5 Ways To Live Longer In Gears of War 4
The Coalition’s servers were flooded early last week as thousands of fans jumped into their first matches of the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta, leaving a bloody heap of chainsawed corpses in their wake. Fan feedback has been quite positive, illustrated by the community’s incessant body count. Tomorrow, April 25th, the newly-formed studio will open their gates and invite anyone with an Xbox Live Gold subscription to participate in the Gears of War 4 beta.
Traditionally, Gears of War’s multiplayer can be frustrating for newcomers; so here are five ways to live longer during your time with the game:
Gnash is King: Rule Number One of Gears of War multiplayer: Don’t bring a Lancer to a Gnasher fight. This is the most common mistake I see new players make, and it’s not even their fault! Gears of War’s single player campaigns have continually bred players into believing that the Lancer – a Frankenstein-like rifle-plus-chainsaw weapon – is the solution to every problem thrown their way. When not in possession of a power weapon, most players default to the Lancer. It’s powerful. It’s consistent. It’s cool (see: chainsaw-gun). However, there is a vast difference between the game’s single player and multiplayer modes.
In Gears of War multiplayer, the Gnasher shotgun rules the land. It’s only natural, as the series’ multiplayer maps are usually smaller in scope, with a heavy focus on choke points centered around various power weapons. When confined to small spaces, the Lancer is no match against the Gnasher’s potential one-shot-kill. That’s not to say there isn’t place for the Lancer, as it’s an amazing support weapon than can really ruin someone’s day. There is nothing more frustrating than trying to fight a Gnasher user who has a Lancer supporting them from behind. Gears of War 4 gives players a ton of tools to use. Once you learn when and where to use them, you’ll instantly set yourself apart from the competition.
Use Protection: Gears of War has always been a cover-based shooter, and the newest game doesn’t change that one bit. While you’re running around the map you’ll need to scope out the perfect piece of cover, because things can go south in a heartbeat. If you aren’t protected by cover in a fight, odds are you’ll die first. That being said, “using cover” doesn’t necessarily mean bunkering down behind a pile of sandbags while you blindly spray bullets across the battlefield. When you do that, the only real good you’re doing is for the enemy team, who now knows your exact location. In most cases, the best way to cover yourself from incoming fire is by standing next to a wall or column as you poke the end of your rifle out.
Less is More: Besides its absolutely gorgeous graphics, the Gears franchise has always been known for its brutal executions. Everyone remembers the day that Cliff Bleszinski showed Gears of War to the world for the first time. We lost our minds as he chainsawed the Locust scum into bits and pieces. It was bloody. It was gross. It was revolutionary.
Flash-forward to today and the series has adopted dozens of different ways to execute a foe. Watch most casual Gears of War players and you’ll notice their perpetual need to use the flashy – but quite fun – execution animations. Unfortunately, this is a quick way to get killed. When performing these lengthy executions on enemies who are down-but-not-out, you are leaving yourself wide open to be splattered by a member of the opposite team. If you can’t seem to overcome your chainsaw addiction then don’t feel bad, because even I can’t help myself sometimes.
Be Prepared: Back in 2006, Gears of War introduced the Active Reload, a mechanic designed to allow players quicker weapon reloads by tapping a button at a specific time during the normal reload process. If players managed to time their reload perfectly, they were also rewarded with increased damage. In the original trilogy, seasoned Gears players learned to unload and then reload their weapon’s magazine just before a fight, thus maximizing their damage output. This strategy, known as “Pre-Activing,” will play a prominent role in Gears of War 4. However, things are a bit different this time around, and the Pre-Active can now be triggered without unloading any ammo from your gun’s magazine.
Its important to know the effects this special reload will have on your equipped weapon. As previously stated, you will typically be rewarded with increased damage, but in some cases – like with the new Dropshot – the reload will grant greater range and control to your gun. Learning to use this mechanic will instantly increase your chances of surviving that chaotic 2-on-1 Gnasher fight. Remember, even the best Gears of War player can be beaten by a bit of knowledge and strategic preparation.
Bring a Friend: Michael Jordan couldn’t win without his team, and neither can you. What’s the number one way to die in Gears of War, besides trying to chainsaw someone as they pump an innumerable sum of bullets into your skull? Leaving your team behind. If you leave your team in the dust, you will become dust. If you play as a team, you will survive. If you survive, you win.
So that’s it. There’s everything I have to offer to a new Gears player. Regardless of whether or not you use these tips, don’t forget to have fun. That’s why we play video games, after all.
Craving more Gears of War 4? Listen to Episode 20 of our weekly podcast, right here.