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Gears of War: Ultimate Edition has tons of smart, subtle changes

They're not just calling it Gears of War: Ultimate Edition because it sounds cooler than Gears of War: Remastered. The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson gave me a quick rundown of all the changes headed to Gears of War: Ultimate Edition at E3, and it's clear that fans of the original will have a lot to look forward to/angrily debate over.

Here are the tweaks you should know about heading into Ultimate Edition:

- The movement and cover system feel more like Gears 3. You can revive squadmates without popping out of cover, dodge in any direction, and even change weapons while roadie running.
- The five PC-exclusive chapters from Act 5 (which were cut from the 360 version late in development) have been integrated back into the story.
- It runs at 60 frames per second, in 1080p. And it's still built on Unreal Engine 3, albeit with a bunch of new tricks and graphical flourishes.
- Everything's been redone about the cutscenes, including a new orchestral score, except the dialogue. No more deadpan Dom off to the side with his thousand-yard stare.
- The new Casual difficulty is actually suitable for casual play, with the old Casual setting renamed Normal.
- Competitive multiplayer will have six modes. The three new modes are Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and a formal mode for the fan-created 2v2 Gnasher ruleset.
- All the original and DLC maps are included.
- A few team-coordination features will come over from Gears of War 3, like Tac-Com and enemy spotting.
- Online multiplayer will have dedicated servers. You can also bring in a local split-screen buddy for matchmaking or even do LAN play.
- It's releasing on August 25 for $39.99 on PC and Xbox One.

The Gears of War: Ultimate Edition beta is ending soon, but at least you won't have to wait too much longer for the full thing. And it may just give you a few cues for Gears of War 4, since Fergusson says the next game will return to the darker, more mysterious tone of the original.

Connor has been doing news and feature things for GamesRadar+ since 2012, which is suddenly a long time ago. How on earth did that happen?