The Coalition is making some changes to the Horde Mode in Gears of War 4, dubbed Horde 3.0. They've decided that to make the game more free-form and more emergent, they wanted players to be able to manually build their fortifications and place them wherever they saw fit on the map.
In an interview with VG 24/7, lead multiplayer designer Ryan Cleven explained that they wanted the game to feel more organic like Gears of War 2 instead of restrictive like the Horde Mode in Gears of War 3, saying...
In Gears 3 we saw the introduction of fortifications to horde, but one of the things that we felt happened when we took that direction was that it meant that the level designers were prescribing where the best defense was and kind of how to play the level.
So for Gears of War 4 they're making where players will be able to manually place down, pick-up, move around and fortify their base in anyway that they see fit. Things will all come from what's called a Fabricator, which Cleven describes as a 3D printer of sorts. Players will build their main Fabrifactor and then throughout the Horde Mode design and fabricate new defenses and towers.
Cleven likened the Fabricator in Gears of War 4 to a resource mother base from a real-time strategy game, where players will set down the main base and then build out the rest of their buildings from there.
They don't really get into the details of the base building, but they do explain that the bases will only be as effective as the teamwork employed in the mode. For Horde 3.0 players will be relegated to classes instead of just picking a character and hopping into a battle. There are five classes, including the Soldier, Sniper, Scout, Heavy and the Engineer. This should make Team Fortress 2 fans feel right at home.
Each class has the ability to level-up with upgrades and skills, and there are also cards that can be collected during the match or by paying real money from the cash shop. Yes, Gears of War 4 will be using a card system similar to Forza Motorsport or Halo 5's Req packs. The cards in Gears of War 4 will allow players to get either permanent boosts or work as consumables. This is likely going to be the long-term bread and butter for milking revenue out of Gears of War 4.
According to Cleven, though, even if you spend a lot of money for all the top cards for a class, you still have to manually level up that class to unlock new level abilities. He tries to make it seem as if it's not pay-to-win, but you can still pay for cards to help you win.
Hopefully the cards don't become disruptive to the gameplay, and players are able to rely mostly on skill and their tower defense skills in Horde 3.0 to overcome the odds.
Gamers can look to get their hands on Gears of War 4 starting October 11th for both the Xbox One and for Windows 10 PCs.