‘Gears Of War 4’ Playable At SDCC, Old Man Marcus Appears In New Footage

Gears of War 4 is one of the big Xbox One exclusives planned for this fall and it will be getting some serious face time at San Diego Comic-Con this weekend. Microsoft announced a portion of the third-person shooter’s campaign will be playable at the annual convention along with game’s multiplayer. The campaign portion even reveals an important plot point.

San Diego Comic-Con officially kicks off this week and Gears of War 4 will be playable at both the Xbox Booth in the San Diego Convention Center Hall A and Nerd HQ located at the nearby New Children’s Museum. The game’s campaign will be playable at the Xbox booth starting today for early attendees and those with press badges. It will then open to everyone else tomorrow.

The new campaign gameplay footage released to YouTube today is of the same portion that will be playable at the Xbox booth. JD Fenix, Del, and Kait are chasing down the Swarm following the destruction of Kait’s village and abduction of her mother. Interestingly, they are joined by Marcus Fenix, though it is unclear if the hero from the original trilogy is playable. Developer The Coalition has only confirmed JD, Del, and Kait as playable thus far.

Marcus was first shown in the Gears of War 4 announcement trailer earlier this year as JD flashbacked to his childhood. The elder Fenix then made an appearance at the end of the E3 2016 co-op gameplay demonstration, shared by Xbox on YouTube, where he welcomed JD home. How big a role the character will play in this new edition of the long-running franchise is up for debate.

Kait faces off with a Swarm Drone in Gears of War 4 with her knife.
[Image by The Coalition / Xbox]

Meanwhile, Nerd HQ will play host to 5v5 Versus Gears of War 4 multiplayer matches on the newly revealed “Forge” map. Those interested in checking out the game’s multiplayer Thursday through Sunday will need to book gameplay sessions ahead of time at the Nerd Machine website.

The Coalition also provided a fly-through video of the new “Forge” map. The map appears to be set inside an industrial plant with an interesting room at the center. The camera pans around the map before resting on a less-than-conspicuous button that oversees the room. This appears to be a player initiated map event to bring pain to those caught in the center room.

Those that have questions about the Gears of War 4 campaign or the multiplayer will have a chance to ask the developer and voice actors questions. A panel is being hosted Thursday at SDCC at 2:15 pm PT with an encore panel taking place the following day at Nerd HQ. Here are the details.

“Join The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson, and voice actors Liam McIntyre (JD Fenix), Eugene Byrd (Del Walker), Laura Bailey (Kait Diaz) and of course – John DiMaggio who returns as legendary hero Marcus Fenix as they present a behind-the-scenes look at Gears of War 4, exploring the characters, and storytelling for the new saga in the acclaimed Gears franchise. The panel is moderated by Xbox’s Major Nelson and it’s a safe bet we’ll have a few surprises. An encore of the panel featuring a special guest will take place on Friday, July 22, 5:00pm-6:00pm at NERD HQ (The New Children’s Museum).”

Xbox One S

Attendees can also expect to see plenty of other Gears of War 4 themed goodies, such as limited edition posters, physical gear packs, and various Gears-themed merchandise on display from headsets to weapon replicas to action figures. The Gears of War Xbox One S Limited Edition console will also be on display for fans to ogle.

What do you think of the Gears of War 4 plans for San Diego Comic-Con 2016? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Gears of War]