Ten years ago, Gears of War helped define an age of blockbuster multiplayer games. Now, it’s the status quo. Gears of War 4 is more Gears of War. Luckily, Gears of War kicks ass.

The newest game doesn’t offer many surprises, but it’s still enjoyable to play. Like the earlier games in the series, you control a beefy dude (or lady!) from a third-person perspective. You still take cover, still hunker down and “roadie run” from place to place, and still carefully time your active reloads to fill each clip with extra-powerful bullets. You still shoot at big, squishy enemies that burst open like gore pinatas. You still carve monsters open with chainsaws.

After four games starring the same group of COG soldiers, Gears of War 4 passes the narrative torch to a younger generation. Instead of playing as Marcus Fenix and his crew, you control his son, JD Fenix, along with JD’s friends, Kait Diaz and Del Walker.

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