Gears of War is one of the best-selling franchises in Xbox history, so it's no surprise gamers are anticipating the latest installment, Gears of War 4, due to be released on Oct. 11. It's been three years since the last title, Gears of War: Judgment, was released. And Judgment was actually a prequel, meaning Microsoft's new adventure is the first continuation of the main story line since 2011's Gears of War 3.
Here's everything we know so far.
Setting: Gears of War 4 picks up 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3 on the familiar planet of Sera. The Imulsion weapon that was activated at the end of Gears of War 3 ended up destroying humanity's ability to harvest fossil fuels, thus endangering mankind and forcing survivors to adapt new methods of survival.
In addition to a lack of resources, the Imulsion "countermeasure" also had an impact on Sera's climate. It gave rise to a number of powerful windstorms that led to the Coalition of Ordered Governments ordering the construction of walled-off cities to protect the remaining humans left on the planet. Even then, new threats are on the horizon for humanity, and it's up to few key players to stop it.
Characters: Gears of War 4 has a cast of three main characters. The protagonist goes by the name of JD Fenix, the son of famed war hero Marcus Fenix. According to Game Informer, JD is "an idealist who ran away from home at a young age to join the the COG militia only to go AWOL after a classified incident that players will learn more about during the game."
JD is joined by Kait Diaz, a "capable survivalist who forms a quick friendship with JD," and Delmont "Del" Walker, an orphaned friend of JD from boarding school. Together, the trio will face a new enemy called "The Swarm."
Gameplay: Gears of War 4 will retain many elements of the franchise, such the cover system, and introduce new battle techniques like the Combat Knife, which can be used for melee attacking. There will also be new weapons, which Game Rant reported some details on. As mentioned, the environment will directly affect gameplay, as changing weather ("Windflares") can have a hazardous impact on your team.
Multiplayer will be emphasized more in Gears of War 4 than in previous titles to appease e-sports players. The game will also feature split-screen couch co-op, which is perfect for casual gamers and friends.
Gears of War 4 arrives on Xbox One and Windows PC on Oct. 11.