Also On: Xbox One
Publisher: Microsoft Studios
Developer: The Coalition
It’s been quite a while since my last rodeo with the Gears of War franchise. I’ve attempted to get through Gears of War: Judgment and that didn’t work out so well. So what has drawn me back to this series? Is it the “Remaster” branding that I gravitate to? Most likely. Another part is now being able to play PC games, it was a good reason to put more time into my new rig. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition has previously been released on the Xbox One last year and you can read our review here.
For the most part, this port is straightforward and only includes some minor extras versus its console counterpart. For starters, PC players will be treated to $10 in bonus content for free which includes the Deluxe Weapon Skin pack, and 11 extra multiplayer skins. The other exclusives come in the form of performance and customization for your gameplay such as mouse and keyboard key binding as well as controller support. On the performance side, my rig and TV don’t support 4K, but the game does and allows unlocked framerate which I’m sure make it look even slicker.
I spent most of my time playing the campaign, as is tradition, in the world of Benny Rose Gaming. The one thing that frustrated me with this port was the load times. They seem to be inconsistent across users, but my time was some of the longest I’ve dealt with since “Just Cause 3” and even “Hitman” which is my next review. The loads clocked in close to 45 seconds per screen. I haven’t had this issue with any other game on the rig.
Once the game loads, everything runs smooth and even adjusting settings midgame to benchmark performance was a breeze. I personally preferred turning of the motion blur for my play through. The game handles almost identical to the Xbox One version, which I played briefly last year. As for the multiplayer, every mode and map from the original game is included along new Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Blitz modes.
I jumped into a couple of standard Team Death Matches and proceeded to have my ass handed to me on a Lancer. The lobby and matchmaking worked well and minimal lag in between deaths. If I played well with others, I would spend more time with these modes. It will be an enjoyable experience for veterans of the series. Overall, this is a well put together port by developer “The Coalition”. They took the time to assess what worked before and how to make an already successful game relevant again, nine years later. My only real gripe is this was developed for Windows 10 and lacks Steam Support.
(Note: There have been reports of visual performance issues for some users and a patch is on the way next week.)