Gears of War 4‘s gameplay debut at last year’s Xbox E3 event showcased a spooky atmosphere and some dazzling visuals, but it lacked the action we’ve come to expect from the franchise. Microsoft’s E3 2016 presentation changed that, delivering a hectic, mesmerizing look at the cooperative campaign — and if you buy it digitally on Xbox One, you can play it on Windows 10 for free.
What was originally a one-off promotion for April’s Quantum Break, offering a free copy of the game on PC to anyone who purchased it digitally on console, “Xbox Play Anywhere” further blurs the line between the Xbox One and Windows 10. Purchasing a digital copy of Gears of War 4 not only nets you the game on Windows 10, but supports cross-play support for all cooperative modes, including Horde 3.0. Killer Instinct: Season 3 will also be a part of the program, just a few months after the game launched on PC. A new Xbox One Elite controller, branded with Gears coloring and scratch marks, was also revealed.
Taking place during a massive windstorm, complete with bolts of lightning and a tornado, the Gears of War 4 demonstration had JD Fenix and his squad encounter an overwhelming Locus Horde force, who charge forward only to be gunned down by a few well-placed shots as well as an improvised technique utilizing malfunctioning explosives. Fenix also makes use of the new Buzzkill weapons, firing spinning saws at enemies to not only cut them in half, but destroy their cover. As Locust soldiers go down, they’re carried away by the wind storm.
“Out of the storm and into the swarm,” JD Fenix said.
JD won’t be the only Fenix appearing in the game. The final shot of the demonstration shows a much-older Marcus, who utters “welcome home, James,” from his chair. Just how pivotal his role will be remains to be seen, but given the father-son relationship shown in the original trilogy, it wouldn’t be a surprise. if Marcus remains a major character.
Gears of War 4 hits Xbox One and PC this October.