Dear Reader I’ve had Gears of War: Ultimate Edition for one whole week now and I must say it is an impressive beast. First of all, in spite of this being a remake of 2006’s breakout Xbox 360 hit Gears of War, this game ups the ante. It’s more than just a reskinning of a nine year old game, there is a ton added to the experience to make it feel fresh.
This game, though produced by The Coalition, a Canadian Studio, and not by Epic, feels like a director’s cut. First off the game features five chapters that were not in the 360 release but in the PC only release. Also through my play through of the single player campaign it feels as though some things were added or changed to those cut-scenes. Single player felt fresh and new which was great. Though I knew the story and remembered most of the levels what was added to the game was just enough to keep me completely interested in the experience and didn’t make me feel that I was only buying this for the multiplayer.
Speaking of multiplayer, new for that is 2v2 Gnasher battle, Team Death Match, and King of the Kill. 2v2 Gnashers is a quick blast. You play in smaller versions of the multiplayer levels with a time limit of 1:30 and you charge at each other with Gnashers blazing. In my opinion this is the most welcomed addition to mulitplayer. It’s quick fun, but you better have a good partner for it or else it will feel like 2v1.
Also new for Gears of War is party chat and putting together your squad before you head off into battle. Yes these are industry standards now but when the original game came out there was no party chat and you had to try and organize your friends in order to get into the same room. It was a hell of a feat if you were just playing with one friend, but if you had a party of 4, holy hell was it a pain to get everyone in the same room. Here’s a sample of what it was like in the dark ages of 2006;
“Hey, I’m in Gridlock, there are three total players.”
“Okay, I’m in!”
“I don’t see you, must be in the wrong room.”
“Shit, okay, let me leave.”
“Hurry, there are six… no seven guys in the room!”
“I see it… shit I can’t get in!”
“Fuck the game is starting, gotta quit out.”
This was just with two people, you were texting and going back and forth between party chats in order to accomplish this feat with 3 to 4 players. It wasn’t that much fun so the added feature of setting your squad up first is a god’s send.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is what every remake should strive for. Don’t just give us a nice shiny new skin on the game, but in places where you can improve the original and update it to modern standards you should. The added chapters to the campaign are a nice refresh for 360 veterans to the game who didn’t play it on PC and the added multiplayer modes give us a taste of what we might expect in next year’s Gears of War 4.
We’re giving this game a rating of Buy It.