Gears of War 4 lays out early access and open beta details

It’s been a long wait but Xbox One players will soon get an idea of how Gears of War 4 is shaping up, at least for its online multiplayer. An open beta is scheduled for 26 April 2016 and fans can try to get in a week early, simply by playing Gears of War: Ultimate Edition.

Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, a remaster of the first game in the series, is currently available for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs. It contains all past DLCs and maps, including that bonus campaign content from the 2007 PC edition, and also adds new game modes such as 2v2 Gnasher Execution. On the technical side of things, they’ve bumped the game up to 60fps and provided dedicated servers with skill-based matchmaking.

In other words, a perfect opportunity for newcomers to board the Gears train or for a fan to relive the journey. Or, in this case, for someone who wants to get into a beta early.

To qualify, all you have to do is to log into Xbox Live and play Gears of War: UE, either on a Xbox One or a Windows 10 PC, before 12 April, 12pm SGT.

Early access tokens will be distributed in waves through the Xbox Live messaging system though it’s important to note two things: You must be logged into Xbox Live during the qualification period, and the beta will only be on Xbox One – a PC version for Gears of War 4 hasn’t been announced yet.

The early access window runs from 19 to 25 April.

Otherwise, hold on until 26 April, which is when the flood gates open for all Xbox Live Gold members. While we don’t have any specifics on the beta itself, Game Informer reports that five campaign protagonists will be playable and that multiplayer will still be humans versus monsters, despite there being at least three factions now.

Gears of War 4 takes place 25 years after the events of GoW 3, with the focus now shifting to series protagonist Marcus Fenix’s son, JD. It’s being developed by The Coalition, a Microsoft studio that has taken over franchise stewardship since 2014.

The game releases later this year for Xbox One but a PC version isn’t out of the question – not only does it make sense to follow up on renewed PC interest after Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, it also lets Microsoft reaffirm their commitment to PC gaming with a well-known franchise, while also pushing for more Windows 10 installs. We suspect it’s only a matter of time before an official announcement proves the rumours and speculations true.

Ade Putra

Ade thinks there's nothing quite like a good game and a snug headcrab. He grew up with HIDEO KOJIMA's Metal Gear Solid, lives for RPGs, and is waiting for light guns to make their comeback.