Gears of War Ultimate Beta – Hands On


We’ve spent the best part of the last week playing the new Gears of War Ultimate beta. It has been a long time coming as we first heard about it around the end of April. My personal favourite is the original, definitely was the one that I spent the most time with. Gears infectious multiplayer action is fast paced, addictive and requires a little more skill than the average shooter. (I’m looking at you Call of Duty) Some people don’t like Gears for the simple fact it isn’t a pick up and play affair, it has a steep learning curve and is definitely more unforgiving if you get it wrong. Due to this steep learning curve people will drop the controller almost as fast as they picked it up to give it a go.

Stick with Gears and you’re rewarded handsomely, close quarters and personal player versus player battles, heart pounding kill streaks and plenty of fun. In November it will be nine years since the original came out therefore it is probably time it was due a new lick of paint. The Coalition (formerly Black Tusk Studios) have been charged with the responsibility to bring the Ultimate edition to the fans. Have they delivered?

In my opinion in short yes they have. Gears for me has always been about it’s sheer simplicity, you either have one weapon or the other and all other weapons are pick ups within the maps and subsequently are fair game. The same techniques are available to everyone. A couple of examples of not over complicating things are, grenade tagging other players and not being able to do it to walls, holding B to initiate chainsawing but if two chainsaws met the outcome would be determined by random. Active reloads, hit the sweet spot have a stronger shot miss and pay a long reload time penalty.

The Coalition didn’t need to adjust anything about the original Gears, they have but you wouldn’t even explicitly notice. The way the weapons are picked up has been made less clunky and seems to not be vulnerable to the classic Gears weapon sliding glitch.  I tried it a few times, if it is still there it is much harder to pull off. The sequels in the franchise have slowly been changed as each developer makes there mark on the title however the gameplay in Gears Ultimate was very familiar but more stable than it’s 360 predecessor.

We encountered very few issues, a couple of odd glitchy moments which results in momentary pauses in the action onscreen to them be greeted by the respawn screen. We were also in a game that resulted in nine COG players versus four locust. In the end we decided Team Deathmatch did work as a game mode on the classic maps they worked well considering they were designed for Warzone or Execution. Connections probably need a little more stabilisation but nothing else needs changing.

I was happy to play Gears and see what The Coalition has achieved with Gears ahead of the retail release date. Luckily they have left the fundamentals of Gears well alone and delivered a refreshed, reinvigorated title which will please die hard franchise stalwarts and attract newbies too. You would be forgiven for thinking the beta is the finished article. It isn’t and we’re likely to see the feedback they’ve collated be used to tweak the final release.



[su_heading size=”20″]Gears of War: Ultimate Screenshots[/su_heading]

You may also like...

Leave a Reply