One of the two juggernauts of Xbox has returned. All be it in the form of a remaster version of the 2006 smash hit. Weirdly, this is just the first game of the series, with Microsoft (possibly) reluctent to go all out and hit the entire trilogy and prequel on one disc, after the Master Chief fiasco.
That said, this is actually done for good reason and makes more sense when you play it. There are minor tweaks to gameplay, making the gunplay a little more responsive than the original, graphics look sleek and shiny, there is also the sound, which is by far a huge improvement. Sometimes, on a decent TV or sound system it can be perfect, somehow it is just as you remember it, just a little more crisp in the approach.
Every weapon is as you remember it also, every chapter is untouched, but The Coalition have made full use of the Xbox One's power making it smooth gameplay and making it look beautiful in brutality. The two main differences, however, are in its multiplayer (which I'll come back too) and the way it handles its collectables. The Cog Tags are back! Yes and mostly marked by those huge red cogs on maps to mark the presence of one nearby. If you remember the game very well, you'll know their locations. What is different though, is what you get out of them. If you haven't read the brilliant comics, then you're in for a treat as the cog tags unlock pages of ingame comics, published by DC. Once you've completed the comic pages, go back to the main menu to read them. Reading them all also nets you an achievement, so it is worth finding all the tags again if you like to hunt achievements. Personally, I want them for the comics. These comics tell the story of the Pendulum Wars, so if you're a lore buff, this will also appeal.
As you go through the game, you also unlock concept art and all the cinematics, so you can watch all thise glorious and unfortunate deaths along the way.
Now, as promised, the multiplayer. For those who played the beta, you'll have a good idea how it plays. The multiplayer has has a tiny revamp, it's hard to pinpoint what feels completely different in weapon power, but every game mode does still come down to 'shotgun crazy duels'.
Two sets of playlists are available, social, which contains Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill and Warzone. This playlist offers less XP, it is also the least populated. The Competitive playlist has the returning Execution mode, King of the Hill, The Coalition's own mode 'Blitz', Team Deathmatch, Assassination and 2v2 Gnasher Execution.
By far the most fun is Blitz, this quickly descends in to anarchy and we love it. It's essentially King of the Hill, but you have different modifiers on during the game. This includes the two most prominent rules, staying inside the ring to gain points for leveling up and also faster ring captures. Yes, it sounds similar to an Gears of War 3 event that jad taken place close to EPIC's departure, but Blitz should be your point of call once you've gotten back in to the swing of things.
The multiplayer has a few other tricks up its sleeve too, Gears 3's 'spotting' mechanic is back, but it lasts a slightly shorter time than the trilogy finale's version. Making it purely quick fire tactics. The cover system has been given a slight overhaul, making it slightly quick to move between cover spots, although, you kind of miss being able to kick players in the face as you climb over pieces of walls.
In all, this is a great addition to anyone who hasn't played one of the two games that made Xbox what it is today. It's better for people who have played it before also and with Gears 4 around the corner it is a good time to rev up the chainsaws once more!
Before you leave, why not check or video review.