Gears of War 4

This past week has been all about beta tests, and Gears of War 4 is about to take center stage.

Earlier in the week, we had the Battleborn beta, and yesterday saw the start of the DOOM beta. On Monday, thousands of Gears of War: Ultimate Edition owners will swarm into Gears of War 4's lengthy multiplayer beta.

Gears of War 4 is the first in the series to be developed in-house, following Microsoft's purchase of the franchise from Epic Games. To reward owners of last year's Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, those who logged in and played the game by April 10th activated eligibility to join the multiplayer beta, scheduled to begin on April 18th and conclude on May 1st.

If you're like me and aren't too familiar with Gears of War's brand of tactical and visceral cover-based shooting, this video might be of interest.

In the video, Prince Arrington of The Coalition lists eight sections of basic combat tips for Gears of War 4, detailing some of the franchise's staple mechanics and new improvements, against a backdrop of deadly weapons and bloody combat executions.

Gears of War's multiplayer combat is less about twitch skills and more about smart use of cover, controlling the spawn points of power weapons, and mastering some of the game's advanced skills like wall bouncing. The description does state that the video is part of a series, so expect future instalments to cover some of the more nuanced skills in depth later on.

If you're eligible for the beta test, you'll receive a key for the game in your Xbox Live messages over the course of the next few days. The keys will ship chronologically, starting with those who played Gears of War: Ultimate Edition the earliest.

Gears of War 4 promises to take the series back to its gritty basics, complete with horror leanings in an all-new saga, some 25 years after the events of Gears of War 3. The war with the Locust has brought humanity to its knees, and those that remain fight over the planet's dwindling resources. Among the chaos, a new enemy emerges, threatening to finish off humanity for good. Its up to J.D. Fenix and his friends to stop it.

Gears of War 4 launches on October 11th, 2016 for Xbox One.