Gears of War 5 (or Gears 5 as it’s being called pretty much everywhere) is the next entry in Microsoft’s beloved third-person shooter series. Acting as the second chapter in a new trilogy, The Coalition is shaping things up with a new protagonist and greater focus on storytelling. Obviously, they’ll still be plenty of time for chainsawing monsters to pieces. Oh, and Marcus Fenix is still hanging about, too.
Trusted Reviews has compiled everything you need to know about Gears 5 including all the latest news, gameplay trailers and the newly announced release date.
Gears 5 gameplay preview – We try out the ‘Escape’ multiplayer mode
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t underwhelmed by the presence of Gears 5 at E3 2019. After its stellar reveal last year, the solo campaign was poised to break ambitious new ground with a refreshed lead character, emotional turmoil and a wider, more varied world to explore. It looked fantastic, teasing a direction I never expected The Coalition’s tried-and-true shooter series to pursue.
While this vision will definitely arrive in the coming months, I simply wasn’t taken by Escape, a new multiplayer mode coming to Gears 5. Although, it’s experimental approach to team-based, PvE multiplayer is welcome in a series that essentially pioneered the concept of Horde battles. My dampened expectations aside, after playing a round of Escape I remain excited for what Gears 5 has to offer.
If The Coalition’s plans to redefine the co-operative combat experience Gears of War helped pioneer comes to fruition, we could be looking at a new high watermark on Xbox One. But we’re well aware of how lofty a claim that is.
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Escape begins with your character emerging from a fleshy cocoon, removing a grotesque mask from their face, accompanied by a tube that slides from the throat like an unsightly worm. After this grizzly introduction, I found two team members standing behind me, completing a trio that was scared, vulnerable and unarmed. That is with the exception of a knife, which can be swung with the press of a button, cutting enemies away when you’re lacking ammunition.
The goal of Escape is present in the name. You awake in an abandoned facility filled with unusual threats out to kill you, and starting with nothing means you’re immediately on the menu. It’s a compelling idea, and works well within Gear’s mixture of fast, cover-paced shooting and constant swarms of enemies. I was unarmed until cutting a nearby robotic guard down with my knife, stealing a barely loaded pistol and hesitantly moving forward.
Every bullet counts, and it takes several to take down even the weakest of adversaries. So I found myself constantly running out of ammo, scouring through optional rooms to find bullets, weapons or any other means of survival. Escape encourages you to abandon the beaten path, largely because it’s impossible to succeed without doing so. That, and my team kept stealing all the ammo I came across, failing the distribute wealth like I’d hoped.
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Speaking of my dysfunctional team, they were represented by unique characters you select before beginning each match. Three were available in this build, but I imagine more will emerge ahead of launch. They all look like your typical Gears of War archetype, possessing the stature of a fridge clumsily trying to fit through a tight corridor. Aesthetics aside, the most interesting aspect comes from ability cards.
These allow the performance of specific talents that can turn the tide of battle. One might spawn a temporary circle that quickly increases your ammo, while the other propels a shield in front of you that makes it easy to push forward through enemy lines. Every power has its own distinct level, indicating its effectiveness in the field. I didn’t have a chance to see this system to its full potential or how cards and other sequential upgrades will be unlocked.
Escape, or at least the map I played, was rather unimaginative in its layout, taking us through identical strings of rooms with increasingly challenging enemies, many of which required careful movement tactics to eliminate. Working alongside my team to emerge victorious was hugely satisfying, but I really wish the environments reflected the ambition I’ve seen elsewhere in Gears 5.
My first experience with Escape ends as we reach the outside world, proceeding towards an objective marker before the mission ends. It appears the goal of this mode is to top the leaderboards, warding off any potential challengers to the shooter crown. Beyond enjoyment of shooting and slicing foes to pieces, I can’t help but feel a little underwhelmed.
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Escape is an intriguing new addition to the world of Gears 5 multiplayer, but the stage highlighted at E3 2019 failed to truly impress me.
Fantastic gunplay aside, the team mechanics felt underutilised and environments failed to express the sense of loving scale I’ve come to expect from the series.
That being said, I can’t wait to experience the Xbox One exclusive when it launches this September. Will they finally kill off Marcus Fenis, though?
Gears of War 5 – At a glance
- Coming to Xbox One and PC (via Steam and Windows Store)
- Release date confirmed for September 10
- The second chapter in a new trilogy for the Gears franchise
Gears 5 Trailer – Microsoft confirms release date at E3 2019
After emerging online several weeks ago, Microsoft has finally confirmed the rumoured September 10, 2019 release date for Gears 5, and it’s coming to Xbox One and PC both as a full retail purchase and part of Game Pass. You can check out the brand-new trailer that joined the announcement below:
Gears 5 release date – When is it coming out?
Gears of War 5 is due to launch exclusively for Xbox One and Windows 10 on September 10, 2019. It will be a part of Xbox Play Anywhere and Game Pass upon its release. Microsoft has said it will be launching across consoles and PC via Steam and Windows Store.
Gears 5 Story – What’s going on?
*Major spoilers for Gears 1-4 ahead*
Gears of War 4’s story hit the same beats as its predecessors. We had the gang of soldiers surviving in a harsh world, the return of the Locust and we ever saw the death of a loved one in a very similar fashion to Dom’s wife.
Much of Gears 4 can be traced back to the original trilogy, and the setup for Gears 5 was laid clear at the climax of 4 where Kait, heartbroken, clutches her grandmother’s necklace. We now know that the game will indeed follow her as she embarks upon a much more personal mission related to this mysterious keepsake.
We also get the post-credit sequence of Oscar Diaz fighting his way free from a Snatcher in Gears 4, proving that he’s alive, and will hopefully return in the sequel.
What would you like to see from Gears 5? Let us know on Facebook and @trustedreviews.