It’s been almost 10 years since we first loaded our guns to fight the locust, and a generation later gamers get to revisit the original as The Coalition reworks one of Microsoft’s biggest franchises in the past decade. This is Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.
The story of Gears of War isn’t exactly one we haven’t heard before, but for newcomers to the franchise we’ll provide you with a small summary of what the world of Gears is all about.
“Gears of War” thrusts gamers into a deep and harrowing battle for survival against the Locust Horde, a nightmarish race of creatures that surface from the depths of the planet. Players step into the boots of Marcus Fenix, a disgraced former war hero who seeks personal redemption as he leads his fire team against an onslaught of merciless warriors from below.”
Source: Microsoft StudiosGears in essence is the definition of what we today would call a “bro-shooter”, which is basically a shooter with a testosterone and swear-filled narrative that in many ways stays true to what many people think of military storytelling, which can be more rewarding for some than others. The narrative does its work well, though arguably the first game has always seemed like one of the weakest when it came to storytelling, which in this formula isn’t really something you’ll be too bothered with as in exchange the game does do a good job at setting up the universe which we’ll definitely be revisiting in even more future instalments.Visually, The Coalition has done a lot to bring this 360 title to the next generation with brand new layer of fresh paint, which appears much fresher than a lot of remasters have done in recent memory. Whilst the original release was quite the looker for its day, time had obviously caught up with it as technology advanced within the hardware and gaming industry, but from the first chapter it’s quite apparent that The Coalition has done their best to make sure Gears of War looks as good if not sometimes better than its latter successors, which built upon the groundworks of the original. For the 10th anniversary of the game assets, textures and cutscenes have been redone. Many would expect this to simply be a port of the 360 version with assets from the PC version, but this is far from the truth.Whilst the game isn’t as far out as a lot of next-gen titles, the game definitely has improved to the point where it can claim a place beyond its successors when it comes to visual fidelity. Textures are sharper, models are more detailed and draw distances have been significantly improved. Edges are significantly more sharper than the original release, but when it comes to aliasing the game does have some rough edges (pun intended) here and there. Compression and artifacts on certain textures and the skybox are quite apparent in certain situations, which brings down an otherwise visually pleasing presentation, which is presented in 1080p at 60 frames per second, which the game maintains most of the time apart from a few instances that are luckily quite brief. Gameplay animations in general do seem untouched, though this also brings some problematic cases with it as certain animations really haven’t aged that well, which causes for some distracting moments throughout gameplay.