After the absolutely massive cliffhanger that was the end of Gears of War 4, players knew that a sequel would be inevitable. After receiving nothing more than a tease at 2018’s conference, Microsoft decided to take the lid off Gears 5 at the Xbox E3 2019 briefing.
Seeing as the game is nearing completion, it is only natural for The Coalition to release bits and pieces of information in order to generate hype. As such, This year’s Xbox E3 2019 conference was quite a big one for the game.
E3 2019: everything revealed about Gears 5!
It features at least one new prominent character
Gears 5 will go back to “where it all began”. Whether this means that they will go back to the start of the war, or go even further back to discover where the Locust Army came from, is anyone’s guess. However, a new cinematic trailer that surfaced during E3 2019 will give you a teeny tiny glimpse into what you can expect from the campaign.
The trailer features Fahz, a brand-new character set to join the crew from the previous title. In the video, JD Fenix and friends walk into a room and challenge Fahz to a sparring match. Naturally, Fenix gets the better of him, and he storms off before the camera zooms out to what I presume would be gameplay.
While this is an out-of-context glimpse of what to expect, it does reveal that we will be seeing Marcus Fenix’ son and his crew back in the action for gears 5. It also reveals that Fahz will likely become a member of the team. Why else create an entire cutscene around the guy? Whatever the case may be, Fahz should be an excellent addition to the roster. This begs the question of how it will all play into the new “character-driven” narrative that developers The Coalition have been working on. At E3 2018, it was revealed that the game would mostly revolve around Kait Diaz, who first appeared in Gears of War 4. The change to a female protagonist was slated to be a big one for the franchise. Is Microsoft doubling back on this change, or will the campaign be way bigger than we think? Only time will tell!
It features a new game mode
During Microsoft’s Xbox E3 2019 conference, it was revealed that Gears 5 would get a new game mode called Escape. In this game mode, a squad of players must infiltrate and plant a bomb inside a hive before, well, escaping.
The trailer above opens with an unknown player character getting rescued by the rest of his squad. They then slowly pan to the bomb getting planted before the camera swoops around to reveal a few of the Locust baddies that players will face off against. It is a cool scene where it shows how players will have to band together if they want to get out of there alive. However, there is one particular thing I noticed from the video: the robot enemies from Gears of War 4 are making a return.
While I think they will be a great addition to the huge Locust swarms that players will fight, it is no secret that many players actually disliked the new addition in the previous title. I particularly liked the opening act of the game where players fought off against the “DeeBees”. This introduced a whole new dynamic to the franchise that was becoming increasingly stale as the titles released. However, a fair few fans on Reddit had an entirely different experience compared to mine. Regardless, The Coalition is clearly bringing them back – let us hope that they will appease everyone this time around.
While not entirely Swarm mode, I believe that it still looks like a heck of a lot of fun. It also skirts around the notion of the game being nothing more than a mindless shooter. Rather, players have to work together in order to plant the bomb and get out.
You can play as the Terminator
In a totally unexpected moment, Microsoft revealed that Gears 5 players will be able to step into the shoes of the Terminator. Alternatively, players will also be able to step into the shoes of Terminator legend, Sarah Connor. This is much more than “just some character pack”.
While it is obvious that the Terminator crossover is there solely to generate hype for the upcoming movie, The Coalition seems to have done right by fans of both franchises. During their E3 2019 Gears 5 Stage Show, Gamespot producers Mike Mahardy and Lucy James spoke to The Coalition head, Rod Fergusson about the crossover.
The most notable thing about the interview comes from the fact that the developers have always been fans of the Terminator franchise. Fergusson told Gamespot that the studio is excited about how the movie is going back to the roots with James Cameron and Linda Hamilton spearheading the film. He then continued by stating how much Hamilton’s iconic character, Sarah Connor, resonates with how they are telling the story of Kait. Fergusson states that Kait “went from this outsider civilian into this warrior who’s trying to save humanity”. Naturally, both Connor and Diaz share similarities in their stories, so “this idea of bringing these two franchises together in a really cool way” is an exciting aspect for The Coalition. The interview goes on to talk a bit more about Escape, but Ferguson does reveal that Hamilton is doing the voice over work of Sarah Connor in Gears 5. Now that is a cool surprise.
Fans who want to have a go at the Terminator Character Pack will get it for free, provided they play any edition of the game (including the standard edition), with a Game Pass subscription tied to their accounts during the first week of release. It really is as easy as that! If you miss it, however, chances are that the pack will require you to shell out a bit of cash.
The Gears 5 release is not far off
Fortunately, fans will not have to wait long for Gears 5 to release. Microsoft revealed that Gears 5 will release on 9 September 2019, along with a cool pre-order price starting at R999 ZAR, or your regional equivalent. Naturally, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get to play the game for free. Moreover, subscribers will also be able to play the game four days earlier, on 5 September 2019.
Microsoft also announced that Gears 5 will feature Xbox Play Anywhere for players who outright purchase the game and that it will feature cross-play between Xbox One and Microsoft PC. This will come in handy for anyone who has friends on PC, but still, wants to play Escape with them. The game also recently received a listing on Steam, with no price revealed as of yet.
There is no denying that Gears 5 will be Microsoft’s defining title for 2019. It is no secret that Microsoft is moving away from the entire “exclusive” aspect of the console war, in favour of becoming a service-based platform. This means that Microsoft is putting gamers first on their list of priorities. Xbox Game Pass and Game Pass for PC not only allows fans to play their titles on both Windows 10 and Xbox One but all new and “exclusive” first-party titles as well.
Gears 5 is spearheading the big triple-A Microsoft titles in 2019, and will pave the way for more Game Pass subscribers and Play Anywhere titles as the likes of Halo: Infinite also nears release. It looks to be an incredibly beautiful title with the same over-the-shoulder and cover-based action fans have come to love about Gears of War.
Are you looking forward to it? We know we are!