Getting to Know Gears of War 4
On October 11, Gear of War 4 landed with boots on the ground for Microsoft Windows and the Xbox One console. This fifth entry in the series marks the first time a Gears title has launched simultaneously on both the PC and Xbox. It's also breaking new ground with cross-play functionality between the two platforms and is part of the Microsoft Xbox Play Anywhere program. That means if you picked the title up on PC you can also access it on Xbox One for no additional charge.
Gears of War 4 is a great looking game that makes impressive use of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 4 and the rich visual effects and rendering the powerful game engine offers. Gloriously, those playing on the PC have over 30 graphics settings (#PCMasterRace) at their disposal for hands-on fine tuning, so that Gears 4 performs smoothly, despite possible hardware constraints.
Is Gears 4 the blockbuster we'd hope for? How does it perform on modern PC setups? That's what we'll aim to lay down for you on the pages ahead.
Set some 25 years in the future after Gears of War 3, you play the role of J.D. Fenix, son of Marcus Fenix from the earlier games. Your time with J.D., and his accompanying AI-controlled support team, is far more varied than previous Gears titles. There is plenty of intense cover-based shooting and running around between the game’s mission checkpoints. However, players will get to rest J.D.’s tired dogs as you pilot mechs, and control other vehicles.
You will also do a bit of crafting for defensive purposes with the game’s Fabricator. Even storytelling seems slightly more dynamic with the plot twisting a bit, naturally revealing older characters and plucking at the player’s familial heartstring. Before we get too far in the weeds here, our attention is more on performance and the technical side of Gears of War 4. Still, The Coalition has made some welcomed improvement to the series we wanted to mention.
For this article, we used an updated test rig comprised of an Intel Core i7-6700K, installed in an MSI Z170A Gaming M9 ACK motherboard, equipped with a 16GB kit of Corsair Vengeance 2666MHz DDR4 memory. Windows 10 is installed on a 256GB Corsair Neutron Series XT SSD and our game files are installed on a 1TB Corsair Voyager Air.