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A Look at the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition Beta

The Gears of War Ultimate Edition was an idea that had been talked about after 343 released the Halo Master Chief Collection. At E3 that dream was realized when the Coalition, the team that has been working on Gears of War 4 since Epic sold the franchise to Microsoft, announced that Gears of War Ultimate Edition would be released on August 25th for Xbox One. Unlike the Master Chief Collection however, its Gears of War equivalent will only be a remake of the first Gears game.


The Coalition also released a beta code for the Ultimate Edition that was redeemable during E3. So obviously, the crew at TekBotic downloaded it to check it out. The first thing I noticed was the lack of a party system, which meant that in order to get into a game with friends you had to synchronize search, which can be extremely time consuming. The Coalition promises a party system will be supported in the full game however. After 30 minutes of trying to get into a game with the rest of the crew at TekBotic, it finally works. The first map we play is Gridlock and immediately the nostalgia of coming home after class in high school and hopping on Gears of War with my buddies hits me.


Gridlock, Canals, and the other maps included in the beta had all been reduxed so you didn’t feel like you were playing an old Xbox 360 game, much like what 343 did with their Halo: Anniversary in the Master Chief Collection. The same old gore and guts were there as my first encounter resulted in me getting sawed in half by the infamous Lancer. However, the lack of the party system, off which the original Gears game was based, meant that the beta was played off dedicated servers. This also meant that the classic shotgun battles could never end with someone complaining about ‘Host Shotgun’.


The beta was not without its' glitches. There were a few times when I would get dropped from the game and booted back to the Xbox One home screen for no apparent reason. In addition to this, the game designers decided to turn off active reloads 2 days into the beta, destroying one of the core aspects of combat in Gears of War. I doubt that active reloads will be entirely taken out and the home screen bug is probably just beta pains, so these problems most likely won’t be seen in the final version of the game. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on the game and relive the glory days.

Beta Stats 

"Over the course of the eight-day beta, 786,415 unique players played just under 1.1 million total matches, adding up to 120 years' worth of playtime. Curb stomps were more commonplace than kills with the Lancer's chainsaw, but not by much--there were 1.725 million curb stomps to 1.645 million chainsaw kills. Frag tags, which I've always found to be among the most embarrassing and frustrating way to die in Gears, were performed 145,580 times." 



Beta Recap and Incoming Improvements 

The Coalition announced, via, the upcoming game changes based on fan feedback from the beta:


Thanks to your feedback, the development team at The Coalition will implement the following fixes and improvements. Please note that this is just a summary, not an exhaustive list

  • Multiple fixes and tuning for the Gnasher Shotgun
  • Multiple fixes for Frag Grenades, Boomshot, and Torque Bow
  • Tuning for footstep audio and other sounds around a player
  • King of the Hill improvements, including ability for The Coalition to adjust more settings for competitive play
  • Removed active down from Active Reloaded Longshot sniper rifle and added/tuned active bonus for sniper bloom/aim
  • Bug fixes and tuning for skill-based matchmaking
  • Tuned red/blue colours for team shaders (Locust/COG)
  • Improved look of blood and gore in gameplay
  • Improved game performance to reduce screen tearing
  • Bug fixes and tuning for Controller Sensitivity Settings
  • Various bug fixes on maps, weapons, matchmaking, audio, and controls

 We want you to know that we take your feedback seriously and we are looking forward to you trying out these new changes in August when the retail game launches. As always, we want to hear your feedback -- join us on our Forums, Twitter,Facebook, Twitch, or YouTube.


Though the developers have stated that this is not a complete list of all the final game changes. The remake of Gears 1 the 2006 shooter with Dolby 7.1 Surround and runs at 60 frames per second. The campaign includes the 90 minutes of extra gameplay that debuted with the PC version. Players can unlock 1,250 Gamerscore points' worth of new Achievements along with comics. The development team also included a gallery of concept art from GoW's development. Source


Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will launch August 25 (August 28 in some markets) and you can look forward to all 19 maps (plus special community map “Boxes”), all the original game modes in Gears of War, plus Team Deathmatch and King of the Hill, split-screen support, party support, LAN support, private matches on dedicated servers, two spectator slots in private and LAN matches (does not take up player slots), and 17 additional playable multiplayer characters unlocked with level progression in Versus.

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