Tag Archives: Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 and six more titles coming to Game Pass

The Game Pass content continues to grow and seven new titles will be introduced to the service on December 1st. Also, ICYMI, Xbox launched Game Pass Goals, a fun way to get rewarded for playing games in Xbox Game Pass. Each month a new Goal is posted in the Xbox Game Pass Lounge, and everyone who completes their Goal is guaranteed to win a prize, which include Xbox Live Gold, Xbox Gift Cards, movies, DLC and more. One lucky Xbox Game Pass member will also win a grand prize each month, such as a $500 Gift Card for Microsoft Store! With Game Pass Goals, there is no need to register or sign-up, if you’re an Xbox Game Pass member then you can jump right in and start winning. Head over to the Xbox Game Pass Lounge and check out your Goal at the beginning of each month for your chance to win awesome prizes!

The new games joining the service are;

Gears of War 4 – Jump into campaign solo or co-op and take on the role of J.D. Fenix, son to Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud, as you and your band of Outsiders confront the Coalition of Ordered Governments, battle the impending Swarm, and unravel the mystery of Marcus Fenix’ last 25 years. And that’s just in the single-player campaign – there is more excitement to be found in multiplayer or Horde mode. As an added bonus, The Coalition is kicking off December with a double XP incentive.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ji2aU4EdQww

Darksiders: Warmastered Edition– THQ Nordic’s third-person action adventure journey based on the lore of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. You play the horseman War, and you are tasked with venturing out from The Scalding Gallow to explore and discover new lands, weapons, enemies, and abilities. The Endwar has begun on Earth, inciting a great battle between angels, demons, and man. Only War can break the Seventh Seal and finally restore order to the realm.

Sherlock Holmes: The Devil’s Daughter – The legendary detective is back with five cases to investigate, as well as a host of additional personnel, professional, and moral hurdles to overcome along the way. Use your detective powers to collect all the evidence and solve each puzzle as you bring peace and security back to the streets of London.

This War of Mine: The Little Ones – A civilian-based perspective on the Bosnian War, developed by 11-bit studios and published by Deep Silver. This War of Mine is equal parts strategy and survival, requiring you to take on the role of a bystander to war and scavenge for resources, ration supplies, and try (oft unsuccessfully) to avoid the perils of war. This War of Mine is a demanding game covering a very sobering topic and one you are not likely to forget anytime soon.

Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 – Lacrosse is a fast-paced, action-packed sport requiring keen strategy and tactical precision and CPL 16 delivers pace and excitement reminiscent of the real thing. If you’re new to Lacrosse, jump into the Lacrosse Academy to develop and polish your skills. From there, play pickup in Quick Match (solo or competitive multiplayer) or start your sure-to-be-illustrious journey in career mode. Are you a fan of customization? With CPL 16, create your own characters, build your own teams and forge your LAX dynasty from the ground up.

Mega Man 10 – Mega Man 10, the last and final installment in the legendary platforming saga, allows you to assume the role of either Mega Man or Proto Man and take on classic boss battles with Blade Man, Chill Man, Sheep Man, and more! Mega Man may seem fun and simple, but it can be a very challenging test of your skills. Struggling with your stealth? Play through the main story or jump into Challenge Mode, where you can polish your abilities in 88 different mini-games. There’s never been a better time to join the action and defeat the evil Dr. Wiley!

Mass Effect – One of the greatest single-player action RPGs of all-time, Mass Effect is a true classic that has aged extremely well. In Mass Effect, we follow the story of Commander Shepard, a 22nd-century soldier assuming the tiny little mission of… saving the entire universe from a super race of ill-intentioned, mighty mechs. Choose from six different classes and level-up your character as you seek out and complete combat missions, resource gathering expeditions, and other side quests.

 

Canals makes a welcome return to Gears of War 4

Gears of War 4 has had its August Update, with new maps and games modes coming our way. Check out more details below:

New Maps

Forge Blitz

Forge Blitz is a tighter, faster pace evolution of the map Forge that builds upon the spirit of the original to create a map filled with new combat experiences. All of this action takes place in a sand-swept factory damaged over time by a Windflare, underneath a blazing hot desert sun.

If the original Forge was chess-like, Forge Blitz is chess on a high-speed moving train. We’ve looked at every key fight on the map and found new ways to make them faster, more tactical and more intense than ever before.

Gone are the secondary entrances to the Control Room as well as the elbow behind the Incinerator, forcing combat into more focused areas with more direct fronts. Both exits from either spawn have also been tightened up to provide less open space and more opportunities to be aggressive.

The Control Room combat is now also more intense than ever with more angles and cover options to push your opponents hard. The defining Incinerator still dominates the horizon, but now you’ll need to look out for the telltale flames inside to know if it’s armed and ready. One button press from an enemy or ally, and you could be toast! These new changes were influenced by Forge’s time as a Gears Esports Pro Circuit map, and we can’t wait to see teams take on this map at the highest level this August.

Canals

You never forget your first run to the Longshot on Canals – and that tense 1v1 showdown that follows. Canals returns in Gears of War 4, bringing back the classic triple bridge combat over a shallow canal that was a defining part of the original Gears of War Versus experience. Set in the city of Timgad in the dark of the night lit only by moonlight and street lamps, Canals oozes with that classic Gears of War ominous atmosphere.

Snipers have a massive impact on the flow of the fight with long sightlines and plenty of places to hide, but prepared to pull out your Gnasher at a moment’s notice for an intense close quarters fight on the narrow bridges.

Both maps are available now for Season Pass Holders in the Double XP and 20% Bonus Credit ‘Developer Playlist’! Everyone can dive into both Forge Blitz and Canals beginning on August 8thwhen they are added to Public Matchmaking.

Summer of Gears

Summer is upon us, and we’re celebrating in Gears of War 4 Versus with an increase to the First Win of the Day Credit Bonus!

Every day in August, your first win of the day is worth 500 Credits – and increase from the standard 100 Credits. That means an extra 12,400 Credits are up for grabs this August if you win one match every day!

In addition, the second season of the Gears Pro Circuit is on the way – and we’re preparing with Escalation Ring placement improvements to Diner, Impact, Lift and The Slab. These improvements were crafted with our Pro Players at a recent studio playtest, so jump in and check them out for yourself beginning today.

Looking Forward

Mark your calendars for new events coming this month in Gears of War 4!

First up, this month’s Craftable Character is a blast from the past. Introducing Classic Commando Dom!

Our monthly Versus and Horde events continue this month with a new Horde variant on August 18th and Classic One Shot One Kill on Canals on August 25th. If you’re a Horde fan, our latest Horde variant ‘Anything Goes’ challenges is still active – and now, as of this update, you can play it whenever you want on any map in Private Match!

The Horde rises in the next Gears 4 patch

Coming June 6, Gears of War 4 is getting its largest patch to date, Rise of the Horde, which includes a free 10 hour trial so you will have no excuse not to give it a go. The trial is available from June 9-15 and includes the entire first Act, full access to Horde and multiplayer, so fill you boots with 10 hours of free Gears of War 4 goriness.

The main focus of the patch is to give Horde mode a bit of a shakeup. Each soldier class will have access to three new level 6 skills – I’d imagine TiX’s Editor in Chief will like the magic bullet buff to the Sniper class, which increases headshot damage – meanwhile all existing skills can be buffed to the new level 6 cap. To help you on your path to collecting these new skill cards boss waves will drop a single random Horde Skill if you can defeat them. Harder difficulties increase the chance of a rare drop.

After a prolonged first run of the campaign on insane difficulty with Greg, the next piece of patch news doesn’t fill me with much joy – Inconceivable and Ironman difficulties – available for both Campaign and Horde. Inconceivable ramps up the toughness of the Swarm while making the COG weaker while Ironman pits you against the Swarm with just one life. Feeling brave? Take on Inconceivable with Iron Man active, but the best part of the patch… new maps. Gears of War 2 favourite Avalanche returns alongside Gears of War 3 map Rust Lung.

Rounding off the Rise of the Horde patch is a special ‘The Gear With The Golden Gun’ event. Armed with just one bullet in a Boltok, you must hit your opponent by hip-firing, land the shot and the bullet returns to the barrel, miss and you need to dig in for the longest reload animation of your Gears career. Finally, Season Pass holders will get a little something extra with a Horde Expert Pack and an exclusive Gear Pack that contains 5 of the new Horde skills.

For more information on balancing and the new ‘Wings’ re-up level, check out the official website.

Gears of War 4 gets March update

March brings a brand new update to Gears of War 4. First up is two maps.

Diner

 

A lone neon-lit Diner in a dusty wasteland is the latest battleground in Gears 4! Developed over the course of the last 18 months, this map represents one of the most refined tactical experiences yet seen in a map from The Coalition.

Combat inside the Diner is intense and claustrophobic as you fight for control of the kitchen and Sniper Spawn. Expect smaller engagements that demand close-quarters skills to come out on top.

The parking lot is a more open affair where the focus shifts to ranged combat. Work as a team and win the outside and open up new flanks to catch out your opponents in the Diner!

Old Town

 

Old Town is back! One of the standout maps from Gears of War 3, this map has been re-imagined in a snowy UIR Costal town, complete with a looming UIR Base lurking in the background.

Old Town features the same layout fans know and love, with its clearly defined three lanes and asymmetrical elevation change from low to high. Fight over the Torque and Sniper under the Belltower, stall to stall in the market, or hunkered down in the tight, long sight-lined alleyway.

With new weapon swaps, the dynamics of the critical alleyway fight have evolved. One round will force the fight into close range with the addition of the Overkill shotgun, while the other will encourage ranged combat thanks to the new Markza pickups. Win the fight to claim the Boomshot or – new to Gears of War 4 – Dropshot that spawns here.

Both maps will be available today to Season Pass Holders in the Developer Playlist, complete with Double XP and 20% Bonus Credits. The maps will be added to the standard map rotation for all on March 14th.

Next up is Ranked Lobbies for Core and Competitive playlists. In matchmaking for any Core or Competitive playlist, you will now be placed into a pre-game lobby complete with map voting, bounty selection, and customisation options. Once the match is over, you’ll be automatically returned into the Lobby search for your playlist without having to manually restart.

The Gnasher has had some changes made to it also. The Coalition have had numerous reports and videos from users regarding some point-blank inconsistencies with the Gnasher, so the team have made mechanical changes to the Gnasher that improves its close-range consistency.

As well as new weapon skins and characters, there will also be a new Legacy character for players to craft over the next month.

Gears of War 4 now supports cross-play between Win 10 & Xbox One in Social Quickplay

Gears of War players on Windows 10 and Xbox One will be able to play against each other, thanks to Microsoft activating cross-play between the two through Social Quickplay.

Although you can only play each other socially currently, Microsoft are looking into allowing you to play more competitively.

Due to the major popularity of Social Quickplay on Windows 10, we will be looking at introducing new Core and Competitive solutions for Windows 10 players in the future,” said the company, “to provide more focused offerings to experience the more competitive ranked play of Gears of War 4.

Gears of War 4 gets third title update

Our game of 2016, Gears of War 4 is to get its third title update today.

The full patch notes can be found right here, but to summarise; two new maps (details incoming apparently) are releasing as well as plenty of new cards to collect and craft.

The theme around this update appears to be about combatting quitters, with harsher penalties for those who quit first. A new feature allows you to rejoin if you fall foul to loss of internet connection. If you rejoin, you won’t face any penalties.

Improvements have also been made to spectator mode in preparation of all the eSports action, there have been a host of bug fixes too.

Keep an eye out on the site for more info on the new maps later today.

New Gears of War 4 maps arriving November 1

Xbox have announced the first Gears of War 4 DLC is arriving on November 1.

Two of the most popular Gears of War Legacy Maps will make their debut in Gears of War 4 with the addition of Checkout and Drydock for Versus Multiplayer and Horde. Available November 1 for Season Pass holders as part of the early access Developer Playlist, Checkout and Dry Dock will also be introduced into free public playlists on November 8.

If you own the Season pass, you can look forward to anohter 22 maps over the next year.

Checkout

Revisit the iconic supermarket in Cole’s hometown of Hanover 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3 in this Legacy Map. Much like the rest of Sera, nature is reclaiming whatever it can following the Locust Wars, but that hasn’t slowed the fast, furious and frenetic combat that takes place between the checkout lanes and the electronics department.

Drydock

Transported from a COG ship building facility to a ship breaking scrapyard on a Seran mudflat, this fan favorite returns with a vengeance to Gears of War 4 Versus Multiplayer and Horde modes.

Seattle Sounders celebrate Gears of War 4

In the final game of the season, the Seattle Sounders wore special edition Gears of War 4 kits to celebrate the release of the game. They also produced a video showing off the players playing GOW4.

Those fans who had the away kit could get the Gears of War 4 logo printed on their kit on matchday, which is pretty cool. The Sounders ended up bagging a 2-1 MLS Decision Day victory over Real Salt Lake that officially punched their ticket to the postseason.

HDR Gaming on Xbox One

One of the most lauded features of the 4K revolution, HDR (or High Dynamic Range), has hit Gears of War 4 this week, joining Forza Horizon 3, NBA 2K17, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

Whilst typically associated with UHD Blu-ray titles, HDR enables your TV to go beyond conventional 8-bit processing into 10-bit. Those conventional 8-bit images we’ve been enjoying up to now can deliver 256 values across each of the channels in the RGB spectrum—that’s around 16 million colours. So what do those two extra bits give you? Well, a whopping 64-times more colours, hitting just over a billion. It’s kind of a big deal, on paper at least.

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In practice, this means more gradations of colours, more details in bright and dark scenes, and more lifelike, realistic image reproduction. Scenes featuring complex, wide-ranging, diverse images can show off HDR in a particularly striking way.

Players of Gears of War 4 will of course be familiar with its beautiful visual effects, crazy weather, and bombastic action. As games go, there’s perhaps nothing better to show off HDR than this.

The following is a series of Gears of War 4 images captured offscreen in both standard and HDR mode on Xbox One S. Bear in mind however, you’re reading this on an 8-bit display. Due to the nature of HDR and its increased ability to deliver localised luminosity, these images should be interpreted as a typical approximation.
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As you can see here, the standard image suffers quite badly from bloom originating from the sun behind the mountains. As a result, the entire image is overly illuminated in an unrealistic way. With HDR, the display is able to reproduce both the peak brightness of the sun, along with the more subtle, realistic darker details of the wall. Light sources fall across the environment more realistically too, with the facing wall remaining dark whilst retaining detail.

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Even more noticeable here, the sun completely blows out the standard image. On HDR, the brightness and luminosity is retained but localised, with the sun bleeding through the clouds without sacrificing detail elsewhere in the image.

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Multiplayer effects are unsurprisingly more subtle, perhaps a nod by the developers to level the playing field a bit. Environmental details and surfaces continue to deal with light sources in a more realistic way, creating a more natural and striking image.

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Here, HDR gives us a furious sky with blinding brights and moody blacks, as surfaces like the bricks on the left and the metal cog on the right react to light sources more realistically. Notice the shadows under the brown-bricked building’s ledge and the architecture of the building to its right—depth is far more noticeable.

All in all, it’s clear HDR can add tremendous value to a game’s immersion and its ability to reproduce what the artists intended more truthfully. There are some caveats, however. Due to the increased range of colour and luminosity produced by the source, the resulting effect is an image that often appears to be slightly dimmer than its 8-bit equivalent, in order for your television to display the wider range it receives. Whilst this isn’t a problem for gamers in dark rooms, those playing in bright conditions may find HDR to be relatively redundant.

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HDR is a new technology for consumers and it’s unsurprisingly riddled with complications. As is often the case with newer standards, there are several formats to choose from—and many of the most popular televisions can only reproduce HDR in certain conditions, with some only supporting the technology on one HDMI port. A bigger red flag for gamers though, is that some televisions don’t support HDR in Game Mode, ultimately sacrificing input latency for 10-bit images. The Samsung we tested HDR gaming on had no problems delivering HDR with Game Mode. Whilst we noticed an extremely minimal increase in input latency through a high-speed camera, it’s completely unnoticeable during gameplay.

In the consumer space, HDR is in its infancy. Just like any other case of early adopter syndrome, it feels like developers, platform makers, and players are all maturing with it together—and with 4K gaming just around the corner, it certainly feels like we’re about to embark on the next big generational leap. Colour me excited.

Gears of War 4 review

It’s been 5 years since Gears of War 3 graced our screens, we had the Ultimate Edition on the Xbox One but Gears of War 4 is the first new generation title. It’s been worth the wait.

Gears of War 4 is set 25 years after the events of Gears 3, the game starts strongly as you revisit key moments from the previous game. It’s not long before you are back in the present and you get to meet a new breed of Gears.

Things are different now, the COG’s are now trying to look after the remaining survivors, a new army of robots known as DB’s are in place to help protect and build new settlements. It’s not all peaceful though violent storms known as ‘windflares’ are frequent and devastating.

You play as JD Fenix alongside his best friend Del. JD is the son of some guy called Marcus, he was in the previous games apparently They have joined up with Kait and Oscar, who are known as Outsiders, not willing to be overruled by the COG.

gears4-1

Gears or War 4 feels instantly familiar, one minute you are slowly make your way around a peaceful area, when all of a sudden you’ll see plenty of opportunities to get into cover. Except it isn’t always that obvious, which is nice. This time round you are trying to get to know the new characters so there is plenty of dialogue to take in. The gunplay is very familiar, the Lancer is still awesome and the noise that the exploding heads of the enemy make when you get them with the longshot is still hugely satisfying. There are a whole host of new weapons to play with thanks to the new enemies, the enforcer, the Overkill and the Embar are all brilliant weapons.

Likewise the new enemies are exciting and terrifying to take on; after battling with the DB’s initially it seems the real threat are the Swarm, they fight in a different manner to the DB’s – they are much more willing to get up close and personal and at speed too. Whether it’s the Juvies trying to claw your face off or Pouncers trying to rip your head off you’ll need to act quickly to deal with them. To mix things up with the gameplay, some of the places you’ll cover behind is destructible, some partly, others completely. The windflare sections will require you to adapt to the wind direction and power, grenades will fly back in your face, while other projectiles will easily veer off course, trying to roadie run through them is brilliant fun.

Little improvements to the gameplay have made a world of difference, movement feels faster, roadie runs feels like they have more pace to them, holding the B button at the same time allows you to seamlessly vault over cover. It’s a fiddly position to put your fingers in, but you could always map your buttons differently. The grab and shank move over cover position is awesome if you can pull it off, it’s a great way to execute enemies and makes you feel like a god in multiplayer. Throughout the game you’ll encounter horde-esque section which will see you battle against wave after wave of enemy. I felt they were a little shoehorned in at first but once I started playing through my co-op run I began to enjoy them a lot more, even if it’s a bit brutal!

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Gears has always been quite dull in colour but impressive in looks, this time round The Coalition have worked wonders. Every level is spectacular, whether you are outside among the war beaten ruins or with the more industrial areas you encounter. The beautiful environments and the fantastic audio all complement each other perfectly. HDR comment. Although the campaign ends quite abruptly, it has managed to set itself up nicely for number five. As far as the characters go, JD and Kait are instantly likeable, but poor Del just seems to get in the way, Oscar is an interesting character too.

Of course, Gears of War is more than just a campaign. Horde 3.0 – hugely popular in the past and still brilliant thanks to some significant updates. Horde is all about teamwork as you and 4 other members battle against every enemy type available. In 3.0 your job is not only to survive, but to protect the Fabricator, Every enemy you kill drops points that you can collect and cash in. This gives you the chance to stock up on weapons, turrets and barricades to slow the enemy down. The new horde also brings in a class system. Each class had specific weapon loadouts but apart from that they don’t make a massive impact on the mode itself. The only exception is the scout and here is a useful tip; don’t collect the fabricator points until there is one enemy left, if the scout collects you get double points, you can thank me later.

Multiplayer is as good as it ever was, all the normal game types are there, Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill and Guardian. New to this year is dodgeball, the perfect party game. In this mode each player has one life, but for every kill your team gets, you get to revive one of your team mates, its superb fun. For hardened Gears fans the multiplayer is a continuation of days gone by, yet for newcomers it still very easy to get into. Gears of War 4 introduces a card system this ear, allowing to set bounties for challenges, or craft cards in the hope of getting a legendary skin for one of your weapons or characters. Thankfully it doesn’t affect gameplay as most people I play with won’t bother using them.

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Gears of War 4 is a joy to play from start to finish, it plays brilliantly and the story is well put together. Older Gears fan will love spending time with a (still) grumpy Marcus and the new enemies mix things up nicely. The coalition have done a fantastic job.

Thanks to Xbox for supporting TiX