Yeah, that was the impression I got, but I wasn’t sure if it got markedly better later. That’s disappointing. But hopefully Gears 5 is good. I do think part of the reason I enjoyed Gears 1-3 so little bc I played them when they were no longer groundbreaking.
It does get markedly better after slow fist Act. Rest of the campaign is packed with action and pacing is great. 1-3 feel a bit slow compared to it. You might want to try it yourself, especially considering you didn't fancy 1-3.
Actually I still think Gears remains groundbreaking heh. There simply isn't better 3rd person shooter for online play. It's so fluid and skill-based.