When gamers think of the Gears of War franchise, a number of aspects of the series immediately spring to mind. From the gruesome violence against the alien locust, the grim, grey-and-brown aesthetic of the graphics and a story full of amazing set pieces, the Gears of War series brought the video game community a number of memorable moments. For many players, a huge factor in Gears of War’s success was the chance to complete the main campaign using 2 player co-op.
Fans of co-op gaming can now rejoice, as developer The Coalition has announced that Gears of War 4 is going to return to the series staple of 2 player co-operative play. The news was revealed by Rod Fergusson from The Coalition during an interview with IGN. Fergusson revealed that the developer was “going back to co-op,” noting that “the two of you sharing that experience” would be a major factor in Gears of War 4.
The announcement of 2 player co-op is bound to be a relief for those who enjoyed the original titles in the Gears of War series. Although the original games in the franchise had co-operative campaigns, many were worried that Gears of War would go down the route of many other game series in dropping a co-operative element. Thankfully, The Coalition does not have that on the agenda just yet.
The Coalition’s decision to bring co-op gameplay back flies a little in the face of modern gaming trends. Although Nintendo has continued making co-op an important part of its gaming strategy, the same cannot be said for other developers. Most famously, the announcement that Halo 5 would not include local split-screen co-op in its campaign was met with raised eyebrows, whilst Ubisoft has seemingly dropped Assassin’s Creed co-operative play after the botched attempt of Assassin’s Creed Unity.
The news came as part of a larger discussion on the role of the Gears of War franchise’s history and the effect it had on the development of Gears of War 4. Fergusson notes that although Gears of War 4 aims to innovate, the aim is also to be respectful to the original game in particular. “I’d rather lead by being true to what makes Gears Gears,” explained Fergusson.
Fergusson continued to state that Gears of War 4 would try to emulate the first Gears of War through its done, as well as gameplay modes. “We’re going back to something personal, intimate, dark, and mysterious, being afraid of the boogeyman,” said Fergusson – a thematic shift that was certainly visible in the title’s E3 2015 trailer. Whether this creative decision will be fully realised in the final game remains to be seen, but The Coalition will certainly be happy to receive even a fraction of the critical and commercial success that the original Gears of War accrued.