Microsoft announced that the next entry in its Gears of War third-person shooter series will launch exclusively for the Xbox One on October 11th, and players can get an early taste of the action with a multiplayer beta dropping later this month.
Gears of War 4 is the first mainline series entry developed by The Coalition, a Microsoft-owned studio that previously produced a remastered version of the original Gears of War for the Xbox One and PCs. Microsoft acquired the Gears of War franchise from creator Epic Games in 2014.
Taking place 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3, the upcoming sequel introduces a new cast of playable characters, including JD Fenix, son of former series star Marcus Fenix. The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson reflected on the challenges involved in producing a new entry in a long-running series as part of an interview with Entertainment Weekly published earlier today.
“We couldn’t harken back to the past,” Fergusson said. “We couldn’t go to places that were familiar, we couldn’t use things, like weapons, that were familiar. Everything would be new. We just felt like the idea of a new cast and a new enemy and a new setting, all of it together was going to be almost too much new. We didn’t have that grounding to what made Gears, Gears.”
Fergusson added: “At the end of the day, we decided, well, why don’t we just advance time and allow ourselves to create a new cast through creating the next generation of hero by having JD Fenix being Marcus’ son and sort of taking up 25 years later.”
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition players will be the first in line to experience the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta when it launches exclusively for the Xbox One on April 18th. An open beta for all Xbox Live Gold subscribers will be available from April 25th through May 1st.
To be eligible for early access to Gears of War 4‘s multiplayer beta, users must log in to Xbox Live and play either the Xbox One or PC versions of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition by 11:00PM PDT on April 11th.