During a panel at PAX West in Seattle hosted by Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson talked about Gears 5.
Fergusson ran the audience through a lot of details focusing on the campaign mode and more, including a relevant clarification on the upcoming Gears of War movie.
Below you can read the details he shared.
- Gears 5 has the biggest campaign The Coalition has ever built.
- The Act 3 level (of which you can see a map below, including points of interest) is “fifty times bigger than a normal gears level”
- The game includes the deepest Horde Mode ever.
- Versus has 11 different competitive mode.
- The Map Builder will have the ability to build maps for Horde mode and for Versus mode added after launch.
- The Coalition wants to release new content weekly, that’s why they created the Map Builder. After they created it, they thought it would be cool to let the players use it.
- The goal for Gears 5 was to challenge expectations through enabling player choice.
- Gears has been known as a very hardcore franchise and the team wanted to make it more approachable. Game Pass is good for that.
- One of the elements that embodies player choice is Jack. He provides RPG elements to the game to change up combat. He can cloak you, heal you, drop proximity traps and more. He has seven combat abilities and four passive abilities. You unlock them through the campaign and you can also find components to install. Below you can see his menu.
- Another relevant thing about player choice is letting players initiate combat instead of having combat forced on the player. You can plot your fight instead of just having to drop into cover and start shooting. Jack’s cloak helps with that.
- Jack’s ultimate abilities is unlocked via a side mission.
- Jack is controlled simply by the Y button when you don’t have a player controlling him.
- The other side of the player choice equation is the Skiff. It’s meant to give players control on the pace, and whether they want to engage in combat or explore at any given time.
- Relic Weapons are “easter eggy” versions of the weapons that you can find. The Crimson Omen indicates that there is Relic Weapon close by.
- The campaignn Gears 5 is considerably larger than Gears of War 4, and even larger depending on how much of a completionist you are.
- Below you can see some points that make the game more approachable.
- The achievement for the Boot Camp is the “Reggie Achievement,” “My Body is Ready.”
- Jack can be used by novices, but even veterans will want to have Jack by their side at all times if possible.
- The developers made an inclusive design sprint early into development to research different disabilities and find out how to adapt the game to help that.
- You can remap all controls, which supports the Adaptive Controller.
- Gears Allies is a reward for playing with your friends. When you play with someone a lot your “affinity” grows and that increases your rewards.
- Playing on Beginner level in Gears 5 turns on assists including target lock.
- The campaign is a two-sided story. It’s the story of Kate starting with the information she learns at the end of Gears of War 4 and she goes on a journey to understand what that means for her.
- The other side is a story of war. War is coming back to Sera and the Swarm is an increasing threat. The heroes are searching for a way to rebuild the Hammer of Dawn and bring it down on the Swarm.
- Side Missions are all crafted and bespoke experiences. They’re not samey.
- There will be quarterly “operations” with a lot of content added, and that will also include new tiles for the Map Builder with different styles. They might have additional “Seriously” achievements.
- Multiplayer achievements are designed so that they won’t ruin the game for other players. Achievements in general try to incentivize new stuff.
- The Gears of War movie is moving forward and Fergusson is meeting with the studio on Tuesday.
- Fergusson explained that the movie is an “alternate reality” as “the canon and lore of the games do not impact the movie and the canon and lore of the movie do not impact the games.” but this doesn’t mean (as some thought) that the iconic characters of the franchise won’t appear. It can still be a story about the original characters but some things may somply happen differently and independently of how they happened in the games.
- Fergusson had one request of themovie studio: “make a good movie first and a Gears movie second.” If they just make a Gears movie it won’t be what it needs to be. Fergusson wants it to be “a good story that happens to be a Gears movie.”
Gears 5 is coming on September 10 for Xbox One and PC. Those who have a subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will get to play the game four days early.
If you want to see Jack in action, you can check out my extensive gameplay from Gamescom.