Updated on 06-16-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Added details of a PC release.
To many people, Gears of War was one of the original defining experiences of the Xbox 360. As the series went on, it began to feel like more of the same, but there is a still a special place in many gamers’ hearts for the first game. Both fans of the series and those who have never played it will soon get to play Gears of War in higher definition and at 60 frames per second, as it is the latest game to be remastered for both PC and a modern console — the Xbox One, in this case.
At the Xbox press event before E3, Microsoft confirmed the release of the remastered Gears of War collection, which is called Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. The collection, a project by newly minted development house The Coalition, will hit shelves on August 25th of this year, with Gears of War 4 some time after it. And at E3’s inaugural PC Gaming Show, Coalition Studio Head Rod Fergusson announced a PC version scheduled to hit later this year.
After the release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, many wondered whether a similar collection featuring the Gears of War games would see release, especially since Microsoft acquired the series in 2014. Fergusson, then of Black Tusk Studios, initially denied the rumors.
“I love the passion, but there’s no Marcus Fenix Collection,” Fergusson tweeted in March, “We ARE working on other exciting Gears projects. I’ll see you at E3.”
The re-release includes a visual upgrade as well and new cut scenes from animation studio Plastic Wax, plus 90 minutes of new campaign previously exclusive to the original PC game and elements from later entries in the Gears of War franchise. In addition, it’ll sport “streamlined gameplay” with “more fluid movements,” alternate control schemes, and improved sensitivity.
The increased power of the PC will allow for a few visual goodies not found on Xbox One, Fergusson said. Ultimate Edition will support resolutions up to 4K, for one, but also sport an unlimited refresh rate and take advantage of the newest version of Microsoft’s DirectX framework for games, DirectX 12. It’ll play nicely with a host of inputs, too — custom joysticks, wired and wireless Xbox controllers, and even the recently unveiled Xbox One Elite controller.
But both platforms will benefit from new content. Multiplayer on dedicated servers features a variety of game modes, several of which are new: Team Fight, King of the Hill (which the leaked materials describe as “in the style of Gears of War 3“) and a 2v2 Destruction type called Gnasherom.
Gears of War will pack plenty of unlockable goodies, too. It’ll ship with gallery sketches, comics, 19 cards (“including downloadable content and exclusive cards from the PC version”), new achievements (1250 points’ worth), and 17 characters of the Gears of War 3 multiplayer games.
The Xbox One version is available for pre-order now. Fergusson didn’t offer a release date for the PC edition.