The Gears of War 4 Beta is finally here, and lucky me got a code the morning it came out for the closed beta. The past few weeks I have been spending a lot of time on GoW Ultimate Edition (UE) to hold me over. I don't have copies of GoW 2 or 3 with me at school so I cant compare the beta to those so most of my comparisons that i do are with GoW:UE.
To start off there are three different modes available to play. Classic Team deathmatch, Co-op Team Deathmatch (Hardcore AI) and a new to GoW mode called Dodgeball. The 5 v 5 Team Deathmatches are the same from the past GoW with 15 respawns and whoever kills who first wins. The new mode, which i think is really nice, is Dodgeball in which you have 5 v 5 but if you die in order to respawn your teammates have to kill an enemy. Kind of like catching a ball in dodgeball (Hence the name).
The weapons are pretty much the same and feel the same too. A new addition to the weapons is load-out selecting in the beginning of every match. You have the option of switching out Lancer with Hammerburst and also instead of assault rifles being on the right d pad you can now switch them to the left and shotgun on the right (for whatever reason you would wanna do so.) There is only one new weapon that has been featured in the beta and its called the "Drop Shot". This weapon reminds me of the Digger in past GoW but this one basically shoots out a land mine that you control to explode on impact. The Beta does feature classic weapons like the Torque bow, longshot (with a lower amount of ammo), bulltok pistol, frag grenades, smoke grenades and the boomshot.
There are 3 playable maps Harbor, Dam, and Foundation (watch this video here for an in depth look at all 3). They are all really well balanced as far as reaching power weapons and equal cover between both sides. Graphically they are so-so to look at, but that is to be expected in a beta. The gameplay in the beta can be whatever your teams or your opponents want it to be. The mechanics of the game seem a little cartoonish to me and boxy compared to me playing GoW UE. To me the "Swarm" (Locust) are cool looking design wise but graphically it looks like they haven't fully loaded the full textures in just yet. The COG are better designed but still lack the details in the characters outfits that other GoW titles have.
A new addition that I'm curious to see more information on is when after a match is completed you have the option to activate "Bounty Cards". These cards are XP boosters that "unlock" after a certain objective is reached, netting you bonus XP on top of what you earned already. Some of these objectives range from getting 1500 match points, winning an online match and so on. These range in XP bonus for the difficulty of the objective. There are some things that have happened to me that i think should change, like when in a shotgun battle you end up killing each other on a one shot. Or when you down each other, but at the same time getting a kill for kill isn't that bad. Just little things that changed that I am not used to.
All together i really do dig the new Beta. Some minor flaws that they'll buff out by October without a doubt. I'm super pumped about the final game dropping OCTOBER 11th! Until then, stay tuned for more updates right here and let us know what you thought of the beta in the comments.
By lEe Marcussen
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