If you’re a fan of the Gears of War franchise, Microsoft has a treat in store for you. We already knew that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition was incoming (along with the Xbox One Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Bundle), but Microsoft today announced that anyone that plays the game between its launch on August 25 through December 31, 2015 will also gain access to the four previous “Gears” titles — Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War: Judgment.
Access to the games on the Xbox One is granted via the much ballyhooed Xbox 360 backwards compatibility mode, which was first announced at E3. Not only will you be able to play these old favorite on your “new hotness” Xbox One, but you’ll also gain access to Xbox One-exclusive functionality like Snap, Game DVR and the ability to capture screenshots.
As for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, it’s a thorough remaster of the original game that kicked off the award-winning series. Not only does the title feature graphics worthy of a today’s current generation consoles, but the gameplay has been “modernized” and even the in-game cinematics have not escaped the attention of the developers, The Coalition.
As to why only the first “Gears” title is receiving a makeover, The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson recently described that just one game is enough to bog down his team:
It's really hard work [to remaster an entire series] It takes a long time. It took us in the end 16 to 18 months to do the first one, and to try and do three games ... how many people would we need to have? It just wasn't logistically or physically or technically possible. For us it was really about what can we do, what can we focus on.
In addition to the fresh coat of paint, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will also have new gameplay mode, new missions, new Achievements, and new maps. And most importantly, you’ll gain access to the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta.