Gears of War 4‘s most positive reviews almost read like they’re from an entirely different game when compared to the lowest scoring. The thing is, there are only a couple of digits apart â€“ 9/10s compared to 7/10, the lowest score The Coalitition’s reboot has gained so far.
This appears to all down to whether you’re here solely for the single-player campaign or not, as the more negative reviews focus on the shortcomings of the story. When viewed as a whole, like the majority of 9/10 reviews have, the praise if far more forthcoming.
Resoundingly positive, in fact. The Coalition has not only proven that the series is in safe hands, but they’ve also delivered this generation’s greatest shooter. Windows Central even went one step further and claimed it to be the greatest Xbox One-exclusive, putting the likes of Forza Horizon 3 in the shade.
Here’s the skinny:
5/5 – Windows Central: “The Coalition has solidified their guardianship of one of the greatest video game franchises of all time, and not only proven to the world that the IP is in good hands, but that Microsoft Studios isn’t reliant on Halo to make its mark in the shooter space”
5/5 â€“ Twinfinite: “Yes, I’ve got a few slight gripes with the lackluster final fight in the closing moments of the campaign and Horde 3.0’s class system, but as a whole, this is one game that every Gears fan needs to own”
95% – GamingTrend: “Gears of War 4 is the Gears revival that fans have been waiting for, and proof that the franchise is in the right hands”
9.5 â€“ God is a Geek: “Gears of War returns with a bang. Consistently thrilling and relentlessly entertaining, Gears 4 is comfortably one of the best shooters of the generation so far”
9.25 â€“ GameInformer: “Even with a new studio leading the development charge, Gears of War 4 is a return to form for the series, and is continual delight, even if it does unnecessarily cling for dear life to the past”
9.0 â€“ Worth Playing: “From the single-player to the co-op and multiplayer, every aspect of the game sings with quality as they successfully blend old traditions with new mechanics. There’s already a ton of content in the game, which is great at giving you many possible ways to access it all”
9.0 â€“ EGM: “Gears of War 4 looked at the series’ core formula and figured that if it wasn’t broken, don’t fix it. Most of the additions The Coalition put onto that core simply helped enhance and refine something that was already great. A couple of missteps were made, but this is still a great overall entry in the franchise”
4.5/5 â€“ Trusted Reviews: “Gears Of War 4 does everything required to get the franchise roadie-running into 2016 without losing what made it so good to begin with. One of the best games on the Xbox One”
4.5/5 â€“ Game Rant: “Gears of War makes its grandiose return on Xbox One and PC, and those sorely missing the series can rest easy knowing that the franchise is back and better than ever”
4/5 â€“ Digital Spy: “It’s not the blockbuster restart you might have hoped for, but there’s enough good stuff here to make you hope The Coalition gets another run”
4/5 â€“ TrueAchievements: “Gears of War 4 promised a new beginning — a new cast of characters, a new threat to humanity and the chance for a new developer to make its mark. While the gameplay and storyline certainly aren’t lacking and will likely keep Gears fans amused, The Coalition seems reluctant to let the past go and to move on”
4/5 â€“ US Gamer: “The Gears of War series returns in fine form. The well-scripted and fantastic-looking campaign ends rather abruptly, but while it lasts, it’s an exciting thrill ride of intense firefights and over-the-top set pieces. It can feel a little repetitive and relentless at times, but overall it’s a lot of fun. The game’s six-mode multiplayer PvP feels refined and well designed, and offers plenty of long-term potential, while Horde 3.0 is ideal for those who want to join friends in a long, and very challenging firefight”
4/5 â€“ GamesRadar: “As effective as a direct sequel as it is a soft-reboot, it’s a game crafted of thought, wisdom, and objective calculation blended with a real passion for finding the fun”
8/10 â€“ Destructoid: “This was a fine first showing but it’d be nice to see The Coalition carve its own identity for Gears of War. Using Epic’s foundation is understandable and expected, but it often feels like a crutch. Marcus’ boy had grown up just like him”
8/10 â€“ The Metro: “The story campaign can be a little bland, at least when playing on your own, but otherwise this does a fine job of bringing Gears into the current gen”
7/10 â€“ Post Arcade: “It’s too conservative to wow us the way we expect, and it lacks many of the larger-than-life personalities that made the original trilogy so fun and memorable”
7/10 â€“ The Jimqusition: “The combat of the campaign is fundamentally sound, the multiplayer is well crafted as always (despite the usual shotty problem), and Horde mode is great entertainment. As a complete package, the game is worthy, if only for the fact it’s a Gears game and the true heavy lifting was already done by Epic in 2006”
7/10 â€“ GameSpot: “There is inspiration here, and creativity in the way Gears of War 4 rethinks its multiplayer modes. But the lackluster campaign and technical issues are blights on an otherwise exhilarating shooter. The result is a whole that doesn’t reflect the quality of its often stellar parts”
Gears of War 4 is out next Tuesday, or available four days early if you stump up Â£79.99 for the Ultimate Edition.