Originally release in 2006, Gears of War was one of the Xbox 360’s most critically acclaimed titles. Brining a new style of gameplay that focused on fast-paced cover-to-cover style action, Gears of War was a massive success with the fans. Along with multiplayer that is considered top notch even to this day, Gears of War could be considered one of the Xbox 360’s best games.
Fast forward 10 years to the release of Gears of War Ultimate Edition, a cleaned up and enhanced remaster of the original Gears. While Gears Ultimate Edition brings a new look and feel to the original game, this remaster doesn’t seem as Ultimate as it claims to be. With updated visuals and audio that do help make this remastered title look and feel next-gen, it feels like a rather rushed project.
Since this is a remaster, if you’ve played Gears before you’ll know the story. Gears of War Ultimate Edition follows Delta Squad (Marcus Fenix, Dominic Santiago, Augustus Cole, and Damon Baird) on their mission to end the Locust’s invasion by deploying a Lightmass bomb in the tunnels that they dwell within. The concept of the story is simple enough for a third-person shooter, but developed and displayed pretty well. With a lack of detail into the characters themselves and many of the events that occurred prior to the start of the game though, you are left with questions such as “Why is Marcus Fenix in jail?”, and “What exactly happened to the city?”; and these questions go unanswered until the following games in the franchise. This is not to say that the story is bad, just a little lacking, but the story isn’t the focal point of what makes Gears.
Updated Visuals Makes Gears of War Ultimate Edition a Joy to Run Through Once Again
Gears Ultimate Edition gameplay wise plays just as well as you would expect. The quick, action-packed, cover to cover style gameplay that you know and love. With little change occurring in the single-player aspect besides the extra campaign only seen on the PC version of Gears, the multiplayer side is where the game stands out. With an updated maps, new game modes, and additional features added from the third Gears (enemy spotting and multiplayer tac-com), the multiplayer is quite solid. While the new levels and game modes are nice, it’s the little things that make the multiplayer even better. With dedicated servers, skill-based matchmaking, and 60 fps display the multiplayer is more fluid and enjoyable.
Visually Gears of War Ultimate Edition looks a little bit better than the original title. What stands out the most is the level of detail added. The character models received a step up looking smoother, and resemble the character models from the third game in the series. Where the visual really stand out is with the cutscenes. Compared to the original videos in Gears, Ultimate Edition’s cutscenes look completely redone making it a pleasure to watch. Add in the addition of Dolby 7.1 surround sound support, and you’ve got an enjoyable presentation.
Gameplay Feels More Fluid than Ever Before at 60 FPS
Gears of War Ultimate Edition is a considerable attempt at remastering the original title that launched a franchise. While it adds a few new features to those who’ve not played the PC version of Gears, it feels like a port with just some updated visuals. This isn’t to say that the title is bad, rather it feels like a rushed product to hold fans over until the next Gears title. With only a $40 price tag, this game is more than perfect to kill some time until the release of the next game in the series.