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(Pocket-lint) - Microsoft has kicked off its media event at E5 2015 with some huge announcements about Gears of War.

Microsoft bought the Gears of War game franchise from Epic Games more than a year ago, and now we're finally hearing about Gears 4 (that's what Microsoft is calling the franchise's next installment). The company showed off a few minutes of new gameplay, starring hunters as they explore a creepy egg-filled cavern while decked out with tonnes of weaponery.


Microsoft said Gears 4 will release by the 2016 holiday season. It'll be the fifth title in the Gears of War franchise. But that's not all: a remastered version of Gears of Wars is coming with tonnes of extras. It's getting the next-gen console treatment, so you can play it all over again in 1080p high definition on Xbox One and PC. It will even run at buttery-smooth at 60 frames per second in multiplayer.

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Another new advancement is the addition of Dolby 7.1 Surround sound for even more immersive gaming, though Microsoft was scant on such details at E3. Leaks have indicated there will also be an extra 90-minutes of new content for campaign mode added on top of the original game. For Xbox Live gamers who thought they'd done it all, there will be new achievements to unlock too.

Gallery sketches and comics will be available to unlock and there's plenty more in multiplayer mode too. Dedicated servers, new players for certain skills, and new games like "Team Fight and "King of the Hill" will all be available, Microsoft has also announced. Other extras include access to 17 characters from Gears of War 3, settings fro active charge, renewal, revival and emergence of independent arms.

You can also mark your targets (like in Gears of War 3) and enjoy improved sensitivity settings. The remastered version, called Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, will arrive 25 August, but the public preview starts today and is available on the Xbox One.

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Writing by Luke Edwards and Elyse Betters.