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The Weekly OT #19: Gears 4

October 2, 2016
by

Amazing.  Simply amazing.  Watch it in 1080p, full screen, on y’all’s big screen TVs.  Better than a lot of movies nowadays, and about the only thing they could do that would make sense when making a game out of WWI.

Gandalf.

And that this company even exists and is experiencing a boom in business is just wild.  I want that bedroom.

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47 Comments leave one →
  1. October 2, 2016 10:09 am

    Hey, I posted this a couple hours early, and I wanna shout this one out. I know that, for example, Kenai and Zender have dragons on Ark, and I know that Blank and Zender have HORDE 3.0 on the very near horizon, and Rocket League has Z0S, and Cornie (by the things from which short hairs dangle)…

    BUT

    As a fan of shooters, war games, and games in general, you need to check out that BF1 vid above. It isn’t just random gameplay, it shows how the story of that war is told through this medium. It is brilliantly done. My expat friend, who doesn’t even like first person shooters, called it “a prodigious, monumental opus” and he is “deeply impressed at what’s gone into it.”

    Watch it and you will know what I mean. Not flashy, just profound.

  2. October 2, 2016 12:41 pm

    Wow absolutely awesome. Not at all what I was expecting!

  3. October 2, 2016 5:56 pm

    Exactly! Incredible. I would have never thought of representing the futility and the sheer numbers that way, but it works. I am hoping that they have a data base of several thousand+ names so that each time you die, a new, real name pops up. So, SO smart.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 2, 2016 6:17 pm

      The brutality of the frontline fighting was eye-opening. The lethality and number of casualties were enormous. Awesome in scope and virtual representation in “humanity’s” violence.

  4. October 3, 2016 10:39 am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoIR0hOCMVc worth a watch (at least for the first parts of the video where he discusses the mode).

  5. October 3, 2016 2:33 pm

    Sounds like solid tweaks to the old domination/territories formula. One thing, we will have to embrace the melee if we want to play without raging every skirmish. There was enough lumber in that video to build luxury cruise ship for sailing my ass off to the Islands of Insanity. If I were to try and have fun in the MPvs, i would have to embrace meleeing, and chill about the shenanigans. Stroking out is no longer an option in my “entertainment” anymore.

    RL Aquadome live on the 4th, which is today in Japan.
    http://www.rocketleaguegame.com/game-info/aquadome/

    And Sea of Thieves info:
    http://wccftech.com/sea-thieves-procedural-elements-laid-top-quest-system-heres-secure-booty/
    http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/10/03/sea-of-thieves-what-the-hell-actually-is-this-game

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 3, 2016 4:57 pm

      Look at you changing the site’s banner, Suns! I guess our community always returns to the roots where we all started from. 😀

      Yeah, I agree with the “acceptance” of the melee if you venture onto Public Versus matches. Stroking out and raging just diminishes one’s enjoyment of this new Gears offering. Regardless if we try to lead by example by refraining to use two-piecing with exception when we completely flank the opponent, we’re fighting at a disadvantage. We only employ that cheap tactic because of the busted back armor shenanigan. I guess learning to adapt will keep us sane, but playing without the B-button for so many years has developed muscle memory in all of our Gears-playing regimen.

      I really am excited for Gears 4, & I’m so happy that I exercised a self-imposed media blackout during its development cycle. It makes this more of a surprise if it’s entertaining.

    • RoBBins permalink*
      October 5, 2016 11:02 am

      @blankman6 I could’ve sworn you told me a while back when I first pre-ordered Gears 4 that you weren’t all that interested in it, even for Horde with us… ;D

    • RoBBins permalink*
      October 5, 2016 11:03 am

      Also, I am so friggen excited to start the campaign tomorrow night at midnight!!! Maybe some MP afterwards!

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 5, 2016 3:29 pm

      Well, when Zos & I got Gears 4 for free, my enthusiasm was definitely raised. Who wouldn’t want a free game, right? Anyways, Gears 4 looks promising. The beta was such a clusterfuck that it’s not surprising that our community, in general, was apprehensive and/or disinterested. It seems like The Coalition have turned it around for the better.

  6. October 3, 2016 5:28 pm

    http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/10/03/new-xbox-live-features-start-rolling-out-in-preview-program-today

    Regarding Gears, yes melee is here to stay (for worse). Only hope is that they balance it enough. Honestly, melee was one of my least concerns with the beta. The whole experience was quite rough. Some of the “non execution” gametypes, which are more reliant on teamplay and strategy may be where the “fun” is.

    PS: Good thing nobody bought those cheap eBay Nvidia card codes, the majority were scams (ordered GPU, got code, cancelled order), which are rejected.

  7. October 3, 2016 5:52 pm

    Ha ha! I changed the banner for you, Kenny. I enjoy your excitement and will be happy to fan the flames.

    Yes, the melee was the least of the problems in the beta. All the old pre-patch bugs were back from previous games. I look forward to reports from trusted individuals, (i.e., you guys) as to the playability. 😀

    • October 3, 2016 6:11 pm

      Yeah, it will take some time to really make a judgement call as well. Had a lot of fun initially with the Gears 3 beta (and even initial launch), but the problems become clear after a little while

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 3, 2016 6:45 pm

      I will definitely call it like I see it; a spade is a spade. If the gameplay is enjoyable, I will recommend it. Even though my love for the Gears franchise & universe runs deep, I won’t be a party to urging this community to adopt it unless it’s a solid experience for the most part.

      I’m glad that Zos was able to get the game for free for purchasing the graphics card that he needed anyway. The free copy of Gears 4 just happened to be a nice & unexpected bonus. Also, it seems that the Nvidia free Gears 4 promo is over. I think that if Zos didn’t love Gears so much, there would be no way that he would have slogged through 2.5+ hours dealing with customer service (and that’s on the most recent support call) for the game that he was entitled to. That shows how much all of us love Gears. It’s what brought us altogether in the first place. 😃🤓

      Make sure to check out these very insightful articles by Vice: Motherboard about the development of Gears 4 & its certification process. Motherboard was given unprecedented access to an MS dev studio that’s never happened before. They are very credible in games journalism. http://motherboard.vice.com/gears-of-war-4-aaa-bug-cert-crunch

    • October 3, 2016 7:27 pm

      Wow fantastic articles!

      Rod – “If Gears 4 isn’t what people want it to be, if it comes out and people say Gears 4 is a bad game, I’ll shoulder a huge amount of that responsibility. That would be my fault.”

    • October 3, 2016 8:19 pm

      Thanks for the heads-up on those articles. Beyond the text, there is so much content there (graphs and videos) that it is hard to just print them up and read them offline. Gonna take me longer than usual to get through them. Great find!

      EDIT: figured it out. Bunch of short explanatory articles prepping the reader for the big one:
      http://motherboard.vice.com/read/gears-of-war-4-aaa-games-are-hard-so-why-make-them

      From the other articles, this is the most important.

      Wnf

      “Will not fix.” This is how you would label a low priority bug that you don’t plan to fix because it’s too risky or not a smart use of resources. These bugs are sometimes known as “KS,” meaning known, shippable bugs.

      ZBR

      “Zero bug release,” the first build of the game with no known major bugs (excluding those labeled wnf).

      Just cannot even count how many WNF bugs the Gears games have had over the years. Under Rod’s leadership and with the full backing of Microsoft, Gears 4 *should* get the same kind of love that BF4 got. BF4 did damage to DICE’s name, and they put everything they had behind it (even though they were desperately late). Microsoft/Coalition need to approach this game the same way. OK, now to read the article.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 3, 2016 10:17 pm

      MS offered to pay for Vice: Motherboard’s lodging & travel costs, and Vice declined because they wanted to be completely impartial & transparent in their reporting. That takes a lot & it deserves a huge ups in my book.

      What also builds confidence in the franchise is that The Coalition is already in the pre-production phase for Gears 5. One of the articles stated that the only room that they were not allowed access to was one that had black cardboard completely taped to the glass walls. Gears 5 was behind that cardboard.

      I forgot to tell you guys that when I spoke to Rod at the Gallery Nucleus, I thanked him for coming back to the Gears franchise because of his track record and leadership. He seemed genuinely humbled that I said that. Huge smile across that ginger beard.

    • October 4, 2016 12:20 am

      Finished reading all of them. Good stuff!

      With Gears UE, Rod became my favorite ginger. He suffered some tarnish with the Gears 4 Beta. Maybe over the course of a couple of great games, he can earn that back. 😉 😀 And yes, of all the devs that worked on the first 3, I would say he is the one we want back for the sequels.

  8. October 4, 2016 6:24 pm

    I watched the first episode of Luke Cage and was completely surprised by the (high) quality in all aspects (from dialogue, to music, story, and acting). I caught a cold and so I had to go to bed. If I were feeling well, I might have been in danger of binge binging most if not all of it. It was very reminiscent of the Daredevil goodness. The music and the noir feel are fantastic. It makes me want to go back to Jessica Jones and watch it so that I know what part Luke played in that show. Mike Colter played a drug kingpin in The Good Wife, and I liked him there, but really felt he didn’t have the range for this show. As it turns out, whether or not that criticism is true, I am really enjoying him as Luke. Makes me look forward to Iron Fist.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 4, 2016 8:31 pm

      Agreed. I was going to mention that Luke Cage is turning out to be surprisingly good. I’m not crazy about Colter because of his limited range, but I’m really digging Cottonmouth. I’m at episode three and it’s binge worthy.

  9. October 4, 2016 9:46 pm

    http://www.ign.com/videos/2016/10/05/a-look-at-the-gears-of-war-4-replica-lancer-prop

    Holy cow. This puts my OG Lancer Replica to shame. I might honestly try to sell mine in order to get this. LOL

    • October 4, 2016 9:55 pm

      I wanna see Ethan wielding it.

    • October 4, 2016 10:39 pm

      Haha! We have an old pic of Steph with my lancer somewhere too

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 5, 2016 12:57 am

      Zos, you do know that your OG Lancer by Neca is worth $400 in the collector’s market, right? The PDP Lancer is pretty sick. I got to see one first hand at the gallery exhibit on Saturday. This Lancer from PDP isn’t anywhere as limited as the one from Neca. I do want one myself, but I have to be fiscally responsible now. 😢

      Unofficial reviews by press members who have finished the campaign have started to trickle into the Gears subreddit, & although they won’t go on record; they are pretty high on Gears 4. 😃👍🏼 The reviews embargo will be lifted this Thursday, Oct. 6th.

  10. October 5, 2016 1:34 am

    Pretty cool, actually, if you like music and instruments.

    And was this the thread you were talking about?

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 5, 2016 1:59 am

      Yep, that’s the thread. Two press members for undisclosed sites agreed that Gears 4 is impressive. There’s some on NeoGaf as well. Giant Bomb is also very positive about the game. They’re often very critical.

  11. October 5, 2016 10:29 am

    Fall Game Hype is real:

    Obviously, PM is biased (and selling a product) but that is pretty high praise coming from someone who has lots of other games to promote.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 5, 2016 3:46 pm

      I love Peter Moore. That dude has cred. Such a shame that he was the fall guy for the 360 RRoD. Even though he’s the head of EA & selling games, I agree with what Zos said.

  12. October 5, 2016 6:42 pm

    Gears of War movie confirmed.

    • October 5, 2016 6:51 pm

      Could be really good. There is lots of story/action potential.

  13. Blankman permalink*
    October 6, 2016 12:55 am

    Not much has been mentioned about Anya. I’m calling it here: I think that Anya died during childbirth. This could have contributed to the distance between Marcus and his son, JD.

  14. October 6, 2016 1:19 am

    Wow! I am amazed how much the game has changed visually since the beta. Great breakdown, and it sounds like the PC version is not only good, but a great example of UWP development working really well!

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 6, 2016 1:36 am

      Like I texted you & rED earlier; the game looks absolutely gorgeous. The difference between what we saw in the beta & vids of the finished product is night and day. What I saw from the gallery exhibit looked terrific.

    • October 6, 2016 2:14 pm

      This is very good and important for the UWP division in MS. As a flagship title, and because so many bad decisions have been made in the last 5 years, they NEED to knock this out of the park. Great stuff!

      Rod and Major gives live tips/commentary as people play through Horde.

      Kenny, you are SO going to be all over this. I cannot imagine anything else spinning on that HD until well after Christmas.

  15. October 6, 2016 3:10 pm

    Reviews are coming in. Metacritic, for links to the reviews, not the aggregate score.

    http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-one/gears-of-war-4

    EDIT:

    Without the assurance that there will be 2 new maps every month for a year, the 10 maps would be very, very unimpressive (nearing Judgment levels of money grab). Here is the reason, each one of these is supposed to be a Swiss Army knife. Which means, for the various gametypes, you probably only have 2 or three good maps. The ones that are fun for Horde will be awful for execution. The good news is that there will be 34 maps total by this time next year, the better news is that, apparently, we will be able to play them for free in Matchmaking (though not in private). THAT, is a crucial detail.

  16. October 6, 2016 6:10 pm

    Hi DOH! That’s high praise!

    http://kotaku.com/gears-of-war-4s-horde-mode-is-a-blast-1787493416

    Back when Horde was originally introduced, I couldn’t get into it. Too mindless. Even with the improvements in Gears of War 3, it wasn’t enough to suck me in either. But now, Horde 3.0 has so many tactical elements that I’m finding myself stoked to play more with friends. Between this and normal campaign co-op, Gears remains one of the ultimate franchises to play with friends.

  17. October 6, 2016 8:25 pm

    Jim Sterling, troll though he is, makes some very specific deserved-sounding criticisms of campaign design, something that we even talked about ourselves.

    Chief among their problems, the Swarm share a dismal trait with Gears 3‘s Lambent Locust faction – they’re boring.

    The real Locust had personality, as well as rich visual evidence of their alien culture and a diverse array of castes and animals. The Lambent stripped all that away, and the Swarm do the same – they’re barely more expressive than zombies and most of them are indistinguishable from each other.

    There are no Theron Guards, no Kantus Priests, no Beast Riders. Hardly a shred of variance and character, barely any of the chatter and banter that gave Gears of War a truly expressive enemy.

    Outside of the larger Scion soldiers and a handful of generic bug-like monsters, Gears 4‘s opposition is made up of Locust knock-offs with none of their grotesque charm.

    In an attempt to add a little more diversity, players do face off against another faction – the robotic “DeeBee” soldiers of the COG. Presumably to avoid human-on-human violence, The Coalition opted to replace the COG’s Gears soldiers with robots who bring an assortment of new weapons, such as the extremely powerful Overkill shotgun and the Enforcer SMG.

    They have a little more going on than the Swarm, but their monotone voices and polite threats are nothing we haven’t seen in dozens of other media where robotic enforcers try to keep the peace while slaughtering everybody. It’s an old trope, and the DeeBees do nothing special with it.

    In hindsight, that specific cultural, even religious design of the Locusts in Gears 1 most definitely made it very special.

    Having read a bunch of the reviews (all others very high score), I find it interesting that everyone is more happy with the MP than with the Campaign. But in Dr. Ian Malcolm‘s words “Oh, yeah. Oooh, ahhh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and um, screaming. “

    • October 6, 2016 11:22 pm

      Yeah, it is definitely way to early to make any solid judgements on MP. However, most of the impressions that I have read of the campaign are that it is quite good.

  18. October 7, 2016 7:02 am
  19. October 7, 2016 2:51 pm

    Kenny, it took me a while to remember the content of the original Tomorrow trailer, but here we have Anya on the homestead with Marcus and JD.

    That could be a wishful dream on the part of JD or Marcus, but if it isn’t, then we know that Anya didn’t die at childbirth.

    And, I just watched the hour and 10 minutes of cutscenes. It was good. There were some very nice/enjoyable moments. I definitely have a new favorite “COG” skin, that I would be tempted to pay money for to play (if it happens it isn’t included in the game). Also, be sure to watch through the credits, like a Marvel movie.

    • Blankman permalink*
      October 7, 2016 4:05 pm

      It’s either a dream sequence or a flashback by Marcus. The ‘Brothers to the End’ pre-order skins foreshadowed Anya’s fate because it calls her skin “Tomorrow Anya.’ I highly doubt that they’re searching for Anya; everything points to her death in childbirth or early in JD’s life which probably explains why Marcus is now a recluse on his family’s estate. The devs are painting Marcus as the tragic hero: father, best friend “brother”, & his love- Anya; all die.

      Also, character skins are random from packs now. That’s how MS is gonna make $$$ from players that want to unlock a specific character. TC is taking a page from Halo 5’s micro transaction system. And people are going to be paying through the nose in hopes of unlocking their preferred character.

      BTW: Why would you spoil the game for yourself by watching all of the cutscenes?

    • October 7, 2016 5:37 pm

      I actually watched it because I didn’t want the experience spoiled. I spend a lot of time on the Internet, and if I am not going to be picking this game up until it goes on sale, which we can agree will be at least a couple of weeks, there is no way that I won’t get dribs and drabs of major spoiler; a comment here, an image there. Avoiding it for a weekend is one thing, for several months, no way. By watching the cutscenes, I got the entire coherent story in one sitting, something I don’t usually get even when I play through a campaign. And now, I will be able to visit with you and Zos and Zender when you are finished, and we can discuss the plot lines and I can enjoy that, too! Win/win!

      If the skins or packs cannot be earned via gameplay, then the pay-for-skins stuff is really awful, horrible, terrible stuff. If it is like PvZ:GW, then that is cool. Great, those who are impatient can pay, those who like to game can play.

    • October 7, 2016 6:15 pm

      “Cards are mostly unlocked through Gear Packs which can be purchased with Credits, an in-game currency you simply earn by playing Versus or Horde. For players who want to accelerate the growth of their collection or are short on time, Gear Packs can also be purchased with real world currency.”

      That’s good.

    • October 7, 2016 6:34 pm

      That’s great! I love surprise card packs!

  20. October 7, 2016 5:29 pm

    https://www.engadget.com/2016/10/06/comcasts-1tb-data-caps-start-to-roll-out-nationwide/

    Comcast is putting this in place right on the verge of wide scale 4k. For familys of 3-4 people who use streaming services already, they will exceed the limit. Just a nice F-U to their customers. The only other choice I have in my area is century link, which maxes out at 20mbps, and I am fortunate. Lots of people have virtually no other options besides Comcast.

    • October 7, 2016 5:39 pm

      I genuinely am sorry for the options over there, just as I am sorry for the fact that I get IP filtered sometimes over here. Same heartbreaking type stuff.

    • October 7, 2016 5:42 pm

      I just checked, and we exceeded 1 TB of data last month alone. LOL. Man, I am going to bitch a storm the minute they try to charge me an overage fee.

      Google Fiber pulled out of Portland, it was too difficult to implement politically. Oh, I wonder if that is because the governor of Oregon has close ties to Comcast, to the extent that they have literally ghost written letters for her.

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