The wait to see Gears of War 4 in action is finally over. Xbox fans everywhere have been counting down the days to Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference for the opportunity to see the gory and glorious return of one of gaming's most beloved third-person shooter franchises, and the wait was worth it.
In the weeks and months leading up to E3, Gears of War 4's appearance was hyped to the moon and back by Microsoft. The official Gears of War Twitter account started an E3 countdown, and Black Tusk Studios was re-branded as The Coalition, both steps to prepare for the epic reveal of Gears of War 4 during E3 2015.
Microsoft's E3 2015 press conference began with a look at some of the company's most iconic characters. Among them, Gears of War's Marcus Fenix, who put on his trademark bandanna while rubbing shoulders with Master Chief. This came after a brief tease of seeing what's next for the Gears of War franchise, the simple image of a dead body stuck with a knife with some cogtags dangling from the top.
However, Microsoft and The Coalition had a lot more in store for Gears of War 4 at the conference than just brief teases. They ended their presentation with the first ever gameplay footage of Gears of War 4, featuring new protagonists JD and an unnamed female character exploring a dark countryside. An epic storm brews up, forcing the heroes to seek shelter, and displaying absolutely incredible weather and lighting effects in the process.
JD and the unnamed female protagonist manage to find refuge in a dark, creepy castle-like building. The game seems to lean more towards the slight horror themes of the original Gears of War, with more focus on building atmosphere than the last few games in the series. While exploring the castle, it is made abundantly clear that there is a brand new threat to humanity, replacing the Locusts from the Xbox 360 entries.
For the most part, it seemed as though the gameplay that has defined the franchise is retained in Gears of War 4. JD battles the strange creatures using a chainsaw lancer, cover shooting mechanics, and the type of versatility gamers have come to expect from Gears protagonists.
Gears of War 4 wasn't the only Gears reveal for E3. Even though details on Gears of War Remastered leaked ahead of the event, it was still nice having a chance to see the Xbox 360 classic reborn on Xbox One, with updated graphics and gameplay. To help tide them over until the release of Gears of War 4, fans can look forward to picking up Gears of War Remastered on August 25th of this year.
Gears of War 4 doesn't have a set release date or release window yet, but it will be coming exclusively to Xbox One.