No. The ones you need to watch out for are the ones that look normal, that look like they conform. And then, when you go out for dinner with them, they suddenly pull out a hunting knife - in a middle of a conversation about your favourite films - and start waving it over your plate, while looking you in the eye without blinking.
Instead of adhering to the series' tendency towards bucket-necked grunts, who I related to about as much as I can relate towards a trough of raw meat with sparklers stuck in the top, this fourth incarnation of the Gears franchise gives us a group of protagonists who are much more accessible. Heck, there's even a none-too-surprising reappearance from a certain series' mainstay, albeit now recast as Old Han Solo.
Like The Force Awakens, the campaign here is all about handing over the torch to a new generation - and like The Force Awakens, it does so without offering anything that's going to startle the horses.
Gears of War 4's characters might be accessible, but they're accessible in the most obvious way.
Because the broad majority of video game developers can only recycle ideas that have gone before, apparently, GoW4's dialogue and storytelling are shamelessly ripped from the Uncharted model. Even the main character, JD (surname: "Sports"), sounds like he's been voiced by Nolan "Jack of all Voices" North.
As unoriginal as this approach may be, it does nevertheless succeed in making GoW4 much more likeable than its predecessors.
Still, so much of Gears of War 4 feels achingly familiar. Early on, there's a level where two characters are descending one of those big sci-fi lifts that they only have in games. Big surprise: the lift malfunctions, and keeps stopping at various floors. Where - even bigger non-surprise - they have to defend themselves from swarms of enemies, while a teammate up top tries to get the lift working again.
The mix of corridors, followed by more open-plan areas - naturally littered with explosive barrels, just like in real life - and the wave-upon-wave structure, swiftly becomes predictable, merely because it becomes clear that Gears 4 isn't ever going to push the boat out in terms of new ideas.
So well-trodden are its paths that no matter how many new enemy types are thrown at you, you can't help but feel you've seen it all before. Not just in the Gears of War series, but almost any triple-AAA shoot 'em up over the past decade or more. Its surprises - oh, here's an on-rails bit! - are anything but.
Fortunately, the basic Gears of War run-and-gun template hasn't been messed around with. It's exactly the same game it has always been. If that's what you want from a Gears of War, then you're in luck big time.
There's a handful of new weapons - typically they're either limited by ammo, or serving more as a brief pyrotechnic diversion. You'll doubtless default back to the usual more practical machine gun/shotgun/sniper rifle triumvirate. There are new enemy types - Oooh: robots! Oooh: a new type of alien! - plus some other none-too-original spins on series' mainstays.
Gears has always been a multiplayer favourite, however, and whether in co-op - the split-screen remains, gratifyingly - or in one of the numerous multiplayer modes (including a new 13-round slog), it's good stuff.
The Horde mode is the highlight once again, teams digging in to defend - building turrets and other defensive items - against wave after wave of enemy.
Overall, Gears of War 4 is fine - it's just woefully predictable. So rote and tired are most of its gameplay tropes that it feels oddly last-generation. Even its visuals, while well designed and fine technically, don't quite stand up next to the best of the current generation (though some of the environmental effects can be spectacular).
I dunno. There's nothing wrong - per se - with any of it; it's polished, enjoyable, thoroughly playable... but if you aren't bored by it at points, then that's likely for one of two reasons. Either it's the first shoot 'em up you've ever played... or you're an idiot. GOODBYE!
SUMMARY: Playing it safe.