Review: Gears of War: Ultimate Edition

The Gears of War franchise was one of the most important Xbox 360 franchises ever. You know a game is good when it’s used as an example for other games in its genre. Gears of War was the founder of the cover-based third person shooter and the badass heroes. It’s been nine years since we’ve played the original game but we’re very glad to see it return in this gorgeous Ultimate Edition.

Welcome in this mad world 

For those of you unfamiliar with Gears of War, let me tell you something about the story first. The story takes place in the future on the planet Sera where unknown and brutal enemies rose from beneath the ground to start a war. These enemies are called the Locust and were responsible for the deaths of many. As a last resort, the human race tried to nuke the Locust to their graves, resulting in a very post-apocalyptic planet where the Locust couldn’t be stopped.

It’s up to Marcus Fenix and his squadron to take down the enemies once and for all. They want to take them out where they live, underground. Fenix and his squad are trained professionals who aren’t afraid of blood and dirty language. Some might say that Fenix and his squad are the most ‘macho heroes’ you’ll ever see in a game but that’s part of the charm to be honest. The story isn’t that revolutionizing but it’s the perfect excuse to use some of your brutal weapons.


Brutal action

Gears of War isn’t a game for the faint-hearted, it’s a very brutal game with a lot of blood and hideous monsters. As said in the beginning, Gears of War marked the beginning for a new sub-genre in the third person shooters. Instead of just running around and taking down all the enemies, you need to take cover, all the time. Without cover you won’t last long on the dangerous planet. Running from cover to cover goes smooth and is activated with the push of the a-button. When you’re behind cover you can also blind fire to take down the enemies and stay unharmed. The cover system worked great nine years ago and it still does today. It’s strange to see that the system still works this well; this just proves how good the game actually was.

The king is back

Aside of the cover, the most important element in combat are of course your weapons. As you might have hoped for, Gears of War features some brutal and heavy weapons. Marcus is able to carry three weapons and some grenades while on the field. The grenades are great to take down multiple enemies or to close the hole in the ground; this will stop the enemies from spawning. Aside of this, it really doesn’t matter that much which weapon you’re using, all weapons are powerful and are very useful to take down enemies. The most iconic weapon in the game is the Lancer, which features a chainsaw for close combat. A fan favorite for sure and we understand why! Also take note that you can activate burst mode, more powerful bullets, by timing your reloading right. It’s a small addition to the gameplay but it makes reloading fun.

The game looks incredible

Everything we’ve discussed up to this point was present in the original Gears of War and both newcomers and fans will enjoy replaying it in the Ultimate Edition. This version was remastered for the Xbox One and looks incredible. The original Gears of War wasn’t that beautiful and was rather dark but now that the game is running on 1080p with 60fps, we have no reason to complain. The world looks brighter thanks to the new lighting effects and both characters and monsters look a lot more realistic. It’s really a big jump from the original and the only downside to the story is that it’s a shame the other Gears of War games aren’t remastered as well. We’ve waited nine years to play this masterpiece again but we never thought it would look this good!


More content

Aside of the graphical boost, the Ultimate Edition also features some extra content. This content was already playable in the Ultimate Edition on PC but it’s the first time console players will get the joy of playing it. The biggest improvement is Act 5 that went from three to eight playable missions. One of those extra missions isn’t that good but all the others are a great addition to an already great campaign.

Besides the extra missions, the Ultimate Edition also features some smaller improvements such as achievement progress (very helpful), slightly better controls, Dolby Surround 7.1 support, unlockable comics and more fun modes in the multiplayer.

We couldn’t really test the multiplayer yet, since there aren’t that many gamers online yet but it’s good to know that this version got some extra modes.  Team Death Match, King of the Hill and community asked 2v2 gnasher execution are added to the multiplayer experience. If the multiplayer plays as fluent as the original, you’ll have a lot of fun with it without a doubt.

The perfect co-op game

This brings us to the last part of the review, the co-op mode. Gears of War can be played in co-op both offline and online and this mode is by far the most fun the game has to offer. Together with a friend or stranger, you’ll be able to go trough the entire campaign. This co-op works this well because you really need to help each other in order to survive. Flanking the enemies, creating distractions and discussing your tactics are crucial in the co-op mode. Aside of this, there are also certain segments in the game that will split the players, forcing them to survive on their own. It’s a great experience with a lot of tension and adrenaline.



Nine years after the release of the original Gears of War we can still say that this Ultimate Edition is a very good game. It offers the same thrilling ride as the original but comes with some extra missions, new game modes and gorgeous graphics. If you haven’t played Gears of War before, this is the perfect game to start falling in love with the franchise. If you have played the original we’re sure you’ll have a good time replaying all those great memories in the best possible version of the game.


Got interested in games since I could read. Started with Nintendo but evolved into an all-round gamer. I love all kind of games; triple A games to Indie. If the vibe is right, I'll enjoy playing it.