Gears Of War Ultimate Edition Review

PC Reviews Xbox

Overview

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Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Developer: The Coalition / Splash Damage

Platform: Xbox One, Windows 10

ESRB Rating: M (Mature)

Pricing: Standard Edition: $39.99, £29.99, €39.99

Achievements: 56 worth 1250G

Install Size: 44,4 GB

Reviewed on Xbox One.

Buy

Buy Deluxe version

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Experience the iconic adventure that launched one of the most celebrated sagas in gaming with “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.” The shooter that defined the first generation of HD gaming has been painstakingly remastered in 1080P and modernized for Xbox One with all-new content, including five campaign chapters never released on Xbox and heart-pounding 60 frames-per-second multiplayer action.

“Gears of War” thrusts gamers into a deep and harrowing battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the depths of the planet. Players step into the boots of Marcus Fenix, a disgraced former war hero who seeks personal redemption as he leads his fire team against an onslaught of merciless warriors from below.

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Marcus Fenix is back!

 

I bet everybody knows the Gears Of War franchise. Gears Of War was first released on 2006 for Xbox 360, and it’s been a long time. Between then and now, Gears Of War 2, 3 and Judgement came out, and we will be lucky enough to enjoy Gears of War 4 soon.

This ultimate edition -of the nearly 10 years old game- was announced at E3, and it’s now available worldwide.

Probably most Xbox One users have already played Gears Of War on their 360, so the real question here is… Is it worth buying it for the Xbox One? Well, in my opinion, it is.

 

Improvements/ Additions

This ultimate edition is not just a remaster, but a rebuild of the original game; It includes additional missions that were exclusive to the pc version back in the day, upgraded gameplay mechanics, features from newer Gears Of War ( for example, you can spot enemies in multiplayer – Gears Of War 3 feature-) and, of course, improved graphics; both cutscenes and in-game footage looks amazingly good. There are also extras like comics, which is a nice detail for the Gears Of War fans, in order to get a deeper look at the Gears Of War universe and story.

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If you take a look back to the original Gears Of War, you will actually notice it  was way darker than the Ultimate Edition; just take a moment to compare Xbox 360 and Xbox One screenshots and you’ll see the color difference.  Here’s a video showing a frame rate test of both Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions:

The original Gears Of War had loads of blurry and stiff textures, due to the previous generation of consoles graphics limitation; but thankfully that’s not fixed, granting a true HD experience with new and high quality textures, just like it should have been.
I’m glad to see this great title with the visual enhancements it deserves.

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The improved visuals are by far where this game really shines.

 

Rewards

The Gears Of War Ultimate Edition rewards the player with some really cool stuff that makes it  a completely worth buy game.

Whether if you buy Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, or the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle, you will be able to unlock the entire Gears collection via the most acclaimed Xbox One feature: Backward Compatibility.

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By playing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live from Aug. 25 through Dec. 31, 2015, you’ll get access to Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War: Judgment; so if you own Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 or Gears of War: Judgment on Xbox 360, you’ll be able to play them on your Xbox One and utilize some of your favorite next-gen features like Game DVR, Snap, screenshots and more. Ain’t that cool? Of course. Remember when everyone expected the entire Gears saga remastered? Well, according to Rod Fergusson, that would have taken a lot of time, so it’s good to see that backwards compatibility came to save the day.

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In addition to that, the Ultimate Edition will also provide you early access to the Gears of War 4 beta too – to play Gears of War 4 Beta when it launches (expected Spring 2016), login to Xbox Live and play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition by March 1, 2016-.

 

Single Player & Multiplayer

The Single Player campaign can be played both solo and co-op, running at 1080p and a solid 30 frames per second. The main story is basically focused on a group of COG soldiers fighting a war against Locust Hordes. Everything starts fourteen years after E-Day, when the Locust Horde declared war against humanity.  After escaping the prison , Marcus Fenix and the rest of the squad will seek the resonator in order to enter the Hollow and put an end to war. Sounds interesting, right?

For a time, the humans of Sera knew the illusion of peace… until Emergence Day. At that moment, our people broke free from our subterranean, erupting into the domain of these ground walkers, and wiping out whole cities. We fought and killed the humans on their fine boulevards, in their homes, on their battlefields. And they fought back. In time, their valiant defense was crushed. With billions dead, humans denied their enemy control by destroying their own civilization. They launched devastating attacks on their own territory —sacrificing their own citizens— so that we could not possess it. Such was their loathing and fear of us. Understand what a world must do to survive —what humans must do, and what we must do. But survive we must. Now the humans’ long struggle against overwhelming odds approaches the final, desperate stand.

– Queen Myrrah

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Some moments will feel (surprisingly) intense and emotional, and while others will feel less memorable, overall it’s a thrilling story that you shouldn’t miss. Sometimes, in shooters, the story seems to be an excuse just to start shooting; but don’t worry, this is not the case.

One thing that’s great about the Gears Of war missions is that it will often make you choose your path, providing two different scenarios and some variety. I love that kind of freedom, even though I know both paths are scripted. Other games should learn from this (developers, take notes.)

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During my play through I didn’t really found any performance issue, but there was just one thing that actually annoyed me; the teammates AI. The enemy AI proved to be challenging most of the time, but your teammates AI was completely the opposite; they won’t help you at all, and they will be often causing more trouble and harm than any good; that’s the main reason why it’s better to play it co-op with a friend.

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The multiplayer mode runs at 1080p and fluid 60 fps, and it’s probably the best way to play this game; this particular game mode includes all the original DLC maps plus three new multiplayer maps from the original PC version (19 total maps). Some of the new multiplayer additions are the new Team Death Match, the updated King of the Hill, and a special 2v2 mode designed by the Gears of War community.

Matchmaking is extremely efficient; and it also was efficient a week earlier before the game was even launched. Expect to find quick matches and have a great time. When the original gears came out in 2006, one of its strong points was this one and it’s great to see that good things never change.

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Verdict

 

COOL

+It really is the ultimate edition of Gears Of War, delivering a true and loyal Gears experience.

+Stunning graphics.

+Backwards Compatibility bonus + Gears Of War 4 BETA access.

+Great performance.

+Feels great to play Gears again on a new generation console.

 

NOT COOL

-No Horde Mode

-Single player runs at 30 fps (not bad, but it could be better at 60 fps.)

-Teammates AI

 Final Score 90/100 – Essential game