Gears 5 Reviews

  • LiviPenguinsLiviPenguins202,124
    16 Sep 2019 16 Oct 2019
    14 5 7
    For many years now I have been an active follower of the Gears of War series, and I was absolutely stoked to dive right into Gears 5. Here is my in-depth review and honest thoughts about it.

    Gears 5 is massively different from the other games in the series, from new characters to never seen before (in a Gears game) open-world adventures. This installment in the Gears franchise focuses on the story of Kait Diaz, one of the new characters we met in Gears of War 4, and how she is trying to discover what relation she has to the Locust.

    As far as the campaign goes, I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline. Every new detail we learned about Kait made me want to play more and more. I won't ruin the story for you, but I will say that you're in for some big surprises and twists. Now let me address the elephant in the room... the open-world portions of the game. You're required to sail across the tundra and desert for a majority of the campaign, complete main objectives all around the world, and of course, missable side missions hidden throughout the lands. I, for one, enjoy these types of games, but if you're someone who likes a continuous campaign with no extras, the Gears 5 campaign probably isn't for you since hours of it is spent sailing on your Skiff around the world.

    For multiplayer game modes, we were introduced to an entirely new mode called "Escape". I wasn't sure how I would feel about it but I was very impressed with how it turned out. You're tasked with escaping a Swarm hive as fast as you can alongside 2 allies, with a poisonous hivebuster venom creeping up on you as you battle through hordes of enemies. I love a challenge, and Escape is just that. This anxiety-inducing game mode might not be for everyone, but I'm totally invested in it. Though I do admit, it may be quite anticlimactic on the lower difficulties, The Coalition really nailed it with this new mode.

    Die-hard Gears fans know how much the Horde game mode has evolved since it was first introduced in Gears of War 2. Gears 5 horde brings new challenges and new strategies. Though it is different from the Horde we've previously played, it still has the same premise... You and 4 friends must survive the onslaught of the Swarm (or Locust) Horde for 50 waves, each wave more difficult than the last. I'm not opposed to change when it comes to Horde, but I'm not sure this version was the best. The "build a base and defend it" strategy has almost become obsolete. Now, this completely matters on how you and your squadmates choose to play, however, I find that most times my squad has chosen the "divide and conquer" method, with each of us mowing down enemies by ourselves. Each character (and I must mention the fact that there are no duplicate characters. 2 people cannot be Marcus, for example) has their own set of skills and benefits to bring to the table. The biggest addition to Horde was the playable Jack bot. As Jack, you're essentially a support player. Jack can revive other players, give them power, repair power taps and any fortifications, and much more. As cool as that sounds, it isn't the best. If your squad decides not to build a base to defend (which is still a way of playing, for the record), Jack doesn't have as big of a role. His combat doesn't compare to that of any other character and to be quite honest, it becomes quite boring for the player who chose to be him. Another addition to Horde mode was "power taps". After every 10 waves, a structure called a power tap spawns on the map. Players can claim the tap and after every wave, it will produce energy for the team. Something I do love about Gears 5 horde is how when somebody picks up energy, everyone on the team will receive it. With energy you can purchase passive abilities for yourself to make the battle to Wave 50 a little easier. Each character has their own passive abilities, but most of them are to do with your damage and health.
    EDIT: Decided to update my review since the game has been out for a while and I’ve had a chance to play more horde. Lately I‘ve been using the build a base and defend it strategy because I’ve learned more about characters and such, and I’ve been trying it on harder difficulties. The game has been very fun and enjoyable for the most part. I REALLY enjoy the mini boss waves on every 5th wave-i think that was a great addition to the mode. (My favourite has got to be the warden-even though that guy can rip through your base and destroy everything you’ve built up, it’s really exciting and I love a challenge.)
    With every new difficulty comes new modifiers, and Gears 3 players are quite familiar with this premise. To unlock each difficulty you must complete the previous one which I actually appreciate-it prevents new players from jumping into a game that is far too hard for them.

    Now, not everything about this game is sunshine and rainbows. There are a number of things that need to be fixed or updated. For starters, there were some seriously terrible service issues on the day early access users started playing. This pretty much disabled all online multiplayer and caused game-breaking progression glitches. It also made several of the achievements pretty glitchy. For me personally, the achievement you unlock for completing the campaign has been stuck at 93% and won't pop, and I know that many other users are experiencing the same problem. Many updates have been pushed to try and solve service and progression glitches but there has still been no solution to this problem.
    Anyone who has played any other Gears of War games knows about the re-up system. Essentially, once you reach level 100 you can "re-up" and go back down to level 1 to give it another go. In every other Gears game there is some sort of indication when a player has re-upped, such as a special symbol around their level number. In Gears 5 there is quite literally no way of telling when someone has re-upped. I'm really hoping that The Coalition fixes this because you can't tell whether someone is a brand new player starting out for the first time, or an experienced player who has re-upped 6 times.
    EDIT: Since this review has been written they have since implemented an indication to your level in the main menu, however, it is still not visible to public lobby’s (ie. in a team death match game). Thanks, Coalition, but this still isn’t what we wanted!
    Speaking of experienced and brand new players, I find that the matchmaking places players with others that aren't of the same skill level. I'm going to be specific to Escape here, but as a level 13 character, you shouldn't have to play with a level 1 on Inconceivable difficulty. There is literally no way that that will work out for you. Some updates need to be made to the matchmaking as it is making the game unfair.
    Let's talk about the campaign now. If you're going solo on a relatively high difficulty, you better be a damn good player, as the AI allies won't do much except get in your way. The AI in the Gears series has been meh, but the AI in Gears 5 got significantly dumber. I cannot tell you how many times I have yelled at my TV, "Pick me up, Jack, you stupid monkey!". I'm hoping that an AI update happens soon because I'm not going to attempt Insane solo if I've got dumb and dumber watching me bleed out at their feet. As far as the story goes, it's pretty predictable. It's so predictable that I can tell you exactly how every Gears game goes without even having to play it. First, you get in a big firefight for 5 minutes. Then, you look around for ammo, open a few doors, listen to some banter between characters, then hear one of your allies say "Look out, we got company!". You do this for the entire 10+ hour campaign, so you better get used to it fast.

    I understand that the game is relatively new and there are many updates to come in the coming months, however, it seems like there needs to be quite a lot of work to be done at this point. The Coalition was very bold with all these changes, and I'm glad to see them experiment with some new things. I think with some feedback and criticism they could really improve the game.

    This is my first review so please excuse any mistakes!
    4.0
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    SolidTooth3160Completely agree with you on being shot/downed while in cover, very stupid for a cover based game.
    Posted by SolidTooth3160 on 10 Oct 20 at 13:31
    etcher1981The only thing I would like to add (which is my opinion) is that Horde Mode was awesome in Gears 2. I wish they would just make it simple and fun like it used to be.
    Posted by etcher1981 on 04 Jan at 19:41
    Fire WxTBH, I enjoyed horde in Gears2, 3 &4...but the current horde offering is just bad. It's a shame
    Posted by Fire Wx on 23 Jan at 03:09
  • togethawiistandtogethawiistand453,472
    24 Jul 2020 24 Jul 2020
    4 3 0
    Gears, the game which started with all male playable characters, now not only has a female villain, but also a woman as prime minister and a female protagonist as well.

    This is definitely a different Gears game. The fact that they decided to drop the "of War" from the name of this installment might just be the more obvious testment of that. The story is still linear, you can't choose to revisit past locations (what makes the search for Jack's upgrades in one playthrough without using a guide even more difficult) and the game constantly keeps pushing you forward. One "mistake" while turning, dropping or sliding down or even opening a door before fully exploring the rest of an area... and you might have to reload the current checkpoint to go back before heading out towards the no return exiting area.

    As usual, jugding it solely from a campaign perspective, these are the points that caught my attention and that the devs should pay more attention next time:

    PROS

    - This is probably the richest to graphics detail Gears game so far.

    - The overall sounds (soundscape?) in the game are very pleasing.

    - They kept the ability to run while carrying heavy weapons and now you can open doors while carrying it.

    - Reduced camera shaking while roadie running.

    - The ability to reload the checkpoint previous than the last one is great and it is something more games without manual saving slots could and should implement.

    - Unlike in Gears 4, once again most of the collectibles seem to have some sort of relevance and add to the story, although you still can also find stupid things like Prescott's wristwatch. Some collectibles are even related to side missions, giving you an extra reason to pay attention and look for them.

    - The possibility of each player choosing the difficulty that suits them the most (1) from the lobby and (2) individually from one another.

    - Jack's abilities make the game more dynamic than the old formula of finding enemies, shooting them, rinsing and repeating. Thanks to Jack, you can scan multiple targets and keep track of all of them, you can set traps in preparation for tough fights and hold outs, etc, etc.

    CONS

    - This is probably the richest to graphics detail Gears game so far. But all that stuff around can also feel a bit overwhelming to the eyes at the same time.

    - Searching every nook and crane for Jack's upgrades in huge outside areas without any kind of in-game guidance makes it a much harder task. The fact that Gears is a game that keeps pushing you forward and that players don't get the chance to go back or revisit previous areas only adds to this and it's kind of frustrating.

    - Unlike other collectibles in the game, Jack's upgrades are not automatically saved once you pick them up. So if you die or reload before the next checkpoint you loose the ones found in-between.

    - Uncle Oscar's accent and personality have changed since we first and last saw him in Gears 4... and then he's written off. It is the classic case of the character who survives a tough day... just to die in their next short appearance.

    - Players can't directly trade with friendly AIs for their stowed weapons anymore. So even if you want the friendly AI's other gun you can't have it or if you want them to drop it and carry another weapon for you, you can't just do that. Sometimes, I believe this happens when the ammo is low, you get lucky enough so that right after exchanging weapons with you the AI will go for their stowed weapon, so if you then trade again you can get the one you want, but this doesn't always happen.

    - Weapons stowed in the vehicle storage slots can disappear from there, unfortunately. So that feature needs improvement since as of present it is not a safe place to keep guns you can't or don't want to carry at one time with you. Also, be careful when trusting the friendly AI to carry relic weapons for you. After making that mistake, the next thing I knew, not only the AI was not carrying said weapon anymore but also the previous checkpoint option would only take me to the same current checkpoint, even though I didn't quit the game or did anything to mess them up, so it ended up that I couldn't recover the lost gun by any means.

    - The map could have more zoom-in and its legend could include the already explored minor markings in order to help players to keep better track of things.

    - The AI still acts dumb (C'mon! fix this already, it's Gears FIVE!). Often, they try to stay way too close of your current position, getting directly in front of you while you're trying to aim down the sights or to take cover. I'm not the only person I know who got killed by Jack flying in right in front while aiming a boomshot. It is also annoying that, if you're playing solo, Jack and the other companion revolve around you while you're trying to sneak pass the corrupted robots, for instance. At least Jack flies and has useful abilities... but even having him or his flashlight so close can be a bother at times. Mayhaps a feature such as issuing commands to your squad mates to stay away or move and stay in another area could fix this. But, if so, please next time make it better than in Gears 1 ("Can't do that!"), please.

    - The comings and goings of some aspects in the series which deducts from the universe's consistency not to mention the gameplay. For instance, in all of the Gears games the Lancer sometimes does have and other times does not have flashlight in it. In this one, apparently to increase the importance of Jack's role, you are totally dependant on the robot to be able to see your surroundings in dark areas. Another example: in some Gears games the ammo stashes you find laying around don't provide you with any special ammo such as the one used in the sniper rifle. Other times they do, and such is the case in Gears 5. The ever changing total number of bullets you can carry for the Lancer could be a third and final example, but even more relevant is the fact that the gun has now a lot more recoil than it ever did before, so it's difficult for the player to keep constantly firing without going off of the target.
    3.5
  • Born Again GenBorn Again Gen527,806
    13 Sep 2019 13 Sep 2019
    12 16 4
    Personally, I am not a Gears of War fan. I have however played all of the games in the series. This installment has captured my interest in a few new found ways and in my opinion these are the makings of a truly amazing game.

    Pros:
    - An interesting fresh story with unique engaging characters
    - The dialog between the characters in your squad is often funny, and helps build a strong sense of connection towards them
    - Fun and interesting surprises around every corner, which includes unique boss battles
    - A diverse lineup of skills to use with Jack both offensively and defensibly to fit the combat situations
    - They kept the features that make Gears of War great, and improved upon them in this game
    - Beautiful and polished scenery, with a strong feeling of exploration in a linear game
    - A few side quests which can take the tension off the ever growing war
    - An abundance of checkpoints
    - Ques designated for letting you know when the combat is about to begin and when its finished
    - Co-op Campaign
    - Lots of multiplayer options

    Cons:
    - Glitchy and buggy in certain areas ( I even fell through the floor once)
    - Combat can feel repetitive and predictable
    - Often lose control of the Skiff (vehicle) and unable to reverse
    - More than often are you out of ammo (not a big deal as you can use Jack to fetch some more)
    - There was one particular area where I can imagine a lot of novice gamers getting lost however due to lack of navigational ques.

    Conclusion:
    Overall I found this title enjoyable, a decent length in campaign for the $ spent, and lots of replay abilities especially with friends. As mentioned before I am not a big GoW fan however if they keep making games like this I am sure to jump on the fan-wagon. There are a lot of games these days trying to adhere to the "Strong female protagonist" role, and I must say Gears of War 5 is doing it right. Absolutely zero pandering and nothing but bad-a** swarm stomping fun. I would recommend anyone to give this game a try and formulate an opinion for themselves.
    4.5