The Gears of War 4 beta is opening its doors to anyone and everyone who managed to play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition last year, after letting in a select few players in early over the weekend. We have our own impressions of the beta so far, and The Coalition is certainly keeping things as classic as they come with a Gears title. That’s not to say there aren’t differences, and it’s these small nuances that will test the adaptability of professional players online.

Some of these changes and enhancements were detailed in a livestream from The Coalition over the weekend. The team dived into some of the new mechanics that you’ll experience online, such as the new Active Reload which lets you reload (and enhance) a full magazine of bullets, as well as the return of the Retro Lancer (and the omission on the dreadful sawn-off shotgun). Many of the changes are small, but make a big difference to the way the game is played online. You can check out a list of them below.

Gears of war 4 also features some better Close-Quarters Combat, especially suited for when you and an enemy are sharing the same cover. If you’re on opposite sides of a waist height wall, you can grab your opponent over the cover and deliver a swift knife to the throat. The same goes for wall stuns, which allow you to vault over cover and kick a hiding enemy into a stun for an easy kill. Both of these can be countered though, and are best shown in the Gears of War 4 Beta tips guide below.

The Gears of War 4 beta is lasting for a while, letting in all of Xbox Live Gold a little later this month. We’ll be playing as much as we can to get a good feel for the game before it launches later this year.

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