For a long time, Master Chief and the Halo franchise reigned supreme as the face of Xbox but there was one other series of games that burst onto the Xbox 360 to stake its claim as the flagship franchise with their own brand of butt-kicking alien action. I’m talking about none other than Marcus Fenix and the boys from Gears of War.
Playing the original Gears of War is one of my fondest memories from the heyday of the Xbox 360 and it became an instant classic to me and all my friends that could convince me to share the disc. I jumped at the opportunity to relive those memories again with the Ultimate Edition and see if it’s still good in 2021.
I thoroughly enjoyed that trip down memory lane and you can read all about it in my full review. It was total nostalgia overload and, long time fans of the series, I would highly recommend you take a look back at the game that started it all. After all, these games were always designed to be played more than once.
And, if you’re new to the franchise and itching to give this game a try, then I’ve got just what you need. Now that I’ve repeated the main campaign once again, I’ve picked up a ton of more tips & tricks to make sure you’re ready for the first time you step into Marcus’ shoes and take on the Locust Horde. So, without further ado, here’s how to beat Gears of War: Ulitmate Edition.
HOW TO BEAT
GEARS OF WAR: ULTIMATE EDITION
Put Your Skills To The Test
When Gears of War was first released, there were only three difficulty settings that you could choose from, the easier casual mode, the more challenging Hardcore mode, and the much tougher Insane mode that could be unlocked once you’ve beaten the game, which gave you great incentive to play it again.
This time, however, all three of those modes are unlocked right at the start, including Normal mode which serves as a bridge between Hardcore and Casual. In my opinion, you should be playing this game using the most difficult setting that you can stand up against because, in reality, that’s how I believe this game was meant to be played.
If you’ve ever played a round of paintball or airsoft, then you’ll know what it’s like to take cover behind obstacles as you maneuver around the battlefield and the intense feeling you get when you’re waiting for the opportune moment to peek out from cover and take your shot.
I think that that’s the feeling they were trying to recreate with his game. You’re supposed to feel like crouching behind some cover is essential to your survival, you’re supposed to feel like every move is calculated and tactical while also being action-packed and filled with challenges. For me, that’s the way to get the most rewarding experience from the gameplay on offer.
Ayo, shoutout to this random dude that joined my Gears of War lobby. Homie was even helping me find all the collectibles like what a g 😎 #GearsofWar #UltimateEdition #Xbox #XboxGamePass pic.twitter.com/LVn8z1WqLo
— Stevius Maximus (@SteviusM) December 30, 2020
Bring A Friend
The major difference between my first playthrough of this game all those years ago and my playthrough this year was the fact that I did the entire campaign in single-player the first time around. Trust me when I say that it’s an entirely different experience playing this game with an actual human being instead of relying on the bots to have your back.
I mean, you do have commands you can give them once you progress far enough in the story for Marcus to become the team leader, but I’d much rather have a confident player on controller watching my back. You end up using better strategies and each encounter can be handled in a unique since you can co-ordinate your attacks a lot better.
Not to mention the fact that there are several branching paths that you’ll encounter along the way. Players will have to decide whos going left and whos going right, and each path is completely unique to the other. You’ll encounter different enemies, activate different mechanisms, and help unblock paths so that the other player can progress on the route they’ve taken.
And don’t worry if you don’t have any friends IRL that can join you on your playthrough. There are still many players active online that are more than ready to join your game if you host a co-op campaign. I had players joining my lobby almost instantly and didn’t take long to get in on that sweet sweet co-op action.
“You Chainsaw Me? I Chainsaw You!”
If I had to make a list of some of the most iconic weapons in video game history, I’d have the Lancer Assualt rifle high up there with some of the greats and that’s for one simple reason, the Chainsaw Bayonet. Forget attaching a knife, forget attaching a grenade launcher, the chainsaw bayonet is the ultimate add-on to any assault rifle in my book.
As fun as it might be, I found myself using it a lot less on higher difficulties since the A.I. was a lot less willing to stand still while I ran up to them like a madman, revving my chainsaw like I’m about to re-enact a scene from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The Locust melee hits pack more than a significant punch and can stop you dead in your tracks.
Not to mention the fact that the Locust horde isn’t content to stick to their main brand of weaponry and are more than capable of scavenging a Lancer Assault Rifle from a fallen COG soldier. So, does that mean that they can turn the chainsaw on you and grind you to a pulp as well? You damn right, it does!
It may come as a shock the first time that it happens but the Locust grunts are very much able to use the chainsaw bayonet as well. And, if you both try to use the chainsaw at the same time, it’s up to good old RNG to see who wins the coin toss. So beware, this fantastic weapon can be your greatest friend and foe at the same time.
— Stevius Maximus (@SteviusM) December 30, 2020
Don’t Stress About The Story
It goes without saying, I play a lot of games to get immersed in a compelling narrative and engage thoroughly with the world that’s being presented to me. That’s why I stick to mostly single-player, campaign-focused titles. So it might surprise you when I say that this game is sorely lacking that department.
Like seriously, it’s one of the blandest, most uninteresting plots I’ve ever played but that’s okay. My goggles may be soaked in nostalgia and completely bias in this regard but to me, that’s just not what this first game was about. I mean, It reads like a story that was thought up at the last moment, and it shows, but I feel like this time I can push that aside.
Back when this game was first released, the thing that appealed the most to everybody that played it was the gameplay itself. The expertly crafted cover system was revolutionary for its time and that’s what this entire game was built around, not the story. They were focused on the minute-to-minute action and that was enough to get me through this campaign the first time.
That’s why the Ultimate Edition appeals mostly to those that have already played it before. The later sequels pick up the slack in terms of story and you won’t miss out on much in that regard if you’re new to the franchise and don’t end up playing this game as your first. This one is all pure nostalgia.
While it may not be the best Gears of War for newcomers to the franchise, there’s a lot to be enjoyed especially if you’re a long-time fan of the series and you’re looking for an HD trip down memory lane. Hopefully, these tips are enough to make sure your first playthrough of Gears of war is as challenging as it is entertaining.
Have you played Gears of War Ultimate Edition? What are some tips and tricks that you have learned? Let me know in the comments section below.