Gears of War 4 will soon be available for the public to play this weekend, that is, as long as you picked up its Ultimate Edition. I was given access to the game early last week on the Xbox One, but just recently, Microsoft made it available for reviewers to check out on PC. As soon as I was alerted to its availability, I queued it up to install on my PC and grabbed my DualShock 4 to see what it would feel like to play such a well-known Xbox exclusive as Gears of War with it.
After a few hours of playing Gears of War 4 with the DualShock 4, I can report that it’s as awesome an experience as I originally anticipated as its layout, form factor, and weight feel like the perfect combination to play the game on.
Sleeping With The Enemy
Yes -- I’m aware Gears of War purists feel like they need to play any iteration of the game on an Xbox controller. I still feel that way in respect to playing any Super Smash Bros. game with the GameCube controller. But for this generation, I’ve leaned more towards using the DualShock 4 than the Xbox One controller for the majority of my gaming needs.
Playing with the DualShock 4 means that I often needed to use muscle memory in order to recall what button prompts translate to which button. For example: I’m often presented with an “A” button prompt when I’m down and need assistance. Obviously, the DualShock 4 doesn’t have that button, but instead would require me to push the “X” button since that’s it’s equivalent.
Luckily, I’ve been mentally translating Xbox button prompts for use with the DualShock 4 for quite some time as the majority of PC games that offer controller support often favor those prompts. So the transition wasn’t necessarily a difficult one for me, but newcomers may need to get some practice in before attempting to play such a twitch-reliant game as Gears of War 4.
It’s So Wrong But Feels So Right
After spending a few hours playing the PC version of Gears of War 4 with the DualShock 4, I’m still torn about using it considering how much I’ve loved the series. I personally feel the layout, form factor, and weight are perfect to play Gears of War 4. The triggers on the DualShock 4 are much closer to the body than the Xbox One, the aiming is a bit more accurate when using the right stick, and I feel like my character is more agile thanks to its lightweight body. The right bumper is also really good for active reloading as I didn’t have to push the button with much effort to land on each gun’s sweet spot.
At the end of the day, if you’re plan on playing Gears of War 4 on PC, I’m sure you’re going to be choosing to play with your keyboard and mouse. But if you’re like me and enjoy using the DualShock 4 over the Xbox One controller, know that playing Gears of War 4 is possible and it’s fantastic.