Gears 5 is one of Microsoft’s premier Xbox and Windows projects. PC owners are once again not left on the sidelines of Microsoft’s main gaming series, which is good news. True, not all parts were released on the PC, so many are not aware of everything that happened in the series. Gears 5 is trying to correct this annoying misunderstanding. Those who are not familiar with the development of events helpfully prepared a video with a brief retelling of everything that happened, however, only the most key moments are clear from it.
Everything is bad. Humanity is fighting the Swarm as best it can, but the threat is too great, and the creatures are methodically crushing the defenses of the people, destroying cities and capturing the population for further processing, or whatever they do. The GoW series has always been an ode to brutality and war, but in Gears 5, the perspective changes slightly.
During his next mission to evacuate a human settlement, James, the son of the famous Marcus Phoenix, decides to use one of the Hammer of Dawn satellites to destroy large concentrations of enemy forces, showing the familiar bravado, recklessness and heroism from the series. But everything is not going quite according to plan, and in fact the operation is failing. At this point, you realize that Gears 5 will be different.
Keith Diaz, James’ fighting partner, comes to the fore, and the action shifts from the story of the already aged Marcus Phoenix and his relatives to the young fighters of the Delta squad. Kate and her co-worker Del set off on their own journey, trying to unravel the young warrior’s connection with Roy and uncover her mother’s story. In addition, they are given the robot Jack, so that the cooperative passage can fully accommodate three players.
Jack is an important character with many roles. He helps the squad with his abilities in battle, and opens electronic locks, and even breaks into top-secret military systems, simultaneously destroying the viruses that attacked them. In general, a daring guy. Jack is also the only role-playing element in the game. The characters do not receive any development of characteristics, and in fact, it is possible to expand the tactical arsenal only by using the skills of the robot that open with the passage of the passage and improving its characteristics with the help of the collected parts.
The game generously shares spare parts for a little soulless soldier, because most of the locations are corridors and it is only important to turn around every corner. All sorts of collectibles are also scattered here, slightly complementing the narrative. Well, at least something. Kate’s story seems more soulful. There is a place for sorrows, joyful discoveries and tragic turns in it. Battles with enemies do not go one after another, but are systematically diluted with script inserts and research.
In ancient times, playing with partners caused melancholy. Looking at modern projects like Gears 5, you involuntarily shed a nostalgic tear, glad that progress does not stand still. The partners actively exchange opinions and barbs, discuss what is happening and, of course, try to suggest what to do next. Anything is better than silent fools. After all, this is how their personalities and characters are revealed most fully.
And where the game allows you to roam, it’s in open locations. In Gears 5, there are real open cards. This is not a single seamless world, as in some TES or Far Cry, but huge locations. It is proposed to move here on a special vessel, consisting of skis and sails. An extremely unusual vehicle, but it feels great both in the icy wastelands and in the crimson desert. Yes, there are only two locations, and you shouldn’t expect any special adventures from them. But such an innovation dilutes the classic gameplay quite well.
In most cases, through the open levels, you just need to move from the starting point to the final one, along the way performing a couple of side tasks. All entrances to interesting objects are helpfully marked with waving flags, so it will be very difficult to miss something. True, the tasks of the open areas are very scanty: come, clean up, get a reward, etc. The open spaces of the game feel lifeless. There is simply nothing to do here, nothing happens. Traditionally, all the juice is in corridor rail locations, and open spaces after a few minutes of driving even get a little tired.
The Gear 5 looks nice. Yes, the open part of the world seems to be underdeveloped, but the closed areas are full of detail. I guess Control was more impressed in this regard, but Gears 5 designers were clearly trying no less. When I first got into the desert, for example, I was surprised to look at the local filigree furniture and unusual ornaments.
The main problem with locations is their incomprehensibility. Normally, you can navigate in open spaces only with a map, and in closed spaces, despite all their rail nature, you can really get lost. There are branches here, and the levels are generally slightly less corridor than before. But a couple of times during the game, I honestly got into a dead end, not understanding what they wanted from me next. You get so used to the casualness and abundance of markers and hints in modern games that if developers, by mistake, forget to put at least one somewhere, you get lost in a seemingly straight level tunnel, unable to notice a small loophole through which you need to get out. And this is so strange for a modern game that one is involuntarily surprised by what happened.
However, such cases are rare. And the game quickly compensates for the annoyance with pleasant action. Brawls in Gears 5 are delicious and addictive. Enemies are often thrown just by dump trucks, launching wave after wave, and sometimes throwing up a couple of especially ferocious creatures or even a boss. Everything is as usual, but battles are constantly changing scenery, and combat arenas often involve several levels. Bye, horizontal shooter. As a result, the fights become more dynamic, although it does not work out to apply some meaningful tactics with rather stupid partners (this is me, of course, about AI). This is where the cooperative really decides.
The game can be criticized for a long time for the minimal destruction. A couple of corners, a few very flimsy shelters – that’s all. The rest of the monolith is bolted to the floor and walls with such nuclear screws that it is not possible to split anything here. Yes, sometimes you come across red barrels or red gas cylinders that mercilessly damage nearby creatures during explosions, but these are rather exceptions to the rule. Locations are static, like monuments in the central square.
And this is a shame, because very close there are steep mixes, in which you can break ice with bullets under the enemies, as a result of which they go under the frosty water, waving their hands in vain, after which the hole freezes smoothly. Gears 5 sorely lacks interaction with the environment; you will not be full just by dropping cabinets on the floor.
After finishing the game, scrolling through its strong moments in your head and lamenting about the mediocre spent key turn, you decide to try multiplayer. There is a regular fight, and the Horde mode with oncoming waves of enemies, and Escape – the original variation of survival, in which you need not so much to finish off all enemies, but to release deadly gas in the center of the enemy hive, and then make legs from there until the green fog has not yet devoured the heroes.
And here you understand what the catch is. While journalists praise the game from all angles, ordinary players fill it up with negative reviews, primarily relying on new inventions in the in-game store. According to modern tradition, you can invest ten more times in the game for the full price tag, in order to speed up your pumping and bring a marafet. There are no more roulettes for which the predecessor was scolded, even though thanks for that.
Gears 5 is good. She is dynamic, brutal and true to the standards of the series. But at the same time, the game presents many new mechanics. The story of Kate Diaz, although not of an epic scale, allows you to embark on an exciting journey and learn a lot about this world, where people hardly preserve their right to live and survive. And if we close our eyes to some missed moments, the plot leaves quite positive emotions, even if it does not sink into the soul. Gears 5 has a lot to praise and scold for. All this together makes it an important and significant title of the Microsoft ecosystem, which in our region bears a fairly acceptable price tag, and owners of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate get it for free.
PS An important but: Microsoft decided not to do a full-fledged localization of the game, so you will have to be content with only subtitles. All speech will be in English, including a video about the events of the previous parts.