Gears 5 Review: An evolved formula brings home a big win for Xbox

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Dec 17, 2013
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Gears 5 is here, almost three years after the fourth installment. The Coalition is looking to grow the franchise with features fresh to the formula. But can they stick the landing?
Gears 5 is the next installment in Microsoft's triptych AAA lineup, typically comprised of Halo, Forza, and Gears of War. Gears is typified by its unapologetic violence and apocalyptic setting, showcasing an alt-universe planet in the perpetual grip of war. While the first game is undoubtedly a product of its time, Gears grew beyond its "dudebro" roots into something deeper and more complex. Gears 5 tries to explore the boundaries of what might be possible in this broadening world.
For the first time in a Gears game, we now have soft RPG-style progression in the campaign, alongside wide-linear, near-open world segments, complete with free-roaming vehicular travel. Gears 5 also incorporates several Versus modes, a Left 4 Dead-style "Escape" mode, an enhanced PvE arena Horde mode, and even a map builder, which will roll out across all multiplayer modes over time.
There's no disputing that Gears 5 is packed to the brim with content, representing insane value when you consider you can get it for just $10 a month as part of Xbox Game Pass. Is it good quality content, though? Welcome to our detailed Gears 5 review, ahead of its early access launch on September 6 for Ultimate Edition owners and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers, and September 10 more generally.

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