Unlike when 343 Studios went ahead with launching their new Halo trilogy back in 2012, going into Gears 4, the developers at The Coalition were given much more freedom to revive their dormant franchise.
Jumping 25 years into the future, the studio had the ability to take the series into a radically new direction; which is why it was so disappointing when they just relied on the same old tried-and-tested formula Gears was already known for.
Not only was the combat virtually identical to previous releases, but the developers didn't even use the time jump to craft a new story. Despite starring a new main protagonist, the characters from previous games were still central to the narrative, and the title tried too hard to remain faithful to the world of the original trilogy.
It would have been fine if the game itself was good, but the whole thing felt like an introductory act to tease future games. It's obviously a launching pad for stories to come, but as a self-contained experience, Gears 4 doesn't really cut it.