Gears of War 4 Articles RSS Feed | Gears of War 4 RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network The Best Video Game Deals Going on Now You (May) Not Know About Sun, 11 Dec 2016 10:54:35 -0500 Jonathan Moore

As the holidays draw ever closer, more and more retailers -- and even several gaming companies like Sony and Microsoft -- are getting into the holiday spirit by putting games, peripherals and even console bundles on sale. And since we know that you can’t be everywhere at once, we’ve done the digging for you and uncovered a few gaming deals you might not have been aware of.

From Wal-Mart to Target to the PlayStation Store and beyond, here are some of the best video game deals going on right now.

Target – Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack for PS4, Xbox One and WiiU

Rating: 4/5

Sale price: $39.99

Buy it on:

Normally priced at $79.99 for all three current-gen systems, this sale is a no-brainer, especially for toy and video game lovers. Melding some of the very best mechanics from RPGs and action-adventure games, Skylanders Imaginators is rated E for Everyone, is hyper kid-friendly and is a game that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Essential reading: Skylanders Imaginators Brings Imagination to Life

But keep in mind: Skylanders Imaginators is a game that requires real-life toys to play. As this is the game’s starter pack, some areas and features of the game will be locked until you purchase and use other Skylanders figures.

These additional figures cost between $12.99 and $19.99, with many on sale via Target right now for $14.99.

Wal-Mart – Preowned Xbox One and PlayStation 4 Games

Back in 2014, Wal-Mart began accepting video game trade-ins, becoming a direct competitor with industry giant Gamestop in the process. Today, the big box-store has one of the largest collections of used video games among the companies that engage in the enterprise.

This holiday, Wal-Mart is rolling back prices on many of those games for the Xbox One and PS4, including:

  • Alien Isolation ($11.99)
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity ($11.88)
  • Batman: Arkham Knight ($16.88)
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare ($11.88)
  • Sniper Elite III ($11.88)
  • And many more

Essential reading: Tips and Tricks for Gaming on a Budget

So, whether you’re an FPS fan, an RPG nerd or a daredevil ridge-racer, there’s most likely a game for you (or your special someone) on the list. What’s more, Wal-Mart is pretty solid about providing used games in excellent condition while also giving you a pretty good monetary deal in return. Check out more of Wal-Mart’s Preowned Games Deals here.

The Microsoft Xbox Store – Games, Consoles, Peripherals and Accessories

Looking to grab that special someone one of the best gaming machines on the planet this holiday season? If so, the Microsoft  Xbox store is one the first places you should look.

With deals on everything from some of this year’s hottest Xbox-exclusive games to can’t-beat Xbox One console bundles and limited-time offers on peripherals, this is going to be one sales event you’re not going to want to miss.

Some of the sale’s highlights are:

  • Save up to 50% on Xbox One games
  • Save 33% on Gears of War 4
  • $30 off Turtle Beach 420x Headset
  • $249 Xbox One console
  • And more

Head over to the Microsoft Store now to take advantage of these deals, which end Dec. 31.

The PlayStation Store – Digital Game Downloads

In recent months, Sony’s PlayStation Store has been having some truly insane sales -- many of which have even rivaled (and still rival) Steam deals, and we all know how awesomely ludicrous those can be.

Beginning last week and running through the month of December, the PlayStation Store is currently hosting its yearly Holiday Sale, which means prices are getting slashed on some of the year’s best games -- many of which are Sony exclusives.

Each week brings a brand new set of games and DLC to the price-chopping table. Right now (if you act fast) you’ll have access to deep discounts on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3 and PS Vita games like:

  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
  • Dishonored: Definitive Edition
  • Disgaea 5: Alliance of Vengeance
  • Batman: The TellTale Series Season Pass
  • OceanHorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
  • Assassin’s Creed Chronicles Trilogy
  • God of War: Chains of Olympus
  • And many more

Each week of deals expires after the end of the week, starting on Tuesdays. So, for example, this week’s deals will expire on Tuesday, Dec. 13. On that day, a new set of deals will hit the store.

What’s more, the PS Store holiday sale also has some truly great deals on digital movie downloads -- with some of the year’s best and most recent films getting the discount treatment.

Head over to the official PlayStation Store to take advantage of these quickly disappearing deals.

Best Buy – WiiU and Nintendo 3DS Game Deals

For a long time now, Best Buy has consistently had some of the best video game deals and offers when it comes to holiday shopping. Each year, the electronics super giant has some type of can’t-beat BOGO (Buy One Get One) offer, and this year’s now different.

Enter Best Buy’s Buy One, Get One 40% off deal for WiiU and Nintendo 3DS games. That’s right, this deal is valid for two systems. What’s even better? You can mix and match games and still get the deal (we personally tested it out by adding both a WiiU and Nintendo 3DS game to our cart. At checkout, the WiiU game received the 40% discount).

Essential reading: 11 Best Games to Buy Alongside Your New 3DS

Here’s a list of some of the games currently eligible for the sale:

  • Bayonetta 2
  • Super Mario 3D World
  • Minecraft: WiiU Edition
  • The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker HD
  • Super Mario Maker
  • The Legend of Zelda: Triforce Heros
  • Pokemon Super Mystery Dungeon
  • And many more

Unfortunately, it appears that Pokemon Sun and Moon are not eligible for this promotion, which, of course, does make business-sense since each launched only a few weeks ago.

However, head over to Best Buy right now and take advantage of these still-awesome deals while you can.


And that’s it. for now. Stay tuned to GameSkinny throughout the holidays as we’ll be updating this list as more deals become available!

Are there other games deals you’ve seen that should be on this list? Which of these will you be taking advantage of? Let us know in the comments below.

PC vs Console: Competitive Crossplay for Gears of War 4 This Weekend Fri, 02 Dec 2016 00:23:50 -0500 StrongerStrange

In an attempt to bring peace and share some good will this season, Gears of War 4 is seeking to quieten the age old PC vs console debate. To do that Coalition is testing cross-platform competitive multiplayer this weekend, starting from Friday December 2, and ending on Monday December 5.

If your interested? These are the playlist details:

  • Playlist Type: Social
  • Modes: Team Deathmatch, Dodgeball, King of the Hill
  • Maps: All (including Checkout and Dry Dock)
  • Win XP: 1500 (up from 600)
  • Loss XP: 750 (up from 100)
  • Maximum Squad Size: 5

As well as the cross-platform play happening this weekend, there will also be another bonus in the form of increased win/loss XP for match completion -- to give further incentive to play online this weekend.

If this cross-platform public trial run goes well, we might just see this happen with more competitive shooters.

So what games do you think would benefit from cross-play? Are we moving into an age where Xbox and Playstation owners can fight side by side? Let me know in the comments down bellow.

Buying Early Access to Games Has Got to Stop Wed, 02 Nov 2016 09:13:11 -0400 Angelo De Bellis

Amongst all the buzz and hype surrounding pre-order culture—trivial bonuses offered by different retailers, unique game editions, limited quantity formats, and day-one specially packaged titles—comes a relatively new marketing scheme, one that crumbles the very foundation of what it means to own a game early, a bullish effort to squeeze even more cash out of the supposedly most dedicated fans: early access games. 

The pre-order cacophony began as a method to quantify the popularity of an upcoming video game, and bonuses of varying qualities were created to intensify that desire in gamers to put cash down on a title before its release. Unfortunately, the act that once secured you a copy of a game which may have sold out instantly at your local retailer, has now spiraled out of control. Today we don’t pre-order games to guarantee us a copy of a highly sought after game.

In fact, the hype involved in franchise follow-ups is at such a frenzy that retailers now beg for pre-orders based on titles that have but a simple teaser trailer. It’s impossible to miss the “Pre-Order Now” marketing banners that pop up after the showing of a game at E3 or some type of enthusiast expo.

Source: Gamespot

And if you thought the incessant pre-order propaganda had already reached a boiling point, it seems that publishers have come up with a new attempt at getting our pre-order dollars. This new way to lure us into securing purchases ahead of release also incites us to spend well beyond the asking price of a typical video game for access to its contents ahead of the scheduled release.

The Culprit

If you haven’t yet encountered these titles that are offered early to those who pay, as of late, Microsoft has been the worst offender. Games like Gears of War 4 and Forza Horizon 3 are prime examples of titles that were given this treatment. Gamers who pre-ordered the more expensive editions of the game were given access to them a full four days ahead of their official release.

In a similar manner, though based on different business models, EA Access subscribers also get portions of select games early. This kind of limited offering staves off some of my later arguments, but the crux of the issue remains.

Spending extra cash on a game to get a soundtrack and a decorative statue is a nice way to collect and show your passion for a particular series. Having access to games early simply because you have more disposable income than another fan is piggish capitalism.

Now don’t get me wrong -- video games are goods, and as such the bottom line is critical to their success and to the success of future games. But that cold, profit-driven model must have a marked line of unacceptability. Additions to games as bonuses are one thing, but asking for money up front and a greater sum of it for the product’s base contents is something else entirely.

As a gamer and a consumer, I’d be remiss not to speak up about this kind of overt greed that has the potential to grow worse.

Source: Gears of War

A Healthy, Wealthy Industry

How did we get here? Simply put, the games industry has grown a great deal over the years, and with that growth came a profit-hungry beast with many hands seeking clever ways to pull an extra few bucks from our back pockets. 

Though developers may be artistic visionaries who simply want their games to be enjoyed with a certain mark of success, the publishers and other involved stakeholders on the business side of things most definitely pursue monetary success --and clearly they go to great lengths to achieve it. But jeopardizing the meaning of a release date is no friendly way to engender a culture of fandom; it only serves to split gamers apart.

Yes, gaming is not the cheapest of hobbies. And yes, no one is forcing you to buy games on their release date. It is most certainly true that those without the money to afford games do sometimes get left behind. But, as if the barrier of entry wasn’t already high enough, another invisible barrier had to be added to make it that much harder to cross. It’s a needless imposition, a fabricated disparity between a gamer who is a fan of a series to a gamer who is part of some kind of exclusive, ultimate fan club. And’s it’s all done in a seedy way to influence you to spend more money.

The Wallet Has the Rights

The sad part of the matter is that purchasing options like this one create business models that are vetoed or accepted based on our money as the stand-in voters, and there is no way around that.

Let me elaborate with the following scenario: I want to purchase Gears of War 4: Ultimate Edition -- the one that was playable earlier than fans who purchased the base game. But I make my decision to spend the additional money based on the value of the physical/digital  goods that come with product. By completing the purchase, I’ve also, in essence, made a contract with the executives involved in the sales of the product.

I’ve said that I accept the business model adopted by the particular edition of the game and see nothing wrong with me having access to it before any other fans, even if it's an entire weekend. Though I don’t want to give the message that this is okay—I simply want the game with the additional goods—I’ve opened the door for more games to be sold based on this model, or invited the animation of some other ridiculous marketing effort in the future.

There is no way to differentiate that I purchased the product for its additional contents and not for the affordance it gives me to enjoy the game early. Or maybe I simply don’t care about the repercussion this will have on what the industry as a whole considers an acceptable practice.

Maybe I just want the more fully featured version of the game and am attracted to the fact that I get to play a game that I’ve been excited about for months four days early. It becomes a slippery slope of having dedicated fans who are robbed of the enthusiasm of owning a gaming upon release, while gamers with more money than the asking price get to enjoy benefits that are consequential.

Source: Gamespot

Where is the Value?

I think it’s the fact that selling games early really has no quantifiable value that upsets me the most. When the super amazing edition, or whatever they decide to call it, is ready to be sold, the base game is obviously also ready to be purchased by fans.

That’s what’s most irksome: additional game content like DLC and the like comes at a price because production costs are involved (though this is debatable). But offering a game early to fans is something that can be done across the board without driving the costs up. Selling a game early is just an arbitrary throw-in for fans wielding fuller wallets.

The Early Bird...

Moving away from the precedent established because of early access, we need to think about the game-related effects that spawn out of selling video games early. On a day-to-day basis, the internet is crawling with information about video games, or gaming debates, or game news. It’s hard not to scroll through my Facebook page or Reddit and not see comments based on a new release.

Just imagine how much more difficult it is to be a fan of an upcoming game when normal people (those outside of games media) are posting spoilers and the like because they have early access. Simply because certain fans are in possession of more green and are willing to purchase a different edition of the game you planned on getting on day one, you will have to dodge social media just that much more to prevent spoilers.

And it’s not because you aren’t getting the game when it launches, it’s because of a new business model that preys on our anticipation for a game.

Source: Microsoft

Games have become increasingly complex visual and interactive narratives with beloved characters and exciting plot twists. And while some gameplay-intensive experiences, like Forza Horizon 3, don’t suffer from this issue of spoiler fodder, certain games do. 

More than that, I repeat that the more that consumers purchase games offered like this, the more the model will be adopted until it perhaps permeates all big-budget franchises. I don’t think you’d like to see the next Halo or a sequel to The Last of Us spoiled because an increasingly vocal group has access to games more readily than you do, would you?

Even if you spend your game time playing multiplayer experiences, there is something to be said about having the ability to play early. I often find that jumping into a game after release is daunting when it comes to playing competitively online. All the other players have already leveled up their characters, equipped themselves with customized weapons, and acclimated their style of play to particular maps and the gameplay style at large.

Vocal Dissatisfaction

With the player base being segmented by those who purchase the base-model game at launch versus those who purchase the more expensive editions pre-launch, the community quickly becomes uneven. This is all because some gamers have the funds to buy the edition that offers the game at an earlier time. 

Aesthetic additions to weapons and such don’t harm the experience, but getting to grind through several hours, evenings, or even days of play before the main install base even gets a chance to pick up the controller just screams purposeful inequity.

Ultimately it’s our money that speaks, and at the end of the day the stakeholders who uphold the industry probably don’t care much that they set invisible barriers so long as they churn greater profits. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t be vocal about issues of consequence like these -- issues that have the potential to grow and do already impede on certain standards that shouldn’t be trampled on.

We should argue for better treatment. We're the market for these games, and they won't survive without us. I’d just hate to see something like the games industry continue to grow so unbearably money-driven as publishers and their partners proceed to act promiscuously with their sales efforts. Video games are a form contemporary art -- a statement for the kinds of entertainment we enjoy today -- and one that could be crippled by tactless businesspeople and poor taste.

New Maps Coming in Gears of War 4 First Update Sun, 30 Oct 2016 15:27:34 -0400 StrongerStrange

Gears of War 4 might only be a month old at this point, but developer The Coalition isn't planning to rest anytime soon. The first title update for this game will be available to download on the November 1st, and with it brings about a few changes in relation to weapon tuning, and improving the general stability across Windows platforms. Butthis is not the only good news coming from this update.

We have two new maps being launched as well -- Checkout and Drydock, both from Gears of War 3. If you don't have a season pass you will have to wait until November 8th to play them, but once downloaded you can play them to your heart's content.

I have fond memories of Checkout, as it was one of the Gears of War 3 beta maps. And to be honest, roadie-running through all the shops and pretending that it's a more extreme version of Supermarket sweep never gets old.

You can check out flythroughs of the maps below:



Let's hope that we get even more new maps in the future -- though if they want to keep adding old maps I'm fine with that as well.

Gamer-Targeted Products: Cautiously Optimistic Mon, 31 Oct 2016 09:37:40 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

With every new popular trend, there are several more that follow it to ‘enhance’ the primary trend.  Remember when the GameBoy Advance didn’t have a backlight?  Retail stores had significant space dedicated to products filling that void-- from backlights, grips, carrying cases, and screen protectors, to the unnecessary like a Spider-Man shaped rubber figure to hold your GBA (I had this).

Fast-forward a decade or two, and you’ve got the same thing happening.  Now there are dozens of companies targeting eSports.  Go ahead, when you’re finished reading this look at almost any eSports organization’s site in the sponsor's tab. They almost always have one, if not multiple brands associated with energy supplements, and accessory hardware.

Some of the brands sponsoring eSports have been around for years, like Mountain Dew and Rockstar Energy.  Around the time of big AAA game launches, you can expect to see cross-promotions with Call of Duty, Halo, Gears of War, and other games (I have a large Halo Slurpee cup collection). Others were created to jump on the bandwagon of eSports' surging popularity.  Energy supplements are a big thing outside of gaming as it is. In the last week alone, however, I have discovered several supplement products not found in retail stores, with labels like “For Gamers” and “Fuel Your Game” on the products.

Steamers and broadcasters are also a growing demographic.  More and more products are being released to support these aspects of gaming, which is not a bad thing.  Streaming a game doesn’t need to look like a low-budget, low-res video from someone’s basement anymore.  Amateurs can now get set up with some nice gear to produce broadcasts that look professional, helping them get subscribers, and sponsors. Razer and Turtle Beach both offer equipment for streamers, and you can get a nice setup for around $400 or less. 

Then there’s the clothing.  When you watch eSports, the players from a team have jerseys, just like pro athletes.  Some jerseys are filled with enough sponsor logos to rival a UFC fighter’s shorts.  The teams’ websites sell these clothes, again like pro sports team apparel.  Fans of the teams can get decked out with T-shirts, hats, replica jerseys, and other branded gear.  In a business sense, selling these branded clothes is genius. Not only is it free advertising for the teams, but for the sponsors.  Every time you see yourself wearing a jersey, you’ll see a logo from a company Rockstar Energy, increasing the likelihood you’ll buy that product.

What does this increase in gamer-targeted products amount to? 

In the big picture, it means more acceptance for gaming in general and eSports as a profession.  I honestly think that a dedicated eSports and gaming department store is not too far in the future. Think Dick’s Sporting Goods combined with GameStop, and you’re on the right track. There's already a similar store concept in Taiwan and Australia. 

The other, more worrisome effects of all this pertain to the actual products being marketed.  Specifically the dietary and energy supplements.  Gamers can be a sedentary bunch.  Yes, I know a lot of us have healthy living habits. I’ve been a personal trainer for over ten years, an avid gamer for 28. In my fitness career, I’ve met a lot of gamers, both fit and not so fit. And I get a lot of questions about supplements.  A lot. Since this isn’t a fitness article, I’ll just say that energy supplements should be reserved for periods of the day when you are physically active. As in during exercise.

Some of the brands sponsoring eSports and gaming support this.  Along with pro gamers, they have pro athletes in their stables.  While it seems subtle, psychologically associating yourself with a pro athlete can be enough motivation to get active.

There are always pros and cons with new trends. The surge in gaming support overall is a definitely a ‘pro’.  I hope that the ‘cons’ I mentioned can eventually evolve into something that helps gamers long-term and not just long enough.

What do you think of all the new products for gamers? Has your holiday wishlist grown ten-fold?  Have you tried any of the supplements aimed at gamers?

5 Songs That Owe Their Popularity to Video Games Fri, 28 Oct 2016 14:00:01 -0400 void.presence

There are plenty of songs we know because they were in movies we love, but what about songs that we know from our favorite video games?  Lots of songs have been made famous because they were featured in notable video games. 

Here are 5 noteworthy songs that either hit the Billboard charts or made a resurgence after being featured in a game or game trailer. 

Rhythm and musical games will not be included, as songs are the main feature in those games. Songs from the Grand Theft Auto games will be also be excluded, as those titles tend to have many songs playing on the radio station. 

That said, here are a few songs that made it big thanks to gaming -- in no particular order.

"The Sound of Silence" -- Disturbed

Originally done by Simon and Garfunkel in the 60's, "The Sound of Silence" has been covered many times. But Disturbed took the cake with a stunning cover of it in 2015 that got praise from Paul Simon himself. After it was featured in the Gears of War 4 "Tomorrow" trailer, it rushed into the Billboard Top 100 and hit #1 on both the Hard Rock and Mainstream Rock Billboard charts.

Paint It Black -- The Rolling Stones

One of the most famous Rolling Stones songs, "Paint It Black" originally released in 1966 as a single and reached #1 in the US Billboard Hot 100. It later became the opening song for the 'Aftermath' album.

This song has been in several games and movies, but the the first time it was used in a game was Twisted Metal: Black for the Sony PlayStation 2 back in 2001. This led even more usage of the song in the years to follow, and an accompanying resurgence in the song's popularity with a younger audience. 

"Ride of the Valkyries" -- Robert Wagner

This classic German opera composition by Robert Wagner, written in 1851, is often associated with the Vietnam war helicopters. This is largely in thanks to the movie Apocalypse Now, which used the instrumental version of the song.

The relevant scene in that movie could be (and often was) recreated in the PC game Battlefield Vietnam. It also happens to be the quick march for the British Parachute Regiment in the game.

"I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" -- The Ink Spots

Probably almost entirely forgotten by today's generation of gamers, "I Don't Want to Set the World on Fire" was written and performed by The Ink Spots back in the 40's.

The group responsible for the song was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in '89, but the song was all but forgotten until Fallout 4 brought it back to the limelight, along with many other old jazz tunes. You might recognize it from one of many trailers for the game.

"Sympathy for the Devil" -- The Rolling Stones

Another Rolling Stones hit from their 'Beggar's Banquet' album, "Sympathy for the Devil" also made a resurgence, thanks to video games.

This time Call of Duty: Black Ops featured the song. It also appears in the game as a reward for defeating the manikins in the multiplayer map 'Nuke Town.'  Its timing in the game closely parallels the gameplay of Battlefield Vietnam.

Video games will continue to introduce new and old music alike to gamers of all generations. As gaming becomes more and more prevalent in popular culture, it will bring even more songs into the limelight that may not have made it there otherwise. So keep that volume up and make sure your game music is turned on!

Gears of War 4 Horde Guide: Soldier Class Mon, 24 Oct 2016 06:47:41 -0400 Synzer

Soldier is 1 of the 5 classes available in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode. This is your basic, all-around class. That doesn't mean it is average or worse than the other classes, it just means there is more variety.

I'm going to go over what the Soldier class can do, as well as a few tips on playing it. If you want general help with horde, check out my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode guide.

This guide will go over the basics of the Scout class in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode including:

  • Soldier Basics - What the class does, their loadout, and skills.
  • Soldier Tips - Tips for playing the class.

Soldier Basics

The Soldier class specializes in grenades and assault rifles, but they comes with a balanced loadout. If you want to have more variety and just kill enemies, Soldier is the class for you.

They do have a special Fabricator ability, Hammer of Dawn Strike, but other than that, no bonus to things like Engineers, Scouts, or Heavy.

A Soldier's job is to kill things and let other teammates worry about everything else.

  • Lancer - Classic Assault Rifle with a chainsaw attacked to it for melee encounters.
  • Gnasher Shotgun - Classic Shotgun that deals immense damage in close-range situations.
  • Frag Grenade - Explosive grenade that is good in groups and can be stuck to enemies and surfaces.
  • Snub Pistol - Small pistol that deals average damage. Good if you need to conserve ammo for your other weapons.

Remember, you have to unlock some skills and equip them before you get the effects.

  • Active Reload Boost - Increases your perfect active reload bonuses on all weapons.
  • Assault Rifle Capacity - Any Assault Rifle you carry (Retro Lancer, Hammerburst, and Enforcer) can hold more total ammo.
  • Assault Rifle Damage - Any Assault Rifle you carry deals more damage.
  • Assault Rifle Magazine - Any Assault Rifle you carry can hold more ammo in the magazine.
  • Cover Boost - While in cover, you take less damage.
  • Grenade Capacity - You can carry more grenades.
  • Grenade Damage - Your grenades do more damage and have an increased blast radius
  • Grenade Plants - You can plant more grenades.
  • Hammer of Dawn Strike - Adds the ability to the Fabricator. 
    • When activated, calls down a Hammer of Dawn Strike at the location.
    • Only players with this ability equipped can use it.

Soldier Tips

  • Get the Cover Boost and Active Reload abilities
    • Having that damage reduction is great and you can stay in cover since you have no reason to grab or deposit power.
    • Active Reload also affects all weapons so that's a good one to have.
  • Find out your vulnerable areas, and plant grenades there
    • Grenades are good traps and can alert you of enemies.

That's it for my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode Soldier guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

Game Splicing: Popular Franchises Infused with a Random Genre Tue, 25 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

 What is a Game Splicer?  It's a futuristic machine (actually a spreadsheet) loaded with the names of 15 popular game franchises and 15 genres. Once a genre has been matched to a franchise at least four times out of nine, it generates a result. I'll then give some thoughts on how the combination could work and stay true to the chosen franchise.

After firing up my device for the first time, the result is:

Gears of War: The RPG

I guess I got lucky with this one. After playing Gears of War 4, I had been thinking about the history of Sera. The environments and cities have such a historical feel to them, that it would be a pleasure to explore the world when humans first settled on it. Maybe we could even help create those cities, with a crafting system similar to the one in Fallout 4, albeit much lighter.

Perhaps, the time between Gears 3 and Gears 4 would make a great setting. With the significant threat to existence gone, humanity started to rebuild; Marcus Fenix started a family, and there was relative peace. There could've been a conflict of some kind, allowing for different sides of a story to be told. Heck, I'd be happy with a mini-game involving running Marcus's farm.

The combat of the series would transfer well into the RPG genre. Sure, it might feel a bit like Mass Effect, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Gears has always had a heavy feel to it, and I think it would be interesting to see how that it translates into some RPG archetypes. Creating a ranged healer character, whose primary weapon is a custom torque bow sure sounds fun. How about a Thrashball player who refuses to drop his ball? Combat could get interesting with a Thrashball ricochet skill.

The sub-genre of RPG is also fun to consider. Could the World of Warcraft approach work on Gears of War? With such an enormous following, a Gears MMO could be successful. The planet is full of caves, manors, and other vast, raid-worthy areas. We've only glimpsed the exotic wildlife that exists in that universe -- it's just sitting there waiting to be killed and looted. The combat could also transfer to a more tactical style, such as the one used in Tom Clancy's The Division. Every time I play that game, it reminds me of Gears.

Multiplayer, as it exists today, would be different, but when you consider that your character could join a Thrashball League, the possibility of that alone becoming an eSport is there. If this article weren't about what my randomizer generated, I could easily make a case for a standalone Gears Thrashball sports game to exist. Even without that sport, Gears multiplayer could continue, nearly unaltered. The series has also done co-op well, so joining a party and continuing that would be almost seamless.

Personally, were I to design this hypothetical Gears of Wars: The RPG, the emphasis would be on the building of the cities, and settlements. That would allow for the inclusion of Horde mode, which is crucial. A primary goal throughout the game would be constructing towns, camps, and the like. Naturally, the process wouldn't go smoothly since various enemies would attack you. When the attacks happen, you enter Horde mode, just like in the Gears 4 campaign, but on a much larger scale.

What do you think of this combination? How would you convert the Gears of War franchise into an RPG? To what other genres could the series successfully crossover?

Gears of War 4 Horde Guide: Heavy Class Sun, 23 Oct 2016 15:30:49 -0400 Synzer

Heavy is 1 of the 5 classes available in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode. They use heavy and explosive weapons like the Boomshot, Mulcher, and Buzzkill. This class is about hitting the enemy hard with the most powerful weapons they can get their hands on.

I'm going to go over what the Heavy class can do, as well as a few tips on playing it. If you want general help with horde, check out my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode guide.

This guide will go over the basics of the Heavy class in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode including:

  • Heavy Basics - What the class does, their loadout, and skills.
  • Heavy Tips - Tips for playing the class.

Heavy Basics

Heavy has a simple concept: hit the enemy hard. There are several heavy weapons they can use and they deal a ton of damage to group of enemies as well as hard to kill enemies.

The focus of this class is to help your team by taking out priority targets and thinning out the horde when you start to get overwhelmed.

  • Boomshot - Grenade launcher that deals explosive splash damage.
  • Retro Lancer - Assault rifle with a bayonet at the end for impaling enemies.
  • Boltok Pistol - Revolver that deals high damage.

There are also multiple other explosive and heavy weapons that can be used, but I'll list those in the skills section.


gears of war 4 horde heavy class

Remember, you have to unlock some skills and equip them before you get the effects.

  • Explosive Launcher Capacity - Any Explosive Weapon you carry (Boomshot, Dropshot, RL-4 Salvo, and Torque Bow) can hold more ammo.
  • Explosive Launcher Damage - Any Explosive Weapon you carry deals more damage.
  • Explosive Launcher Reload - Any Explosive Launcher you carry can reload faster.
  • Heavy Weapon Damage - Any Heavy Weapon you carry (Trishot, Buzzkill, Mulcher, and RL-4 Salvo) deals more damage.
  • Marked Damage - You do more damage to marked enemies.
  • Mortar Strike - Adds the ability to activate a mortar strike to the Fabricator.
    • Only players with this skill equipped can activate it.
  • Pistol Expert - Any pistol you carry, Snub or Boltok, does more damage for each shot until you reload.
  • Turret Capacity - Any turret you build has increased ammo.
  • Turret Damage - Any turret you build does more damage.

Heavy Tips

  • Pistol Expert and Marked damage are great picks
    • Marked damage is great because it will increase your overall damage, especially if you have a Sniper with the marked skill marking enemies.
    • Pistol Expert is great because the Boltok is really strong and there are times when you won't/can't use a Heavy or Explosive weapon.
  • Save Explosive Weapons for group of enemies
    • The strength in Explosive weapons lie in the splash damage it can do to multiple enemies, so use it when you need to clear out groups.
  • Heavy Weapons are great against bosses and strong enemies
    • These do immense damage, so make sure you have them ready for the hard to kill enemies.

That's it for my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode Heavy guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

Gears of War 4 Horde Guide: Engineer Class Sat, 22 Oct 2016 12:59:13 -0400 Synzer

Engineer is 1 of the 5 classes available in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode. They are all about supporting the team with better building, lower costs, and the option to repair everything.

If you want to keep things like barriers, decoys, and sentries up, this is the class for you.

I'm going to go over what the Engineer class can do, as well as a few tips on playing it. If you want general help with horde, check out my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode guide.

This guide will go over the basics of the Engineer class in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode including:

  • Engineer Basics - What the class does, their loadout, and skills.
  • Engineer Tips - Tips for playing the class.

Engineer Basics

The Engineer can still do a decent amount of damage because of the loadout, but it excels at building and keeping things fixed.

It is the only class with a Repair Tool, which repairs anything that is built up to full health. Keep in mind that it costs Power to repair anything.

All their skills revolve around boosting the things you build in some way, so it is easy to see what they had in mind when designing this class.

  • Enforcer - A sub-machine gun good at taking people out at close to mid-range.
  • Gnasher - The classic Gears shotgun. Great for taking people out at close-range.
  • Repair Tool - Repairs things built from the Fabricator, such as barriers, decoys, and sentries.

gears of war 4 engineer skill

Remember, you have to unlock some skills and equip them before you get the effects.

  • Barrier Cost - Any barrier you build costs less Power.
  • Barrier Health - Any barrier you build has more health.
  • Decoy Cost - Any decoy you build costs less Power.
  • Decoy Health - Any decoy you build has more health
  • Repair Boost - Decreases the cost and time it takes takes to repair with your Repair tool.
  • Sentry Capacity - Any sentry you build has increased ammo capacity.
  • Sentry Cost - Any sentry you build costs less Power.
  • Sentry Speed - Any sentry you build has an increased rate of fire.
  • Turret Cost - Any turret you build costs less Power.
  • Turret Health - Any turret you build has more health.
  • Weapon Locker Cost - Any weapon locker you build costs less Power.

Engineer Tips

  • Be the one to build most of the things from the Fabricator
    • This only works if you have the skill, but it also only affects you.
    • So if you have the skills for decreased costs or better efficiency, let your team know that you should build things.
  • Pay attention to your Power when repairing
    • Repairing anything costs Power and the more its damaged, the more Power it costs.
    • Make sure your team doesn't need anything important before you spend the Power to repair.
  • Repair High Priority things first
    • Sentries, Turrets, and High level Barriers should be repaired first, they cost a bit and are the most helpful.

That's it for my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode Engineer guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

Gears of War 4 Horde Guide: Sniper Class Sat, 22 Oct 2016 12:48:43 -0400 Synzer

Sniper is 1 of the 5 classes available in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode. As the name suggests, they are all about long-range attack and precision rifles. They also get skills that deal with marking enemies for your team.

I'm going to go over what the Sniper class can do, as well as a few tips on playing it. If you want general help with horde, check out my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode guide.

This guide will go over the basics of the Sniper class in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode including:

  • Sniper Basics - What the class does, their loadout, and skills.
  • Sniper Tips - Tips for playing the class.

Sniper Basics

The basics of a Sniper are straightforward, like Snipers in most games: Keep your distance.

This class is all about using precision rifles, Longshot, Markza, and EMBAR. They get bonuses to them and even start with a Longshot and Markza, though they can pick up other weapons if they choose.

If you play this class, you will want to pick off people from far away, while you let your Scouts pick up the Power.

  • Longshot - Strong Precision rifle that deals intense damage with each shot, but requires reload after each 1.
  • Markza MK 1 - A semi-automatic precision rifle that deals less damage, but has more shots before reloading and shoots faster than the Longshot.
  • Snub Pistol - Small pistol that deals average damage. Good if you need to conserve ammo for your other weapons.

gears of war 4 sniper skill

Remember, you have to unlock some skills and equip them before you get the effects.

  • Explosive Headshot - When you kill an enemy with a headshot, it explodes and damages nearby enemies.
  • Headshot Damage - Your headshots do more damage.
  • Mark Boost - Increases the maximum number of targets you can mark.
  • Precision Rifle Capacity - Any precision rifle you hold will carry more total ammo.
  • Precision Rifle Damage - Increases the damage you deal with precision rifles.
  • Precision Rifle Reload - Increases the reload speed of any precision rifle you carry.
  • Radar Ping - Adds this ability to the Fabricator. Marks all enemies when activated. 
    • Only players with this skill can activate it.
  • Sniper Strike - Adds this ability to the Fabricator. Hits multiple targets when activated.
    • Only players with this skill can activate it.

Sniper Tips

  • Radar Ping and Mark Boost is great for being a team player
    • These abilities help everyone do more damage and see the enemies, not just you, so they are great choices.
  • Always be on the lookout
    • Being a Sniper, you should be looking for where the enemy is at all times, marking them, and taking out far away targets.
  • Explosive Headshot and Capacity are good picks
    • Explosive is great because you can take out more enemies with each shot and it is always great to increase your capacity, since precision rifles are lower than most.

That's it for my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode Sniper guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

Gears of War 4: Better a Safe Emergence Than a Berserker Approach Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:45:52 -0400 Angelo De Bellis

At the very heart of the third-person shooter genre on the Xbox 360 was the original Gears of War. Gears of War was a trailblazer when it came to doing third-person shooting right. It took a group of disgruntled chunky warfighters to battle with intense gore, cover-based shooting, and some of the most refined high-definition graphics at the time.

What made it such a powerful game in the early days of the 360 era was that it delivered both a thrilling single-player campaign, and what was arguably the best third-person arena-based shooter at the time.  For me, the Gears series is one of the principal reasons I play Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. The Xbox 360 hardware was epitomized by Gears of War: it represented a meshing of graphical fidelity and online superiority.

Though the later games in the series didn’t exactly garner as much might as the original, they were all solid experiences in their own right, and do, for the most part, feel in harmony with the introductory game in the series. With that in mind, the Gears series could have concluded with the prequel game—Gears of War Judgement—because, once combined, all the titles felt like a complete, well-rounded experience.  

But I can’t say that I’m disappointed about the decision to let the series live on in the form of Gears of War 4. Prior to its launch, my chief worry about continuing the franchise -- and I’m sure I wasn’t alone -- was how the new developers would treat the staple series, what I consider the identity of the Microsoft home console.

If you’ve played through or are in the midst of completing the Canadian-developed Gears of War 4, then you likely have great faith in The Coalition when it comes to taking an existing series and doing it right. And by that I mean that as dedicated Gears of War fans, you have probably noticed that much of what made the decade-old series a treat to play, remains largely the same today.

The one issue that seems have been swarming the web is that there are several overt references to past games in the series, including reused gameplay segments, graphical similarities, recycled weapon types, and archetypal enemies.

All of these repetitive inclusions may leave you feeling that Gears of War 4 plays things a little too safe, and I would admit that you are correct. But I’d like to explore why a safe emergence for The Coalition was probably the best endeavor the creator newcomers could have brought to the series, and why it makes sense that they handled the next entry in the franchise the way they did.

Be warned -- if you haven’t yet beaten the game, some spoilers may be unearthed.

Let's Dim the Mood

Starting with the dark aspects of Gears of War 4, one can clearly see that the latest entry was heavily inspired by the macabre horror elements of the original Gears of War. Though the latest release includes a number at the end of its title, I don’t necessarily consider it to be an extension of the series, but rather more of a reboot that just happens to take place in Marcus’ senior years.

Drawing on the dimly lit, gray, bloody aspects of Gears of War, Gears of War 4 really hits the mark when it comes to the overall graphical tone. And this tone is vital when it comes to making the new Gears feel like it belongs amongst the ranks of the original series. For that reason, I would be disappointed if Gears 4 did venture too far into the future of sentient, government-controlled robots.

Uprooting the franchise would have at best attracted a new crowd, and at worst provided an unfulfilling adventure for purists and an erratic, identity-lacking shooter for the newcomers.

Before the release of Gears of War 4, I was unsure about how the DeeBees would fit into the whole experience. I mean, Gears of War was always about seeing chunks of bloody flesh flying around, not about watching sparks and metallic doodads. Luckily the Swarm fills in for the Locust, and the DeeBees don’t detract much from the moody locales present in the new game. The problem with having too much focus on the DeeBees would be that it’d probably make Gears of War feel more futuristic and less horrific. So, while it may be true that the Swarm are a laughable replacement for the Locust, I have no qualms if it means that the game retains the gore and gray of the original.

The mood of Gears is dark and dire, hopeless and persistent; remember the Mad World song that would play during the original’s marketing campaigns? That’s Gears, and the madness of carving through waves of foreign evils to find Kait’s mother paints the mood well.

Not All Skull Pops Need a Good Story

I found that the story of Gears of War 4 wasn’t necessarily a very robust one -- but then again, the original games didn’t exactly have the most detailed narrative encounters. The Gears series has much in the way of lore, high-action sequences, and unique gameplay segments, but the story usually hinges on a single note—kill the ugly monsters from beneath the ground.

And you know what? That’s all I really need. That, some really tight gameplay, and a few comedic moments between the squad members who fight alongside the protagonist, JD Fenix in this case.

There may not exist much character depth between the squad members introduced in Gears of War 4 -- but as in the original Gears, the back-and-forth banter between the beasts in armor does a fine job at exemplifying the comradery and thirst to defeat any foreign threat standing in their way. Besides, the addition of veteran Marcus is a great way to harken back to the old series.

I enjoyed how Marcus, a symbol of an aged franchise, joins and leads the youthful deserters of the COG, almost as if to shepherd them towards a future without him.

Like Father, Like Son

This leads me to my final point. I think it was wise of The Coalition to play to the strengths of the original Gears of War game without necessarily turning it on its head, because it establishes the studio’s reputation for what is to come.

Now that they have essentially quenched the bloodthirst of Gears veterans, they can make a calculated shift in the next entries. And a calculated shift it will be -- did you catch that twist ending? The finale of the game supports an interesting relationship between the old Locust queen and a potential new one, and will certainly lead to some interesting turmoil between Kait and her comrades.

By carefully taking what made the original special, The Coalition traveled cautiously to massage a familiar experience towards a future one that may lead further into uncharted territory.

Uprooting the franchise would have at best attracted a new crowd, and at worst provided an unfulfilling adventure for purists and an erratic, identity-lacking shooter for the newcomers. If it is true that the greatest artists mimic works of other successful artists, then The Coalition does well to grasp onto the backs of giants before gently releasing their grip to proceed onward.

Well, we're not here to sell cookies... So they know something's up.

By coming out like a berserker, Gears of War 4 and the attributed developer, The Coalition, would have risked ruining what made the series great. They could have torn the very fabric of the beloved franchise and tainted the imulsion powering the games going forward.

Perhaps it may have been refreshing to see stark differences between Gears of War 4 and Gears of War, but I’d much rather a safe return to Sera so that future games are guaranteed a shot at success. That, and like many, I am a sucker for nostalgia. Now that The Coalition is well-cemented as a successful Gears of War developer, we should apply just a bit more pressure when it comes time for them to deliver the inevitable Gears 5.

Gears of War 4 Horde Guide: Scout Class Fri, 21 Oct 2016 08:15:52 -0400 Synzer

Scout is 1 of the 5 classes available in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode. It is all about running in first to gather Power and depositing it for your team. If you are playing Scout, you should be comfortable with close-range attacks and willing to get the closest to enemy lines.

I'm going to go over what the Scout class can do, as well as a few tips on playing it. If you want general help with horde, check out my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode guide.

This guide will go over the basics of the Scout class in Gears of War 4 Horde Mode including:

  • Scout Basics - What the class does, their loadout, and skills.
  • Scout Tips - Tips for playing the class.

Scout Basics

Even though the Scout sounds like a long-range or spotting class, it is not. It is a close-range attacker that stays near the enemy.

They do this because of skills they get to increase shotgun and melee damage. They can also have a wider range to pick up Power and deposit more in the Fabricator.

This class is the closest the game has to a tank.

  • Retro Lancer - Assault Rifle that has a ramming melee ability that impales enemies.
  • Gnasher - The classic Gears shotgun. Great for taking people out at close-range.
  • Snub Pistol - Small pistol that deals average damage. Good if you need to conserve ammo for your other weapons.

Remember, you have to unlock some skills and equip them before you get the effects.

  • Brawler - Deal more melee damage and take less melee damage.
  • Deposit Bonus - Adds bonus Power to the Fabricator when you deposit Power.
  • Energize - Gain health when you pick up Power.
  • Health Boost - Increases max health
  • Health Regeneration Boost - Health regenerates faster when wounded.
  • Pickup Distance - Increases radius of Power pickup.
  • Rage - Gain a percentage of Shotgun or Melee damage you deal back as health.
  • Shotgun Capacity - Any shotgun you carry can hold more ammo.
  • Shotgun Damage - Increases the damage you deal with Shotguns.
  • Shotgun Magazine - Any shotgun you carry can hold more in the magazine.
  • Speed Boost - Increases your movement speed.
  • X-Ray - Lets you see enemies through walls while you are in Tac-Com.

Scout Tips

  • Always be near the enemy, but stay on alert
    • You want to be close to get the Power, and deal more damage, but it does no good if you are dead.
  • Always pick the Deposit Bonus
    • This skill is great for the whole team because it allows them to build things faster and more often.
  • Get the Health and Movement skills
    • These are great for staying alive and getting to the enemy and Fabricator quickly.

That's it for my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode Scout guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

Gears of War 4 Guide: Horde Mode Wed, 19 Oct 2016 08:55:54 -0400 Synzer

Horde Mode allows a team of 5 players to face off against waves of enemies in Gears of War 4. You can change the difficulty and go all the way to wave 50.

As you progress through each wave, it gets increasingly more difficult. Your main objective is to kill every enemy to move on, but there is more you will want to do to get to that point.

Playing higher waves and difficulty in Horde Mode requires strategy and knowledge of the game mode. I'm going to help by explaining how Horde Mode works and what you can expect to find if you have not done this before.

This guide will go over the basics of Horde Mode in Gears of War 4 including:

  • Horde Basics - How horde mode works and what you can do in it.
  • Classes - The different classes in Horde Mode and what they can do.
  • Extra Tips - Some tips to get you started on the path to victory.

Horde Basics

The essence of horde mode is to get a team together and kill wave after wave of enemies.

To get started, you must choose a place to put the Fabricator.

  • The Fabricator will allow you to spend power for things like turrets, sentries, barriers, and more.
  • You must go to the Fabricator each time you want to build or take something from it.

Power is dropped from the enemies you kill, and anyone can pick it up.

  • The person that picks up the power must be the one that deposits it.
  • You can see on your screen how much power you have.
  • If a player dies with power, they drop it. Another player can pick that power back up.

Whenever you kill all the enemies in that wave, it is over and you get some time to prepare for the next wave. Once you finish off wave 50, you complete Horde mode.


Each class has their own weapon loadout and skills you can pick. There are 5 classes you can play as in Horde Mode:

  • Soldier - Classic class with bonuses to things like assault rifle, grenades, and cover.
    • Loadout - Lancer, Gnasher Shotgun, Snub Pistol, and Frag Grenade
  • Sniper - Long-range class with bonuses to things like headshots, precision rifles, and marking.
    • Loadout - Longshot, Markza MK1, and Snub Pistol
  • Engineer - Support class with bonuses to buildables and a repair tool to keep them active.
    • Loadout - Enforcer, Gnasher, and Repair Tool
  • Heavy - Heavy Hitter with bonuses to things like heavy and explosive weapons.
    • Loadout - Retro Lancer, Boomshot, and Boltok Pistol
  • Scout - Front lines class that gets bonuses to shotgun, melee, and Power deposits.
    • Loadout - Retro Lancer, Gnasher, and Snub Pistol

Even though each class starts with those weapons, they can pick up others on the map.

gears of war 4 horde mode class skills

Also, the above bonuses are only if you select a skill for that bonus. You can unlock skills by playing and buying Horde Booster packs.

As you play, you will also level up your class, which allows you to equip more than 1 skill.

  • Level 1 - 1 Skill
  • Level 3 - 2 Skills
  • Level 5 - 3 Skills
  • Level 7 - 4 Skills
  • Level 10 - 5 Skills

Extra Tips

  • Place the Fabricator in a safe, fortified location.
    • You will have to deposit Power here and build things throughout the game. Make sure it is in a safe spot.
  • Try to have a diverse team
    • Each class is useful, although not necessary.
    • At least 1 Scout and Engineer should be used to repair things and get more Power from enemies.
    • Any of the other classes can be used for the remaining spots. I suggest at least 1 Sniper.
  • You can use 2 Scouts to get a big Power bonus by using a trick
    • Have 1 scout collect all the Power from the enemies, then die from the last enemy.
    • The other Scout can pick up the power and deposit it for a big bonus.

That's all for my Gears of War 4 Horde Mode guide. Let me know if you have any questions!

Gears of War 4 Guide: Bounties and Crafting Fri, 14 Oct 2016 00:52:15 -0400 Synzer

Gears of War 4 has deep multiplayer with plenty to do and unlock. A part of that is doing bounties and crafting character and weapon skins.

Whether you want to focus on a specific game mode, or want to unlock special skins for weapon, there is something for you in the Gears of War 4 multiplayer. 

This guide will go over the crafting and bounties in Gears of War 4

  • Bounties - What they are and how to do them.
  • Crafting - How it works and tips for doing it.


Bounties are challenges you can set during multiplayer. There are many different ones you can use, but you can only set 1 at a time.

Bounties are like items, so you have to unlock some and they go away when completed. You can hold multiples of the same type.

Completing a bounty will give you a reward. The actual reward is listed at the bottom of the bounty, but it could be either experience or credits for buying packs.

gears of war 4 bounties

  • Assist - Complete a certain number of assists.
  • Game Mode Score - Get a target score in the listed game mode.
  • Game Mode Victory - Win in the listed game mode.
  • Character Victory - Win while playing the listed character.
  • Kills - Get a certain number of skills overall or a specific type.

If you used up all your bounties of one type, be sure to assign a new one before going into a match.


Crafting is pretty simple in this game, but may not seem that way at first glance.

  • Every character, skin, and bounty can be crafted with Scrap. 
  • You get Scrap by destroying characters, weapon skins, or bounties.

When looking at something you want to craft, the bottom left of your screen shows how much Scrap it costs and how much you get for destroying it.

If you push the craft button, a menu comes up that shows lets you either craft it, destroy it, or destroy duplicates.

  • You must buy packs from the store, either with in-game or real money, to unlock more things.
  • You can destroy the duplicates or unwanted items until you get enough scrap to craft something you want.

That's it for my short guide on Bounties and Crafting in Gears of War 4. Let me know if you have any questions!

Whatever happened to those classic and offbeat game series? Wed, 12 Oct 2016 02:00:02 -0400 Ty Arthur


Thanks for sticking around for our little history lesson on forgotten games, devs who fell off the radar, and mechanics that don't get any play anymore. Which of these series do you think needs a new entry, and what forgotten corners of gaming did we miss that you'd like to see resurrected soon?


Split Screen Multiplayer


Gaming has changed a lot in a short period of time, and it seems like another era when split screen multiplayer was automatically included with any given game. Sadly the practice is now fading as online multiplayer replaces it in the hearts of a younger generation.


Goldeneye is of course the title that will always be instantly associated with split screen, although it also showed the mechanic's limitations: being able to see what your opponent is currently doing. This very issue was actually made into the basis of Screencheat, a game where everyone is invisible so you have to look at other player's screens to have any idea where to shoot.


While a dying option in newer games, there are still titles worth pulling out to play split screen with your friends, from the Left 4 Dead series (which is overdue for a sequel itself) to Far Cry 3.


Thankfully, split screen isn't entirely dead and just returned with the newly released Gears Of War 4 (which is absurdly awesome by the way). As far as I'm concerned, split screen co-oping with my friends while getting drunk is an integral part of the gaming experience. You lose something when your bud is talking over a microphone across town and not sitting on the couch next to you.




Once the single most popular Facebook game in existence, Farmville was famous for bugging the hell out of everyone with a computer before people figured out you could turn off notifications for game requests.


Since the game's popularity faded and people moved on to anything with the word "Crush" or "Saga" in the title, there apparently were Farmville 2, Farmville: Tropic Escape, and Farmville: Country Escape all released at some point over the years.


Developer Zynga has definitely had its share of ups and downs since Farmville changed people's perceptions of what you could do on social media. According to Statista, daily active users for all Zynga games has fallen from 72 million in 2012 to 18 million this quarter of 2016 in a nearly MySpace-level drop off.


Zynga currently has 54 discontinued games and 35 active ones – which is kind of nuts for a company started in 2007. Considering how most of them are the same thing with different skins over top, and the company's many shady connections to scam ads, maybe it's for the best that the “discontinued” column continues to grow.


Any of our readers out there still actively playing Farmville at this point?




Easily one of the most unique and interesting universes in any medium, Planescape was the high point of the AD&D system and gave us the much-loved CRPG title Planescape: Torment.


Considering that it constantly ranks among the top listings of RPGs, its bizarre that there's never been any other games placed in the same setting. There was in fact a first person title in the works slated to release on the PS1 that would have put you in the role of a member of the Harmonium, policing the wild streets of Sigil.


Sadly (or not, if FPS games aren't your thing), it was scrapped six months into development. It might not necessarily have been in the spirit of the classic Torment, but its not like going first person is an unprecedented style shift, with games like Dark Messiah Of Might And Magic or Fallout 3 making the leap.


With Wizards Of The Coast not letting anyone else use the Planescape license, its unlikely we'll ever get another video game placed in this long lost multiverse. But then again, considering the quality of recent D&D titles, that may be for the best: just take a look at Daggerdale or Sword Coast Legends.


All is not lost though! InXile is gearing up to release Torment: Tides Of Numenera in Q1 2017. While no longer set in Planescape for legal reasons, all the same bizarre oddity and interesting moral choices are slated to set a very similar tone.




Anybody else ever dust off their N64 and pull out old classic titles like the much-hyped, dinosaur-killing FPS Turok? Despite the interesting premise and nostalgia from gamers of this era, the series never got as many sequels as its shooter contemporaries.


Following Seeds Of Evil, Rage Wars, Shadows Of Oblivion, and Evolution, the series dropped off the map. It wasn't until 2008 that a complete reboot launched for the 360 and PS3.


Since then, fans have been in a barren desert of despair. A sequel to the reboot was planned and then cancelled all behind the scenes. Night Dive Studios has also been teasing remakes of the earlier games for years, but no release dates or any definitive info ever actually arrives. Considering that the developer is now waist-deep in recreating System Shock, it seems like Turok is well and truly dead.


All Those Oddworld Games


1997 was a very good year for the PS1, seeing landmark releases like Final Fantasy 7 to the offbeat Oddworld: Abe's Odysee. With fantastically interesting characters that straddled the line between gross and hilarious, Oddworld was a daringly different game utilizing platformer mechanics.


Of course, everyone wanted more, and all the gaming magazines (remember when there were gaming magazines?) added to the breathless hype of a projected series of five Odysee games. Following Munch's Odysee in 2001, there was supposed to be Squeak's Odysee, Munch's Exoddus, and many more, but they all failed to materialize.


What we did get was a very different experience than expected in the FPS Stranger's Wrath, a real forgotten gem of gaming that offered some crazy unexpected mechanics for the time.


While none of those sequels ever arrived, Oddworld Inhabitants did recently launch New And Tasty - a total remake of the original Abe's Odysee - to revitalize the series. Currently the developer is planning on remaking Abe's Exoddus next under the title Soulstorm, but unfortunately there doesn't appear to be any actual new titles in the series slated for release at this point.




King of the weird games with massively different mechanics, each iteration of the Katamari series was a bizarrely awesome experience that tasked the little prince with rolling up everything to make new stars.


After only a handful of games, the series essentially ended with Beautiful Katamari on the Xbox 360 back in 2007. While Katamari Forever in 2009 did add in some new concepts, it primarily consisted of maps from the previous games, so it was really more a retrospective than an actual new title.


Sadly, there's been just nothing for this generation of consoles (outside a pointless tap-tap mobile game with a vaguely dirty title). No official info has arrived about any sort of real sequels, but there is hope still: Namco registered a trademark for the title Amazing Katamari Damacy earlier this year and also bought the domain to a similarly named website. We may be getting a new Katamari game sooner rather than later!


World Of Goo 


With refreshingly different gameplay, iconic and instantly recognizable graphics, and great sound effects, this first game from 2D Boy was destined to receive wild accolades and award after award.


The developer seemed poised to absolutely dominate this niche of the gaming market... only nothing else ever happened. The 2D Boy website still exists, but there's never been another game made and nothing is currently in the works.


Both Kyle Gabler and Ron Caramel went on to create Indie Fund, which helps fund other small time developers and has been involved with everything from Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine to the stand-alone version of Half-Life 2 mod Dear Esther.


Kyle Gabler also worked on the 2012 Wii U title Little Inferno, which was a welcome experience for fans of World Of Goo. At this point that seems to be the extent of it though, and its unlikely we'll ever get a Goo sequel or a new 2D Boy game at all.


Other developers have taken up the torch since then, both on the cute side and the physics side. One of the most recent is the equally odd physics-based game Slime Rancher.



You ever have this happen? You're browsing the web and suddenly you notice someone mentions a game you'd completely forgot existed but consumed your life way back when. That happened to me this week when I saw a screenshot from that ground breaking physics-base indie title World Of Goo.


Besides having to load the game up to play again, that reference got me wondering: whatever happened to that series and the developer who gave us such an amazing gaming experience? World Of Goo isn't the only forgotten gem of gaming, as there are tons of series' that arrived to make a big splash, but then faded into obscurity for one reason or another.


Today we're going to look at 7 different developers, game series, and gameplay concepts that just haven't been on anyone's radar in a long time. Some deserve to make a big return, and others... perhaps not so much.

Gears of War 4 Review: A New E-Day Tue, 11 Oct 2016 08:59:51 -0400 Synzer

Gears of War 4 is a fantastic experience from The Coalition that follows the same example that Epic Games set with the first 3 games. From start to finish the campaign is excited and intriguing. The multiplayer modes have something for everyone, and of course, Horde Mode is back.

Just what exactly makes Gears of War 4 a good game? Well, you are about to find out.

What I Liked

The game. Seriously, I liked all aspects of the game. The campaign, multiplayer modes, and most of the customization. Not everything is perfect, but let me break it down for you.


I was impressed with the campaign. It has that same Gears feel and the intro was a nice homage to the past games.

Things start off okay in the first Act, but then the game starts to pick up and doesn't stop the rest of the way. I won't give spoilers, but I found myself wondering what was going to happen and couldn't wait to continue.

There were several unique experiences throughout the campaign that involved vehicles, or some other different way to play. This really made the campaign stand out.

Multiplayer Modes

gears of war 4 multiplayer modes

The base of Gears for most people is playing matches against others. I'm happy to say that most of the past game modes are in, and they're fun -- though there's sadly no Wingman currently.

There are 4 modes to play: Social, Core, Co-op, and Competitive.

Social just throws you into a random game, then continues to cycle you through them, allowing for votes at the end of every match for what the next match will be.

This is a great mode for casual play or for people that want to jump in and out at anytime.

Core modes are the main ranked modes. This where the majority of your games will be if you want more than what the social modes can give and still get a variety.

Competitive is also ranked, but there are only 2 modes and they use competitive weapon tuning.

Co-op lets you team up with other players to play again A.I. bots.


A cool thing about Gears of War 4 is the Bounty system. You can set a Bounty, which is a challenge to get a certain score for a certain game mode, then get extra experience if you complete it.

This allows players to set specific goals and gives even more variety.

Horde Mode

I have mixed feelings about this mode. I do really enjoy Horde mode -- I always have, and there is plenty to do in it. You can set up defenses, there are specific classes to play, and you take on a bunch of enemies with some friends.

The classes were one of my favorite parts. I love having a specific role and having everyone work together to complete a task. As you level up your class, you unlock more skills. This makes the game mode more dynamic and it is even better if you go in with people you know.

However, there are many waves and it can get tedious going through them all. After playing it for a while, I just need a break.

What I Didn't Like


gears of war 4 review

The Swarm is a new faction that replaces the Locust. Both in the story and the multiplayer, they just seem bland.

It is better in the campaign because they have some unique Swarm to fight against, which is cool, but the humanoid Swarm are all way too similar.

The choices for multiplayer are pretty limited and they look identical. You can play as the robots you see in the campaign, but they are loud and not the best when thinking competitively.

I miss the variety the Locust brought, and they had more character than the Swarm. General Raam and the Queen were great characters, as well as some special Locust like the Kantus.

We don't need to have them back, but we need something comparable to take their places.

The Verdict

Overall, Gears of War 4 is a great experience for new and veteran players alike. It is a unique shooter and I can't wait to see more of what this game has to offer.

New video shows us the limited edition Xbox One S Gears of War 4 2TB Bundle Wed, 05 Oct 2016 01:15:14 -0400 David Martinez_1224

If you're Gears of War fanatic, this is a video you don't want to take your eyes off of. Windows Central digs into the Gears of War 4 Xbox One S limited edition console. The video gives you a full tour of what's inside the box and what the console looks like. For starters, the One S includes a Blu-Ray player and support for HDR video and games. A 2 TB drive is also included.

Enough about the internals of the box. The real buzz is the new look of the console. The color represents a blood-red tone, with the franchise's Crimson Omen symbol on the front. This isn't some shiny paint job, however, because something else is added to make it look more real. That is the laser-engraved claw marks on the side of the console, which lets you actually feel them. These features give the console a brutally stunning design and allows the console to 'feel real' for fans. Even the wireless controller has the blood-red color on it and the series' emblem as well. No scratches though (unlike the Gears of War Elite Controller), but that's okay.

Another cool feature that the console has on it is the COG symbol, which you can see if you stand it up vertically. If you're wondering how, there's a stand that comes in the bundle pack (like with all Xbox One S systems). A more common accessory is a little instruction book that reveals how to hook it up to a television, where all of the cables should go, etc.

Pretty cool stuff, right? Well, that's not all. The bundle pack comes with other special treats that the video talks about. These include:

  • Gears of War 4 Ultimate Edition
  • Gears of War 4 Season Pass
  • Early access: Get to play GoW4 four days early starting on October 7
  • Gears of War Collection: Unlock Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War: Judgement that can be played on the One S through Backward Compatibility program
  • Exclusive in-game content: Grab the Vintage Oscar Elite Gear Pack (Vintage Oscar, Vintage Retro Lancer, Vintage Boomshot, etc.); pre-order Vintage Del Gear Pack plus six additional Gear Packs

Whew. That is a lot to process, but that's the point of the video. It reveals so much cool features that the bundle pack provides and it's every Gears of War fan's dream. If you are a Gears of War fanatic, you can get your hands on it on this Thursday, October 6, 2016. Happy hunting.

Microsoft Offers Special Gears of War 4 Pre-Order Deal Mon, 03 Oct 2016 05:39:44 -0400 Brawler1993

With Gears of War 4 just on the horizon, now might seem like the ideal time to pre-order the game. But if you're not convinced yet, Microsoft is now offering a new incentive involving PayPal.

If you pre-order a digital copy of the game via the Xbox Store using PayPal, you will receive a $10 credit to spend on whatever you want from the store. Seems like the perfect offer for those who like to buy their games digitally.

This offer will only be available, however, until 11:59 pm on October 6th, and it works for both the standard edition of the game and the Ultimate Edition, which releases four days before the official release date and gives players early access and a Season Pass.

If you do take this offer, the $10 credit codes will be sent to your Microsoft account within 30 days of placing the pre-order. You can read the full terms and conditions here.

Gears of War 4 will release worldwide on October 11th for Xbox One and PC.

7 Games To Look Out For This October Sat, 01 Oct 2016 17:57:41 -0400 Greyson Ditzler


We hope you saw at least one thing on this list that piqued your interest. If there are any games you feel should be mentioned in a future list for releases in November or a game you felt deserved to be on this list,  please feel free to tell us in the comments below!  



Gears of War 4 (PC and Xbox One)

The release of Gears of War 4 makes it feel like the series never left. After a few years of relative silence following the mixed public reaction to Gears of War: Judgement, Gears of War 4 brings back a few key members of the original cast to continue with the original story, all gussied up for the jump to a new console generation. This time hopefully with a bit of added drama, Marcus Fenix will return with his own son on the battlefield to combat the resurfaced locust threat.

Shadow Warrior 2 (Windows PC)

The highly-anticipated sequel to the surprise hit remake of Shadow Warrior is finally here, and it promises to be even more crammed with gore, weapons, and double entendre than the first game. The game, in addition, adds a more-openly designed world filled with new locations and characters. With newly added attacks and movement skills for combat diversity and mobility, Shadow Warrior 2 looks like it'll be quite the wild ride.  

100ft Robot Golf (PS4/PlayStation VR, October 10)

100ft Robot Golf looks like it could be one of the most hectic, entertaining and hilarious multiplayer games released in a while. The game offers up a 1-4 player local co-op experience, filled with four balls simultaneously in play, loads of giant robots, comedic announcers, and hilarious cardboard physics and clipping issues. It's a must have for PS4 owners looking for the perfect party game.

Shantae and the Pirate's Curse Physical Release (3DS, October 18)

The excellent Shantae and the Pirate's Curse has been out on multiple platforms for quite a while, but it will finally be receiving a physical release for 3DS this October. A new mode will also be added on in the form of the arcade-style "Super Shantae Nab!!". If you haven't at least checked out Pirate's Curse by this point, this physical release would be a good jumping off point. 



Skyrim Special Edition (PS4 / Xbox One/ Windows PC, October 28) 

Little needs to be said about Skyrim Special Edition. It's the classic Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, but with improved graphics, including re-done lighting and textures. Official mod supports on both console and PC and the original game's single-player DLC are also included. You'll also receive the Special Edition for free if you already have Skyrim: Legendary Edition on PC. It's just Skyrim, but bigger, shinier, and a little more complete.

Titanfall 2 (PlayStation 4/ Windows PC/ Xbox One, October 28)

Titanfall 2 is the sequel to the burst of innovation that was the short-lived giant mech/ground combat multiplayer FPS Titanfall. Based on what we've seen so far, Titanfall 2 looks like it seeks to do nothing but build on the foundation laid by the original. Changes include six new playable titans, loads of new weapons, and an actual single-player campaign with a more coherent plot than the first game. If luck is on its side, and Respawn Entertainment has worked hard enough, Titanfall 2 may be the game-changing experience that its predecessor promised to be.

Battlefield 1 (PlayStation 4/ Windows PC/ Xbox One, October 21)

Battlefield 1 attempts to liven up the series' typical modern military setting by throwing the conflict back in time to the middle of World War I. Making space for horses, biplanes, and bayonets in a bleak period of the history of warfare, Battlefield 1 may just be the refresher that the series needs.


Here is a list of the some of the best and most interesting looking games coming out in October. We hope this will point you in the direction of something that you hadn't known about before, or at the very least, remind you that something will soon be available to buy with money!