Valentine’s Day is here, and that means more time with those we love. I am a big fan of celebrating this day whether you’re single or in a relationship, because it can be a holiday that’s about all kinds of love, including family and friendship.
Whatever the case, it’s a great time to play video games with a partner. I play games with my boyfriend all the time, and we’re always looking for new picks. Here are a few I recommend for their beautiful worlds and the cooperation they encourage between two players! My hope is that there’s something for everyone here. =)
*Gears of War 4 spoilers ahead! They’re everywhere!
One of my favorite things about the Gears of War games is the character dynamics. The series has always done a phenomenal job of creating interesting, believable characters. In the games, you play as a member of a four-man squad, and the guys are constantly ribbing each other. One character goes bananas for engineering; another used to be a sports star. You learn to love these characters, despite the fact that for the most part, the squad I’m referring to here is basically a bunch of ridiculously beefy dudes.
Gears of War 3 introduces female squadmates, Anya and Sam. By default, playing solo you’ll play as a male character — but depending on how many players are sharing a co-op experience, one of the players may assume the role of Anya.
As a girl gamer, playing as Anya is a nice addition to the Gears experience. Since I feel like I relate to female characters a little more naturally than male characters, I’m always choosing female avatars in character creators. And any game that features a female lead intrigues me for that reason alone. It’s becoming more common to see women in lead roles in games, which is awesome. It made me happy to see that Gears of War is making strides there too.
But the franchise took an even bigger step forward in Gears of War 4 — because in this game, the new character Kait Diaz is central to the entire story.
Over the weekend I dove into the Gears of War 4 campaign. I was equal parts excited to be back to one of my favorite video game series… and nervous about the new story, characters, and enemies. I just didn’t know what to expect.
Fortunately, Gears of War 4 feels like meeting an old friend. It’s not innovative or surprising. Despite plenty of new things, it doesn’t reinvent itself. All of the new is mixed in with the old so it’s not too overwhelming — so it still feels like good old Gears of War. That’s exactly what I liked about it.
I still have one act left to play before I’m done, so I’ll save my full review until the end of the week. For now, here are some of my initial impressions of what makes Gears of War 4 a familiar yet fresh take on the series. (No spoilers!)
I should preface this by saying I did not play the full game before last month. I downloaded the edition which included all available expansions, including The Taken King. This means that I immediately raced from the main story to The Dark Below to House of Wolves to The Taken King, and it all feels very much like the same game to me despite these varying storylines and content produced earlier vs. later. I am also not familiar with how the game’s leveling and rewards worked prior to The Taken King — I just know a few changes were made to improve the game.