With the Gears of War 4 beta coming to the general populous in the next couple weeks I was lucky to get some early access to check out what the game currently offers. It's actually rather exciting to play another Gears of War title as the third entry in the series wrapped things up nicely and it's great to play the first Gears built for Xbox One. The beta features three core modes to play with the first being regular Team Deathmatch which has been in other past Gears games, Dodgeball where when one player dies another from the other team gets to spawn and Hardcore Team Deathmatch where a team of five battles bots. It's a decent start though I was really hoping to see an objective based playlist like Blitz from Ultimate Edition as these are mainly just straight up killing. Despite this it still shows a bit of the past mixed with something to show off what could possibly be new. The matches are fast paced being first to two rounds and the maps are very straight forward to encourage engagement. There are three maps currently available in the beta including Dam, Harbor and Foundation. Foundation is definitely my favorite out of the mix having some more scenic areas including fallen leaves and various levels of conflict. The next map is Harbor which has a condensed higher area where the Torque Bow is with a thin middle section that's followed by a sprawling dock area with two bases facing each other. The final map is Dam that has an open feeling to it with a central building environment that's split down the middle with a power weapon to be found at the center.
Each of the maps are decent having a nice flow to them and focused weapon locations to battle for at three distinct points. This keeps the action moving quickly and gives us a small look at what's out there in terms of weapons. Most are familiar to players of the franchise with the Dropshot being the only new addition so far. I personally find it a bit over powered as there isn't much of a chance for escape from it and the distance is also fairly far. I also found the explosives in the game to be a bit too high in terms of splash damage and they may need to be scaled back a bit. Gameplay wise it looks great despite being in beta form and definitely impressive in a graphical sense. It seems to play like Ultimate Edition with the mechanics from Gears of War 3 which is truly a great time. The matches were also well balanced and it's showing great promise at this point. Some matches weren't always full when I played so bots filled in the spots and they also show some great promise in how they move to cover each other with that being a first indicator of how campaign enemies react. The smaller match sizes were mostly due to this being played during early press access/family and friends so it'll be better when larger groups of people are playing in the beta. The characters also look great as this is our first chance to control the heroes of the next game along with nemesis the Swarm which feel just like the next step from Locusts. I was very happy with what I played and Gears of War 4 multiplayer is shaping up great, I look forward to working towards level twenty to get the bonus unlocks as I'm halfway there at this point.
Impressions Made on Gears of War 4 during the Beta