Gears of War 4 is changing up some established points of the franchise, including new playable characters and an overhauled multiplayer mode. There are also some new enemies coming, and a handful of new weapons that the protagonists can use against them.
Game Informer got an early look at the new enemies of Gears of War 4. Although the Locust faction is gone, the Swarm looks just as vicious as their predecessors. Drones come in four varieties: Imago, Grenadier, Sniper, and Hunter. They’re intelligent enemies that will use team tactics to flank and pin down the smaller two-person teams in Gears 4.
Juvies are quick melee attackers that have more abilities than the Wretches of past Gears games. They hatch out of pods in the battlefield, which you can occasionally avoid opening. But some Juvies can scream loud enough to pop every pod on the screen, unleashing a small army of enemies.
Finally, the Pouncer is a four-legged beast that can pin down close players with a pounce attack, or whip sharp quills from a distance as projectiles.
To deal with these new enemies, the protagonists will get some new weapons to test out. The Dropshot is shoots an aerial bomb that will fall into the ground and explode, taking out the enemies around it. This bomb can also be dropped directly onto enemies, drilling into their head before exploding. It’s meant to be difficult to control, but rewarding when mastered.
The Buzzkill launches buzzsaws rapidly at enemies. The saws will ricochet off walls and clear small areas quickly. They can also ricochet right back at you and cause damage, so it will take some practice to master this gun. It’s basically Super Meat Boy’s worst nightmare.
Even older weapons have been redesigned, but without major changes to how they function. The classic chainsaw/machine gun Lancer has a flashlight equipped, which is mostly for Gears 4’s darker, survival-horror inspired sections. The developers added a shell rail to the Gnasher shotgun simply because it looks cool. Not every change has to be for practical reasons.
Gears of War 4 is coming to Xbox One in late 2016. If you want to try the game out before then, a beta test begins April 18.