24 Aug 2015
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Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is the best remaster

By Damian Seeto

When it comes to remastered games, some of them look too similar for you to notice any big differences. This isn’t the case for Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. It could be the best looking remaster in recent memory. While I was downloading Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, I fired up the original 2006 version on my Xbox 360. As I played the original, I loved the visuals and felt they still looked decent. I ended up playing most of the game since it took hours for the Ultimate Edition to finish. Straight after playing the 2006 version, I booted up Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on the Xbox One. My eyes were stunned by how different the game now looks. It almost looks like they made an entirely different game. The original game looked awesome back in 2006, although it looks kind of rough by today’s standards. The graphics look faded and washed out in some places. Not to mention some textures fail to load at times and some of the environments have jagged edges and more. Everything has been improved in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. The graphics look silky smooth and the colors are now vivid and bright. This game still looks beautiful even though the settings are all in dark places. The character models have also been upgraded and it’s almost like you are watching CG animated movie at times. I was surprised by the quality of the graphics and how they made the original game look so outdated in comparison. A funny example I can give in terms of the visual differences is when a rat gets stepped on by one of the Locust soldiers. In the original game, the rat was grey and not very detailed. When he gets squashed, all you can see is a red mess. In the Ultimate Edition, the rat is now brown and you can see its fur. Not to mention when he gets squashed, you can see the bones in the remains. In terms of gameplay, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is still as fun as ever. The original game pioneered the third-person shooter genre by adding the cover mechanic. Lots of games now have tried to copy this feature, but I still feel the Gears of War games still do it the best. The game’s cover mechanic is great because the characters don’t feel stiff when they are hiding. They can move around and so swat-like maneuvers to change from cover to cover. In other games it feels stiff and it breaks the flow of the game. Gears of War allows you to move more freely and it makes the gameplay fast and fun. I also like how the A.I. is smart and tries its best to hide in cover too. The Locust soldiers try and flank you whenever they can and they are also good at aiming too. It’s been several years since I played the game and I died several times. The enemies are not dumb and bad at aiming like in most other video games. As much as I love the gameplay, not much has changed since the first game came out. Even though the graphics are now 1080p, the single player campaign is still 30fps. This is not a bad thing, but some people might not like it. The multiplayer mode is 60fps and you will notice the difference right away. Speaking of multiplayer, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will keep you occupied for hours on end after you have finished the single player campaign. Not to mention the game still has split-screen and LAN support too.  Split-screen multiplayer is still a favourite of mine because I can play games with my brothers. It’s not as fun playing online with strangers since my friends don’t own all the games I play. In terms of new features aside from the excellent graphics, there is a ton of content available here that wasn’t included in the original game. The game includes five unreleased chapters and several new maps in the multiplayer mode. Even if you still have the old game, there is still more than enough new content for you to experience in the Ultimate Edition. It goes without saying that Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is one of the best remasters ever made. Not only is the gameplay still great, but the visuals are simply stunning and there’s enough new content for fans to play through the game again. This is a must-have for every Xbox One owner. Verdict: 9.0/10

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