Preview

Gears Of War 4

Make A Stand Your Way
by Brian Shea on Sep 01, 2016 at 06:15 AM
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Developer: The Coalition
Release:
Rating: Mature
Platform: Xbox One

To this point, we've heard several details about the campaign and competitive multiplayer of Gears of War 4, but one mode has seen The Coalition remain conspicuously tight-lipped outside of a few minor details. Today, the studio has ended the radio silence surrounding the return of the beloved mode by revealing the first concrete details about Horde 3.0.

In Gears of War 3's Horde mode, players could build defenses to help them stave off the 50 waves of invading enemies, but they had to base their operations in predetermined locations across the maps. With Gears of War 4's Horde mode, The Coalition is removing that restriction and giving the team free reign over where and how they set up their defenses.

"One of the things that people used to develop deeper strategies [in Gears of War 2's Horde mode] was shields to exploit certain aspects of the AI to survive longer," says lead multiplayer designer Ryan Cleven. "What we wanted to do was to take all of those fortifications that could help you, but now put them in the hands of players to really find the best way to defend themselves and not have it predetermined by us."

When players start a match in Horde 3.0, they're dropped in a map with a device in the middle called the Fabricator. This device replaces those pre-designated areas found in the most recent iteration of this mode. The team picks up the device and plants it wherever they want to kick off the mode.

Once planted, the Fabricator lets players build more fortifications by providing them with a menu of turrets, sentry guns, and more. Much like the Fabricator, players can post those fortifications wherever they want - something Cleven hopes players will take full advantage of when it comes to formulating creative defense approaches.

"You can try to exploit whatever you can think of," he says. "You can try to stack them on top of each other, you can build lots of one kind... you can do all sorts of different things to try to find the best way to manipulate the AI to achieve higher scores. We're super excited to see what players can come up with."

Horde 3.0 also lets players further customize their approaches with five distinct classes (soldier, scout, sniper, engineer, and heavy), which can be leveled up between matches. However, rather than these classes containing fixed specialties, the mode gives players different skills to choose from as they progress. Depending on your character's level, the class has five skill slots to unlock to house the 10 or 11 unique skills available to that class.

Gears of War 4 launches on Xbox One and PC on October 11. To get an idea of how the campaign is shaping up, check out our hands-on preview from SDCC featuring Marcus Fenix. For more on Gears of War 4's development, including exclusive behind-the-scenes interviews with the developers and voice cast, head to our cover story hub by clicking the banner below.