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Gears 4 Beta Impressions Thread

April 16, 2016

Some of us were shocked by the direction that the developers are taking Gears 4 versus multiplayer (I, for one, got personal and did some name calling). For the record, because the core gameplay changed for each iteration, there was never any way that The Coalition was going to please everyone. By definition, what makes Gears 1 fans happy disappoints Gears 2 and Gears 3 fans, and vice versa. Many excellent improvements to Gears 1 were clearly evident in The Ultimate Edition. That is without a doubt, how The Coalition wanted to please, or at least placate, the Gears 1 fans. Having played 8+ days of it, they have done their job well enough. Thank you, Coalition. You already have my money.

Now, it is time to please the Gears 3 fans, I guess, and that is what Xbox gamers will be getting a glimpse at this Monday. Since it is free, I suspect most Xbox One owners will be at least trying it (“Christmas” noobs! WOOT!). It is a couple days early, but because there was a new video, I thought I would just create a thread for people to leave their thoughts once they have played it. I will be playing it as much as I can, and can stand (if it is unpleasant). The new gametype, Dodgeball, is a stroke of genius – Duh! Of course! – for the Gears Universe, and if the game mechanics and maps are enjoyable, it will make Gears 4 very appealing. If not, I am confident that the campaign will be everything that we have loved about the first four games.

  1. April 16, 2016 5:48 pm

    For those who didn’t watch the video above, Stopping power and a new Active Reload (which you can get even when you have a full clip) is here.

    Zos was saying something about the Gears gamer community, and if you can handle listening to these guys, you will know what he is talking about: “Down this mf and embarrass him. What do we do? What do we do?”

    ::shakes head::

    The problem is that I love Gears and seeing the headshots and the shottie kills makes me want to play.

    ::shakes head at self::

  2. RoBBins permalink*
    April 18, 2016 10:49 am

    Dodgeball game mode seems like a lot of fun. Might not be able to play tonight, but I’ll definitely be on Tuesday and Wednesday night to game!

    • RoBBins permalink*
      April 18, 2016 12:54 pm

      Just got my code. Downloading now!

  3. April 18, 2016 8:55 pm

    Nice, RoBBins!

    Cornie and I have been keeping our eyes out for our codes, but haven’t received anything yet. Also, it is possible that we won’t be able to play as the Beta is apparently not available for China and Japan. Our accounts/Xboxes are Canadian so we are hopeful, though.

    • April 18, 2016 9:08 pm

      If it makes you feel any better, i turned on the IGN live stream for like 5 minutes, and the guy playing was getting pissed because his shotgun wasn’t registering. LOL

    • April 18, 2016 10:35 pm

      Go Coalition!!


      That will teach them to upgrade an old Gears game! (as if they couldn’t learn that lessson on UE. Wasn’t that the whole purpose of porting UE first?!


    • April 18, 2016 11:21 pm

      Yikes.. Just played the beta and it is pretty bad. Movement is crazy slow feeling, yet nauseatingly shaky. Hit detection is off. And the game doesn’t look good enough to just stay for the eye candy. I know beta but still….

    • April 18, 2016 11:24 pm

      Can’t seem to fire shot off between getting melee’d.

      But smoke stun hasn’t been bad (or they patched it out already).


      Oh and torque bow is completely different, but still gets stuck in air and doesn’t kill someone when they are down. But does seem to have weird auto aim vacuum affect.

    • April 18, 2016 11:31 pm

      Keep the impressions coming. Who knows, Cornie and I may not even get to try it for ourselves.

    • April 18, 2016 11:41 pm

      And I am done playing. Was top on my team a few times, but I just don’t want to play it. I’ll check it out again before the beta is over or this weekend. This game honestly feels more like gears 2 than 3.

  4. April 18, 2016 11:53 pm

    LOL! So too bad.

    Cornie and I got codes. He is downloading as I type this. We shall try it for ourselves, but neither of us liked Gears 2 or 3 MP. Man, you couldn’t get me to quit that crappy TDM gametype when the UE beta was released. So sad.

    In other, more happy news, Overwatch. Cornie and I are pre-ordering. I am hopeful.

  5. April 19, 2016 2:17 am

    The comment below is more in line with our sentiments (probably – will try for myself in a couple of hours) and the thread in general is one of the better ones out there for a cross section of the feels.

    • April 19, 2016 10:17 am

      Yep. I’m still going to give it a another go at some point, and try from a fresh perspective. Maybe there is something redeemable if I pretend it isn’t a GOW game? It is shocking, you simply have to stand back in awe, that after 4 iterations of the series this is where they are at. There are fundamental problems well beyond “the game is broken”.

      At least Dark Souls 3 is amazing.

    • Blankman permalink*
      April 20, 2016 12:50 am

      The Division is amazing as well. Perhaps you’ll give it another shot someday. 🙂

    • RoBBins permalink*
      April 20, 2016 10:51 am

      Speaking of DS3, Zos, when/if you get to Aldrich, please tell me how to get to him. I have to kill him in order to move forward with the game and I cant find where he is. 😥

  6. RoBBins permalink*
    April 19, 2016 11:12 am

    I’ll try to keep this somewhat short, which probably wont happen, but I’m with Zos on this so far. Plain and simple, it’s not good. Not terrible, but not good at the same time.

    – Hit detection seems to be horrendous. As if the shotgun wasn’t bad enough already, this doesn’t help.

    – Movement is “ok”. At first it seemed really good, but after playing a decent amount, it’s slower than Gears 3 but faster than Gears 2. Wallbouncing needs to be how it is/was in Gears UE/1. Cancelling mid cover slide is straight up stupid and shouldn’t be in the game.

    – Regarding the shotgun, the damage seems to vary A LOT when aimed versus hip fire. Sometimes, it doesn’t seem to work at all. This is the Gears 2 shotgun all over again. (Watch the video clip I recorded last night from my short time playing. Clipped a guy with an aimed shot, then shot him 3 more times at almost point blank range while he was in cover, only to have him cover slip and 1 shot me. Almost rage quit/uninstalled immediately).

    – Torque bow is just straight up weird. Every time I think I have someone clearly stuck, it seems to pass right through them and blow up on a wall. New charge up sound is too mechanical and is somewhat annoying. But that’s just me being picky.

    – Sniper is VERY hard to use in this game. The amount of flinch your character receives when being shot close range or across the map with a lancer or any weapon really, is absolutely obnoxious. Not to mention the Dropshot is usually the other power weapon when snipe is up so if you’re zoomed in, you’re most likely getting blown up by that.

    – I don’t know how everyone else feels about this, or for those who have played it, but the blood spatter on the screen every time you kill someone with the shotgun is by far the most annoying visual idea they could have put into the game. It might not last long, but it obscures your vision a lot for said amount of time, and it’s gotten me killed quite a few times from not being able to see an enemy right up in my face.

    – Last but not least, the maps. I hate 2 of the 3. The one I kind of like is called Harbor I believe. It’s the one where you’re on the ship. Other than that, the maps are too big for 5v5. Sounds like a long shot, but it’s true. There’s too much running around and not enough action.

    The only somewhat bright spot, for me in the beta, is the Dropshot. It’s extremely fun to use once you get the hang of it, and it’s hilarious watching people pick it up that don’t know how to use it and waste all 3 shots immediately. Some good humor in that.

    I think that’s all I have for now. I think it’s fair to say this game doesn’t deserve ANY pre-orders from dedicated players and fans like our community. The only word that comes to mind for this game is disappointment. What a bummer.

  7. April 19, 2016 11:38 pm

    Thanks for taking the time Zos and RoBBins. Not being able to jump in party and chat with you during the week makes me all the more grateful. Thank you!

    First, let me just say that having heard so much bad before I started really helped temper my initial impression. Had my expectations not been lowered to zero, I don’t know what might have happened.

    For me, I think there are three areas of critique for the Beta: 1) Bugs/Issues, 2) Game Design, and 3) Aesthetics.

    1. Bugs/Issues – during the beta they can be excused, but there is no reason for us to believe they will be fixed by the time the product launches. Not because there isn’t enough time, but because The Coalition (historically Epic, too) can’t be trusted to do so. Framerate is often very low. Because of the uneven framerate, movement is sometimes inaccurate and several input commands behind. Guns don’t fire or fire blanks complete with sounds as if the enemy is in spawn protection.

    2. Game Design. The Coalition was never going to be able to please everyone. Gears 3 was the best seller of all of them, and after patches, probably had the fewest “bugs”. It was the first exposure for many fans, and so they never knew to hate stopping power, or the shotgun freeze after roadie run, etc. etc . Similarly, Horde was a huge hit, and any dev is going to try to kill two birds with one stone by making multi-purpose maps. It is all heartbreaking for those who loved the original MPvs on the tight maps.

    For some specifics:
    The smoke stun is there, but it isn’t Gears 2 ragdoll, one can move a little, and the actual smoke works for subterfuge.
    The Snub has been nerfed and all the fun we had with it in UE is gone (even though I was far more on the receiving end of the “fun” than those here who can shoot).
    The Gnasher “aiming” is “different” again, and it will take dedicated play to be consistently shooting correctly. Rewatching my Bullsh!t videos from last night, I can see that I was shooting off (if bullets actually come out of the gun). UE ingrained habits I guess.
    I am not a power weapon user, so my experience is mostly limited to what I saw or had done to me. The nades are crazy, and the boom “works”.
    The maps are large, but unlike some of those from Gears 3, there is actually more cover. I never felt like I had to run out in the open for 50 yards, and yet that is what almost all the Gears 3 maps were like. Gears 4 maps are large, and one can easily “lose” the enemy, but it is because there is a ton of objects all over the place. I actually didn’t hate any of the 3 maps. That opinion may change if players discover exploits.

    The audio is horrific! It has to be place holder. I used my 5.1 theater system and there wasn’t anything good I can say about it. The TB being the worst offender.

    3. Aesthetics. I think that the game will be much prettier on release, though I don’t care if it isn’t because it is all about the gameplay for me. (If I want really pretty, I will watch The Division E3 movie.)

    Having said that, I am not a big fan of the “Swarm”. It was an unfortunate choice where it looks like the devs just took the beautiful Locust art work of the previous games and used the Photoshop “Smudge” tool.

    One creature has almost no distinguishing characteristics from the other. The maps are large, but in the videos they look beautiful (crashing waves etc.). I suspect that the released product will be more like the vids. But, that is an assumption. I miss the beefier COGs, but I would rather have a bunch of skinnys running around with the same hit box, than a few with a hitbox of “0”, while all the cool looking COGs have “100”.

    As for the experience overall:

    First, Cornie and I only played Dodgeball. For the duration of the Beta, I do not want to even try TDM or TDM with bots. No point.

    And, we didn’t want to quit. I suppose much of my fun was discovering the different strategies for being successful in this game mode. The kill/teammate respawn function has profound implications to how you play the game.

    There is a 5 second delay between a kill and the respawn of a teammate (brilliant detail) and if you go charging into a group of 4 or 5 with blood lust, even if you get a kill or two, you will almost certainly be taken out before your teammates respawn – and you will lose the round.

    If you are the last person alive, and you get a kill, you should almost always run away and hide until your teammate can spawn in.

    Wingman. Always run with a partner. It is more meaningful in this gametype than it is in the actual gametype “Wingman”. Again, because of that 5 second respawn timer, it is crucial that you don’t get taken out one at a time.

    Cornie and I had a fantastic time, even with the Gears 2.5 game design. I can’t wait to play it again tonight. There was a ton of bullsh!t, but I loved playing with Cornie. Dodgeball is just that good. (It will almost certainly be adopted by other devs for other games.)

    I will keep playing until I don’t have fun anymore. If the beta ends before I stop having fun, then even for MP, I will be interested in buying it in October.

    If you have the patience, give Dodgeball a try, but do so with at least one friend with whom you can play wingman.

    • April 19, 2016 11:50 pm

      I played nothing but dodge ball so far. I’ll try again with a fresh perspective this weekend. But pretty much every core aspect (movement, cover, aiming, hit detection, gun balancing) felt bad to me.

      Agreed dodge ball is a good mode for the series. Maybe rolling with a group will help.

    • April 19, 2016 11:57 pm

      Shoot! I was hoping that your experience had been in TDM. I don’t disagree with your complaints. I would be going bananas if that gametype were available on new maps with the UE code -minus melee stun. No doubt.

      Hopefully we can play a little this weekend. But then again, your complaints are valid and accurate, and if the stench of bad design outweighs the aroma of a great gametype, then there is nothing that can be done. Thanks for reading, Zos!

    • April 20, 2016 12:22 am

      Thanks for the write up. Look forward to geeking out about it next time we are in party chat. Are you going to be on this weekend?

    • April 20, 2016 1:24 am

      I want to be, even if just for a couple of hours to try it with you and who ever else wants to join us. If nothing else, we can laugh (and cry) at the game together.

    • April 20, 2016 6:57 am

      I played some more with Cornie tonight and it was horrible, simply horrible. Check out the latest 4 saved films on my feed, and those happened at least once every round (I liked the latest one it was so bad).

      If I were The Coalition (or Phil Spencer) I would be beyond embarrassed and deeply apologetic. I mean, these are all bugs that they removed once. And they release as is again, and then claim that they have had a dedicated team on the MP?!

    • RoBBins permalink*
      April 20, 2016 10:56 am

      I have yet to play Dodgeball, just because the shotgun has irritated the living shit out of me in general and I dont feel like playing it unless its with a group. Hopefully I can get into a party with you guys for some Dodgeball!

  8. April 20, 2016 8:13 am

    Gears 4 Beta looks “Cartoony”. Worst of the bunch. No dark atmosphere, especially when compared to Gears 1. I see no reason to buy this game. If I have a Gears ‘itch’ it can be scratched with UE.

    I haven’t really been playing Xbox except for a week long stint on Ark. If I am to get back into Xbox, it would have to be with The Division, but I would need some help to level up to 30, then join you for the DZ.

  9. Herandar permalink
    April 20, 2016 1:10 pm

    Kenai, we can level up together.

  10. April 20, 2016 5:38 pm

    Kenai, if I can get on when you are on, I will help you level up. I need to pay it forward after Cornie drug my ass through 25 levels.

    RoBBins, similiarly, I will fill out a team for Dodgeball with you, but I don’t think that the gametype will be enough. The Beta is miserable.

    • April 20, 2016 6:20 pm

      Also, they reached 14 million unique players.

    • April 20, 2016 6:36 pm

      Zos, I was going to write this morning and say, if we are able to get together this weekend, let’s forego the Beta bull and play Rocket League.

      I am giving the vid its own post!

  11. Blankman permalink*
    April 21, 2016 12:35 am

    I managed to grab a few games of the Gears 4 beta with rED & Zender tonight. Like many have already mentioned in this thread, the hit detection is unreliable and the character movement is hurky jerky. There’s no fluidity like Gears UE has. Also, the Swarm is some of the blandest-looking enemies that I’ve ever seen. They not only lack any descriptive features, they’re plain boring. No personality like the Locust had. Ugh.

    The Gears 4 beta has me shaking my head wondering what the heck is going on? I even posed the question to rED if the universal negativity toward the beta will force MS to postpone the game. Someone has to have the balls to tell Rod & The Coalition to revisit a lot of their decisions and overall gameplay because it’s severely lacking. Phil can’t be pleased with this. In fact, rED & I lawled when an opponent just randomly typed “Gears 4 beta sucks” while he was playing against him in Rocket League. You know something is seriously wrong when people playing a totally unrelated game makes a comment like that.

    • April 21, 2016 7:37 am

      When they claim that they have had a dedicated team on the MP, they embarrass themselves horribly. Seriously, they should be can`t-show-my-face embarrassed. And that was almost exactly my words re the swarm (my post was a wall of text so I don`t expect that everyone had time to read it).

    • April 21, 2016 10:13 am

      I think the problem is that the vast majority of feedback so far hasn’t been negative. This is the game the public wants. My primarily complaint now, is that Rod had been talking about how the series was going to make drastic changes to the game and formula, but in reality this is almost exactly like 3 (but worse?). I wouldn’t have been at all excited to even try the game had I known. Heck, this is even significantly worse than the information provided in those GI monthly reveals.

  12. April 21, 2016 10:16 am

    On the other hand, say what you will about Cliff, he does have some good ideas in terms of movement in games (where player movement is just as crucial as twitch skills).

    • RoBBins permalink*
      April 21, 2016 12:46 pm

      The ninja looking character with the sword and grappling hook looks like so much fun to use.

  13. April 22, 2016 10:49 am

    GOW4 MP Trailer. They are completely missing what made GOW great…

    • RoBBins permalink*
      April 22, 2016 10:50 am

      Lulz. Same post, same time FTW.

  14. RoBBins permalink*
    April 22, 2016 10:49 am

    Everyone watch their new MP trailer and shake your head in disappointment yet again. The retro lancer is BACK. What are they thinking at the Coalition?!!?!

    If it’s anywhere close to as strong as the Gears 3 retro, this game will officially be off my radar completely.


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