Microsoft opened their E3 press briefing yesterday with a lengthy co-op demo for Gears of War 4. Coalition studio boss Rod Fergusson gave us our first extended look at the games single-player campaign, and demoed part of a story mission set during a graphically stunning storm.

While the gameplay was unmistakably Gears-esque, there were a couple of new features to be found in the demo. The biggest feature was the environmental destruction – as the storm worsened it destroyed parts of the environment around the characters, changing the landscape of the level, although there was still plenty of chest-high cover to be found.

The demo also showed off the new Dropshot weapon, which fired ricocheting saw blades that cut down plenty of Swarm drones. There was also a plethora of cinematic action set pieces.

While the demo itself focused on the games three protagonists, Del Walker, Kait Diaz and J.D. Fenix – there was still room for a quick cameo from original Gears protagonist Marcus Fenix.

Gears of War 4 launches on October 11 for Xbox One.

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