Microsoft’s dedicated Gears studio The Coalition is back with the second arc of its new trilogy, Gears 5. That’s right, the “of War” is out. Forget it, don’t need it. With Gears of War 4 under its belt, The Coalition is doing a lot more experimenting with Gears 5. At E3 2019, we got a look at Escape, a new three-player co-op mode, hints at changes to Horde, and a September release date. Since then, The Coalition has also said that Gears 5 will have the “largest campaign” in the series’ history.
More info will roll in rapidly over the next few months, but for now, here’s everything we know about Gears 5.
What is Gears 5’s release date?
During Microsoft’s E3 2019 press conference, Gears 5’s release date was announced for September 10, 2019.
Kait is going through some stuff in the new Gears 5 E3 2019 trailer
We didn’t get any new campaign gameplay at E3. The Coalition decided to use E3 to focus on its new multiplayer offerings and will have more to say about the campaign closer to launch. In the meantime, we have this Billie Eilish-infused Kait clip.
Escape is Gears 5’s new 3-player co-op mode, and here’s a trailer
Escape sounds pretty interesting. It’s designed to be highly replayable. Levels are made in a tile-based editor that players will be able to use and share their levels with. I can see this being a fun distraction for a group of friends in the lulls between larger content drops.
How to get into the Gears 5 Tech Test
The Coalition is running several Gears 5 tech tests leading up to the game’s release. The first one is already over, and the second is Friday July 26 at 10am PST. To access the test, you have to either be a Game Pass subscriber or pre-order the game.
Gears 5 will have a new Arcade multiplayer mode
Gears of War 5 is introducing an Arcade mode that’s meant to be approachable for players who have typically skipped out on competitive modes in Gears.
In Arcade, players will pick from a selection of character roles, each with their own active and passive abilities and equipment loadout. Skulls, the currency in Arcade Mode, are used to buy upgrades and character enhancements. You’ll earn Skulls for kills, assists, and bounties specific to the character role you’re playing.
Dying means losing the weapon you’ve been investing in, but you keep any skulls you haven’t spent.
Gears 5 is ditching loot boxes, new maps will be free
Gears 5 is ditching the loot box model for what The Coalition hopes is a better, more player-friendly model. In an interview with IGN, the developer said, “In Gears 5, our goal is to create a player-first experience when it comes to in-game content.” The developer included a handy checklist for its post-launch philosophy:
- No Season Pass
- No Gear Packs
- DLC Maps are free for matchmaking and Private Play
- Exclusive earnable content in the all-new Tour of Duty system
- All store purchases are direct, no RNG so you always know what you will get
The Coalition is setting it up so that every thing is separate: earned items can’t be purchased and purchasable items can’t be earned. Though, there is one notable exception: hero characters can be earned or bought with premium Iron currency.
Gears 5 will support 3-player splitscreen on PC
Gears 5’s new Escape mode will support three-player splitscreen on PC, a nice addition given that splitscreen is a feature that often gets dropped in PC versions. Gears 5 on PC will also support 4K and ultrawide resolutions, HDR, and uncapped framerates, making that 3-person splitscreen session less squished if you have the monitor to support spreading everyone out.
What is Gears 5’s story all about?
From what we know about Gears 5’s story, it seems like players will be splitting time between the main characters returning from Gears of War 4: JD and Marcus Fenix, Kait Diaz, and Delmont Walker. Early on in the game, Kait and Delmont diverge from JD’s battalion to pursue answers relating to Kait’s Locust descent. As far as we can tell, Kait is the main protagonist this time around. The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson is calling Gears 5’s story mode the “biggest ever.”
OK, but what am I killing this time?
Back at last year’s E3, we got a good look at several of the enemy types that’ll pop up in Gears 5. The Locust, of course, are making a return, including a crazy-looking Locust wearing its best Kratos cosplay. A new type of fleshy pink mass also makes an appearance in the trailer, fusing with what looks like the broken remains of a robot enemy from Gears of War 4. Thanks, I hate it.
Horde mode is back, and it’s got character abilities
Studio head Rod Fergusson only briefly mentioned Gears 5’s horde mode during Microsoft’s E3 conference. At Gamescom in August, we’ll get a look at how character abilities “change the tide of the battlefield.” Horde mode has traditionally been about smartly building defenses, so character-specific abilities would add a new wrinkle to things.
Will the Gears POP! characters make a cameo in Gears 5?
If they do, I hope the Locust win.
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