“If wanting that gun Blaine has is in the Predator is wrong, who’d want to be right?” Old Man Gillen said in 2008 about the first Gears of War. I mean, sure, Kieron’s in favour of anything letting him pretend his tadger is a steel deathcannon spaffing at six thousand loads per minute, but the point is: big daft action games can be a right lark. That’s why I’m glad to see Gears of War bring its crouch-running and chainsawing back to PC, with Gears of War 4 [official site] now out on Windows 10. Yes, Windows 10 only. But: chainsaw guns, yeah?
Gears of War 4 half-continues the story from the previous games, though facing a different threat to the original trilogy’s and bringing some younger, less-cuboid soldiers into the squad. It’s more cover-based third-person shooting (and meleeing and chainsawing) with a surprising amount of gibs.
Until now, we’ve only seen the first game (in its original and fancied-up Ultimate Edition forms) on PC. Here, I’ll catch you up: Moonmen from inside the notEarth came out and tried to kill everyone with their pet monsters, but fridge-shaped notEarthmen killed them all first. If you want something more in-depth, hey, Gears 4’s prologue chapter plays through a few key moments from the series’ history anyway.
The only Gears of War game I’ve played a lot of is, somehow, Gears of War 2. It had some big fun set pieces, pleasant shootybangs, and the hilariously daft idea that I cared about the personal struggles of any of its characters. But I liked the bits with the shooting and chainsawing. Going by what our pals at Eurogamer say, Gears 4’s campaign sounds a bit too sentimental and not silly enough, which is a shame. That’s not what I want. I want to be swallowed by a city-devouring worm then fight through its guts to chainsaw its hearts while shouting (an actual Gears 2 level). Multiplayer sounds all right though.
Gears is out of the hands of creators Epic Games now, being made by Microsoft’s own badly-named studio The Coalition (formerly Black Tusk Studios – better? – and Microsoft Vancouver – worse?).
Gears of War 4 is out on Windows 10 through the Microsoft Store for £41.74/$59.99. It’s an ‘Xbox Play Anywhere’ game, meaning that buying it digitally gets you the game on both Xbox One and Win 10.