Speaking with Stevivor about Gears of War 4‘s new Horde 3.0 mode, The Coalition’s Lead Multiplayer Designer, Ryan Cleven, went into great detail on the mode’s new class system.
“We’ve introduced classes,” Cleven explained. “We’ve done so, again, embracing that emergent gameplay idea, where rather than giving you prescribed classes of this one does exactly this thing, we’ve said, ‘Okay, every class has eleven possible skills and they each are unique to that class and when you go into Horde, depending on the level of your class, you can pick between one and five of those skills.’
“You’ll never have all of them,” he insisted.
Gamers delving into the 5-player co-op mode will be able to select from one of five classes — the Soldier, the Sniper, the Scout, the Engineer and the Heavy.
“The five classes are really designed to facilitate co-op play so each of them ideally requires somebody else to be one of the other ones,” Cleven said. “One of the new dynamics that we’ve added is that when creatures are killed, they drop power. In Gears 3, previously when you killed a creature, you’d get some currency, you’d be able to go and add fortifications. Now, that currency is materialised in the form of power and it’s dropped on the field. So, you have to get out of your comfort zone, you have to run out of your base and pick it up, bring it back to the Fabricator to deposit, that way your teammates can build new fortifications.”
While Cleven thinks it’s better to cover your bases and use a variety of class types to play — such as a Sniper covering a Soldier who’s running around the map collecting power — Horde 3.0 won’t restrict your class choice. If you want to roll with five snipers, you can roll with five snipers.
“There are no restrictions,” he said. “In a game like that, we really wanted to facilitate that emergent play because the way we look at is we don’t know if that composition is necessarily the right thing or not for you. If you have five people it’s going to be very challenging to go in with all Snipers, but that’s not to say that if they’ve got five people that are really great Snipers, that you couldn’t necessarily do it.
“This means that players will have to experiment with the different combinations of skills to embrace their own play style as well as look at the team composition. Between the classes and the skills they’re choosing, the fortifications of where they place them, and the ten maps that we have, it’s a lot. Deciding where’s the best place for a fortification, which is the best team composition — we’re leaving all that up to the players.”
You’ll have your own chance to try out Gears 4‘s Horde 3.0 mode when the game hits Windows PC and Xbox One in October.