Gears of War 5 has been smashed to death lately, unfortunately MEF TECH has been busy wheelin’ & dealin’ from PAX, but now things have calmed down, the time to give our take on the game has finally arrived.
Gears 5 is developed by The Coalation, published by Xbox Game Studios and so far is the sixth installment in the massively successful franchise.
Before the gameplay begins players are greeted with a ‘Previously on Gears’ which helps old and new players get back up to scratch on everything Gears Of War. Gears 5 revolves around the protagonist Kait Diaz. You smash and shoot your way through thousands of Locust scum, searching for answers on your family and why you have a strong connection with the enemy itself.
The core elements of Gears 5 is a cover-based 3rd person shooter. This sort of gameplay lends itself to environments like corridors and buildings or devastated streets where cover is ample, popping up to take shots or just fire blindly from the safety of the barricade you’re hiding behind… your choice really. It can be a lot of fun but at times, it feels the same old routine of hide, pop up, shoot, hide repeat.
The game itself took about 12 hours to complete and after a while, I can’t say I was overly interested in the weaponry. At the start it was new and interesting, the chainsaw brought many a joy to my life, hacking the horde scum to pieces. Getting a DropShot or the Salvo for the first time was also extremely satisfying. Blowing things apart and watching body parts spray from here to kingdom come almost made me climax, twice. Like most things in life though, the joy is in the discovery, once it’s been done, it’s done. After the first time excitement, you quickly learn what weapons are the best and pick favorites fairly quickly, only searching for relevant ammo. Of course, the Lancer is the number 1 and the most iconic gun in Gears franchise. Pair that up with the Longshot and I was done testing any more weapons, which kind of sucked for me.
I was pleasantly surprised when in chapter 2 the game world opened and provided an opportunity for the player to explore a more open-world environment, involving side quests and hidden treasures to discover. While the open world was a nice change of pace, gameplay for me suffered a bit here as the games core cover mechanic takes a back seat to focus more on piloting your shifty built, tough as nails, sled called a Skiff.
The gang is also joined by Jack, an upgradable flying robot who does his best to heal, stim and even revive the team while assisting you to fight off the Hordes and Locust by shocking, flashing and pulsing to reveal their location. Jack also had his very own upgrade tree, giving him the chance to increase his effectiveness, this could be done by finding components around the world. Obviously, by building one side or the other on Jack’s tree you can seriously change the outcome of any battle.
Gears 5 does look stunning and after upgrading my Nvidia Drivers, ran perfect on my 34″ ultrawide monitor on Ultra settings, but Using the Unreal 4 Engine it’s no surprise the game looks great. A few of my favourite parts of the game include the first walk outside, and enjoying the sun glistening on the calm waters as you walk through an abandon beautiful mess.
As expected, the game is littered with boss fights and has ample weaponry to bring them to a gory, bloody end, but still, most weapons felt below par for me. The boss fights were very entertaining, extremely challenging and fun. Overall gameplay feels good, however, with cover-based games, I often find myself diving or rolling at inopportune times resulting in my immediate death. Gears 5 is not exempt from these issues and on occasions I even found myself stuck behind an odd bit of map geometry taking a face full of enemy fire while desperately trying to take cover.
When all the dust has settled, Gears 5 does a great job of throwing you into a 90’s action movie and that is truly something pretty special in itself. The storyline is intriguing but doesn’t sweep me away with wonder and excitement. The graphics mixed in with the first open world Gears Of War was fantastic and definitely worth the hype that surrounds it. If you are already a Gears Of War fan then this is a huge must play game.
- GAMEPLAY - 72%72%
- GRAPHICS - 85%85%
- AUDIO - 70%70%
Did Gears 5 win me over? Well, I can’t say it was the best game I have ever played, I am not sure it is even the best game in the series. It is, however, the best looking and teed up with more world exploration than ever before, certainly made it memorable. It has without a doubt done its job to be entertaining enough to make me see the game through to the end. While the storyline itself did seem to fall short in the way of making you connect with the characters, I guess terribly bad one-liners mixed in with the blood, guts, and gore, made up for that.
For more on Gears of War 5, check out our previous coverage.