OK, reviews are in, the game is supposed to be good. I need to play it.
I *finally* got the disc in the mail. Now installing...
*Man* it takes a while to install that Horde Mode ... 74% now.
Install size 54.7 GB. That's almost 40.000 times the size of Cabal, a 1988 third person shooter (arcade ROMs are around 1.4 MB). And Gears of War is probably only around 400 times better than Cabal.
*Sigh*, Horde Mode requires Xbox Live Gold. I understand that it's easier and that it probably prevents piracy, but it's a pretty expensive commitment to make.
I had a stack of 48 hour Xbox Live trial codes. I redeemed one of them, and was confused that I couldn't see any indication of Xbox Live Gold being activated. However, Horde Mode works, and I even downloaded a couple of Games With Gold games, so I guess everything is in order. My trial codes should last for 22 days, but I can't enter them now, because according to support.xbox.com, they don't stack.
Horde Mode seems to play more or less like it should, but the frame rate isn't great. It's supposed to be 30 FPS, but to me it seems to drop below that at times. Also, in the middle of a round, my character teleported back to the Fabricator thingie. I guess server glitches are to be expected.
What a weird error message:
Unable to connect to the Gears of War services.
There was no response from the server. Please check your connection and try again.
For more information, visit gearsofwar.com/ community and search for 'KINNERLAKE'
Well, at least the Campaign still works. It plays and runs well (still 30 FPS, but solid) and looks good.
Haha, the enemies in the first chapter are 'Indies'. That's hilarious!
It was cool to play the scene with Lt. Kim from the first Gears. I wish it was longer.
I won a Team Deathmatch 1 player vs. 5 Casual Bots 2-0. I figured out how to play Team Deathmatch against bots: I create a private match, lock all the slots on my team, and let the game fill the opponent team with bots.
Versus mode runs at a smooth 60 FPS, I wish the rest of the game did.
Completed Casual Wave 7 solo. Wave 8 is giving me trouble.
I can't stop looking at the big yellow construction mech in act 1. So neat.
The Outsider settlement with its vibrant colors, and the Outsiders themselves looking like vikings, makes Gears 4 look more like a fantasy game than ever before. This series seems to have morphed from a Fallout world to a Skyrim world.
I completed Act II, joined again by good old Marcus Fenix. I'm actually a bit annoyed that I'm not playing as him. For now, at least. Act II feels very much like good old Gears of War times, and the transport plane boss fight on motorcycles was suitably easy and fun.
Look, I destroyed all of Marcus' tomato plants, and I sawed through all the cocoons. What does a guy have to do to get an achievement around here?
I also shot the 'Unity (love symbol) Cafe' sign. Skeletons are hanging out at that cafe. I think I get the symbolism.
That's ACT III: Chapter 2, for reference.
I keep sawing the cocoons open, and everyone keeps yelling at me. Also, apparently, Swarm (which are just Locust, or what?) are created from humans in the cocoons. I always thought Locust were mutated humans.
The Juvies make Jurassic Park-Raptor-like noises.
In ACT III: Chapter 4 we seemingly go back to Gears of War 2. I enjoy this whole nostalgia trip. Even with the good old path selection. I took the left route twice so far, if that matters.
I've noticed that I'm way less annoyed with the NPCs. They seem to stay more in the back and get less in the way. *Big* improvement.
My plan of destroying every single cocoon was unrealistic. There are a positively ridiculous amount of them throughout ACT III. My first death during the campaign was towards the end of ACT III and entirely my own fault. Normal difficulty is a bit too easy, but I'm still enjoying myself a lot.
Got the Killdozer achievement.
- The Loader is a cute little bulldozer mech! I love it.
My right trigger has started squeaking. Too much shooting.
Four cables, one for each team member? How's that for a Deus ex machina?
Restore Power To The Dam: went left.
I can't believe I'm saying this, but I think I'm getting bored with the red horror growth on everything.
Completed ACT IV/V. I just killed a Bruma... I mean Swarmak.
Hey's it's Cole and Baird in two giant DB's! Oh ... I get it now. Damon Baird. And now, ACT V: Chapter 3. It's going to be fun.
Got the The Sound Of Silence achievement.
- I got this for carrying the Customized Lancer from Dad to the end of the game. Can't go wrong with a Lancer.
Ah, giant mechs with the same basic moveset as your space marine dudes. Efficient. Also, a whole lot of fun.
completed the game on Normal (2/4) difficulty (Campaign).
This was a good Gears of War game. I enjoyed seeing the old versions of the classic characters, and look forward to seeing more of the new ones, especially J. D. Fenix and Kait Diaz. Kait and Marcus were the only characters to have a proper story arc, J. D. and Del were more or less a couple of blank slates. Reasonably charming blank slates, though.
And we get a little unfunny post script with ... what's his name ... dwarf dude ... Oscar. Hey, he's played by Jimmy Smitts.
I'm done with DS3 DLC, and I got 14 days of Xbox Live Gold, so it's time to play some more Gears.
Got the score 9 in Horde Solo Casual.
Horde Solo level 10. They have a Swarmak.
Won another Team Deathmatch 1 player vs. 5 Casual Bots 2-0.
Won a Team Deathmatch 1 player vs. 3 Normal Bots.
I started a new Campaign on Hardcore difficulty and streamed Acts I-II. It hasn't become difficult yet, but properly using cover is getting essential.
Eurgh... I played 2 hours of online multiplayer followed by over 2 hours of playing through Act III on Hardcore difficulty. I'm a bit queasy from the constant camera shake. I kind of wish I could turn it off.