“Gears of War 4”: Microsoft’s Action-packed Exclusive Returns

AUSTIN VAN PAY | ENTERTAINMENT COLUMNIST 

One year after the Xbox 360’s release in 2005, “Gears of War” came onto the scene and became another one of Microsoft’s huge exclusives next to the likes of the widely successful “Halo” series. Developer Epic Games quickly realized they had created a hugely innovative and unique cover-shooter that gamers had never seen before.

Epic Games went on to spawn three sequels in the series with “Gears of War” one through three and “Gears of War: Judgment.” Each of these titles featured an excellent campaign following the main protagonist Marcus Fenix, Delta Squad and other key characters as they battled against an army of underground-dwelling creatures dubbed “Locusts.”  Its implementation of an optional co-op campaign and competitive multiplayer was fantastic and created the hardcore fan base that this franchise still has today.

Now in 2016, gamers will have the pleasure of returning to the world of “Gears of War” with the incoming fifth entry from developer The Coalition, exclusively on Xbox One. This time, we’ve gone 25 years into the future with a new cast of heroes and a slew of new creatures waiting to be slain. One hero in particular just happens to be none other than Marcus Fenix’s son, the main protagonist of the original series. His son, JD Fenix, is introduced as the new protagonist of this latest entry and is accompanied by two others, Kait Diaz and Delmont “Del” Walker. These characters’ unique backgrounds will seemingly help differentiate them and potentially create an even more memorable bond than what we’ve experienced with Delta Squad in past entries. The developers have said that the game’s story takes place over the course of one night and will progress over a new trilogy of “Gears” games.

The Coalition is focused on bringing back the winning formula with the news of excellent cover shooting mechanics, a playable co-op campaign, beautiful graphics and a new and improved focus on competitive multiplayer. Not much has been announced in regards to the new enemies called the “Swarm” except for some footage shown in the trailer at this year’s E3 gaming expo. These new enemies look both menacing and fitting of the “Gears of War” name.

The Xbox One has been lacking exclusives since its release, but that gap will be filled with the return of the “Gears of War “series and, hopefully, many others. Thankfully, gamers who purchased the recently released “Gears of War Ultimate Edition” won’t have to wait too long to rev up their chainsaw bayonets again when the multiplayer beta drops April 18.

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