After playing the multiplayer beta of Gears of War 4, it’s time to sit back and talk about how it performs, keeping firmly in mind that this is a beta, and basically nothing is final.
Scratch that, I’m actually not going to sit back, and to continue the experiment I started with Quantum Break, I did it while playing, and you can see the recording below.
The result is probably less professional (please forgive that, it’s a work in progress even on our side), but the reactions are doubtlessly more genuine, especially considering the fact that playing a multiplayer shooter certainly leaves you less time to think.
And Gears of War 4 indeed doesn’t leave you much time to think. The maps, at least so far, are very compact. They encourage multiplayer, and getting “In the face” of the enemy as soon as possible.
Sitting behind cover for long is gonna get you flanked and slaughtered, and taking pot shots at the enemy for afar doesn’t yield many results.
The weapons available seem to need some balancing, with the shotgun being absolutely dominant thanks to the easiness of getting to close quarters and just putting your barrel in the face of your opponents. On the other hand, the Lancer, as iconic as it is, doesn’t seem as effective as it should be.
At least from my experience, the lancer is good at making noise and forcing enemies to keep their head down while your team flanks them to obliterate them at shotgun point, but rate of fire and shot dispersion limit its effectiveness as an actual killing machine in its own right.
The result is that a dominant percentage of players just use the shotgun and ignore the other weapons, but finding those potential balancing issues and addressing them is exactly what a beta is for.
Visuals are still a bit on the rough side, with frame rate that takes some hits here and there, but Microsoft promised that the game is going to “absolutely hit” the 1080p, 60 FPS benchmark in versus multiplayer by launch.
On the other hand, the art direction is fantastic, and the map design is just what you’d expect from a Gears of War game, which is to say that it’s awesome.
The competitive multiplayer is challenging, and much less forgiving than in other games, which means that shooter newbies like me are going to find themselves facing a steeper learning curve, but winning a match is very satisfying.
Even in this unfinished stage, Gears of Wars 4‘s multiplayer is a ton of fun, and brings forth very solid hopes that this chapter of the series will nail the experience of the early games of the franchise.
You can hear a lot more in the video below, and also watch a few matches, that portray a lot more victories that you would expect from someone like me. Obviously, though, it was just due to being carried by a good team.