Platforms: Xbox One, Windows 10
Reviewed on: Xbox One
Developer: The Coalition | Splash Damage
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Release Date: 25 August 2015
Just when I thought that I would not be reviewing any more last-gen remasters, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition comes along forcing me to go back in time to 2006 when the Xbox 360 was in its early days and the original Gears of War launched that set the standard for not only console shooting, but it was a benchmark for PC hardware at the. Everyone knew that if your PC could run Gears of War, you would be set for the next few years.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition follows the story of Marcus Fenix, an ex-marine sent back into the action during a war against humanity and the Locust Horde, an army of creatures that surfaced from the depths of the planet with one purpose – the utter destruction of the human race.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is the exact same game as the 2006 original with an added few adjustments and features every now and then, but that is not a bad thing as the Gears of War franchise has managed to hold its own and is still one of the best in the industry today.
Apart from its full 1080p visuals, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition has received numerous changes to its engine and gameplay. New visuals are enhanced in terms of lighting, environments, and character models, and the new UI features from Gears of War: Judgement have been added to the game. You can now revive teammates while in cover, select individual difficulty for co-op, and toggle weapons while running, among other things. Let us not forget the haptic feedback for the Xbox One controller, which makes sawing things in half so much more rewarding.
The best things about the Gears of War Franchise is its co-op campaign, and it is pretty fun to play through with a friend. It is exactly the same exhilarating blood bath, but with your buddy at your side, even though you can toss a grenade his way and blow him to pieces. The single player/co-op campaign is full of action that we love from the series, and Microsoft still manage to keep the story mode fresh and light even with the game’s primary focus on multiplayer.
Playing through the single player campaign again, I noticed that movement has been refined and the controls seem easier to manage. The player is not so stiff and can jump in and out of cover without any clunky confusion. The checkpoints are closer too, so playing on the harder difficulty does not seem to be that tough as loading is faster and you will respawn closer to your spot of death, enabling you to take a different approach the next time around.
Unfortunately due to the game’s release being a day after the review restriction broke, I could not play any games as the servers were not populated at the time. However, I did play some split-screen multiplayer and explored some of the maps. The multiplayer in general runs at 60 frames per second and includes 19 maps. It also add a few game modes into the mix, King of the Hill, 2v2 mode, Warzone, and others. Those looking for a multiplayer experience will definitely find it on Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
There is really little to say about Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, other than it feels like it was meant to be remastered. Gears of War is a great franchise that brought about a brand new type of shooter, and a fresh take on multiplayer. It is one of Microsoft’s strongest franchises and needs to be put into the spotlight as Gears of War 4 will soon be on our doorsteps.
Talking about Gears of War 4, purchasing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will grant you access into the Gears of War 4 beta in 2016. Purchasing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition before the end of 2015 will also reward you with the Xbox 360 versions of Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War Judgement