Gears of War 4 sequel Gears 5 is hitting early next month, so we’ve come up with five reasons why we’re super-keen to get into Gears once again.

The story so far… and then?

In the meat and spuds campaign mode, we’ll be reintroduced to Kait Diaz from Gears of War 4, as now it’s time to get to know her a whole lot better – and find out more about that necklace.
The Swarm has managed to corrupt the Coalition’s robot army and is now raining down upon human cities on Sera. Our key Outsider Kait works to uncover her connection to the enemy – and makes a shocking personal discovery along the way…

As well as Kait, the entire Gears 4 band will be back together, with players having the chance to variously take control of old pals JD Fenix, Delmont Walker, and JD’s dad Marcus Fenix.
With promises of a more adventurous story than ever before, coupled with increased options, options and more options for combat both close and far – including many to help out those who are new to the fray – we’re already blocking out plenty of time on the calendar for this one.

Get out!

Whether you’re playing online or in local co-op, there’s one objective in the new ‘Escape’ mode. You guessed it: get the heck out! Three of you – new Gears recruits Lahni, Keegan and Mac, each with customisable key abilities and ultimate moves – are ‘Hivebusters’, which should give you an idea just what you’re escaping from. Yes, it’s a labyrinthian Hive – and swarms of, well, Swarm enemies who aren’t particularly jazzed about your presence. Bonus objective? Yeah, while you’re there, take out the Hive’s inhabitants for us? Cheers – but you’ll also have to outrun the noxious poison that you’ve unleashed. Eh, all in a day’s work.

Playing out much like a puzzle as you fight to work out the best route to freedom, success reaps rewards – higher difficulties! OK then, once more into the fray…

Gears 5

If you build it…

If you really get into ‘Escape’, why not create your own levels and share them? A map builder will be included to achieve just this end, and we can imagine that there are going to be brain-breaking challenges emerging quick-smart after release.

It’s based around a 2D tile system, and promises to be a doddle to use despite the complex results that can be achieved. Keep your map relatively simple, or go all-in for an elaborate series of multi-chapter Hives, then check it out in a 3D preview to make sure it looks like you want it to – and maybe suss out a few extra ways to make your experience that little more diabolical. BWAHAHA!

Step up and play…

Amongst a veritable bevy of online options comes a shiny new ‘Arcade’ mode. If you’re not into the old school inclusions like ‘King of the Hill’ and ‘Team Deathmatch’ – or are put off by the prospect of entering the fray as mere bullet fodder for seasoned veterans – then this may be your thing.

Designed for players of any skill level, Gears 5 goes ‘hero shooter’ with a format that demands cunning and strategy over straight-out combat skills. As you’d expect, different characters hold different loadouts, so there’s sure to be an option to suit anybody’s preferred play style – plus, the in-game currency of ‘Skulls’ will allow you to purchase upgrades on the fly as situations require.

MMM… free stuff!

The old season pass and ‘Gear Pack’ model, where you buy a game then pay more for the rest of it, has been given the boot in Gears 5. You will have to earn some of your extra stuff though, via the new ‘Tour of Duty’ initiative. This involves the completion of daily challenges and seasonal objectives, and if you have your eye on something in the catalogue, it’ll be clear what you’ll have to do to make it yours. If you’re lazy or just can’t wait, you will have the option of paying real bucks – but cashed-up players won’t have access to anything that can’t be worked for.

Add to this a planned rollout of free maps for matchmaking and private play, as well as regular fresh ‘Escape’ challenges, and things are looking good. Sure, there will be some paid shortcuts – we’re assured that they’ll be boosts rather than ‘pay to play’ – and possibly premium maps down the track, but this is a vast improvement on past outings, and a path that we hope more choose to follow in future.

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