There’s a lot of the same about at the moment. A lot of sequels, a lot of prequels, a lot of very much the same, with slight changes.
The Gears of War franchise is somewhat included in that bunch. That being said, I don’t actually think that it will define the future of the series. While it all mirrors the position of its spiritual developer sibling 343 Studios and the Halo franchise, I do not think either will pursue the course which you think they will. For players to be invested in these worlds and into these characters, creation and innovation must be made. To keep things interesting. And that is why I am excited for Gears 5.
Gears 5 has a fairly hefty burden to carry following the super-tight controls, well-paced story and excellent amount of content and polish that was included in Gears of War 4. I have faith, however, that all of that and more will be met, if not exceeded, in this upcoming instalment of the now 13-year-old franchise. As old as that fact may make you feel. It certainly reminds me of my mortality.
The information we already know about Gears 5 sets up an interesting premise. Instead of playing as one character for the whole trilogy, JD Fenix, we’ll be playing as Kait in Gears 5. This is even more interesting as (spoiler for Gears of War 4) we discovered at the end of Gears 4 that she is the granddaughter of the locust queen. The one who seemed to have started it all long ago on E-Day.
We’ve never had a story premise like this within the Gears of War franchise. It has always very much been about ‘how can we stop the locusts?’ and ‘where is Marcus’ dad?’. I’m excited to see what the story-tellers at The Coalition can explore with this premise, and if the trailer from E3 2018 is anything to go off, the campaign looks like the most diverse adventure yet.
Seemingly only 2-player co-op, harking back to the roots of Gears of War in the same vain which Gears 4 did, you travel with Del to explore the origin of the locusts, and Kait’s family history. This is territory we’ve never explored before.
The locations shown in the trailer look diverse, colourful, terrifying, ancient and mysterious. I cannot wait to explore all these different areas and (hopefully) discover the various types of enemies within them. I don’t think the story is the most important factor of a Gears game, but I do believe it could become a vital component moving forward, and I think The Coalition want that to be the case.
Stories in games are only getting better with time, and so there’s no reason to think that Gears 5 shouldn’t also try to create a story worthy of its legacy. The new branch of characters we have now are all more complicated than the original delta squad, indicating a solid start for what must be a new Gears trilogy. But this game will make or break how gamers see this new series of Gears games. Again, this is in the same way to how Halo 5: Guardians was a vital release for the franchise and for the new forerunner trilogy.
Like any fan, I would love more of the same in Gears 5: more enemies, more weapons, more vehicles and more story. And of course, more incredibly tight 3rd-person cover-oriented action. Horde mode goes without saying, but I would love for The Coalition to experiment and show their opinions and ideas more than ever in Gears 5.
While another Gears 4 would be good, we have enough Gears games which are like Gears 1 through to 4. I want something a little different. Something with a specific flavour. Something which wants to make a statement, or a game which emphasises its extra modes by making them even better. Easier said than done mind you.
I’m excited about Gears 5 because it is currently in a place of creative potential. We know that The Coalition is capable of making a great Gears game because we saw that with Gears of War 4. Now I want them to show us they can make one of the best Gears games. A game which stands its own ground, and which mixes up the familiar formulas to an extent which may put off some gamers, but could attract an audience which loves what the game is doing.
I’m not expecting a revelation within the Gears formula at all, but I would like some salt and pepper added to the franchise, if only to see how some independent creativeness could spice up a long-running span of titles. The Coalition, I hope you know to not be afraid of making the game you want to make, rather than the one gamers want to play. I would love for you to make your mark with a game which surprises most. Especially myself.