It seems like remastered games are a dime a dozen as of late. This isn’t a bad thing, but the market can easily get saturated. However, this isn’t the case with Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. If anything, it is a breath of fresh air. Gears of War first launched 9 years ago, and it was extremely exciting to be able to stomp around as Marcus again.
The one awesome thing about Gears of War is that this game, and even the series, knows exactly what it is – a rough,
edgy, and bulky third person shooter. This is by no means a bad thing, since Gears of War was one of the first of its kind. Gears of War is one of the only shooters I know that keeps the player involved almost all the time, and keeps them attentive to their surroundings. You can’t just power through the campaign, you actually need to pay attention. Gears of War will laugh in your face if you try and use the typical “run and gun” strategy.
The game starts you off by introducing you to the Locusts, who are rock enemies that have emerged deep within Earth’s surface. You play as Marcus Fenix, a massively huge man who was freed from prison while the rest of the army is either missing or dead. With a small company, Fenix must lead his team to deliver and deploy a bomb deep in the Locust’s tunnel system. It’s a relatively simple story that keeps you around with objectives in fun environments. The voice acting is also plentiful and consistent for Marcus along with everybody in your team.
Speaking of your team, they are full on “bro dudes”. They have huge biceps, deep voices, and do everything with as much force as possible. They slam magazines into their guns, kick partially ajar doors open, and cause as much destruction as they can. It seems almost like they do this
for fun instead of trying to save humanity. Just like their personalities, the gun names are ridiculously filled with testosterone. Why kill an enemy with a regular assault rifle when you can choose between a torque bow, gnasher, hammerburst, or the crazy hammer of dawn?
Gears of War is by no means a stealthy shooter, but the
combat does revolve around taking cover. Ducking behind a
concrete pillar does help you catch your breath, but eventually the locusts will surround and/or flank you. Some enemies will charge at you making you back up and move away. It’s annoying because you have to expose yourself to other enemies. The battle isn’t just with the firefight, it’s a battle to outsmart the locusts and their movements. Strategy is not just recommended, it’s a pure fact.
It is also worth noting that the controls haven’t changed at all. If you are a typical first person shooter, then the controls and mechanics will throw you off. Basically every control is different in Gears of War. It is clunky, slow, and hard to master. Once you get the hang of it, it will be easy. Going back to other shooters, however, will give you another learning curve.
Like the original Gears of War, the “A” button takes a good bashing. You rely on one button to run, roll, take cover, jump over cover, and to move from one type of cover to the next. I often found myself trying to do one action, but got caught up doing another. It’s not just distracting, it is frustrating. It’s a blessing and a curse because new players get to witness how old game mechanics worked, while veterans get to moan and scream “not again!”
With Gears of War: Ultimate Edition there are 5 extra campaign chapters, which are new to anybody who didn’t play the original PC version. If you don’t know about the big action sequence, then don’t look into it. There is also 2 new multiplayer game modes. Team Deathmatch and King Of The Kill join the roster along with the originals. Along with the new game modes there are plenty of maps, 20, to keep the game refreshing.
The online multiplayer definitely feels different from the beta. The Coalition took the feedback from the community and tried to do everything they can to give homage to the original. It feels great, plays great, and the response times are right on point. In 60 frames per second at 1080p, dying doesn’t feel as bad. Watching yourself chainsawed at the neck, shotgunned into smitherines, or getting shot in the forehead by a sniper is beautiful. As always, Gears of War is bloody, gory entertainment.
At $40, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is an easy choice if you are thinking about it. You get a well-constructed remaster, and even then the game is still fun to play. Also, you get the entire Gears of War collection for free via backwards compatibility. You get your money just buy the included incentives. The Gears of War collection will be available for download in the Fall when backwards compatibility becomes available to the public.
- Beautiful graphic remaster
- Entire series available via backwards compatability
- Sticks to original game design
- Too reliant on "A" button
- Control scheme can be hard to master