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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.

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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: