Monday, September 19

Gears of War 4 campaign review

Gears of War 4 Campaign Review

Gears of War 4 Campaign Review

The saddest part of GOW4 is that it's heart and soul in the form of Dom
Is missing.

That's about the harshest thing we can say about this fourth Gears of War campaign.

Set some 20 odd years after Gears 3, this all new campaign features JD Fenix, a young buck with the weight of the world on his shoulders.

In once sense it's the weight because he's intent on saving Sera from another damn generation of the Locust Horde, the other weight is living up to the fact he is the only son of the Legendary Marcus Fenix.

The guy who saved the people of Sera by killing the Locust Queen. It's a tough gig for anyone to follow.

But follow with bombast does JD Fenix. A worthy pretender to the throne as one of the COG's best, well he would be if COG was still worthy of its name.

As far as the game play of this campaign goes, it cannot be beaten. While Gears of War: Judgement was arguably the beast gears game in the sense of playing the game, Gear of War 4 is the ultimate realisation of the franchise.

And that's saying a lot as the Closing game of the trilogy was the perfect finale to the series.

Which makes this game quite hard to review because in any ordinary other sense, Gears 4 is dumb as nuts but that's the Gears franchise for you.

Plot wise, you've seen this before. It's about killing copious amounts of bad guys through out some darn in genius set pieces.

Some of them feel almost impossible on the campaign's insanity mode - but that's the appeal of Gears 4, it's a tough and unrelenting game.

That said, it retains that dark humour and boyish crudity that pervade even the first classic Gears game.

Every review of this game should probably take a moment to review the campaign's graphics both in game and via the cut scenes. 

There has never been a better looking Gears of War game.

This is of course no surprise as it's the franchise's debut on then Xbox One and indeed Windows 10 operating system.

It's clear to this game reviewer that a lot of resource has gone into make sure that the blood and guts on offer, as with any Gears game, is as viceral as a video game can be.

Gears has never been shy about gruesome deaths during the campaign mode and GOW4's graphics simply make you feel like you really did draw the blood of that Locust freak.

Verdict: A MUST have for any seasoned Gears fan, and those new to the entry will get a kick out of it and be back for more.

Never Fight Alone - GOW4 trailer is amazeballs

This GOW4 Trailer is the REAL DEAL.

The game looks absolutely amazing. The trailer is excellent show case of what the Fenix family and friends are up against. The monsters look bad ass and the robots looks amazing.

While a familiar riff appears to ring through (it is a gears game after all), there appears to be a whole wealth of new things to ride, drive and shoot.

Check it out and enjoy the Metallica cover of Nothing Else Matters as you do so.

Fight for family.
Fight for survival.
Fight the Swarm.
Can't wait.

Pre Order Gears of War 4 on Amazon

Wednesday, September 14

Wednesday, September 7

Watch the MASS EFFECT: ANDROMEDA Official 4K Tech Video. It's glorious!

The Assari from Andromeda

Mass Effect: Andromeda is going to probably the best looking game in a long. long time.

We know this due to the release of what Bioware has called the "Official 4K Tech Video".

This is just a fancy way of showing off the new look and feel of the game. The characters look pretty amazing - the Assari's mid riff looks astonishingly real.

What is shown in the demonstration is Ryder and his two counter parts exploring an underground Vault featuring Remnants – who are apparently kind of A.I. left seemingly left behind by a previous civilization.

It also points out Ryder’s discovery of the locations of several other Vaults across the Andromeda galaxy. We speculate that these vaults will be used to transport Ryder across the galaxy a l a the original trilogy.

Ryder's interactions with the computer terminals and doorway entrances have been vastly revamped and have a 'scientific' feel.

Ryder also has an awesome command of what I'm going to call a jet pack which helps him to make what would otherwise be impossible jumps. 

Sunday, September 4

GOW4 - Horde Mode 3.0 looks darn amazing

GOW4 - Horde Mode 3.0 looks darn amazing

With the forthing coming Gears 4 looking pretty handy, the Coalition has dropped on us a first look at Horde Mode 3.0 which looks abosolutely fantastic.

Check the video:

There's a lot to see in the video. This game looks absolutely amazing. We love how Gears has put a lot more color into the palette - it's a long way from the grim and dark days of the original game.

Horde Mode looks to have some handy instruments and traps to help sort out your foes - they look clearly suited to genuine co-operative play between players.

What are you waiting for? Order Gears of War 4 today.

Saturday, September 3

Sweet Mass Effect cosplay from Salt Lake Comic Con

Some pretty handy Mass Effect cosplay from Salt Lake Comic Con

Commander Sheppard Mass Effect Cosplay

That's a sweet ground crew - double the Sheppard ! That rifle the Commander on the left has looks pretty bad ass too. 

Tuesday, August 30

Gears 4 Versus mode improvements since the Beta Test

gears 4 versus

The Gears 4 Development Team has done a blog about Gears of War 4's Multiplayer mode and how it has been improved by the games designers since the beta.


In Gears of War 4, we will be introducing two separate balance setups in a single Gears of War title for the first time – Core and Competitive. Core settings are the bread and butter of the game, aimed at providing the balanced but varied experience you know and love whether you play solo or with friends.

The Competitive category has different settings that have been balanced to take into account the high levels of coordination and skill that come with competitive play, toning down damage and reducing certain factors like Aim Assist to highlight the best from the rest.

Modes will fall under Core or Competitive in Matchmaking, but not both. As it stands today, Escalation and Execution are the two modes in Competitive due to their emphasis on team based play at the highest level. In private, players can choose which tuning set they want to play with any mode.

Octus: Thanks for joining us to talk about the gameplay based improvements made since Beta Ryan! Let’s start off with this pretty substantial change for Versus Multiplayer - how did the team come to the decision to have the two separate tuning setups?

Ryan Cleven: It really started with our Escalation reveal at the Gears eSports Season 2 Finals. Prior to the match, we held a real-time feedback session with the 10 participating pro players to ask what they felt they needed for Gears of War 4 to shine in a professional environment. 

We tuned weapons with them late into the night, and it provided us a lot of insight into what we need to do to really deliver on a high-end team-based competitive experience. We took what worked from the playtest and refined it further back at the Coalition. We brought a second set of 10 pros up to the studio to try it out, and the response was great. 

However, we found that what the serious competitive players wanted and what the core Gears players wanted were too different to try to make a single tuning set.

Rather than trying to please everyone and end up pleasing no one, we decided that we would split the tuning into two sets, Core and Competitive. We want Gears fans to be able to play the game that we all know and love while simultaneously ensuring we provide a Competitive experience that can stand up to coordinated team based play at the highest level. 

This way, we hope Gears fans will be happy in being able to choose the experience they want to play, and really hone their abilities in an environment that takes more than just individual skill to excel in. Players can move between the tuning sets and their skills will still transfer between the two. The less lethal Competitive Settings mean landing consistent shots, making smart decisions and coordinating as a team become more important, but the fundamentals of the game are still the same. 

 This approach also provides a clear step of progression for players looking to take their skills to the next level.

As always, maintaining a balanced experience that still rewards skilled players absolutely remains a fundamental pillar of our design for the Gears Versus experience.

Read the full post here.

How the GOW4 animations were designed by the Coalition

The Gears Coalition team has done a sweet blog on how the animations for Gears of War 4 work, check it out.

Octus: Hi Jason! So for people who don’t know, what’s the role of your team and how much of the game does that encompass?

Jason: Hey there! The Animation team covers a whole bunch - from all of the gameplay animations for the main characters, to the weapon animations and executions, all of the creatures, the interactions in single player; chainsawing goopy door snot or juvies bursting through doors to scare you. It’s a pretty broad range of stuff to cover!

Octus: How has animation fundamentally changed from Gears of War 3 to Gears of War 4?

Jason: Epic had a really solid foundation for animations from the previous Gears, and we used that as a starting point for our own animations. From an animation perspective, I really see us as having actually built two games. We deconstructed Gears of War 3 at the start of the project which taught us a ton about the what, why and how of making a Gears game – it was really important we understood why everything feels the way it does.

With that knowledge under our belt, we built Gears 4 by taking some of those animations further and keeping some things the same. We had the opportunity to try a few new things early on like adjusting the cover slide – we tried a simple pose change, but in the end that small change looked worse than sticking with the old tried and true cover slide. We discovered a lot of the reasons why Epic did all of the things they did and why it makes for such a great core gaming experience.

The benefit of going through that process is that learned where it was safe to move things further, like we did with the core locomotion, and where we were starting to stray from that core feeling. If you play the game, I feel like we’ve maintained the Gears feeling but brought a little something fresh to it as well.

Sunday, August 14

Where art thou oh M'Chief?

The Master Cheif is scratched into your Xbox One S

Hidden inside your Xbox One S is an etching. An etching one of the best Xbox One character's - the Master Cheif:

Master Cheif inside Xbox One S

The Halo hero is etched into the console itself, but you can't find him on the outside. Instead you'll have to carefully take apart the console and find him on the bracket which protects the optical disc drive.

We don't suggest you actually try this and take our word for it!

If you're on the fence about buying the Xbox One S, will this etching make the difference for you? It shouldn't but we know how crazy some of you are for John 117!

Monday, August 8

New Gears 4 game play suggests the game is very well made and in safe hands

Microsoft has released a new seven minute long campaign gameplay video for Gears of War 4. It's bloody awesome! The game looks absolutely amazing. It retains the dark grit of the originals but it just looks gorgeous.

The game's new developers, The Coalition have done a fine job (The Collation is a outfit comparable to Halo's 343 Industries).
The key take away is that Marcus Fenix is back and looms large as a side kick of sorts to his son JD.

The team seems to be in pursuit of the Swarm, a new enemy for the remaining inhabitants of Sera

“With their village destroyed and Kait’s mom abducted, the squad gives chase through the wilds of Sera and must battle through an incredible storm,” reads the description. Marcus doesn’t seem to be playing a small role within the team either, actually yelling out orders to D, Del, and Kait.

No word on the street if Marcus Fenix will actually be a playable character in Gears 4 - we hope we do get a turn though! Order your copy on Amazon right now!

Here's the game play video: