My pacifist run of Gears of War 4 didn’t go great

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Gears of War 4 plays a lot like you’d expect a Gears of War game to play. Steven said as much when he previewed the multiplayer component a few months back. The series is so deeply entrenched in its own style that changes have to be mostly granular. “Hey, that was a cool execution. Hey, this new gun is neat.” There’s just as much duck-and-cover shooting as there has always been.

At a Microsoft event at E3, I had a chance to sit down and play a 25-minute slice of the campaign. The dark and spooky setting was evocative of some of Gears 1‘s finest moments, but it didn’t take long to confirm that, yep, it plays just like a Gears game.

That got me thinking: What if I don’t play a Gears game just like a Gears game? What if I take a game about shooting and refuse to shoot? I have teammates; surely they can be useful in the event that I insist on being un-useful.

Nope. No way. Gears of War 4 will kill you right dead if you don’t shoot that gun. 

It went okay at first. A few hopping white wretch-like creatures came at me. It was easy enough to dodge back and forth past them while hoping that my crew would lend a hand. I took a few bumps and bruises, but they handled the situation. No bullets (of my own) needed.

The next section had more of these monsters, and that’s where I learned that Gears 4 wasn’t having any of my hippie-dippie flower power bullshit. My squad couldn’t keep up with a wave of low-level enemies, and I ended up down but not out. Each time they’d yell token phrases like “I got you!” or “I’m coming!” and, to their credit, they were usually reliable in fulfilling their promise. One time they weren’t and I died. At least I died for a cause.

That’s when I decided that maybe I should just play the game as I was supposed to. It was a cakewalk on the preset normal difficulty. All the Gears things happening as expected, including a final fight against a handful of these things.

The demo served as nothing more than confirmation, really. I always assumed Gears of War 4‘s gameplay would be just fine. Hell, there have been more than enough other games in the series to make me feel comfortable in that assumption. We all know what to expect going into its October release. And, just as expected, expect to have to shoot a gun.


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Brett Makedonski
While you laughing, we're passing, passing away. So y'all go rest y'all souls, 'Cause I know I'ma meet you up at the crossroads. Y'all know y'all forever got love from them Bone Thugs baby...