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Report: Gears of War 4 picks up 25 years after the last game

Some basic details about the story of Gears of War 4 were released in a report from Game Informer Tuesday, in advance of a major feature on the game in its April, 2016, issue.

According to the report, Gears of War 4 picks up 25 years after the conclusion of Gears of War 3, and will feature a “largely new” cast. The game’s story will revolve around JD Fenix, son of the series original protagonist, Marcus Fenix. According to the report, the younger Fenix joined the COG army in his youth, but goes his own way after a “classified incident” that will be revealed during the game. Spartacus star Liam McIntyre will serve as the voice of JD Fenix.

Fenix will reportedly fight with two other — presumably playable — characters. Del Walker, Fenix’ childhood friend who both joins and runs away from the COG army with him, will be voiced by Eugene Byrd, who has played recurring characters on shows such as Bones and Arrow. Kait Diaz, played by veteran game voice actress Laura Bailey, is from a group of Outsiders — survivalists who live independently and without the protection of the COG army — but becomes friends with Fenix.

The report also suggested that the game will feature a gameplay mechanic involving windstorms, which will “radically change the field of battle.”

Related: Meanwhile, the original creator of the Gears franchise is working on a new game.

Rod Fergusson, producer of Gears of War 4 developer The Coalition, and Xbox marketing chief Aaron Greenberg primed the pump for Gears of War 4 hype last week; Fergusson tweeted that Greenberg had recently seen the game, prompting Greenberg to reply that his “mind was blown.”

Gears of War 4 will come to Xbox One (and possibly Windows 10) in Fall 2016. Players who opened Gears of War: Ultimate Edition before March 1 will have access to the game’s as-yet-unscheduled pre-release beta.