Update March 15, 2016: Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Beta
The Coalition have finally revealed information regarding the promised beta for Gears of War 4. The Coalition will kick off a multiplayer beta test for the next Gears of April 18, Microsoft announced. They said that it will be an "opportunity to help shape the multiplayer experience" of the upcoming game.
For those of you who bought and played the Windows PC or XBOX One version of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you'll be eligible to enter the beta with "early access" on April 18. Other Xbox Gold Live subscribers can access the beta starting April 24. The multiplayer beta will run for quite a long time. All the way up until May 1.
Here is the announcement from Microsoft:
To qualify for early access to the Gears of War 4 Multiplayer Beta on Xbox One, log in to Xbox Live and play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One or Windows 10 by 11:00PM PDT, April 11. Tokens for the beta will be distributed in waves through the Xbox Live messaging system and begin arriving Monday April 18.
For both Early Access and Xbox Live Gold periods, must be 17+. Xbox One, broadband internet (ISP fees apply) and Xbox Live Gold membership (sold separately) required. Beta dates, content, and features subject to change. Not available in all markets. See https://GearsofWar.com for the latest information.
Update March 08, 2016: Game Informer Magazine Gears of War 4 Cover Story
Game Informer's latest cover story has given us great exclusive insight into the narrative, characters and setting of the highly anticipated sequel, Gears of War 4.
"Gears of War 4 is set almost 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, which means that players will be introduced to a largely new cast." - GameInformer Magazine
With this setting in mind, let's take a look at the new cast of characters that Game Informer revealed:
JD Fenix - JD Fenix is the primary protagonist in Gears of War 4, and the son of legendary war hero Marcus Fenix. JD is an idealist who ran away from home at a young age to join the the COG militia only to go AWOL after a classified incident that players will learn more about during the game.
Kait Diaz - Kait Diaz was born and raised outside of the walled city-states protecting most of humanity. Her parents were leaders of this group of Outsiders, but her father died tragically years ago. Kait isn't familiar with how the COG works, but she is a capable survivalist who forms a quick friendship with JD.
Delmont "Del" Walker - Delmont "Del" Walker is another ex-COG soldier. Del was an orphan who became friends with JD at boarding school. When JD ran off to join the Army, Del followed his lead. Unfortunately, Del was also involved with the classified incident that sent both of them running out into the wilds of Sera, seeking refuge among the Outsiders. Still, Del remains deeply loyal to JD.
Game Informer - Gameplay & Story Details
Aside from the reveal of Gears of War 4's new narrative and characters, Game Informer's April cover story gave some insight into how the game will play. For instance, we won't have the option of four-player co-op as we saw in Gears of War 3, instead this will be scaled back to two-player co-op. At least they didn't get rid of local multiplayer like Halo 5 did.
We've also learned that player one is always in control of JD Fenix, while player two has the option to chose between Kait or Del.
"While the three characters remain together for most of the game, at times they might get split up, and the story has subtle differences depending on whether player two is Kait or Dell," according to Game Informer.
As for story details, it's now been confirmed that Gears of War 4's full story, which takes place on Sera 25 years after Gears of War 3, will unfold over a period of just 24 hours. A nice touch. But what happened at the end of the last game? Didn't we defeat the Locust force?
The Game Informer story reveals that the Imulsion weapon that was set off at the end of Gears of War 3 knocked out fossil fuels, while successfully killing off the Locust. However, there are only a few hundred thousand people left on Sera in Gears of War 4, and COG forces round everyone up and put them in walled-in structures. Some people are unhappy with this standard of living and decide to rebel and form a group known as The Outsiders.
"There's this notion that the COG is like an overprotective parent trying to preserve life and ensure people's safety," producer Rod Fergusson said. "The Outsiders are a group of people who are purposefully stepping outside the COG and breaking free because they think life isn't worth living unless it's lived free...As we were conceptualizing The Outsiders, we initially started with the hippie movement, but then we realized we wanted them to have an edge and we started thinking of them more like this 1970s motorcycle gang."
Original Article Below
Gears of War has a lasting legacy on Microsoft systems. The original trilogy is one of the most highly praised IPs on the Xbox 360 and there are millions of fans around the world that are looking forward to the next installment in the franchise. At the moment, Gears of War 4 is expected to arrive on the XBOX One in the fourth quarter of 2016 and we sincerely hope that this release schedule is met.
In order to keep fans up to date with everything related to Gears of War 4, we thought we could start with a chronology of events. We will update this article accordingly once new information is released.
'Gears of War 4' - Everything We Know
Microsoft Acquires 'Gears of War'
In late January of 2014, Microsoft announced that they had purchased the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games. It was now set to be a permanent part of the family. Development of the series was to continue at Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver, and Rod Fergusson, the former director of production of the series at Epic, would join Microsoft "and play a key studio leadership role at Black Tusk," Microsoft said.
"Black Tusk has assembled a world-class team with deep experience and passion for the shooter space, and specifically the Gears of War franchise," Phil Spencer, Microsoft's head of game studios, said in a statement. "I am extremely confident that under the leadership of Hanno Lemke (of Black Tusk), Rod Fergusson and our other leaders in the studio, Black Tusk is well equipped to take on the future development of the Gears of War franchise.
Rod Fergusson Talks Gears
In October of 2014, Rod Fergusson held an interview that gave us tremendous insight into how Gears of War 4 was being developed for the Xbox One. He mentioned that creating the next chapter in the beloved franchise would be an exercise in 'managing betrayal.' They plan to do a lot of things differently in order to keep the IP fresh and engaging. When asked about Black Tusk and whether the team would do right by Gears, Fergusson replied with:
Yes, and that's going to be our big focus - doing right by the fans and the community to show that Black Tusk understands Gears. You have to do it right before you do it differently.
Black Tusk Becomes The Coalition
In early June, it was revealed that the team behind Gears of War 4 were to change their name from Black Tusk to The Coalition. Rod Fergusson made the following statement regarding this change:
"In short, The Coalition speaks to who we are as a team, and what it is we're working on. A coalition is a team of diverse individuals working together for a common purpose, a concept that we feel describes our studio quite well. Fans will also recognize the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) from Gears of War lore. When people hear 343 Industries, they associate it with Halo; when they hear Turn 10 Studios, they know that's who makes Forza. Moving forward, when you hear The Coalition, we want you to think of Gears of War."
Gears of War 4 @ E3
Prior to Microsoft's E3 conference, fans received leaked information regarding an Xbox One remake of the original Gears of War, which turned out to be true. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition was eventually released later in the year. It was joined on stage by the first official look at Gears of War 4 in the form of a six minute gameplay video which you can check out above.
From the Gears of War 4 gameplay revealed at E3 2015, we know that the game will focus on two new characters: one male and one female (though more may be revealed later). JD and his partner Kait, spend the entire trailer fighting and being chased by an all-new threat that’s different from the Locusts that acted as chief antagonists in previous games. The creature Kait and JD encounter during the Gears of War 4 teaser aired during the show is called a Wind Flare, according to IGN.
The trailer revealed that gory deaths are returning, the lancer and chainsaw are there too and the traditional cover based style of gameplay will continue. We've no idea when in the Gears timeline 4 will take place.
Gears of War Ultimate Edition & Beta Access
About a month following Microsoft's E3 conference, we uncovered that the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition would feature beta access to Gears of War 4. People who bought that Xbox One bundle, which was released in August 2015, could get "early access" to the Gears of War 4 beta if they logged in to Xbox Live and played the Ultimate Edition by March 1, 2016. The beta for Gears of War 4 is set to release in Spring of 2016.