After spending more than just several hours with the beta for the latest installment in the Gears of War franchise, one thing became clear: the Gears 4 beta disappoints. It not just disappoints, it is mired by both technical issues and the same issues that Gears multiplayer has always struggled with, depending on your point of view. It feels sluggish at times, it can be glitchy, and it’s the same  Gears experience we’ve had for years.

The Gears 4 beta disappoints mainly because of how choppy it plays. This game is promised for an October release date this year, but will some of these issues be fixed by then? The frame rate drops in almost every match I’ve played, at one point the screen became blurry, and I even saw a player literally flying across the screen, although it could have just been a problem with my eyes. I completely lagged out of a few matches, which happens, but it was really frustrating. The graphics look good, but they don’t look incredible either. That doesn’t entirely bother me but it may bother some fans of the series.

Gears-of-War-4-multiplayer-beta

Another reason why the Gears 4 beta disappoints is the simple fact that it is more of the same; there’s not much new here at all. The Coalition did try to mix it up with some new gameplay mechanics and some different game modes, but the fact of the matter is Gears is still a shotgun game. The Lancer has been powered up a little, but in my opinion the shotgun needs a nerf to balance things out. It may as well be called Shotguns of War. Put your sensitivity on super high, look around like crazy, blind fire shotgun, rinse and repeat. At least that’s my experience with it. There are three game modes in the beta, two of them new, one of which is pretty interesting.

The three game modes in the Gears 4 beta are standard Team Deathmatch, Dodgeball, and Co-op Team Deathmatch with Hardcore AI. The first is your typical Gears TDM and it really is more of the same in that respect; not much else can be said about it. Dodgeball is actually a really cool concept. There are no default respawns. For someone to be able to be respawned, someone on your team has to get a kill. These matches are actually really fun because they are so hectic and so frantic. The beta has some issues, but this game mode is not one of them. The final game mode available in the Gears 4 beta is the Co-op TDM with hardcore AI. This is where a team of one-to-five players goes up agains a team of hardcore-level bots. The concept is cool, and the bots aren’t overly difficult, but unless you’re really playing with friends I can’t see this being a very popular mode. It feels like something I’d set up in Gears 3 offline to practice a bit when I started playing.

gears-of-war-4-map

The maps in the game is one place that the Gears 4 beta does not disappoint. They are all somewhat compact (medium sized I’d say), well-designed, and have some wonderful cover spots. It’s just a shame the Gears 4 beta disappoints so much and that these maps are kind of wasted on that (except for playing Dodgeball.) There are bounties you can complete in multiplayer, like get X amount of kills in a match or X amount of points, or even win a match, to gain additional XP. It’s a great way to push yourself as a player.

There is a rank up system and if you reach level 20 by the end of the beta you’ll have some cool unlocks when the game launches. I don’t know if it’s worth it, but it doesn’t take all that long considering I’m almost there.

gears-war-4

The fact of the matter is, the Gears 4 beta disappoints. It’s mired by framerate issues, glitches, server issues, and the fact that the gameplay isn’t any more balanced in terms of weaponry than the previous games; it becomes one dimensional with the shotgun. Only one truly original PvP game mode is a let down, but the one original mode they have really gets your adrenaline pumping and is fun. The bounty system, which gives you additional XP for completing, allows you to test your limits which is a nice feature for new and veteran players. The maps are well designed. The major issues are the technical problems laid out, the weapon balance, and the fact that there was truly only one new game mode; this is why the Gears 4 beta disappoints. The final product could be fantastic, and I hope it will be, but in its current state, I am a little worried for Gears of War 4, which releases in six months.

About The Author

Founder/Editor-in-Chief

Morgan Lewis is a Video Game Journalist and Founder and Editor-in-Chief of VG Culture HQ. He has been writing about games for over four years and has written over 900 articles during that timespan. He first fell in love with gaming when he received A Link to the Past for Christmas when he was six. He also loves anime and anything that has to do with gaming culture.

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  • Dirkster_Dude

    Keep in mind this is BETA code it is supposed to be buggy, glitchy, and all the bad words that can be used to describe it. They do have 6 months to fix it.

    • Morgan

      no doubt. but it feels more like it’s in alpha state. it just has me a little worried for the final product. I’m still hopeful though; remember, these are just impressions of the beta, not what the final game will be.

      • Dino_Beans

        It is in alpha state.

  • Dirkster_Dude

    Keep in mind this is BETA code it is supposed to be buggy, glitchy, and all the bad words that can be used to describe it. They do have 6 months to fix it.

    • Morgan

      no doubt. but it feels more like it’s in alpha state. it just has me a little worried for the final product. I’m still hopeful though; remember, these are just impressions of the beta, not what the final game will be.

      • Dino_Beans

        It is in alpha state.

  • drjonesjnr

    Totally agree massively disappointing especially the graphics it looks like a 360 game. And the uneven frame rate doesn’t help one bit 🙁
    Hope its much much better at release

    • KashIsKlay

      beta

      • retsrzer

        Ignore him, Drjonesjnr doesn’t own an Xbox One, he’s a notorious Playstation troll who gets owned on every thread he appears in. I’ve caught him lying and getting owned like 4 times in the past month

        • Morgan

          I’m not censoring unless there’s harassment or obvious trolling; just ignore.

          • retsrzer

            Didn’t ask you to censor anyone, I was telling KashlsKlay to be wary of troll.

          • Morgan

            It wasn’t really meant for you ?

        • KashIsKlay

          Oh yeah I know. But you would think he would get tired of it after awhile.

          • retsrzer

            He’s insecure

  • drjonesjnr

    Totally agree massively disappointing especially the graphics it looks like a 360 game. And the uneven frame rate doesn’t help one bit 🙁
    Hope its much much better at release

    • KashIsKlay

      beta

      • retsrzer

        Ignore him, Drjonesjnr doesn’t own an Xbox One, he’s a notorious Playstation troll who gets owned on every thread he appears in. I’ve caught him lying and getting owned like 4 times in the past month

        • Morgan

          I’m not censoring unless there’s harassment or language or obvious trolling; just ignore.

          • retsrzer

            Didn’t ask you to censor anyone, I was telling KashlsKlay to be wary of troll.

          • Morgan

            It wasn’t really meant for you 🙂

        • KashIsKlay

          Oh yeah I know. But you would think he would get tired of it after awhile.

          • retsrzer

            He’s insecure

  • KashIsKlay

    It’s a beta. Just like halo 5 improved upon all the issues with multiplayer by release. This is the one time I’ve heard complaints about the beta. I played it earlier. It was fun. Anyone can nitpick. Does it have issues, Yes it does but it is a beta. Seems like an attention whoring headline to say the least. Gears 4 beta is fun

  • KashIsKlay

    It’s a beta. Just like halo 5 improved upon all the issues with multiplayer by release. This is the one time I’ve heard complaints about the beta. I played it earlier. It was fun. Anyone can nitpick. Does it have issues, Yes it does but it is a beta. Seems like an attention whoring headline to say the least. Gears 4 beta is fun

  • retsrzer

    Also @lol at this article. Wut? A beta has frame rate problems? No f*cking way !!!

  • retsrzer

    Also @lol at this article. Wut? A beta has frame rate problems? No f*cking way !!!

  • Morgan

    Just a note guys, I’m still massively excited about the game. Dodgeball is an awesome mode and hopefully there’s more new stuff. These are beta impressions, not a review. Also, the maps are awesome and the bounty system is cool.

  • Morgan

    Just a note guys, I’m still massively excited about the game. Dodgeball is an awesome mode and hopefully there’s more new stuff. These are beta impressions, not a review. Also, the maps are awesome and the bounty system is cool.

  • Random guy

    Dude I’m not really into gears of war multiplayer either. But u do know this is a beta right? The whole point is for people to play test it. So saying a beta is buggy makes you sound kinda amateurish just sayin

    • Morgan

      I do but person flying across the map…honestly I’ve ever played pre-alpha that ran better. And that’s an issue IMO.

    • KamiShadow

      You do realize that beta testing means testing the game and telling them about problems, right?

  • Random guy

    Dude I’m not really into gears of war multiplayer either. But u do know this is a beta right? The whole point is for people to play test it. So saying a beta is buggy makes you sound kinda amateurish just sayin

    • Morgan

      I do but person flying across the map…honestly I’ve ever played pre-alpha that ran better. And that’s an issue IMO. But really who knows what build the devs are playing

    • KamiShadow

      You do realize that beta testing means testing the game and telling them about problems, right?

  • KamiShadow

    Being honest, I’ve played 4 or 5 beta’s in the past week or two. This is by far the most unfinished one I’ve played. It’s so clunky, hit markers are all off, gameplay is bland. It needs so much added to it, but “hardcore fans” don’t want to admit it. It’s a beta, you are supposed to tell them whats wrong so they fix it.

    • Dino_Beans

      People are telling them what’s wrong. There’s a thread on their forums of tons of posts. People are taking advantage of this beta. “Hardcore fans” dont want to admit when another game is bad, but this community doesn’t. It complains. A lot.

      • Morgan

        I hope I didn’t come off as complaining. I was just being honest. Still hopefully for the final build and I don’t think Microsoft would let The Coalition release a buggy Gears game, as that would kill the franchise. I’d rather it be delayed honestly, if it comes to it.

        • Dino_Beans

          There wasn’t a beta for gears 1,but i remember seeing a video of the making of it and before E3 the game was unrecognizable from the release result. If course, that was 10 years ago, and times change, but Microsoft is really good when it comes to I guess influencing progress in a short time. Kinda weird to say but that’s just what I’ve seen and seeing that they actually own the franchise now it shouldn’t be any different.

      • KamiShadow

        My response is in regards to people finding articles like this and then going “it’s a beta, it’s supposed to be terrible.” And you are supposed to tell them why it’s terrible. If all these articles were like “oh yeah, it’s a broken mess, but it was absolutely fantastic in every way! Fairies flew out of my eyes every time and I enjoyed my experience 100 percent!” then nothing gets fixed.

        Also the forums are split. Either you have topics of people wanting it to be exactly the same as Gears 1 (Ultimate) with no changes at all, or you have people that want a better game and a lot of changes need to be made. It’ll be interesting to see how they find a middle ground.

  • KamiShadow

    Being honest, I’ve played 4 or 5 beta’s in the past week or two. This is by far the most unfinished one I’ve played. It’s so clunky, hit markers are all off, gameplay is bland. It needs so much added to it, but “hardcore fans” don’t want to admit it. It’s a beta, you are supposed to tell them whats wrong so they fix it.

    • Dino_Beans

      People are telling them what’s wrong. There’s a thread on their forums of tons of posts. People are taking advantage of this beta. “Hardcore fans” dont want to admit when another game is bad, but this community doesn’t. It complains. A lot.

      • Morgan

        I hope I didn’t come off as complaining. I was just being honest. Still hopefully for the final build and I don’t think Microsoft would let The Coalition release a buggy Gears game, as that would kill the franchise. I’d rather it be delayed honestly, if it comes to it.

        • Dino_Beans

          There wasn’t a beta for gears 1,but i remember seeing a video of the making of it and before E3 the game was unrecognizable from the release result. If course, that was 10 years ago, and times change, but Microsoft is really good when it comes to I guess influencing progress in a short time. Kinda weird to say but that’s just what I’ve seen and seeing that they actually own the franchise now it shouldn’t be any different.

      • KamiShadow

        My response is in regards to people finding articles like this and then going “it’s a beta, it’s supposed to be terrible.” And you are supposed to tell them why it’s terrible. If all these articles were like “oh yeah, it’s a broken mess, but it was absolutely fantastic in every way! Fairies flew out of my eyes every time and I enjoyed my experience 100 percent!” then nothing gets fixed.

        Also the forums are split. Either you have topics of people wanting it to be exactly the same as Gears 1 (Ultimate) with no changes at all, or you have people that want a better game and a lot of changes need to be made. It’ll be interesting to see how they find a middle ground.

        • Dino_Beans

          Personally, I dislike UE a lot. Of course they tried to make it feel like the original, but to me it feels more clanky and stiff than even the first. I played the 4 beta and it feels like a mix of gears 2 & 3 and I love it. Obviously it’s just the beta I’m going off but if they do that, but obviously better, for the full game, I expect it to go big.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    Not trolling, but,
    Are those graphics from the Playstation 2 ?
    Because they look ugly, outdated, millions miles from photo realism. Or are the screen shots taken from a video?

    • Morgan

      I forget where those were from but they’re not watermarked so I used them. I’m going to use a capture card tonight to actually get some of my own images, I just haven’t had the time because it does require me taking a little video.

    • Dino_Beans

      There’s three reasons why it looks like that. 1.Its in an pre-alpha phase at this point, even though it’s called a beta. 2.The actually quality of the image could contribute to the shittiness. And 3. The graphics in multiplayer will be lower than campaign because this is focused on pro competition and if your graphics are too high, it’ll be hard to run 60 fps constantly.

      • Morgan

        this is all very true. great points. I didn’t have a problem with the visuals but I thought they’d be a bit better, but maybe some of the choppiness helped shape that perspective.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    Not trolling, but,
    Are those graphics from the Playstation 2 ?
    Because they look ugly, outdated, millions miles from photo realism. Or are the screen shots taken from a video?

    • Morgan

      I forget where those were from but they’re not watermarked so I used them. I’m going to use a capture card tonight to actually get some of my own images, I just haven’t had the time because it does require me taking a little video.

    • Dino_Beans

      There’s three reasons why it looks like that. 1.Its in an pre-alpha phase at this point, even though it’s called a beta. 2.The actually quality of the image could contribute to the shittiness. And 3. The graphics in multiplayer will be lower than campaign because this is focused on pro competition and if your graphics are too high, it’ll be hard to run 60 fps constantly.

      • Morgan

        this is all very true. great points. I didn’t have a problem with the visuals but I thought they’d be a bit better, but maybe some of the choppiness helped shape that perspective.

        • Dino_Beans

          Have you seen how the visuals are now? Just wondering if that’s what you’d thought they should look like in finished product.