The Gears keep turning
Gears 5 is here and it’s most likely Microsoft’s last big Xbox One exclusive (I don’t know if Halo Infinite is a next-gen exclusive title). Gears of War 4 was the first game by The Coalition and they did a great job. The campaign was played a bit safe but for their first crack at Gears, it was enjoyable.
Have The Coalition done yet another good job? Is the campaign better than Gears of War 4? Is the multiplayer still as fun as ever? The answer to those questions are in my mini-review of Gears 5.
Gears 5 is a very pretty game, it’s one of the best looking games of this generation next to the PS4 exclusive, God of War. It’s easily the best looking game on Xbox One.
I was playing Gears 5 on a base Xbox One and it looked phenomenal. Xbox One X owners are going to be in for a visual delight as the game will look even more gorgeous.
If you are looking for answers to Gears of War 4’s big cliffhanger, you’re gonna get them and they don’t disappoint. The campaign for Gears 5 is brilliant and that means it is 5 out of 5 (6 out of 6 if you count GoW: Judgment) on awesome campaigns. The story focuses on Kait Diaz who was introduced in Gears of War 4 and the internal conflict she is facing after acquiring a family heirloom at the end of the previous game.
You’ll play as Kait for the majority of the game except for the beginning where you play as JD Fenix. Kait was cool in Gears of War 4 but she grew on me quite a bit in Gears 5 and I quite like the character now. Even though you play as JD at the beginning, this is Kait’s story and the game’s crazy action-packed ending will leave you wanting more.
The campaign still features the tight spaces and semi-open battlefields that the series is known for. However, The Coalition has taken a risk here, one I think was worth taking. Gears 5 introduces small open-world segments which you can explore and find collectables and side missions. The majority of the side missions are pretty much, kill all of the enemies in the are and grab the Jack upgrade. There are one or two that are different but not by much. I would have liked more variety.
Whilst I do like the open-world segments, it does break up the pace of the story. The campaigns for the Gears games have always been fast-moving and always going forward at a great speed. The pacing of the story has always been a strength of the series. The open-world sections do ruin the pace a bit but I’m alright with it.
The Coalition took a big risk in making these open-world parts as the series has had nothing like it before. It’s the first time The Coalition has never done an open world area before so I admire them for taking a risk.
It’s not all sugar and rainbows though, as I came across some problems, some that were infuriating. During my playthrough of the campaign, the game crashed and sent me back to the dashboard, twice. It was annoying because they happened just as I was making my way to a side mission and in the middle of a gunfight.
The other problem I had is that some enemies were not spawning. One part of the game in the second act requires you to go to a mine and get some explosives. Before you enter the mine though, there is a fast and frantic battle and it should have been fun. It wasn’t though, as the last enemy I needed to kill either didn’t spawn or it fell through the map. This didn’t happen to me once, or twice, or even three times. This happened four goddamn times. It was so infuriating that I turned the game off after finally doing it as I needed a break. I went back to it the day after and whilst I was enjoying the game again, I was still annoyed at what had happened.
The multiplayer is as fun as ever, all the usual modes return including the fantastic Horde mode. I’ve played several matches of Horde mode with friends and every single one of them has been incredibly fun. The newest addition to Gears’ multiplayer is a mode called Escape.
Escape is a three-player co-op mode where you and your friends have to work together to “escape” the level. Throughout the level are enemies that won’t hesitate to kill you. You also start with only one weapon and a small amount of ammo. If you want to get more guns, you’re gonna have to look around the level.
Escape is a fun new mode and is a welcome addition to the Gears multiplayer experience. Now with that said, can Beast mode from Gears of War 3 return? I loved that and it’s absence is mind-boggling.
I did encounter some problems with the multiplayer. I was playing team deathmatch and about 2 minutes into the match I disconnected. At first, I thought this was my internet but this also happened to my friends. It’s annoying and whilst it a lot better now (I played it at launch via Game Pass) the state it launched it was not good.
Another problem I encountered was inviting people to my squad. For some reason unbeknownst to me, I couldn’t invite my friends to my squad. Only one of us in our group of four could invite players to the squad. Again, like the disconnection problem, this has been fixed for the most part.
Gears 5 is a great game, one that I had a lot of fun with but it, unfortunately, comes with a few problems, most of which have been fixed with updates which are good but the problems shouldn’t have been there, to begin with. The big infuriating problem I had with the campaign also seems to have been fixed.
The Coalition has taken a few risks with the campaign which I like and the story is really good. Much like Gears of War 4, the ending for Gears 5 left me wanting the next instalment immediately. I know I have to wait but I really want to know what happens next.
So Coalition, Gears 6 is out next week yeah? I know the answer but you can’t blame me for trying.