Well Oiled Gears- Gears 5

Kait, JD and the whole gang are back in this continuation of the absolute abomination that was Gears 4. This time the gang travels far and wide to find out how Kait is connected to The Swarm and along the way finds out why The COG is STILL a piece of garbage.

Gears 5 is a third-person shooter released September 6th, 2019 developed by The Coalition; formerly Black Tusk Studios and published by Xbox Game Studios.

Gameplay

Gears 5 plays much like its predecessors: A chest high wall simulator. A majority of the game has you hunkered down behind a chest high wall and shooting bad guys. The bad guys are still the reptilian race called the Swarm. A lot of the game has you walking and talking with Delta squad up until you find yourself in the middle of a skirmish with the baddies.

The big buff in gameplay this time around is Jack. Jack now has a skill tree that can be upgraded and equipped at any time during skirmishes with the Swarm. Jack can provide shield, invisibility so you can sneak up on unsuspecting bad guys, the stim ability can give you the strength to outlive your enemies (and if you find the last upgrade, melee anything 6 feet under). Jack’s abilities allow for the player to think about how they want to approach each and every fight.

Jack is also the prime example of why doing the secondary quests matter. In the second half of the game players are introduced to a Gears first; an open world. This open world is massive and is filled with goodies to forward the plot and to upgrade jacks abilities. A lot of the locations that harbor upgrades for Jack are usually fleshed out as mini Gears of War battles. You find the closest chest high wall and you fight until the fighting stops and you are rewarded usually with an upgrade for Jack or lore progression. This is all okay because the reawrds are more than worth it because of how integral Jack is to the core gameplay now.

Plot

Gears 5 continues promptly from where Gears 4 left off; that Kait has a connection to the Swarm and she needs to find answers. The second and the third act is where Gears 5 shines. Act 2 follows Kait and Del on their travels in Kadar, a snowy section in the region of Mount Kadar. Mount Kadar houses military installations, COG laboratories that the duo searches to help Kait in her investigation. What is simply the best during these open world moments are the small conversations that occur. In Act two and three, Kait and Del talk to each other about the fear of what they might uncover, Del’s infinite explanations of why it is good to know tid-bits of knowledge and how Kait confesses to Del that she is scared that she might not be able to overcome being so connected to the Swarm. These conversations feel so real that it makes the player feel closer to the characters. This all goes to shit immediately when the over arching plot disappears in favor of cool set pieces and bigger skirmishes with the Swarm threat. it is bitter sweet to navigate the UIR and find out bits and pieces of what happened there, but it does not add anything to the narrative. The narrative here is that Kait is searching for answers about her past and what seems to be her inevitable future is put on hold and the game switches to the brand new delta squad and their attempt to hook a link back up to the Hammer of Dawn.

The campaign is nonetheless very fun to play. The open world adds choices to battles, the collectibles that litter the world give new insights to the Gears lore and Jack’s new abilities add new ways to play to better fit any players play style.

Multiplayer

“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” is Gears 5 multiplayer in a nutshell. The only real new addition here is the ability to customize for different play styles. Two teams start at different sides of the map and race toward each other. Players take cover, inevitably dance on walls until one person is splattered all over the concrete. There are a lot of game modes here and majority of them require a different skill set every game. King of the hill, team deathmatch, guardian all make a return in ranked while quickplay offers dodge ball ( the only way to spawn is to kill the enemy) and arms race (get kills with 13 different weapons to win). The Gears 5 multiplayer is enjoyable because there are customization options to chase the make you feel like the time that your are investing in the multiplayer is worth while.

Co-op

Horde is back and it has not really changed for the most part. Players fight off 50 waves of increasingly difficult enemies by building fortifications, but this time around there are resources that are shared by all players, perks that can bought to strengthen the player and a character specific “ultimate” ability that charges over time.

Escape is a brand new addition to Gears 5. It is a three person co-op experience where players take the role of a hivebuster that has to kill Swarm while running from a noxious gas. I did have fun with the difficulty modifiers and the semi survival element. These game modes are enjoyable because there are rewards for the time that you spend playing the game. The unlocks that are rewarded for time played allow for each character to become different. Personally, I was and still am overwhelmed by the amount of progression and customization options there are for these game modes. 

Gears 5 is a good game, but it does not really bring anything new to the table. The campaign is very fun, but the main plot gets lost and is replaced with a plot line that is similar to previous games. The shooting mechanics are still very good. The multiplayer, with the inclusion of the co-op modes are enjoyable and with the addition of a plethora of customization options gives the multiplayer longevity. Overall, Gears 5 is worth checking out if you like the Gears of War franchise.

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