Microsoft has denied the existence of a Gears of War remaster since speculation started to ramp up on the title. Microsoft has become the first victim of the big three to spoilers revealing their plans ahead of their E3 briefing on June 15. One surprise that fans had an inkling of was a Gears of War return to Xbox. The Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is indeed a real thing, thanks to the reveal seen through a plethora of gifs showcasing gameplay captured from the Xbox One littered all over the internet. The leak last night is a pretty solid confirmation that we’ll be seeing Marcus Fenix and company at this year’s E3 on Xbox One.
However what is interesting is the developing of this remaster is still unknown. Black Tusk Studios was assigned to the franchise in their acquisition with Microsoft last year, but it was believed or hoped that they would be bringing a new entry in the franchise. It’s possible that they have two teams working on both projects due to the next entry in the Gears of War franchise needing more time. So to tide over fans longing to shred apart locusts, the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will most likely ship this fall some time before Halo 5: Guardians.
Here’s what I think they can do to improve the first entry in the critically acclaimed Microsoft exclusive.
Giving Gears of War an Unreal Engine 4 facelift
This one is the most evident when looking at the previously unveiled Xbox one footage. The graphics have been slightly upgraded but what’s worth noting is the leaked footage is two months old. There’s a chance the game has seen some significant upgrades since then. Looking at what 343 has done with the Halo: Master Chief Collection, it’s possible we could have a button prompt that would allow players to gage the difference between the 360 original and Xbox One gameplay live. Unreal Engine 3 was undergoing a series of upgrades following the release of the first Gears of War, that’s why as the series went along, the games looked moderately better each time. The shift to the Unreal Engine 4 may not be fully realized in this entry but its engine can revamp a lot of assets found in the previous games on Unreal Engine 3.
A lot of the newer games have struggled to reach 60 frames per second (FPS) in 900 pixel resolution on the Xbox platform. With it being a remaster and all, it’ll be easier to port over the game and make the game sing and run better than it ever did on Xbox 360. Although the game is a tight cover based shooter, an improved frame rate would give the game a level of polish that fans expect from remasters.
Include horde mode
A mode that has been constantly replicated across the shooter genre is “Horde mode” under different names. Epic Games was the first on this trend but ironically enough it wasn’t in their first entry of Gears of War. The mode first appeared in Gears of War 2 and it’s been love at first sight for a lot of gamers. Fans have lost hours to the addictive mode just shooting down endless waves of locusts. They could include this mode now in the remaster collection and add something new to place their imprint on the game. This is now a mode people can’t imagine not seeing from a Gears game.
Build upon multiplayer
Some believe Gears of War was the most balanced multiplayer experience in the series. Gamers have taken to forums about the sequels to complain about how the shotgun or other various weapons needed to be nerfed to make the online experience more pleasant. If the developers can keep the memory of Gears of War intact but at the same time improve the matchmaking experience and other subtle updates to the Multiplayer they’ll win over gamers quite easily.
Just giving the game incremental upgrades with a few surprises will entice gamers to get back into high octane battlefield. The wait for a new entry might be a year out so seeing Gears return to Xbox this year will please a lot of gamers.
It would seem fans of any game are all used to developers shipping previous entries in franchises they’re particularly interested in at a higher framerate and slightly altered aesthetic. I don’t think this announcement would bring the house down and have fans screaming for joy at E3 even if it wasn’t leaked because gamers have realized developer’s traits to cash-in on their previous games. But truthfully gamers will always be inclined to pick up these remasters because newer is always better.
The title ‘Ultimate Edition’ could imply this will be a part of another remaster collection of the entire Gears of War series on Xbox 360, remade with higher resolution textures thanks to Unreal Engine 4 on Xbox One. That’s a possibility or we could just see the first game get a facelift. But fans online are hoping they can their hands on another collection this fall. Hopefully this one won’t be met with the same fate as their last attempt with the Halo: Master Chief Collection.
What do you think about Gears of War heading to Xbox One? Do you hope Microsoft is planning another remastered collection? Let us know in the comments below.