There is still that feeling of Nostalgia when it comes to replaying a game that you have come to enjoy, and when that feeling never gets old no matter how many times you revisit it, its a classic. No matter how much I loved the original Gears, it did have some minor flaws. I will be the first to admit that. There is no argument, however, that Gears was a game changer. It had an impact on the industry and gave Microsoft another franchise to put along with Halo.
Graphically Gears was one of the best looking games back in 2006, and today it still is one of the best looking games. Running at a cool 1080p and 60FPS, Gears looks incredible on an XBox One.
Gears is also a simple game. Not a whole lot of complexity, and the controls are relatively simple. The stop and pop mechanic, which many other games in the past generation tried hard to mimic, still works and is fun. Some of the early glitches, such as sticking to walls, and weapon sliding are still in the game. The addition of some simple mechanics that were not introduced until later releases of Gears also found their way into the remaster.
If you have played any of the Gears titles you should already be familiar with the story. If not, here is a brief synopsis.
The Gears of War series takes place on a fictional Earth-like planet named Sera, colonized by humans some time in the series’ past. The planet had a history of conflict that took Sera to the brink of destruction. This shocked the people into a rejection of their destructive ways, leading to a golden age of culture, science and the arts, though civil liberties and crime remained troublesome social issues.
The energy demands of Sera’s population soon surpassed the planet’s traditional energy sources like petroleum and nuclear. A search for new energy sources led to the discovery of Imulsion, a glowing liquid with near-unlimited energy potential found in chambers and veins beneath the planet’s surface. Due to its potential, wars broke out over control of the Imulsion, the largest being a 79-year war between the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) and the Union of Independent Republics (UIR). This ended when COG opted to use its orbital laser weapon, the Hammer of Dawn, to ravage UIR cities. The COG then negotiated peace treaties with the remaining collations and became the dominant government on Sera.
Shortly after this, the bulk of the population was wiped out by a new threat, sentient creatures called Locust that spewed out from underground and attacked across the planet. The onset became known as Emergence Day. COG evacuated survivors to Jacinto Plateau, where the hard rock would prevent the Locust from tunneling from beneath. Those humans who could not leave their homes or refused to do so became known as the Stranded. COG then employed a “scorched earth” tactic, turning the Hammer of Dawn against its own cities to deny the Locust any tactical advantages. COG ordered its troops, “Gears”, to continue to protect the Plateau while finding ways to end the Locust threat completely.
The first game occurs about fourteen years after Emergence Day; Marcus Fenix is a former Gear who was imprisoned for abandoning his post to protect his father Adam, a lead researcher in studying the Locust. Marcus is rescued from military prison by his closest friend, Dominic “Dom” Santiago, moments before the prison is consumed by Locust attacks. He soon re-enlists in the Gears because they lacked sufficient forces. Marcus leads a squad named Delta Team, including Dom, Augustus Cole, and Damon Baird, into discovering the source of the Locust. Using research left by his father, Delta Team ignites a Lightmass bomb at this source, destroying a large number of Locust. However, the Queen Locust, Myrrah, escapes, and vows revenge for the destruction.
The Games Multiplayer, one of the best for its time and still is, comes back in all of its glory. All of the games multiplayer maps and DLC are all in their forms, and none of the weapons spawn points or weapon choice have been changed. This means that if you, like me, are one that played the game on a nightly basis, you will feel right at home. I honestly had flashbacks to 2006.
In closing, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is a perfect game for everyone that has played the game back in 2006, to all newcomers to the franchise. It is your typical B rated Action Movie synopsis, with over muscular G.I’s with chainsaw guns, but its the mechanics, and fluidity that capture the magic. The games multiplayer is concrete, and will bring those competitive juices back to the forefront. This is the perfect game, for the value ($39.99) and its time now to create new memories with this beloved franchise!