Gears of War Ultimate Edition Impressions & More

For as much as gamers claim to hate them, remakes offer longtime fans of a particular series the opportunity to time travel. Forget always expecting the next major upgrade or added new benefit, remastered video games allow you to play as you once did, to do what you once loved again. Microsoft came dangerously close to delivering the ultimate high-definition remake when it shipped Halo: The Master Chief Collection late last year for the Xbox One. This time, Microsoft is back with Gears of War Ultimate Edition, a remake of the first game in the series rejuvenated for Xbox One owners.

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During a showcase last night, Microsoft gave longtime fans and gamers a chance to test the Gears of War Ultimate Edition multiplayer. For a game that arrived almost a decade ago, it still handles just fine.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition Impressions at E3 2015 – What You Need to Know

Gears of War Ultimate Edition draws so many comparisons to Halo: The Master Chief Collection because their core missions are the same. Master Chief Collection was a promotional trinket, a way for Microsoft to lure hardcore Xbox 360 fans over to the Xbox One ahead of Halo 5: Guardians and convince anyone who hadn’t purchased the first series of games to try them. At E3 2015 Microsoft revealed that there was a Gears of War 4 in development and that it would arrive on store shelves sometime next year. Gears of War Ultimate Edition sets the franchise up for a new console generation.

Anyone who purchases Gears of War Ultimate Edition reserves themselves a spot in the coming Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta early. To be clear, everyone with an Xbox Live Gold account will have the opportunity to test the game, but purchasing Gears of War Ultimate Edition gets you ahead of everyone else.

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Gears of War Ultimate Edition Impressions at E3 2015 – Multiplayer Impressions

Gears of War Ultimate Edition includes 19 different maps from the franchise. There are 17 unlockable characters and dozens of modes. King of the Kill, Team Death match are just two of those coming modes. During Microsoft’s E3 2015 Xbox Showcase I didn’t get to play with all of these characters and maps, but I did get some time with some specific maps and weapons.

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I can confirm that Gears of War Ultimate Edition looks gorgeous and plays smoothly. Every gun shout sounded satisfying and every piece of scenery looked detailed. Microsoft is promising full 1080p resolution and 60 frames per second. In short, the game should run seriously smooth on your Xbox One at home. Movement felt fluid and textures felt right at home on Microsoft’s latest console. Using the buzz saw attached to my firearm was just as gruesome.

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The Coalition is Microsoft’s internal studio in-charge of the Gears of War franchise. There’s no reason anyone should be making the same assumptions about Gears of War Ultimate Edition. Still some are, and it’s way too early to have a definitive answer on that. I can say that in Microsoft’s very controlled environment, multiplayer worked just fine. I died a lot, but it wasn’t because of any technical issues. I was just seriously out of practice.

Gears of War Ultimate Edition Impressions at E3 2015

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Gears of War Ultimate Edition is pretty easily the best bargain in gaming coming this year. Microsoft could have gotten away with charging full price for this upgrade version of the game. Instead, the company is doing the honest thing and only charging $39.99 for it. Whether you’ll want to purchase the game completely depends on how fond of the series you are. Gamers who love the series are definitely in for a treat and should definitely pick the game up. Anyone who finds the game mildly interesting might want it plan on purchasing.

Read: All the Big Games Shown at Microsoft’s E3 2015 Media Briefing

Gears of War Ultimate Edition pre-orders are already available at retailer GameStop. To be clear, pre-ordering ahead of release doesn’t unlock any extra content that you can’t get directly through the Xbox Store on release day. Microsoft hasn’t said exactly when the Gears of War 4 beta will kick off, but some speculate we could see it arrive this holiday season. The company did the same thing with Halo 5: Guardians after releasing Halo: The Master Chief Collection.