During a behind-closed-doors presentation at Gamescom 2016, I was able to confirm with The Coalition's Creative Director Chuck Osieja that Gears of War 4's single player/cooperative campaign is estimated to last around ten hours on average, given the usual caveats of difficulty setting and varying play styles between different players. For comparison, Respawn Entertainment recently confirmed that Titanfall 2's campaign will last about eight hours.
I've also asked whether there were any plans for campaign DLC, but the reply was that they haven't discussed anything about that and the announced plan is to ship two new multiplayer maps each month for a year.
The presentation showed a new portion of the game where the team had to escape an ambush by the newly revealed DeeBees robot race, with Marcus Fenix leading the way. I also had the opportunity to play the game in the public area afterwards; this was the brief section we've already seen in the previous trailer, where the team faced a horde of Swarm creatures and then the WildStorms before hunkering into a tower.
The demo was very short, but it was still evident that Gears of War 4 is following in the footsteps traced by its predecessors. There aren't going to be huge gameplay innovations, though some of the new moves can potentially add more depth to the basic third person shooter mechanics.
Much of the campaign's appeal will rest squarely on the plot's capability to keep gamers interested in the main characters. The Coalition is a new studio and as such, it's currently unproven in this regard - they only have Gears of War Ultimate Edition, a remastered game, under their belt.
What's certain, though, is that Gears of War 4 looks amazing played at 4K resolution on a PC with maximum settings. I was able to play it right after trying the Xbox One version and the difference is like day and night, though the Xbox One S wasn't connected to an HDR display; Gears of War 4 will be one of the first games to support HDR technology, so that might partly bridge the visual gap for console players.
Yesterday The Coalition shared the official system requirements and today I can confirm that there's a myriad of graphics settings to choose from, including mGPU (multiGPU) and Async Compute options. Given that Gears of War Ultimate Edition was a technical disaster on PC that to this day lacks mGPU support, this is great news for PC gamers.
Gears of War 4 is set to launch for Windows 10 PC and Xbox One on October 11, with full cross-buy, shared progress and cross-play (with the exception of competitive multiplayer modes) functionality.
Stay tuned for our continued coverage of the game as the release date draws near.