Gears of War


Key events

Gears of War creator Epic Games announces a new game

Remember when Epic Games flew the Xbox 360 flag with Gears of War? Those were the days. Now we get Paragon (open beta), a not-bad MOBA; Fortnite (alpha), a base-building survival game in development for six years now; and a new, somewhat openly developed Unreal Tournament (pre-alpha).

Oh, and one other game, just announced: Battle Breakers. A turn-based tactical role-playing game for mobiles and PC, with cross-platform play.

Battle Breakers looks like typical mobile fare, with your team's heroes stood on hex grids on your side, facing off against enemies standing on hex grids on their side. There's an anime style and tone to the whole thing, with loud noises and flashy abilities. Do I sound old yet?

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Digital FoundryWhy Gears of War Ultimate fails to deliver on PC

Tears for Gears: sub-par performance, lacklustre upgrades plus a laundry list of issues with Windows 10 and UWP.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is the first big PC game to be released exclusively as a Universal Windows Platform application and its problematic release highlights some of the key challenges Microsoft faces in moving forward with its storefront. In getting the game up and running, we encountered more issues than just about any other PC game we've played over the past year - a disappointing state of affairs considering Microsoft's ambitions for UWP. It's all been a bit of trial to be honest, and that's a shame as we rather enjoyed the Xbox One version, and hoped for even better things from the PC port.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition's hefty 5GB update fixes the Boomshot

Microsoft's released a hefty 5GB update for Gears of War Ultimate Edition.

The title update makes changes to playlists and adjusts gameplay.

The headline changes are kills in social playlists now also count towards the "Seriously" achievement (kill 10000 people in versus competitive matches), and improvements to Boomshot hit registration. Of note: the achievement will not retroactively add your kills from social games before the update to your achievement progress. From the update onwards, you'll be able to add to your kill count in any Social or Competitive playlist.

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One of the first and most spurious misuses of my university student loan was a Halo 3 Master Chief edition Xbox 360. It was a disgusting olive green with hideous decals and a questionable shiny gold disc tray and I absolutely adored it. But, even though I played Halo 3 multiplayer and Assassin's Creed to death, my first memories of the 360 are actually somewhat hazy.

Given how frequently video game characters take damage, you'd think most developers would be medical experts by now. Sadly, that couldn't be farther from the truth; you only need glance at some of the healing methods in video games to know that something is rotten in the hospitals of Denmark.

Digital FoundryThe making of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

Digital Foundry talks in depth with The Coalition on the ambitious remake and what to expect from the DX12 PC version.

It's been a while since we've run a tech interview, but when Microsoft approached us with the opportunity to quiz The Coalition about the technical work behind the recently released Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, we seized the opportunity. The original Epic release was a landmark last-gen title - a game that thrust Unreal Engine 3 into the limelight, its technology and its artistic approach helping to define the aesthetic of a vast range of Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles.

There's a scene in Generation Kill, the HBO miniseries that follows an embedded reporter as he travels with the Marine Corps' 1st Reconnaissance Battalion during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, in which Sergeant Brad 'Iceman' Colbert can be seen running around a field with his arms outstretched, pretending to be an aeroplane. After watching this display of benign madness, or freedom for a few moments, one of Colbert's comrades turns to the reporter (based on real life journalist Evan Wright) and asks: "What, did you like, give him some Rolling Stone drugs or something?"

Just how does one tackle remaking one of the most visually influential games of the last decade? It's a difficult question and one that developer The Coalition - along with partner Splash Damage - seeks to answer with the release of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox One. The original Gears of War had a tremendous impact on the industry as a whole both in terms of the development process and its game design. Visually, as Epic's first outing with Unreal Engine 3, Gears was a landmark release for real-time rendering. Re-envisioning such a game on new hardware is no small task - so just how successful is this latest effort?

Microsoft gives Gears of War Ultimate Edition the 2006 Mad World trailer treatment

It was 2006's most eye-catching video game trailer: footage of Epic's gritty Xbox 360 shooter Gears of War spliced with Gary Jules' tear-jerker Mad World.

Microsoft's promo set a trend for other video game marketers, who took the idea of combining tracks that didn't quite fit the gameplay they were overlaying for many a last-generation trailer.

Now, nearly nine years after the launch of Gears of War, Microsoft's created an homage to the 2006 Mad World trailer with its launch trailer for Ultimate Edition, due out on Xbox One later this month.

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VideoVideo: The best end songs ever

Sing when you're winning (at video games).

When Lethal Weapon 3 got its cinematic release in 1992, my parents dutifully went along to the cinema to watch it. At the end of the credits, they were delighted to discover, there was one last scene - an easter egg to reward those who watched all those names scroll past on the screen. So began an excruciating family tradition.

Digital Foundry: Hands-on with the Gears of War Ultimate Beta

It's an enticing proposition. Microsoft has remastered Gears of War for Xbox One and PC in a new Ultimate Edition featuring massively improved visuals and a smooth 60 frames per second - in multiplayer at least. Following Monday's E3 conference, beta codes for the Xbox One version began to roll out, and luckily enough, we were one of the first to receive them.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the Ultimate Edition is utilising a mature version of Unreal Engine 3 rather than the new UE4 engine powering Gears 4. The groundbreaking original release was one of the very first UE3 titles on the market almost ten years ago, so in theory moving to the latest iteration of the engine brings a lot to the table (the extent of which should be more pronounced in the single-player campaign). In addition, this isn't a simple repurposing of assets either, but rather a full-on remake using an entirely new set of textures, models, and effects. While the transformation isn't as dramatic as Halo 2: Anniversary, the changes are definitely more significant than we expected.

The basics are all there as well - a full 1920x1080 frame-buffer with a smattering of FXAA for good measure. UE3 titles for Xbox 360 were known to use 2x MSAA fairly early in the rendering cycle with spotty results but, even if that still is the case on Xbox One, the end results are nearly imperceptible through the veil of post-process anti-aliasing. There is a fair amount of shimmering objects along with typical post-AA blur, but overall image quality is attractive, and a huge boost over the original Xbox 360 game. That said, upon revisiting the original, we were surprised at how nicely the image quality manages to hold up, even at 720p.

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Gears of War Xbox One remaster footage leaks

Early footage of Microsoft's heavily-rumoured Xbox One Gears of War remake has been spotted online.

Gameplay videos were originally found on the XboxDVR site, which collates clips recorded via the Xbox One's built-in capture software.

These have since been pulled offline, but the footage can still be found elsewhere.

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Gears of War remaster set for Xbox One - report

Gears of War remaster set for Xbox One - report

UPDATE: Test build recipients confirm it's a remake of Gears One.

UPDATE 25/04/2015 2.15am: Gears of War test build recipients have confirmed to Kotaku that this is indeed a remastering of the first Gears of War.

Apparently this pre-release code is multiplayer only and includes the following game modes: Team Deathmatch; King of the Hill; One Life 1v1; Shotgun Team Deathmatch; 1v1 Sudden Death Gnashers Only; 4v4 Team Deathmatch Single Round; and 4v4 King of the Hill Single Round.

ORIGINAL STORY 24/04/2015 11.11pm: Gears of War appears to be getting a remastered treatment on Xbox One, according to various sources.

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Cliff Bleszinski undertakes Ice Bucket Challenge

Nintendo's Reggie Fils-Aime also pledges to take part.

Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski is the latest game developer to take part in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, an ongoing viral campaign to raise awareness of motor neurone disease.