A decade ago, Gears of War became the killer app for the Xbox 360. The cover-based combat, the healing factor, and above all the squads combined in a mix of rail-shooter and multiplayer that was, frankly, brilliant. And Microsoft is hoping that Gears of War will bring fans back into the fold with Gears of War 4, an updating of the franchise, at least in theory, to the point where they’re hoping to bring back fans with a custom Xbox One.
We’re departing from our usual structure here because we weren’t just sent the game to review. Microsoft, in fact, sent us the custom bundle that’s in stores, tempting gamers. But is it worth the money?
Ten years ago, Gears arrived when I was two years out of college. I was flat broke, my relationship was inching towards the toilet, and I owned a GameCube on the verge of being forced out of commission. So I spent a lot of time over at the house of gamer friends playing Gears, and I admit I was jealous of their Xbox 360s, just a bit.
Now, as a married man, when I pulled the console out of the box, my wife muttered “All-black electronics, is that too much to ask?” I’d imagine I’m not the only husband hurriedly explaining that it’ll fit behind the TV, no problem, either.
Yes, those are claw marks and they are, in fact, textured into the console and controller. They even tuck the COG logo on the back of both. It’s really neat, if, perhaps, a bit unnecessary. That said, the bundle, while not the best Xbox One deal, is an excellent bargain. You get the 2TB Xbox One S and a wireless controller, and the full edition of Gears of War 4, plus a free two weeks of Xbox Live, and some in-game goodies. Considering the ultimate edition of the game and the console separately alone are $500, $450 is a pretty good deal, especially if you’re jumping into the current generation of consoles for the first time. But what about the game? Is it worth trading up, or adding a second console?