Good ol’ Delta squad from the previous Gears of War titles are long past the days of being on the front line when it comes to Gears of War 4. After all, the title is set 25 years after the events of Gears 3 which saw Delta squad put an end to the Locust threat once and for all.
With Delta off the front line we need a new hero and bunch of lovable comrades to accompany them on their adventure, and who better to headline this new team than the son of Delta’s own Marcus Fenix.
Yep, JD Fenix certainly has some big shoes to fill when it comes to fulfilling the role of his dad. Though he won’t be in the exact same role as he and the rest of his team operate outside of COG Command, the premise is still the same: JD and Co. will take on the latest threat to humanity all the while shouting, swearing, and cracking jokes. Of course, being the son of the legendary Marcus Fenix, the first question people are going to ask when it comes to JD is just how does he stack up to his father?
In short, pretty well, albeit in a completely different fashion. Marcus Fenix was all about mountains of muscle packed onto his bulky frame and essentially being the stereotypical definition of man. He shouted and swore as he hacked his way through the Locust masses and his team was like his family. Despite this, we seldom saw a range of emotions from Marcus. Instead, he largely fell into the categories of sarcastic, angry, and really pissed off. Even with this incredibly tough shell, Marcus and the rest of Delta squad were lovable and their drawbacks could be overlooked when put into context with the situation they were in.
Then you’ve got JD Fenix. Marcus’ son is fresh-faced to any kind of threat to humanity, as is the rest of his team and so aren’t quite as hardened to the emotional drain that fighting wave after wave of monsters can bring. JD is far more emotional and, be it due to the personality of his comrades, is far more supportive in times of need. While Marcus always cared about his team, it was always a “brush yourself down, pick yourself up and move on” kind of team ethos. Meanwhile, JD feels a little less abrasive and easier to get a read on. His emotions show more clearly than those of his father and without getting into spoiler territory too much, the character dynamics between JD and other characters is interesting to observe.
In fact, it’s that JD feels more human than his muscle-engulfed father that makes him a more interesting and relatable character for the player. The way he reacts to certain events, and his relationship with Marcus following the events of his childhood make him feel like a more sincere and fleshed-out character for the series going forward. Just as the rest of Delta squad mirrored the hardened soldier persona of Marcus, so too do JD’s comrades mirror his more vulnerable personality.
All in all, JD Fenix is a far more relatable character than his father and one whose past certainly looks to provide plenty more fuel for the story going forward. Though he’s yet to come across as quite as much of a badass as Marcus Fenix, there’s still ample Swarm and time for flashes of his father to show in himself.
Which of the Fenix’s do you prefer so far? Enjoying Gears of War 4? Let us know down in the comments below.