In my mind, Gears of War was one of the greatest series I've ever had the pleasure to experience on a console. It was a rare title, one that's experience felt completely tailored to the console it was released on. The Xbox 360 was graced with its presence and they felt like they were made for each. The years of fun I've had with Gears of War's trilogy is a testament to that achievement.
This was a series that brought friends round to my house, and mine to them. Without our inherent desire to want to play this game (or any good game as a matter of fact) in the same room together, I would have lost out on some of the key elements that made Gears of War so enjoyable.
But now, as I stare at the releases for the Xbox One and PS4, I despair over the future of local play games. What happened to the glory days of couch co-op and why have so many titles that seem perfect for the idea forced us to sit at our own respective homes and interact through headsets? Will Gears of War 4 loose what the series once had?
Gears of War 4 & the Future of Local Co-Op
With various and minimal exceptions over the years, I do not consider myself to be an avid fan of online multiplayer games. They require time, effort and devotion, and what normally lends me to devote myself to a game is its story. We all have our preferences. But when it came to Gears of War, I got the full package. Its story made me want to explore the world beyond the campaign.
I recall queuing up for the midnight release of Gears of War 3 and then hurriedly rushing home to get in a few hours. The next few days were extraordinary and tense. I awaited my friends to finish it so that we could all get together and give that multiplayer a try. There's not a single other series that has been able to grant me the same satisfaction, and I have the feeling it may never happen again.
For instance, we received Evolve in the office today. A game that features the ability for four players to take down a monster together. Where on earth is the local play option for that game? I understand that there would be serious drops in frame rate and such for split-screen, but these are our NextGen consoles!! Are you telling us that they can't handle what the Xbox 360 could?
Sadly, couch co-op is not a priority for any developer anymore, and it may be something that will be reserved for the likes of Fifa and Nintendo's titles in the future. Gears of War 4 has yet to receive much news about its development, never mind a release date for the Xbox One. But if it comes along without that local co-op compatibility, I feel like the heart of the series will have been removed for nicer graphics.
I want to be able to experience this title with friends in the same room. It shouldn't become a novelty that gets lost over the years and it should most certainly be a priority for the developers at Black Tusk. Rod Fergusson my good man, let's bring Gears of War 4 to the Xbox One and show them what we've been missing!