Grab your Lancer Assault Rifle and prepare to make the Locust Horde bleed once more in Gears of War Ultimate Edition, Microsoft’s reboot of the beloved Xbox 360 classic. Similar to the original, this reimagined Xbox One exclusive follows disgraced war hero Marcus Fenix and his small team of COG soldiers as they battle aliens on a distant planet following Emergence Day, when the vicious creatures erupted from the ground to slaughter their surprised human adversaries. If you enjoyed Gears when it first debuted in 2006, this package contains plenty of chainsaw revving, Gnasher Shotgun blasting action, but it’s more than a simple visual upgrade. A variety of enticing features help this Ultimate Edition live up to its name.
In addition to preserving the original third-person shooter, Microsoft’s developers gave Gears of War a welcome facelift. The team used the original environments as inspiration and made impressive tweaks, resulting in familiar locations resembling their aged counterparts, but buildings look noticeably different, while characters seem sharper, with the entire package displaying at 1080p.
Content wise, exclusive campaign missions from the PC version made it into the Ultimate Edition, resulting in 90 additional minutes of playtime. Keeping with the theme of more, achievement hunters will be able to earn 1,250 points for their Gamerscores, and this scratches the surface of unlockables. Over time, players will gain access to a concept art gallery and Gears of War comics.
Despite the aforementioned PC missions, you’ll only need seven to eight hours to blast through the single player campaign. After viewing the end credits, multiplayer should be your next stop. Gears is known for intense and bloody multiplayer, with players blowing off each other’s heads with sniper rifles and even curb stomping helpless adversaries. This comes to Ultimate Edition, but Microsoft seems determined to make this the definitive Gears experience.
For starters, multiplayer runs at 60 frames per second and on dedicated servers to help improve performance. The game attempts to select players based on skill, and you’ll blast friends in 19 different maps pulled from downloadable content and the PC version; the list includes Gears favorites such as Canals, Courtyard and Gridlock. You’ll also unlock 17 characters from Gears of War 3, which should include several fan favorites. That isn’t the only feature from the third chapter in the franchise, with tac-com and enemy spotting also making the cut.
With match types, the studio added King of the Hill with Gears 3 rules, Team Deathmatch and a new two versus two Gnasher Execution mode. Meanwhile, you can tweak various options per match, like Respawn Time, Weapon Respawn and Self-revive. To round out the multiplayer component, Ultimate Edition will let you adjust controller sensitivity and select tournament controls.
The price? Gears of War Ultimate Edition will cost $39.99, which means you can pick up this impressive title for a budget price before the holiday rush. If you never played the original, make a point to enjoy Gears when it debuts August 25. Been there, played that? There’s enough content to justify a purchase for longtime fans who need a gore-filled shooter to pass the time until Gears of War 4 arrives next year.
Now see how the developers breathed new life into Gears of War for Xbox One.