It’s been said a few times now that Gears 5 is set to be the largest and most ambitious Gears of War title ever created. This tends to be something developers always say when bigging up impending sequels, but it’s looking like this really might be true of The Coalition’s latest shooter.
Back in July, Gears 5’s Multiplayer Design Director Ryan Cleven said that the new game will be the biggest Gears we’ve ever seen, with a substantial campaign and a string of robust multiplayer offerings including a intriguing new mode called Escape (and of course, the returning Horde mode).
It’s clear the The Coalition is keen to push the franchise in new and unexpected directions, especially after Gears of War 4 took quite a lot of criticism for playing it safe. One of the big changes coming in Gears 5 is the addition of more open-ended levels, a big change for a franchise that has traditionally favoured tight spaces and narrow corridors to host its action.
GamesRadar reports that some of these levels will be so big that you’ll actually need a map and a vehicle (the Skiff) to properly navigate them, with Gears 5 Creative Director Rod Fergusson claiming that “in some cases, the levels are 50-times bigger than any previous Gears level.”
With these massive open spaces comes more freedom in how you choose to approach situations, and there’s even room to explore at your own pace and discover side missions, new weapons, and enemies to take on. It’s like nothing we’ve seen in a Gears of War game before, essentially.
This commitment to going bigger echoes what Cleven previously told Game Informer:
Gears 5 is the largest Gears of War to date; it’s the largest campaign ever made, the largest PvE ever made, the largest versus ever made. The team at The Coalition is an extremely talented but focused team that believes in this game. They’re extremely passionate about bringing their mark, a high degree of quality, and a legacy that Gears fans will recognize. There is no magic bullet; it’s trusting the people around you. [Studio head Rod Fergusson] has this saying he repeats every time we start a new project: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.’ That’s something we really believe in at the studio. We believe in trusting each other so we can get efficiency out of that.
Gears 5 is coming to Xbox One in a matter of days, and Microsoft recently announced that none other than Dave Bautista will be joining the action as a playable character, following years of lobbying to land the role of Marcus Fenix in the planned Gears movie.
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Ewan Moore is a journalist at UNILAD Gaming who still quite hasn’t gotten out of his mid 00’s emo phase. After graduating from the University of Portsmouth in 2015 with a BA in Journalism & Media Studies (thanks for asking), he went on to do some freelance words for various places, including Kotaku, Den of Geek, and TheSixthAxis, before landing a full time gig at UNILAD in 2016.