Among the many video games made exclusively for the Xbox, the “Gears of War” franchise stands as one of the most popular, particularly in the third-person shooter genre. Cherished by fans for its revolutionary graphics and memorable characters, the series has only increased its fanbase since its initial release in 2006. Now, the sixth installment of the 13-year-running franchise, “Gears 5,” promises new gameplay mechanics, an exciting campaign and characters to keep fans forever craving new content.
Here are more details to get you hyped for “Gears 5” arriving just around the corner.
The New Campaign Will Expand Upon the Lore
After gamers spent the past four “Gears of War” games playing as either Marcus or his son JD Fenix and seeing the world of Sera through their eyes, players will now see through the perspective of Kait Diaz as she uncovers the truth about her identity.
The cliffhanger ending to “Gear of War 4” revealed that Kait has a connection to the Locust through her grandmother’s pendant, which bears the Locust symbol. Based on this symbol, fans couldn’t help but speculate that her grandmother was Edit date and timethe Locust Queen, Myrrah, who was defeated by Marcus Fenix at the end of “Gears of War 3.”
Hopefully, as players delve deeper into the mind of Diaz and her connection to the Locust, more details surrounding the origins of the Locust and Swarm will be revealed.
The game’s advertising has alluded heavily to the internal and external struggles Diaz will endure as she balances her family’s mysterious past and her friendships with characters like JD and Delmont.
“Gears 5” is going to have the longest campaign of the series, potentially dwarfing the 10- to 15-hour long campaign of “Gears of War 4.” The developers also revealed that the campaign now allows for three-player, split-screen co-op, as opposed to the previous “Gears of War” games, which only enabled two-player co-op.
Another new addition is open-world features that will let players take different avenues when accomplishing objectives, relieving players of the repetitive, linear paths that only lead to the main mission. The “Gears of War” franchise shifting from a progression-style to a more sandbox style of game, along with the possible addition of side objectives, will only add to what the series is capable of creating in the future.
Escape: A New Game Mode
The first new feature coming to “Gears 5” is a game mode called Escape. Having selected this mode, a cutscene will appear displaying your character intentionally getting himself/herself captured by a Snatcher (a Swarm enemy type) and brought to the Swarm hive where, after planting a time bomb, you’re tasked with — you guessed it — escaping. You start with nothing but a sub pistol as waves of enemies stand in your way, similar to the famous Horde game mode of previous installments, receiving new weapons only by taking them off of dead enemies.
As time flies when you’re having fun getting headshots, melee kills and executions, the bomb you planted at the start goes off, pressing you and your teammates to retreat to a safe room. Much like the time interval between waves in Horde, you’re able to replenish ammo and supplies before you’re forced back to face stronger enemy variants.
The new game features that enable you to resist the stronger Swarm forces are customizable character abilities, which increase in potency depending on how many times you kill an enemy or how many times you die. Every time you complete a match of Escape, you’re rewarded with new customizations for character abilities and weapons whose benefits increase the higher you set the difficulty.
This system of rewarding players based on their in-game accomplishments is incredibly refreshing while the rest of the video game industry shifts its focus away from traditional means of progression to microtransactions, in which a player can spend money in order to upgrade their character.
In an interview between Gamespot and Ryan Cleven, the Multiplayer Design Editor for “Gears 5,” Cleven says that there are “no purchasable loot boxes,” and that there are strict ways of receiving rewards, which are either “Earnable, Purchasable, or Free.” While “Gears 5” still has some forms of monetization, it is nowhere near the extent that has caused outrage in the past.
Another feature unique to “Gears 5” is the map builder, in which the player assumes the role of game designer and creates their own original map playable in the Escape game mode. Similar to the Forge World mode in the “Halo” series, players have several options — from choosing the layout, the number and type of enemies, the kinds of weapons and resources and the time in which the bomb goes off — to personalize a map to their exact preferences.
With the map tailored to your specific play style, you then have the options of either playing three-person co-op with your friends or sharing it to the community browser where everyone can play on your map in matchmaking.
With a release date of Sept. 10 (Sept. 6 for those with the Xbox Game Pass subscription), the next step in the “Gears of War” franchise is shaping up to be one of the most unique gaming experiences yet.