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'Gears of War 4' and Catching Up on the Series (Heavy Spoiler Warning)

Underneath the ashes and ruins, there's a history that many of us may have forgotten in the years leading up to 'Gears of War 4'.

Winter has already come and gone for the Coalition of Gears (COG), yet we still see the #GearsofWar 3's swaths of snow sweeping across Lambent bodies and dead Locust troops.

It's hard for Gears fans to not to wonder what is even left of Sera, and newcomers to the franchise have some catching up to do. The Lambent have all but been destroyed, the Locust Queen is dead, the environment has been shredded by tools of war, and much of man kind has found their final resting places in this giant war.

Underneath the ashes and ruins, there's a history that many of us may have forgotten in the years leading up to Gears of War 4, unless you're hunting Easter Eggs still. What has happened in the years between to those we've come to know such as Marcus, Carmine, Baird, Cole, and even General Hoffman?

It's time for a quick refresher course on the relevant Gears of War lore to get us prepared to play Gears of War 4.

'Gears of War': A brief history of then to now.

Courtesy of Epic Games

With Earth on the brink of destruction due to conflict and overpopulation, humanity managed to planet-hop to Sera and begin colonization.

As the population flourished, the colonists burned through readily available power resources until led down a rabbit hole of a new energy source beneath the planet's surface: Imulsion. When Imulsion was discovered in a drilling expedition on Sera and refined, humanity was able to harness this glowing liquid for seemingly unlimited uses. Naturally, this utopian energy source had issues. Certain nations flourished economically due to access to Imulsion, while others floundered. Tensions would grow to a tipping point when a financial collapse spurred military action between fortunate and less-fortunate nations.

These surface hostilities over Imulsion became the catalyst for the largest war of Sera's history, a 79-year conflict that lead to the Coalition of Ordered Governments (COG) and the Union of Independent Republics (UIR). The war abruptly ended, however, when the COG decided to unleash their most powerful weapon upon the UIR cities: The Hammer of Dawn. This orbital satellite weapon above Sera brought a swift end to the conflict, but the tense peace only lasted a brief few weeks. During the surface wars, named The Pendulum Wars, there was an equally large, unknown conflict beneath the surface of Sera.

'Emergence Day' introduces the Locust.

Courtesy of Epic Games

Unknown to the COG, humanity's biggest threat had been laying in wait for the proper time to strike. With the situations just right, the bulk of humanity's population would find itself diminished and on the verge of extinction. Faced with their own Imulsion-fueled civil war with the Imulsion-corrupted Lambent, the subterranean Locusts burst up from the ground to claim the surface from the weakened human forces. Emergence Day would be remembered the most pivotal day within Sera's history.

Having evacuated as many as they could, the COG survivors would find home on the Jacinto Plateau, a hard rock surface that would be almost impossible to penetrate by the Locusts' tunneling tactics. For those who found a safe haven outside of Jacinto, they would eventually find themselves labelled as the "Stranded," remaining outside of COG protection.

As the war with the Locust became dire, the tactics of the COG became extreme. Again using the devastating the Hammer of Dawn, the COG scorched the planet once again to protect the Plateau in the hopes of ending the Locust threat completely.

'Gears of War' plays its role in the story.

Courtesy of Epic Games

Fourteen years after the "Scorched Earth" tactic was deployed by the COG, Marcus Fenix and his squad are once more reunited thanks to childhood friend named Dominic "Dom" Santiago. Re-enlisting with the COG, Marcus and team build Delta Team, which will eventually consist of Marcus, Dom, August "Coletrain" Col, and Damon Baird while on their mission to discover the source of the Locust forces.

On their search through Sera, Delta Team eventually follows the trail of the cause while following research left by Adam Fenix, the father of Marcus Fenix. Thanks to this information, Delta Team finds themselves digging deep within the planets surface to prepare the ignition of a Lightmass Bomb at the source of the Locust forces. With the detonation of the bomb the Locust Queen Myrrah finds her chance to escape only to swear revenge upon Marcus and Delta Squad. With her General (Raam) dead, Delta Team finds their mission nearly complete, but only after having sustained heavy losses. With their causalities containing Benjamin Carmine and Minh Young Kim, Delta Team finds themselves attempting to recover in the midst of an even larger war.

'Gears of War 2' reignites the War of Man and Locust.

Courtesy of Epic Games

With Queen Myrrah having regrouped with her remaining forces, she begins to prepare for a much larger counterattack than what the COG had planned. Deploying the Locust armies Riftworm, Myrrah finds the Locust at an advantage as it begins to whittle away the land from within the Jacinto Plateau. With it taking damage slowly, Delta Team is once more deployed in an underground assault in order to stop the Locust once more.

As Delta Squad embarks upon their mission, Delta Team locates a research facility where the Locust keep their enslaved humans. Among these enslaved humans, Dom and Marcus discover that Maria Santiago has been alive for much of this time, but not at a heavy cost due to her weakened state from being overworked. Distraught, Delta Team once more embarks upon their mission to stop Myrrah.

Invading the main Locust base, Delta Team discovers what has caused the Locust to move to the surface: The Lambent, a type of Locust creature that has been corrupted due to exposure to Imulsion. Despite the current events, Myrrah refuses to end the war between humanity and the Locust. Due to Myrrah's decision, Marcus and his team decide to sink the Jacinto Plateau, and with it, killing a hefty amount of Myrrah's forces as well as the Lambent due to an Imulsion flooding.

In the post credits, players get to hear a a radio broadcast where Adam Fenix begs to know what has happened, why Marcus and his team sunk Jacinto into the Locust-infested caverns.

'Gears of War 3' prepares a much larger stage.

Courtesy of Epic Games

Eighteen months have passed since the sinking of Jacinto. Due to this, the COG has begun to collapse in on itself. With the remnants of the COG and humanity working to salvage what is left of humanity, a war has begun to break out due to new threats from both the Locust and Lambent forces as they flee to the surface. In this time, Marcus has learned of a rumor that his father is being held at the resort island Azura, a location the Locust Queen Myrrah is using as her headquarters.

Discovering this news, Delta team once more movies out on their next mission to find Adam Fenix at the location. During their main mission to power the submarine they are using, Delta team is forced to acquire enough Imulsion to power it. Doing so proved a challenge as they were attacked by Lambent forces. During this time, Dominic Santiago sacrificed himself to give Delta team a bit more time to escape with their much needed fuel.

Upon reaching Azura, Delta Team locates Adam Fenix whom is trapped inside of the islands hotel. Once freed from his captors, Adam Fenix explains everything that is happening and the role Imulsion has played in the corruption of both Locust and humans. In their discovery the team learns that he has been able to discover a way to end the Locust and Lambent threats while working with Queen Myrrah. He continues on to explain that he has found a cure humanity and end the Lambent threat using a rather large dish located upon the top of the hotel.

With his time and energy running out, Adam conclude with stating that the energy wave that will cure humanity of their affliction, will also be the undoing and ultimately the doom of the Locust. With this information, Marcus returns to his squad before taking on the final battle against Queen Myrrah and ultimately unleashing the newly found weapon, which wipes out the Imulsion affliction and kills all Locust on Sera.

'Gears of War: Judgement' briefly explained.

Courtesy of Epic Games

With the war over, players learn that there is more to the story through the fourth title, Gears of War: Judgement, which serves as a prologue to the series. It explains a rather large portion behind Baird being court-martialed after destroying the Locust leader Karn, whom leads on a massive force against Halvo Bay, and ultimately fails after Baird refuses to use a new secret weapon of mass destruction.

In another portion of the campaign, titled "Aftermath", players take on the role of Baird, Cole, and Garron Paduk once more in the hours before the activation of the anti-Imulsion energy wave that ends the war by wiping out all Locust and Lambent.

'Gears of War 4' continues the story with an entirely new cast.

Courtesy of The Coalition and Microsoft

As the fifth game, but the fourth installment in the series, Gears of War 4 continues our story 25 years after the Imulsion Countermeasures were deployed. Sera has found itself at peaces since the Locust and the Lambent had been wiped out. Unfortunately, the use of fossil fuels have been wiped out and humanity has been forced to find new ways to live, to survive, and to exist.

However, the countermeasures didn't just wipe out Imulsion and the Locust, it brought on new problems such as "Windflares." These Windflares are powerful windstorms that form across the planet of Sera. In the wake of the aftermath of the Lambent Epidemic, the COG have once more formed. With the information obtained in the post-war, the COG discover that humanity is all, but extinct as only hundreds of thousands of humans remain on Sera. Due to the population decline, the COG have built walled-off cities that were made to protect survivors from the dangers outside of the cities.

In turn, the COG also declared a martial law that prevented travel outside of city walls. Those who decided to live away from these new walls became known as "Outsiders". These "Outsiders" (much like the "Stranded"), find safety outside of COG jurisdiction and conduct raids on COG territory in order to gain the resources needed to survive.

Focusing on the post-events of Gears of War 3, Gears of War 4 will be taking place with the games new protagonist J.D. Fenix, whom is the son of Marcus Fenix and Anya Stroud. With his friends Delmont "Del" Walker and Kait Diaz, JD and his team will fight for the survival of humanity against their newly discovered threat: The Swarm.

With this new enemy running rampant, it's now time for J.D. and his team to fight off this new threat and discover the root cause of this new threat that could wipe out humanity.

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