It’s widely agreed by many that Microsoft’s gaming service needs a major hit exclusive title right now. The company is in the midst of transforming its Xbox business into something that knows no hardware limitations. It’s introduced an app that will bring many useful features to Windows gamers, including voice chatting, party creation and profile tracking. They have worked hard to make sure every Xbox One peripheral worth owning also runs seamlessly on Windows 10 PCs. The last two Xbox exclusives, ReCore and Quantum Break, were not groundbreaking hits but merely opportunities for Microsoft to test and perfect its infrastructure. The Gears of War 4 for PC release is set to change everything for the company, the exclusive hit Microsoft desperately needs right now.
If Microsoft’s reputation with PC gamers wasn’t so poor, truth is, ReCore and Quantum Break could have been big releases for Windows users. The company is now picking up the pieces after spending years completely ignoring the platform while the Xbox 360 and Xbox One got exclusive releases that Windows users had no access to. When game releases did overlap, users had to pay for them twice and maintain separate game saves and progress, not ideal.
Gears of War 4 will be the third game made by Microsoft’s teams to launch as part of its Xbox Play Anywhere program. Because of Play Anywhere, there’s just one set of game saves between console and PC. Purchasing a digital version of the game on one unlocks the other. If that wasn’t enough, Gears of War 4 is an absolute juggernaut in its own right. It’s the first main game in the series to arrive in years, making it infinitely more exciting than Gears of War Judgement. If Microsoft can nail its launch, it stands a chance of winning over skeptical PC gamers.
A third-person shooter with bloody weapons, an awesome chainsaw and cover mechanics, Gears of War 4 will feature an all-new team of heroes backed by a familiar face. JD Fenix, Kait and Del are the new heroes. JD is the son of Marcus Fenix, who’ll feature heavily in this game’s story.
Microsoft plans for Gears of War 4 to arrive on October 11th, with pre-orders having early access on October 07th. A unified platform means PC users get the game at the same time as Xbox One users do. PC users should take note of the stiff system requirements before splashing out.
The recommended settings involve an Intel Core i5 4690 processor or AMD FX-8350 processor, 8GB System Memory, 4GB VRAM, and a GeForce GTX 970 or Radeon R9 290X graphics or better is recommended. To see if your PC meets the requirements, simply visit the Windows Store page for the game. The app will automatically cross reference the hardware inside your machine with the hardware the game requires.
According to developer The Coalition, games can expect 60 frames per second in multiplayer. For the truly visual obsessed, the game will support 4K displays and HDR for users lucky enough to own such hardware.
Gears of War 4 introduces a lot of multiplayer upgrades that we’ve seen in other Xbox One games. Like Halo 5, its entire campaign will support co-operative play, albeit with just one other person. Unlike Halo 5, Gears of War 4 also features split-screen so that two gamers can use the same hardware for easy couch co-op play.
Up to 4 different players can enjoy the upgraded Horde Mode. Players deploy different fortifications to help them and their friends fight off the increasingly dangerous waves of enemies. Competitive multiplayer has dedicated servers, with improved matchmaking and a ranking system. There’s more opportunities for cover, more gruesome weapons and knife executions too.
As mentioned, because Gears of War 4 for PC is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, purchasing the digital version of the game will automatically unlock the version on XBOX One, at no additional cost. The games sync between both platforms, meaning progress on one is also recorded on the other. DLC purchases are also automatically synced across both platforms.
Broad support for multiplayer between Xbox One and Gears of War 4 for PC isn’t happening. Instead, The Coalition is enabling cross-play on a case by case basis. Horde Mode, and Campaign co-operative play have the feature. So do LAN games and multiplayer versus. General population multiplayer won’t. As such, users don’t have to worry about PC or Xbox users having a distinct advantage.
A single user can’t play the same game on Windows 10 and Xbox One through the same account. Theoretically, one user could be on PC and another user could be on Xbox One. For that to work without purchasing two copies, the Xbox One in question needs to be the Home console of the user that purchased the game.
Microsoft and NVIDIA are partnering up to give gamers a free copy of the title — provided they purchase the right equipment. Anyone that purchases an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 or 1070 graphics card from a participating website or retailer qualifies. Participating stores include Scan and Overclockers. In addition to that, anyone that purchases a qualifying system with the graphics card will get the game. NVIDIA has more about the redemption process on its website.
Pre-orders for the game have already kicked off at the Microsoft Store. A basic copy of the game costs £49.99. Gears of War 4 Ultimate Edition costs £79.99 which includes the game’s season pass for all additional content.