PAX West 2016: Gears of War 4 Horde Mode

PAX West 2016: Gears of War 4 Horde Mode

While we were at PAX, we had the opportunity to try out Horde Mode 3.0, promised to be included in Gears of War 4 when it launches later this year. We had the opportunity to give it a spin – Did we like it?

The answer is yes, but we would like to see more done with the amount of barriers and purchasable weapons at the player’s disposal. In my time with the game, the team purchased spike barriers and automatic turrets to fight against the oncoming waves of enemies. Extra gear included the useful repair tool, a solution to the hard-earned equipment breaking down from use. By utilizing the team’s credits and resources, players can manage an effective field for taking down future waves of threats.

New weapons like the Dropshot and Embar made an appearance and I had a lot of hands-on game time with the latter. The Embar is a focus-charged weapon, that feels oh-so-satisfying to fire. You have to time the shot in order for the gun to work, but when charged and released at the right time; provides a bone-crushing sound that excites you for the next shot.

All this doesn’t help if the players don’t support each other in gameplay. Gears of War 4 provides a fast-paced team experience, unlike other similar games I’ve enjoyed. Once the creatures meet their demise, they drop credits, which are used to unlock the items I mentioned earlier. Of course, you earn more credits as you defeat tougher enemies. This provides an environment where the risk meets the reward.

I want to touch on the game’s performance. While it was possible that we were in a big convention and network issues could have played a result in the matter – the game played with a choppy frame rate, often when there was a lot going on. Normally, this would totally acceptable, however with Gears of War 4 advertising 60-frames per second frame-rate, I felt mildly disappointed. Keep in mind, the game is still a couple months before its release – but this is something I do hope they can fix before it’s final release.

Gears‘ Horde Mode 3.0 was a tad challenging and not because I was playing poorly. As I mentioned earlier, Gears of War‘s Horde Mode promotes team play and the PAX environment wasn’t a place which shared that requirement. The team I was with couldn’t communicate well, which led to our inevitable defeat in the tenth wave when the boss showed up.

In all, the experience was enough to fuel my hype for the game. It made me remember the experience as I first enjoyed it on Gears of War 2. The new enemies, weapons, and improved visuals were what my time with the game memorable.

Gears of War 4 will release for the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs on October 11th, 2016.