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Parents' Guide to Gears of War Ultimate Edition (PEGI 18)

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Parents guide to Gears of War Ultimate Edition on Xbox One.

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1. Genre

Gears of War is a shooting game in which you play a soldier fighting aliens. The game has a third-person view, so you see your character from behind. There’s an emphasis on using cover to avoid getting shot.

Players can use a variety of weapons, but perhaps the most well known is the Lancer, an assault rifle with a chainsaw attachment.

The campaign can be played alone or cooperatively with one other player. There’s also a competitive online multiplayer in which two teams face each other in a variety of modes.

The original Gears of War was released on Xbox 360 in 2006. Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is an updated version for the Xbox One that adds more campaign content and multiplayer modes than were in the original Gears of War.

With its emphasis on two-player co-op, Gears of War is similar to games like Army of Two and Resident Evil 5.

2. Story

In Gears of War, you play as Marcus Fenix, a soldier who’s part of a squad trying to defend humans on a fictional planet called Sera from an alien threat called the Locust Horde. A second player can join as Marcus’ friend Dominic Santiago.

3. Developer

The original Gears of War was developed by Epic Games, but the Ultimate Edition was developed by The Coalition, a subsidiary of Microsoft previously known as Black Tusk Studios that is also working on Gears of War 4.

4. Format

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition is only available for Xbox One, for £29.99/$39.99. Those wanting to play online will need a subscription to Xbox Live Gold.

5. Duration and Difficulty

It takes about nine hours to complete the campaign in the original Gears of War, and the Ultimate Edition has about one-and-a-half hours of extra content.

Gears of War has several difficulty levels to choose from, so anyone with some experience of shooters should be able to find a level that suits them.

6. PEGI Rating

In the UK and Europe, PEGI rates Gears of War as only suitable for those aged 18 and older for “extreme violence”.

7. Themes

Young players may find the alien enemies in Gears of War very scary. The story deals with issues like energy crises and the near-extinction of a human population.

The camaraderie between the main characters in such dangerous situations also reflects real-world war stories.

8. Why people play

People are drawn to Gears of War for its combat, how it feels to be a powerful soldier taking on the grotesque alien horde. But what gives it the edge over other human-vs-alien military games is that you can play the whole thing side-by-side with a friend.

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Andrew Robertson
Andy Robertson is the editor of AskAboutGames and has written for national press and broadcast about video games and families for over 15 years. He has just published the Taming Gaming book with its Family Video Game Database.