Gears of War 4 for the Xbox One made its expected debut at Microsoft’s Xbox E3 Media Briefing on Monday. What was slightly unexpected, though, was that it came in the form of a gameplay preview versus a CGI trailer. Additionally, what was demonstrated looked like a return to the series horror-like origins versus the action-focused gameplay from Gears of War 3.
The story for Gears of War 4 is largely unknown. We know that the Locusts and the Lambent met their ends with the finale of the original trilogy, and The Coalition previously announced that the cast will not be returning.
The trailer introduces us to two new characters – a male soldier named J.D. and a female soldier named Kait. Producer Rod Fergusson, who was onstage, provided no clues as to where the trailer fits within the time or place of the Gears universe.
What the six-minute snippet of gameplay does demonstrate, though, is that The Coalition is aiming for the dark roots of the original Gears of War. That title was bathed in darkness and even used it as a game mechanic. This helped with the shooter’s horror-like atmosphere, but was largely abandoned for the sequels in favor of “bigger, better, and more badass.”
And, the gameplay demo shown was indeed dark. It was so dark that it was hard to see what was happening at times during the livestream. This was a common complaint on Reddit and NeoGAF, but the darkness seemed to be an issue with the stream itself. The trailer released on YouTube is still dark, but not quite to the same degree.
What the trailer shows is J.D. and the female character following an unknown monster through a fort. A storm hits at the same time that causes part of the bridge to the fort and parts of the fort itself to crash. Delving deeper into the fort, they find strange orange glowing pods, one of which squirted goo over J.D. and shorted out his flashlight.
At the end, they come across a new monster called a Pouncer according to the filename of a screenshot. This is definitely a new creature and not something that is reminiscent of the Locust or the Lambent.
Gears of War 4 is currently targeting a fall 2016 release. Perhaps we will learn more about the characters and monsters of Gears of War 4 when Fergusson speaks with Xbox Daily at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.
In the meantime, Gear of War: Ultimate Edition is scheduled for an August 25 launch on the Xbox One. You can sign up for the multiplayer beta test today at the official website.
[Images via Gears of War]
[Update: Rod Fergusson confirmed the female character’s name on Xbox Daily. He would provide no other details though. Article has been updated with her name.]