Gears of War 4 is the fifth instalment in the franchise but the fourth when it comes to the series timeline and this time with new characters and a whole new story. 25 years after Gears of War 3 we start our new journey on the Xbox One with the new main character named James Dominic Fenix also known as JD and his friends Del and Kait.
This is going to be a recap of the storyline and some of my thoughts on the games biggest moments overall as I play through on the Xbox One X. The game starts with first Minister Jinn commemorating the 25th Anniversary of the end of the Locust War. While this is happening an elderly Hoffman is on stage with Jinn recounting the past battles of Aspho Fields, Emergence Day and Anvil Gate which you get to play parts of as a COG Gear along side a Young Dominic Santiago, Minh Young Kim and Hoffman himself, once he has recapped his past you move on the present day.
You start off with a cut scene of JD and his friends with Kait’s crazy Uncle Oscar where they discuss what they are about to do. Once you take control of JD you soon find out that he and Del have abandoned the COG and are now living in a settlement camp where they have since met Kait and her family and they are now trying to break into a COG stronghold to help the settlement by stealing a fabricator for weapons and defences. But as any big gamer may guess this doesn’t go smoothly because they get caught and have to then fight the Robots called DeeBees (DBs) whilst trying to get out. Once they have worked their way out the stronghold you get to see the settlement camp where they live that is run my Kait’s mother Reyna, she speaks to you and finds out that you were caught and now Jinn wants what you stole back and sends her DB’s to attack the settlement. You now have afight with them while using the fabricator to place defences around the settlement.
Now this is where it gets even more interesting, once you have beaten the DBs you get a cutscene where you and your friends are talking while Del tries to get power for the settlement. Kait sees something out the window and as you all are about to go out and investigate Reyna stops you by blocking the door to protect all of you. As the cutscene goes on you see a big battle between the people of the settlement and this unknown enemy and eventually you all get out of the room you were stuck in, but just when the battle seems to be over Reyna gets kidnapped by the things that tore through the settlement. We later find out that they are known as ‘The Swarm‘ who are in hindsight the Locust reincarnated with yellow crystals which act as armour as they are impenetrable by bullets. JD finds a yellow crystal on the floor and isn’t sure what it is, Del suggests to go and speak to someone and hints at a certain person. JD hates this idea because he knows who Del’s talking about and refuses at first but eventually he understands and decides it’s the best thing to do.
The group are seen walking up to a house where you have the option to go into a gated area to see the grave of Anya Stroud (JD’s Mother) which ends up being a beautiful cutscene with no dialogue and a touching moment as we see JD reflecting at her graveside. As the group now approach the barn at the side of the house the next scene warms the hearts of all Gears fans as JD opens the door and we see a man lean forward and say “Hello James” in that distinctive voice of the legend that is Marcus Fenix (JD’s Father). JD tells Marcus about what’s happened with Jinn and the settlement but he doesn’t care until JD shows him the crystal, at this point you see Marcus’ mood change. The years haven’t been kind to Marcus but he has no option not to fight as now the DBs are already at his house shooting at them all and as always… Marcus has a plan. We find out that he had kept their armour in the barn in case of a situation like this and he gives Kait his late wife Ayna’s armour. The group alongside the legendary Marcus fight to beat Jinns DBs and the swarm, as your journey continues you come across all of the members of the Swarm known as Drones, Juvies, Pouncers, Scions, Snatchers, Carriers and Swarmaks.
Later on as you are fighting a Snatcher Marcus also gets kidnapped and JD makes it very clear that he is going to save his dad but Kait protests as she wants to get her mum back but JD tells her that without his dad’s help they won’t be able to save her mum, with this Kait agrees to go after Marcus. After a lot of fighting you finally get to where the snatcher has hidden Marcus in a pod to kill him and make him one of the Swarm. JD cuts Marcus out and he just falls to the ground unconscious and not responding, JD tells his dad to wake up and begins to hit his chest but it doesn’t work, Del pulls him off and says there is nothing he can do to save his dad, but just as the player is about to cry at this heart breaking cutscene you hear a gurgle and Marcus coughs up all the fluid inside him. The characters and player are equally as relieved and rejoice that he is in fact alive.
Once you are out of the Swarm Lair Marcus says that they are going to need help and calls upon some old friends who we find out is none other than ‘The Cole Train‘ Augustus Cole alongside Damon Baird. So the fans of the franchise get a little Delta Squad reunion (well kind of because the late great Dom) they have an idea, Baird gives the group some big machinery to go and find Reyna. Once you are in the Mechs you can now fight the boss and it’s one of the best boss fight scenes that I have played. It can take a while but once it’s done you get to see Reyna again who is now attached to the Swarm Network and tells Kait that if she gets cut out of it then she would die. Reyna then hands Kait her necklace and says her goodbyes and then hands her mum a knife and walks away. The game ends with showing us the side of the necklace we have never seen before and the Gears fans will know that it looks just like the Locust Emblem from the older games.
In conclusion as a massive Gears Of War fan I think this is the perfect way to start off the new story to get the old fans and the new fans into the franchise. The game is an emotional rollercoaster but well worth it and I honestly think almost everyone would fall in love with this game.
If I was going to rate this game out of 10 then it’s definitely a 10/10 for me. This was also updated to 4K for free for the Xbox One X and if you played it on the other Xbox One consoles and then played it on the Xbox One X then it might even move the rating up to a 11/10!?
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Also, check out the awesome Gears of War 4 – Ultimate Edition which comes with a really cool package including this statue!