Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Review: Blast From The Past

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When Gears of War came out on the Xbox 360 nine years ago, it revolutionized cover shooters and provided a template for developers to design similar games. Featuring a meaty campaign, exceptionally addictive multiplayer and campaign co-op modes, it was the go-to shooter for many players on the Xbox 360.

Whenever I look back at this game, it reminds me of all the fun times I had with my friends. It was certain that Microsoft was going to continue this franchise on the Xbox One as well, and as expected, they announced Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, which is a remaster of the original game, as well as Gears of War 4.

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This new version bumps the multiplayer to 60fps, adds new assets and increases resolution. Now that’s a big thing for me since my memories of playing Gears of War multiplayer with randoms on Xbox Live was not a great one due to all the lag. It was extremely fun when it worked and when I had low ping, but those situations were rare.

The most impressive thing with this edition is that the multiplayer always works. You get to choose your own server (Japan, EU, NA) with the lowest ping and play with people in those regions. It has made me appreciate things that made Gears of War multiplayer so great. The gibs, fast paced action, clutches etc., are really exhilarating.

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It is still Gears of War, and the game hasn’t aged too well. When it came out all those years ago, it was the first next-gen experience for many people. Playing the campaign now feels really underwhelming since all you do is take cover, shoot enemies and repeat ad nauseam. However, it is still a great campaign but if you’ve played Gears of War 2 and 3 then this will feel really basic.

The remaster is great and The Coalition have put a lot of effort into it. I wouldn’t say the graphics have been greatly improved compared to the original version but it does look really clean. I honestly expected a lot more after I downloaded around 44GB from Xbox Live.

It’s great to see Marcus Fenix, Damon Baird, Augustus Cole, Dominic Santiago and more. Again, after the events that happened in the sequels, this feels like a one happy reunion.

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The game basically revolves around these characters trying to deploy a bomb and exterminating the Locust once and for all. Obviously, that doesn’t happen but the ride is well worth it. The chainsaw kills, shotgun gibs, frag tag, and roadie runs are all iconic and a huge part of what makes this franchise in general so amazing.

The characters while they look dumb and are buffed to extreme proportions, actually have a decent personality. There’s campaign co-op as well and it is the best way to experience this game again. You can either do it via randoms on Xbox live or with someone in your friends’ list. There are four difficulty modes and I actually recommend playing on the insane difficult so that the AI actually poses a challenge.

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If you haven’t played the original game before, it’s just like any other linear cover shooter with a boss fight at the end of the game, but the difference is that this one actually inspired the other games.

The multiplayer is what makes this Ultimate Edition worth purchasing. Not only does it run better at 60fps but the hit detection has been improved a lot. It has all the modes that was in the original game like Team Death Match, King of the Hill and more. You can play casual or ranked matches.

There’s not a lot of things to say about this remaster effort by The Coalition, but it improves the original game and gives Gears fans a chance to enjoy the iconic Gears of War on Xbox One. This remaster may not convince many to buy the Xbox One but if you already have it then you should check it out.

Score

8/10