Okay, maybe they're only realistically proportioned in comparison to some of the characters from the previous trilogy, but you have to admit that they're a far cry from the military beefheads we're used to seeing in Gears games. Newly released details have given us a look at the world, the characters and snippets of the plot for Gears 4 — most notably letting on that the mysterious 'JD' from Gears 4's E3 demo is actually 'JD Fenix', the son of Gears' biggest hero, Marcus Fenix.
According to an exclusive released by GameInformer, Gears of War 4 is really going to be a 'The Next Generation' deal, skipping ahead almost 25 years. In this age, the world of Sera is swept by massive windstorms that have a tendency to complicate the field of battle. The Coalition has also mentioned an intention to take the series back to its "darker, horror-themed roots" with the new instalment — something that's certainly supported by what gameplay we've seen so far:
The game will feature three main characters — seeming to depart from the usual gears standard of a squad of four — who are JD Fenix, Marcus Fenix's son, Kait Diaz, an Outsider and the other character featured in the E3 demo, and new character Delmont "Del" Walker, JD's dedicated best friend with no characteristics.
While The Coalition has said they'll be introducing largely new characters, that doesn't mean that the original Gears we know and love won't at least make a cameo in the new game.
— Game Informer (@gameinformer) March 8, 2016
A lot of what has been revealed is oddly familiar in the same way as The Force Awakens would have been to anyone who's seen A New Hope: JD is a Gear who went AWOL "after a classified incident" while Del is his boarding school buddy who followed JD to join the army, and is eventually dragged along for the "classified incident" ride because of his friendship and loyalty to JD. Sound familiar?
Kait is the most interesting thing about the new reveal — she's potentially the first playable character who isn't actually a Gear (in campaign, at least), having been born and raised an 'Outsider'. She's a survivalist, and most likely encounters our two generic Gears when they're forced to seek refuge among the Outsiders. "What's interesting about her is that she grew up as an Outsider, so she's been away from this military environment that the boys grew up in," Kait's voice actor Laura Bailey says. "She has a less technical approach to everything she does because she's never experienced anything like this. She's a great entry point into this world, because she doesn't know everything about it either."
With her background and the fact that she's described as a survivalist, Kait seems to recall one of the original series' most interesting characters, Bernie. Kait also seems to be front and centre in a lot of Gears 4's promotional material. Considering it took three games for the original Gears of War series to introduce a playable female character, The Coalition seem to be going in a good direction with this one from the start.
Oh, by the way, they've also confirmed two-player couch co-op. Hooray!