This review is an unedited version of the review written by Zombie Dredd and published in the Tech Magazine: Issue 42 February 2017.

The original Gears of War released in 2006 on Xbox 360 was a real tour de force. It set a new standard for console graphics, and ushered in the era of cover-based third-person shooters. Subsequent releases maintained the momentum and quality, building an engrossing – but overly masculine – story about humanity’s battle against an overwhelming invading force.

With the release of series prequel Gears of War: Judgment in 2013, things went off the rails. Series fans (of which I include myself) were devastated by the changes brought to the game, especially in the multiplayer.

Hopes for a new – true – sequel were rather tempered when Gears of War 4 was revealed without the original developers Epic Games at the helm. The good news for fans is that Gears of War 4 is a great game, one that is true to the series and prepares for a promising franchise future.

Even if you are new to Gears of War, the latest game simply oozes quality. It looks great, runs smoothly, and the story is more mature and diverse. A new enemy awaits a new set of heroes with some popular series characters making their appearance, ensuring a continuity of the overall story arc.

The game features a high octane story mode that can be enjoyed solo or with a partner. The return of the fan favourite Horde mode sees players facing off against waves of enemies, and can also be played on your own or with teammates. The multiplayer remains the series’ strong point and considering (like most games) there are no local servers is still highly playable in South Africa.

The game with the chainsaw on the gun is well and truly back and sets a new standard on the Xbox One that many will try to emulate. It’s brutal and entertaining. Get it now.

Score: 9/10
Available for: Xbox One and PC
Distributed by: Prima Interactive and available at all retailers of games