Gears of War: Ultimate Edition
Format: XBox One
The shooter that defined the first generation of HD gaming has been painstakingly remastered in 1080p and modernized for Xbox One with 60fps competitive multiplayer. “Gears of War: Ultimate Edition” features every multiplayer mode and map from the original game, plus new content such as Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill modes, five campaign chapters never released on Xbox and more.
It doesn’t seem like ten years ago that I was unwrapping the plastic of my fresh copy of Gears of War for the Xbox 360, yet here I am today reviewing a completely upgraded version of this classic.
Fully redesigned for the Xbox One in 1080p with 60fps, updated multi-player and a campaign add-on never before released on consoles, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition gives the fans exactly what they want.
The first thing I did was jump straight into multi-player for some violent King of the Hill action. Straight away the nostalgia was flowing and I felt myself as immersed in the world as I ever was. The 60fps is a massive difference to the original, which shouldn’t be said lightly.
Ten years ago and the original still looks as good as most games today, yet the ultimate edition seems to top this that bit more. The shadows of the characters, the way the light reflects of the buildings and even the way the AI moves are all little things I have noticed. One small problem I have encountered however is trying to distinguish COGs from the enemy Locusts. I remember the COGs being slightly brighter, with a glow almost, but this time they seem to blend very close to the Locusts. Nothing major, but something that may need to be patched in an update.
New game modes for multi-player include Team Deathmatch, King of the Kill and a brand new 2v2 Gnasher mode designed completely by fans of the series. While familiar with Team Deathmatch, it isn’t a mode that was featured in Gears the first time around, which adds a nice touch. One game mode I do wish was revived was Wingman, but who knows what updates might bring us?
For the campaign, I haven’t yet noticed any major differences. It’s clear that the cinematics have been touched up and the general FPS, but nothing else feels new. Don’t get me wrong, my play through was just as enjoyable as my first couple of hundred times (har, har) but I can’t help but feel this remake is more focused on the multi-player aspect, which is completely fine. Players will definitely still find themselves playing through the campaign two or three times, especially since co-op with a few buddies is just as enjoyable and frustrating as ever.
On the whole, I have mostly a lot of praise for GOW: Ultimate Edition. My two small gripes being the hard to distinguish colours between the COGs and Locusts, and the lobby load times when trying to find a match on Xbox live. Finding a match can take anything up to five minutes, then character and map selection – not to mention the load time of the map itself – can have you waiting a couple of minutes each time.
The best remake of a game in recent years and perfect for filling the space until Gears 4.
4 out of 5 Nerds