Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Gears 5's campaign is a solid entry in the series with new ideas, familiar gameplay and intriguing story.
As a big fan of the Gears of War series, I was very eager to try the Coallition's latest addition. I was blown away by the visuals, felt engaged with the gameplay, and was itching to finish the story to see where the familiar characters would end up. Fair to say Gears 5 is a great game but I did have a few issues with it.
Story Gears 5 (or Gears of War 5, depending on who you're talking to) picks up straight after the events of Gears of War 4. The campaign does not wait to get you stuck into the story at all, with you starting on a mission to get the hammer of dawn re-launched, which seems vital to be able to take down the swarm. Throughout the roughly 10-12 hour campaign you'll be sent to various locations with some side missions to complete if wanting to. Personally I quite enjoyed these side missions which didn't take long and I found it fun to explore this post locust war world. I was surprised to find the events of Gears of War 2 were now covered up in an ice and snow dessert. Then to meet up with Paduk from Gears: Judgment, and help his country out with issues whilst on our quest to find Kait's origins. However I did have a problem with some of the pacing in chapter 4 (the final chapter in the game) SPOILERS: About halfway through this last chapter, you are made to make a choice between saving two of your teammates, JD or Del. This moment just seemed to come out of nowhere to me, and just didn't feel earned. I chose to save Del, seeing that he had been with me through the entire game. But I just didn't feel any emotion to loosing JD. To me it even seemed Marcus wasn't that emotionally affected by it. Also I take issue with the ending. When this game ends, it feels very rushed to me. Granted it needs to set up the inevitable Gears 6, however I was left ready for a second confrontation between Kait and her mum, which just never came. Overall I liked the story but just felt disappointed in the last chapter.
Gameplay Of course the gameplay in Gears 5 is great! The "Gears formula" has been improved in every addition of the series (apart from judgment but lets not talk about that game here). Therefore the shooting, snapping to cover, blowing swarm up with a Boom Shot and getting your hands on a Mulcher to cut enemies into pieces is still as great as ever. But there have many improvements that I loved! Dropping down a ledge and not getting stuck on an invisible wall is such a great thing to see in the Gears series! Previously you'd have to walk around the ledge to get to a ramp which would just take you out the moment. But the biggest inclusion in this new game has got to be Jack's abilities. You can use him to shock enemies, place down traps, put protective armour over your team and may more. It works really well and I enjoyed finding parts to power him up with the added RPG elements.
Gears 5 looks amazing. There is not much more needed to be said. The various locations with different environments, make you feel like nature is taking over this planet. The lighting in dark areas and reflections off water look great. I cannot fault the visuals in this game.
Boss Fights Now this is where I have my biggest issue with the game. Now don't get me wrong, the boss fights in previous games have been hard but interesting. In this game I just didn't feel any enjoyment, just frustration. The Matriarch fight took me nearly 2 hours to complete! I wouldn't mind a hard boss fight, but this one just didn't feel fair. The spikes that the Matriarch would throw at you were un-dodgeable! I had to either hide behind ice or use the armour ability each time. Also the last boss fight was just uninteresting. We'd already beaten the same boss in chapter 3, so they just recycled the boss and just made it less fair. Having to save team members was frustrating, then if you couldn't save them, instant death! I think these boss battles would be a lot better playing co-op but they could of made them more fair. Overall Opinion Gears 5 is great and an absolute must play for any fans of the serious. It answers a lot of questions that you may of had from previous entries in the series, but leaves you wanting more. If you are interested in this game and have Xbox Game Pass, just play it!