Microsoft has come up with a really nice bonus for players who buy Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. The Xbox One remake will come with four free Gears of War games.
Xbox Wire says the freebies are Gears of War, Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3 and Gears of War: Judgment. You'll be able to play the original Xbox 360 version of each on Xbox One once backwards compatibility goes live this fall. I'm not sure why you'd play the Xbox 360 version of Gears 1 if you've got Gears of War: Ultimate Edition but whatever. Microsoft probably figured it didn't cost them anything to give Gears 1 away once it's obsolete.
In order to get the Gears of War series for free on Xbox One, you need to play Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Xbox Live between August 25th and December 31st. It doesn't matter whether you bought a copy of Ultimate Edition on its own or you opted for the Xbox One hardware bundle.
When Xbox One's backwards compatibility goes live, players who own boxed or digital copies of Xbox 360 games will be able to play them on the new console. In other words, you won't have to re-purchase these older games on Xbox One. Also, if you own the Gears series on Xbox 360 already, these freebies for Ultimate Edition don't really matter.
Xbox 360 games are largely the same when played on Xbox One. They have the graphics and gameplay you remember from the older console. The big difference is that you can access modern features like game streaming, screenshot capturing, and broadcasting. Your progress, including Achievements, will carry over from Xbox 360. Furthermore, you can play online with both Xbox One and Xbox 360 players.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition updates Gears 1 with Dolby 7.1 Surround and improved visuals. The game comes with all the additional content introduced in the PC version and post-launch DLC, including 90 minutes of extra campaign gameplay and several multiplayer maps. The multiplayer sports a total of 19 maps and will let players unlock 17 characters from Gears of War 3.
While the other Gears of War games haven't received such a dramatic makeover, they're worth playing. Gears of War 2 in particular was one of the best shooters released on Xbox 360. Its campaign is a huge step-up over the first game's. GoW2's Horde mode, in which a team of players fend off waves of enemies, has been aped by several other franchises because of how damn good it was.
Gears of War: Ultimate Edition will be released on August 25th for $39.99. You can also buy the game bundled with an Xbox One for $349.99. Either way, you'll get access to the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta.