Multiplayer, Horde 3.0, and Final Thoughts
Having earlier access to the game didn’t allow for deeper immersion into versus modes with so few people having access to the game. Only time will tell how well that’s implemented when the world starts to slam on the servers. However, I can comment on the collection of game modes available to you outside of Local and Online Co-op Story.
- Warzone – Standard Round-based 5v5 Versus mode
- Excecution – Same as Warzone except downed opponents must be finished off in close quarters.
- Team Deathmatch – 5v5 mode where each time has a bank of lives. First team to lose all of their lives loses.
- King of the Hill – Teams fight to hold randomly determined “hill” locations that move around the map throughout the match.
- Guardian – 5v5 match type with one member on each team being designated as the leader. First team to kill the opposing team’s leader wins.
- Dodgeball *new* – 5v5 mode where killing an enemy respawns a teammate. First to kill off all members of the opposing team wins.
- Arms Race *new* – team-based version of gun game where all combatants start off with Boomshots and end with Boltok pistols. Teams progress to the next gun with every 3 kills that team makes.
- Escalation *new* – objective based 3-ring game mode where the round winner is the first to score 210 points or simply capture all three rings
As for Horde 3.0, the mode that was started in Gears of War 2 and thoroughly enhanced in Gears of War 3 has come back with some interesting twists. Generally speaking, Horde is a mode where four players can team up against computer-controlled waves of enemies which become more difficult to defeat, round after round. You battle against randomized waves of baddies with boss battles every tenth wave. In between each wave, players can purchase turrets, traps, decoys or other useful items and place them around their base in hopes of helping your team survive the progressing waves.
In Gears of War 4’s Horde 3.0, killing enemies causes them to drop energy which is to be collected and brought back to the Fabricator. The Fabricator, new to Gears of War 4, is a 3D printer of sorts, that uses the energy your team brings to it to build turrets, traps, decoys and other useful items. In addition to the Fabricator, Horde 3.0 now features a class system that allows players to choose the class that best suits their play style.
Those classes are:
- Soldier – Excel at dealing damage using core weapons and the only class to spawn with frag grenades
- Scout – Focuses on gathering power dropped by the enemy. Energy gathered by the scout provides double the value for the team
- Heavy – Spawns with a heavy weapon and gains bonus damage when using heavy weapons, turrets and explosives
- Sniper – Focuses on sniping and headshots, spawning with the Longshot and the Markza Mk 1
- Engineer – Focuses on building, reloading, and repairing. Is the only class to spawn with the repair tool
From time to time, the round will issue a unique objective to accomplish before the round ends. Should your team accomplish the task, you will earn a supply drop, giving you some extra firepower for the rounds to come. The supply drop boxes will transfer from round to round until they are finally opened, so you can save these benefits for the right moment.
With each class having specific boosts and benefits, it can help streamline team communication and role assignment between you and your friends. Horde 3.0 was as fun as ever, and having different classes encourages you to try them all out to see which benefit you might like the most. I, particularly, like the new buildable item, the Weapon Locker, which allows you to store pick-up weapons found on the field and have their ammo replenish over time. It allows a team the opportunity to properly stock up for the fights to come. Boss rounds include all sorts of bosses seen in the story, and you won’t know which boss will appear in the later boss waves.
Horde 3.0 did what I didn’t think was possible. It took Gears of War 3’s horde and actually made it even more engaging. Horde 3.0 had a lot of consideration put into it and it showed. It continues to be the perfect mode for the Gears fan that’s tired of the Story Mode, but is not into playing against others online.
There will also be Gear Cards that allow for online character personalization (skins and emblems), Horde skills, and XP boosts. These can be gained just by playing the game and purchasing Gear Packs.
With as long as it has been since the last Gears of War game, it was a simple strategy to just take what worked and add more trimmings to it. Gears of War 4 did just that but somehow had that “new car smell” that made you feel like this is definitely the start of a new trilogy. Gears of War 4 gives you a new story that is enjoyable ride. It gives you the versus modes you loved while giving you several new modes to try out. Horde 3.0 takes what you love from previous Horde modes while actually making it even more approachable and inviting. Gears of War 4 brings you all of this with stunning next-gen graphics and cross platform play between Xbox One and Windows 10 users. This game not only welcomes you with its robust content, it invites you to play on both console and PC with just a single purchase. Gear of War 4 is an absolute success that you just have to check out. We loved it, and we feel that you would too.