After years of waiting, Gears of War is finally getting a new installment in the series – and after almost a decade, the PC is getting a new Gears of War game.
Gears of War 4 has ‘gone gold’ – the final build of the game has come out of the development process, and has started shipping across the world to begin its distribution for the upcoming launch on October 11th.
To celebrate this milestone, Microsoft held an event at the Microsoft Canada Excellence Center in Vancouver. Microsoft’s Board of Directors flew over, to mark the occasion along with Phil Spencer – head of Xbox, and Rod Fergusson – Studio Head at The Coalition, the studio behind Gears of War 4.
At the event, Spencer mentioned that “ten years ago, Gears of War was the killer app that brought millions into the Xbox family.” Perhaps he is hoping Gears of War 4 does the same for Windows 10 and Xbox One.
At E3 2016 in June this year, Fergusson announced that Gears of War 4 would be an Xbox Play Anywhere title – bringing the franchise back to PC after almost a decade of neglect.
Xbox Play Anywhere
Microsoft announced the Xbox Play Anywhere program at E3 2016. What it offers is pretty simple: If you buy a game for the Xbox One, you will get a copy for the PC as well. This works the other way too – basically leading to a unified platform. This means the Xbox ecosystem and Windows gaming ecosystem are not competing anymore – at least as long as you ignore the exclusives.
This also opens up a few more possibilities, such as cross-platform play. Gears of War 4 supports cross-platform co-op campaign, co-op versus, and co-op Horde 3.0 mode. PCGamer reports that the cross-platform multiplayer also works for private and LAN matches – although Microsoft doesn’t officially say it in the marketing material just yet.
Furthermore, all of your game saves, achievements, Gamerscore and progress will also be synced between your Xbox One and PC – meaning you can switch between either platform at any point, and everything will be synced seamlessly.
The trailer released today is the first to feature in-game footage exclusively – everything you see in the video below is from within the game. The trailer also made an appearance on TV during the Monday Night Football on ESPN, clearly Microsoft is serious about this one.
The trailer is narrated by John DiMaggio – the voice behind Marcus Fenix – and features Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” as performed by Lissie.
On the PC
Gears of War 1 was the first and only game from the franchise that released for the PC platform. Gears of War 4, finally re-introduces the franchise back to PC, albeit only on Windows 10.
From what we have heard – the PC port is not going to disappoint either. While the game might be an 80 GB download from the Windows Store, it does come with some treats such as split-screen LAN multiplayer – a rarity to be seen on the PC platform.
The game also supports resolutions up to 4K – which probably explains why the game is 80 GB. Obviously, this needs a beefy graphics card – so NVidia is also giving the game for free for a limited time if you buy the GTX 1070 or 1080 graphics cards – or a notebook using either of them.
If the PC port actually ends up as a good performer, the wait for a Gears of War game on the PC might have been worth it.
Microsoft is clearly putting a lot of faith on Gears of War 4. Flying in the Board of Directors to celebrate the game ‘going gold’ simply shows how enthusiastic Microsoft is for this release – and the PC version seems to be getting its fair bit of attention as well.
Microsoft even has a few events going on around the world before the launch – like at the Xbox FanFest in Sydney. Come October 11th; we will know how much effort The Coalition and Microsoft have actually put into the game.