Three years ago The Coalition had the great responsibility of bringing back Gears of War, one of the most beloved and successful series of the past generation, a third-person action-adventure so bright and impressive that changed the genre forever. Gears of War 4 was a great game, and those responsible for it fulfilled with a note the difficult task of bringing such a myth back, and with that they risked too little, and title ended up being repetitive.
Now Gears 5 arrives, much larger and more ambitious in every way, with which The Coalition has released its mane and has not been afraid to experience and introduce essential developments, in a formula so entrenched that it seemed difficult to innovate without spoiling its essence.
This fifth installment is the most complete, most spectacular and varied Gears of War , and in some aspects also the most risky since the first installment, a feast of epic and unbridled action that will make the fans of the series fall in love, but that It has many arguments to satisfy anyone who enjoys hitting shots in a good video game.
With a subtly improved gameplay, which makes it simply perfect, and a top-notch graphics and sound show, we can enjoy countless content, a hilarious and massive Campaign, which can last more than 20 hours; a Horde mode as addictive as ever , but with essential developments ; a Multiplayer more complete and with more possibilities than ever , which offers countless hours; and finally the original and challenging cooperative Escape mode , in which the community can create its own maps.
As you can see, a Gears of War at the height of its legacy, which becomes, without any doubt, one of the best action games of the entire generation. Take your Lancer, and we are going to tell you in-depth about how much we liked this game.
A simply perfect gameplay
We are going to talk a lot about Jack, a support robot that accompanies us throughout the adventure and that gives a new layer of complexity to the action , and of course they will run rivers of ink with what happens in the Acts two and three of the campaign, where for the first time in the series we can explore small open worlds, in which we find some side missions.
But before all this, we want to highlight the gameplay, because we already assume that shooting is so satisfactory in a Gears of War, or that its coverage system works so well, although it has not changed substantially for more than a decade. But if on top they have subtly improved the control of the characters, now a little more agile, and they have polished the gunplay, which is superb, we find a third-person shooter that in the playable is merely perfect, without more.
Accumulating all the good that the series has been offering during its thirteen years of life, from the tremendous active recharge system to the inspired arsenal design, and with the usual additions of each new delivery, in the form of new enemies and weapons, we have an impeccable and varied shooter in the playable, which has almost no rival in its genre.
Already starting from this very relevant fact, we can go into detail all the rest, a product can not be more generous in terms of the amount of content , and that the soul is left to offer the most ambitious campaign of The whole series, with a multitude of new ideas, that although not all work equally well, the effort is appreciated, being that breath of fresh air that many asked Gears of War .
Kait takes the reins
The campaign remains one of the pillars of the series, the least has never been neglected, and in Gears 5 we are facing the most extensive and most varied. Packed with bright and spectacular moments, but also with some ups and downs, the result of its extension and the fact of having tried to do new things, such as certain moments for exploration and fulfill secondary missions, a novelty.
Continuing the story just where he left the fourth installment, and after a video that refreshes our memory, in Gears 5 we have the most careful narrative of the entire series, with a multitude of dialogues and cinematics, although always very well measured, without affecting to the rhythm or hinder the action. Evidently, those who are going to enjoy it the most are the biggest fans of the series, given the multitude of references to the past and the return of old acquaintances, but they know how to offer enough information so that no player feels lost.
Kait, the new protagonist, is a complex character and with an impressive background, has charisma, his past being one of the pillars on which the story of Gears 5 is built. Of course, it is very well surrounded by the rest of the usual characters, whom after so many deliveries we have already taken care of them, and that in this installment they have some hilarious dialogues, in an adventure that as usually happens from drama to humour with surprising naturalness.
The problem in the story of Gears 5 is that it could be told in a game of just three hours, and they use it in one of about 20, so it does not go so far and gives the feeling of being very stretched. It advances a little in the first act, at the end of the second, and in the fourth and last, but in the rest of the adventure nothing relevant happens in the plot, and above it is open, so we will have to wait for its resolution in Gears 6.
Narratively it is a step forward and positive, but leave that feeling of being the intermediate episode of a trilogy, with all that that entails.
The open-world in Gears of War?
The first act of Gears 5 is superb, simply perfect, a demonstration of the best that the formula can give itself in its more traditional, completely linear and epic version, pure spectacle and fun.
It begins so high that it is hard to imagine how they will maintain the level after such a start, and what they do in the second act is to completely change the structure, having a small world open to explore. It is a kind of hub that connects the different locations where the primary and secondary missions are carried out, and that we have to travel aboard the boat, a very colourful and easy to control the vehicle.
Do not be scared, Gears of War has not become a sandbox with a map full of icons and insubstantial contents, for nothing, they wanted to break the usual linear structure, and that you can perform the objectives in a different order, or pay attention to their secondary missions. We already warn you that they are few and very short, so they do not adversely affect the rhythm of the adventure.
Although they have been cautious when planning this structure, and in the world of free exploration there are no enemies or too many distractions, it is a wasteland in which little more can we do than go from one mission to another, it is clear that this part The game will generate some controversy, because it is not too bright what it brings to the adventure, having introduced it in such a careful way, if not thymus.
In the end, it has served to make it a more extended campaign than usual, since these secondary contents are very close at hand, they are simple, and almost all players will want to perform them, but we are not too bright that they make the game necessarily better. Yes, we asked for a breath of fresh air, to Gears of War 4 almost all we call them a continues, but we do not believe that these walks through an inert world contribute too much, beyond the novelty. The third act repeats the same structure as the second, only in another scenario, and the fourth and last act becomes linear again, like the first.
Thus we have a campaign that depending on the level of difficulty chosen can last between 15 and 20 hours quietly, and even more, and that as usual it is full of spectacular moments, offering a variety of admirable situations, both for the design of the scenarios and the circumstances as for the enormous amount of weapons and enemies that we have available, almost as if it were a great successes of the saga. Not everything works just as well, for example, there are some optional stealth sections that we do not think you need a Gears of War, but in the end what we have is a very different game and rich in situations, which leaves an excellent taste in the mouth.
All the campaign can be played cooperatively between two players, both locally and through the internet, and this time you can add a third party, which controls a robot called Jack, something that has a lot of crumbs, being one of the playable important addition.
Our great friend Jack
Throughout the campaign we are accompanied by a flying robot as a supporting character , and it serves for many things, such as fighting, protecting, revealing the position of the enemies or even bringing us weapons and ammunition, adding a new layer of complexity to the action, being the playable addition that is most noticeable in this installment.
Jack has two types of skills, assault and support, and we are unlocking as we move forward in the campaign. Among the assault skills we have flash, which stuns enemies, electric trap, which electrocutes them, and hacking, which allows to possess and control an opponent for a few seconds. In support, we have a pulse, to locate the enemies and surrounding objects, stimulating, which temporarily increases the armour of the characters, and camouflage, which makes us invisible.
These skills can also be improved little by little, enhancing their characteristics and adding new functions through the components, a new type of collectible that we find everywhere in the scenarios (also follow the traditional and abundant collectibles in the form of documents and objects). There are specific special improvements in each skill for which we will need a specific purpose, which they give us by overcoming the secondary missions of acts two and three.
In this way, Jack enriches the action and adds a new strategic element in Gears 5, with his different abilities that we have to know how to use at the most appropriate moments of each combat, also adding a progression system in which we have to decide on what Skills or characteristics we spend the components.
Jack is not only outstanding in fighting, but also in exploration since there are small puzzles and situations in which we have to use his skills. For example, to cross an area with toxic gas, we have to use the keen ability to protect ourselves, or so that a camera does not see us, make us invisible. They are straightforward situations, but that brings a touch of variety to an already entertaining and varied game from start to finish.
Also, this robot can be controlled by one person, so the campaign is really cooperative for three players: two marines and Jack. And it is an addition that does not stay only in the Campaign mode since Jack also appears and is controllable in the Horde mode, which comes loaded with news in this installment.
A renewed Horde mode
The Horde is one of the three pillars of Gears of War , a mode cooperative for five players in which it is customary for the biggest fans of the series to get together with friends and have a great swooping waves of enemies increasingly numerous and challenging, having to play very well in teams to face the most complicated challenges with guarantees.
In Gears 5 the Horde mode is renewed again with quite important developments, such as a system of unique characters, in the style of the ‘heroes’ that we have seen in so many shooters in recent years, each having their own set of weapons and skills and its own progression system.
Each character (Kait, Del, JD, Marcus, Fahz or the extras per reservation such as Emile-A239 and Kat-B320 from Halo Reach, or Sarah Connor from Terminator ), belong to a role as’ attack ‘,’ engineer ‘,’ Explorer ‘or’ tank ‘, but each one is entirely different, with its own set of weapons and a definitive and passive skill.
Thus, for example, Kait can camouflage, Marcus activate a skill with which he automatically shoots at the heads, and JD throws some artillery saves, and each character has its own progression system and unlockables through a system of collectible cards.
The most peculiar character of all is obviously Jack, of whom we have already explained his role in the campaign, and who does the same as in the Horde mode, serve as a support to heal, attack and use all kinds of tricks and tricks. From what we have verified, it is more than convenient that in a team of five players, one of them is Jack, since it brings a series of unique benefits.
Another interesting novelty is the operation of the advantages, since each character has four different, such as greater movement speed, defence or increased damage, and these can be improved throughout the games by investing energy, the same one used to Buy weapons or build defences.
Escape, an exciting new cooperative mode
One of the great novelties of this installment in terms of game modes is Escape, a cooperative mode for three players in which you have to run away from a hive before being suffocated by a toxic gas that advances relentlessly while facing to all kinds of enemies and you travel relatively labyrinth-like stages.
The approach is very different from Horde, since it is a frantic escape with survival touches, when starting practically without weapons and ammunition, something that is scarce throughout the game, so we must measure each shot, something in itself very different from any other Experience in Gears of War.
It is a mode with a very particular rhythm, and that transmits a unique tension, we liked it a lot, and it has great potential to have a scenario editor since we can create our own levels very quickly in an editor. These are shared on the internet with the rest of the community, and among the challenges that The Coalition will propose weekly plus the maps that you can try on other players, it is an exciting way, which will grow and improve with the step of the months in multiple ways.
A very complete multiplayer
And we leave for the end that for many players it is possibly the most essential mode and where more hours will be spent, the Showdown mode, the competitive multiplayer, the most hardcore face of Gears of War.
Before we set foot on the battlefield, we have to choose a character, each with its own set of weapons and a special ability or characteristic, such as improved speed, detect the enemies that cause you damage, that inflicting damage makes you recover health, or resistance to explosions, among others.
As we eliminate enemies we get some skulls that allow us to acquire better weapons, and the name of the mode says it all, Arcade, a declaration of intentions to be a direct and uncomplicated proposal to have fun with the Gears multiplayer 5, an excellent gateway for all types of players.
Then we have other modes designed for more expert players, and even for eSports, such as the renewed Climbing, in which you have to play very well as a team to conquer several areas of the stage, with somewhat limited reappearances.
Its twelve maps seem very good to us , the experience of The Coalition in these years since the launch of the fourth installment is noted, and among its nine modes (Arcade Duel, Arms Race, Dodgeball, Climbing, Execution, Guardian, King of the Hill (Team Duel and War Zone), there are options for all tastes and to be entertained for hundreds of hours , and also as we saw in Gears 4, the multiplayer will grow over the months with new modes and free content, having game for years, at least until Gears 6 .
Gears 5 is a visually stunning game, offering some of the most spectacular moments of the entire saga, and that is to say. Whether in the original One, at 30fps, or in One X, at 60fps, it is one of those titles that squeezes every hardware to the fullest, with moments with dozens of enemies and explosions on the screen that leaves you with your mouth open.
Obviously, it is on PC and One X where it is nice to see it, in the latter with an ambitious purpose of offering 60fps and 4K, with a variable resolution that prioritizes performance, and that makes it stay surprisingly stable in any type of situation. Also, highlight the HDR in One X if you have a good TV, the best uses we have seen in this console.
Unlike Gears of War 4 , which in One X offered to play 1080p 60fps or 4K 30fps in the campaign, in this fifth installment they have imposed that everyone play on this console at 60fps , and personally it seems a success, and something that we hope will become a standard of the series in the future. In an action game as frantic as this, and with such good playability, enjoying it at 60fps is the best experience.
Not everything is perfect, that it visually has ups and downs. The first act of the campaign, totally linear, leaves you always with the jaw dropped with the graphic spectacle ; on the other hand, in acts two and three, in those open worlds that you can explore, there is an evident decrease in quality , with some textures that leave much to be desired, and a very unsophisticated daylight in comparison to the dark scenes and in Interiors, which are very colorful.
This makes it not visually perfect from start to finish, but most of the time it is visually amazing, also for the right art direction and its great colour, and tremendously meritorious for its strong commitment to 60fps. Also highlight how good it looks in any of its modes since the competitive multiplayer graphics do not have much to envy to what we see in the campaign, something surprising.
The sound also lives up to what is expected of a blockbuster like this, with an excellent soundtrack again by Ramin Djawadi, the same from the Game of Thrones series, which gives a considerable touch of quality so that the action scenes are even more epic and vibrant. And also excellent sound effects, really blunt and with a perfect mix of music, effects and dialogues.
The most complete and spectacular Gears
Gears 5 is up to what anyone might expect, for they were high expectations. If you are big fans of the series, you will enjoy it in an indescribable way, with which you will undoubtedly be the biggest and most ambitious delivery, full of epic and content. And if you simply like action and shooters, it is a totally essential title, with excellent gameplay, few more satisfying things are you going to find in a video game that busting Locust heads for tens of hours.
We have prepared this review on an Xbox One X with a digital review code provided by Microsoft