Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Preview
Since the original Gears of War I have always enjoyed Gears multiplayer. There’s nothing else quite like it in the market with it’s tight cover mechanics, explosive weapons, brutal executions and intense clutch moments. Each entry in the series has brought with it some new modes and Gears of War 4 may just feature the best additions yet. Dodgeball, Arms Race and Escalation. I went hands-on with each of the new modes and lived to talk about it.
If you played the Gears of War 4 Beta, you most likely dabbled in Dodgeball already. In this mode, every time you kill an opponent a teammate is revived. It’s faced paced and hectic as the tide of war shifts back and forth with non-stop clutch moments until one team is eliminated. While Dodgeball is no-doubt awesome and makes for an incredible social mode, myself and many other fans had played it already. It was the two other modes, Arms Race and Escalation, I was itching to get my hands on and when I finally did, they did not disappoint.
“My heart was always racing as I called out and marked enemies for my teammates before tearing through flesh and bone with chainsaws, dominating the rings with solid team coordination.”
Escalation is designed with eSports in mind and is a fantastic team mode, encouraging heavy chatter and coordination. It doesn’t take more than a single match to see how fun it could be to watch competitively either. Victory is awarded by securing 210 points or capturing all 3 rings at once and things get more interesting as the rounds progress. You see, each round the losing team can place a weapon on the map in one of a few designated areas, opening up all sorts of strategic options and creating dynamic and varied action for players, viewers and casters alike. Will you spawn a heavy weapon close by for your own team’s use? Or will you lure the opposing team away from their rings with a sneakily placed Torque Bow? Re-spawn timers increase by a couple seconds each round as well. After 6 six rounds half-time is called and all placed weapons reset while capture rings are relocated. Never have I frantically scurried around a Gears map as much as I did in Escalation. My heart was always racing as I called out and marked enemies for my teammates before tearing through flesh and bone with chainsaws, dominating the rings with solid team coordination.
The fun continued as I jumped into the next new mode, Arms Race, a very interesting mode that offered more “oh crap!” moments than any other on the competitive side. In Arms Race, every player on both teams started with a Boomshot – yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds – and weapons then swapped for my entire team with every three kills. While I could watch in the upper left HUD to see which weapon was coming next and in how many kills, I was still caught off guard numerous times in the heat of battle. Imagine running up on some fool with your Gnasher, ready to blow his legs apart, when right as you pull the trigger your weapon swaps to a Longshot, leaving you completely vulnerable. Moments like this happened a lot and it kept me on my toes and often staring at the wrong end of a barrel. My favorite aspect of this mode is that it made me mix up my usual aggressive play style, forcing me to experiment with all of Gears of War 4’s mutilating weapons, which there are many.
With a new form of matchmaking that promises to match up similar-skilled players better than ever before and a killer suite of returning multiplayer modes to compliment the three great additions in Dodgeball, Arms Race and Escalation. Gears Of War 4’s multiplayer is shaping up to be the best in the series yet and I can’t wait to play more come the game’s release on October 11, 2016.
Stay tuned to COGConnected this week for more Gears of War 4 coverage. I’ll be sharing my impressions of the epic two hour slice I played of the Gears of War 4 campaign. As well as highlighting my experience playing through 45 rounds of Horde 3.0!
On top of all that. Make sure to check out our interview with Rod Fergusson, Studio Head of The Coalition and Matt Searcy, Lead Campaign Designer on Gears of War 4.