War 4 will incorporate a weather system that ranges from mild breezes and pleasant summer showers to violent lightning storms that will keep you scrambling to survive.
Different categories of storm will also influence the way you’ll need to fight, to the extent that you’ll need to think about air flow when firing in a wind storm.
Expect Close Quarters All Around
The Coalition has doubled down on one of the previous trilogies most beloved, but underutilized concepts: close-quarters combat. In Gears 4, a new combat knife will make face-to-face slaughter easier than ever. Meanwhile, new mechanics make it a breeze to leap over cover or pull enemies into the line of fire.
Of course, that’s a two-way street, as the Swarm is smarter and more lethal than the Locust and Lambent ever were.
Close Quarters Goes for the Environments, Too
In an homage to Gears’s more enclosed environments and intimate storytelling, the Coalition is going to make the stakes extremely personal for JD Fenix and his comrades. They’ll also be put in situations with no options for escape but moving forward. While Gears of War 4 will make use of some great scale, players can also expect a healthy dose of claustrophobia in the campaign.
Multiplayer and Esports Are a Huge Priority
For those addicted to Gears’s uniquely gritty brand of multiplayer, the Coalition’s focus is only good news. Gears of War 4’s multiplayer will stick to 60 fps and utilize dedicated servers to make sure you’re always getting a solid connection.
Obviously, Horde Mode is also back, but this time the Coalition has pumped it full of steroids. Increased randomness in the enemy spawns, new Boss Waves, and a brand new class system are just some of the bells and whistles awaiting players in what the Coalition assures will be a more immersive and customizable experience.