Gears of War It is a saga that has been difficult to introduce really significant developments over time. The first trilogy is spectacular, and if the thing had remained there nothing would have happened, but here we are, almost thirteen years and five games after the launch of the first title, talking about shots, coverages and the damn Locust.
In the analysis of Gears of War Judgment, a game that worked as a prequel and that was one of the last great Xbox 360 exclusive, I said that the absence of Cliff Bleszinski was noted. The guy will be what you want, but when designing the first three deliveries he was really inspired. His sense of spectacular made us live truly memorable moments through three games that are already history within the genre of action.
Gears of War Judgment It smelled of intergenerational play, of passing game, and despite having some new ideas it did not get better than Gears of War 2. Damn it, not even the third installment was able to overcome the second, despite being tremendously good. Something similar happened with Gears of War 4: it was not a bad game, but in the case of the first Gears for the Xbox One, he was in charge of opening a new stage for the saga. Also at the narrative level, of course, and after going through the prequel that was Judgment, we came across the start of a new plot arc that now, in Gears 5, keep going.
Or what is the same: Gears of War 4 It was another passing game. Entertaining and with some interesting ideas, yes, but very conservative. He wanted to give greater weight to the story and the characters in an attempt to make the game not only go from point A to point B hitting shots, because it became something deeper, and among the new characters I found JD, Marcus Fénix's son, because he feels them. But is that Gears of War It was precisely going from point A to point B annihilating enemies, to be as wild and spectacular as possible.
Gears 5 has managed to introduce true developments in a scheme that, until now, was too closed
Gears 5, Act I: with JD in command
Once the decision has been made to turn the game into an experience with a greater narrative load and a handful of characters with their personalities and nuances, there was no going back. This fact in itself is not negative. Perhaps the problem resides in that when changing the weight from one foot to another they forgot a little that, in the end, here comes shooting and that in principle what should prevail is the most popcorn action and spectacularity.
Gears 5, I am saying it already, follow the steps of the previous delivery in this regard, but on the other hand it has been able to introduce true novelties in a scheme that, until now, was too closed.
Gears 5 and the open worlds
BOOM Surely no one expected a Gears of War I could have elements of the open world. If the saga has always been characterized by something, as we said, it is for making us go from one point to another by slaughtering bugs in an endless corridor that, at most, occasionally raised a simple choice: continue on the path to the right or the one on the left. End.
In Gears 5 the thing changes. And here I can only applaud The Coalition for having had enough courage to do this. Another thing is the result, what we are going to talk about next, but finally we can say that the saga has evolved somewhere. Because, honestly, for many characters, dialogues and various moves that have gotten into this story, there comes a point where the player disconnects from the thread and advances from one place to another hitting shots. That is what we have come here, really.
At this point, as I have commented several times on the subject of the greatest weight in the narrative, the evolution of the characters and more in counterpoint to the crazy and mindless action, it might seem that I do not want history. And the truth is that I really wanted to Gears 5 because I wanted a new game with narrative thread and campaign, not even to get away from all those online titles that lately take my time.
I guess the problem, in the end, is not if there is history or not, or if it is deeper or less, but how it is told and how it impacts the player. And in that sense, even though I had a good time with Gears 5, I no longer remember half of the things he wanted to tell me and the truth is that he ended up giving me a bit the same if a character had this or that.
Clarified this point, let's continue. Open world. Gears 5 It consists of four acts: two linear and corridors located at the beginning and end of the game, and two others, the second and the third, in which The Coalition he plants us a couple of more or less large maps, taking into account the type of game that is, in which we can go where we really want whenever we want. And for this we have one of the best inventions of the game: the skiff.
With the skiff at full speed (Act II)
The skiff is a very curious vehicle in which up to four players can climb and whose control I have found delicious. Completely arcade, with a sail to take advantage of the wind and the possibility of accelerating and braking, and that's it. It is a pleasure to go aside with this dish.
The first open world map is an icy area, while the second is a desert. And here I have to say something: the desert is much worse in every way. While on the ice I was wishing to lose myself in search of hidden areas, in the desert I could not wait to get out of there. I did not do it, I went through it thoroughly to find, or at least try, all its secrets, but there are few other things that invite it.
The idea is this: you have all this extension in front of your nose where you will find main and secondary missions. The first are marked on the map; the second you will have to discover them. It is very easy to find them, just go around the map until you see a building in the distance or the flags that identify these areas of interest as such and approach to skip the associated mission. The missions themselves have no secret but to clear the area of enemies, but the rewards are interesting: components and modules for Jack. I will talk about Jack later because it includes the other great novelty of the game: a system of progression and improvements.
The skiff rides are accompanied by conversations between Kait, the absolute protagonist of Gears 5, and Del. Dialogues of all kinds on various topics that help reinforce that idea of friendship (or enmity) between the different characters and give them some depth. As I said, very brave the play of The Coalition by putting these two open acts, which can be given for 3 or 4 hours of play each if we dedicate ourselves to explore them from top to bottom.
The problem is that act three, the one in the desert, is well below the two, both in terms of design and history, and, except for the final stretch that links with the explosive last act, I think nothing would have happened if I didn't know would have included. In the end the feeling that this third act has left me is that it is set to fill in a bit more, but honestly: if from the 16 hours that it has taken me to finish the campaign we take away those two, three or four that I may have spent desert, would have stayed in a game of about 12 hours more content and to the point. I imagine that the developers will have wanted to take advantage of the open world somewhat more so that it did not remain as anecdotal in a single act, but the end result could have been better.
Jack, the robot that brings us progression and special abilities
Eye here because I think Jack can be a controversial point of Gears 5 for many. I liked it, but I understand that there are people who can think that it facilitates the fighting too much. I also say one thing: if this is the case, it is enough not to level it up and / or not to use your shooting skills and everyone is so calm.
The thing is Jack It can make you invisible (to you and the rest of the team), it can bring you weapons and ammunition out of your reach, it can install electric traps, it can give you a boost of resistance and more. In fact, all these skills can be used at any time, not only in fighting, and in fact some will be practically necessary to overcome certain areas.
Each of Jack's abilities has four improvements available, usually three of them unlockable using components such as currency and the last only if we find certain pieces. And that is where what I told you about the exploration on the open maps of acts two and three comes in: the secondary missions will allow us to collect these special pieces to activate the most powerful improvement of each skill.
This is the menu from which we will improve Jack
For the components that will serve as currency when unlocking the other improvements we must also explore each level of each act well, since they are hidden in rooms, behind panels, half buried, etc. Perhaps it is the part I like least: the feeling of having to go through each room of the game in case there are hidden components does not just fit me. In a Tomb Raider yes because I'm going to that, but in a Gears it gets a little weird.
In any case there is Jack to give us a cable when necessary: in the fighting, if we do not give orders, will work autonomously stunning the enemies with their electric lightning and resuscitating the fallen companions. If we decide to use any of your skills we have only to press a couple of buttons and that's it. Outside the fighting it will help us to hack terminals, open doors, etc.
I think that I have little else to say about Jack except one last thing: when playing Gears 5 In cooperative there is the possibility that one of the players controls the robot. I have tried it online and well, the truth is that it seems an experience designed, above all, to share the game in local divided screen with someone who is not very accustomed to action games but who wants to have a fun time taking a cable. It is very simple to control and the enemies do not pay much attention to it, in general (normally it moves around in invisible mode), so the experience is much less stressful and more comfortable than when controlling any other character.
The multiplayer: a new well of hours
Gears of War It has always been characterized by having a good multiplayer section full of ways to extend the life of the game and Gears 5 It could not be less. Only in the Showdown mode there are already a handful of classic modes with team fighting or the typical king of the hill, to mention a couple, but there are modes for all colors. From what we have been able to prove in these days before the launch, the online works like silk, few hits can be put. And yes, as usual, each game will grant experience to level up unlock cards with skills for characters, skins and other objects.
On the other hand the mode returns Horde with a lot of maps to choose from and with the presence of the Manufacturer, that trunk that we can go throwing coins, so to speak, and thereby buy new weapons or equipment that allows us to endure wave after wave.
The greatest novelty is found in Escape, a way that, being honest, has left me quite cold. What he proposes is, as his name suggests, escape from facilities that are filled with poison. It is a cooperative mode for up to three players and during the getaway we must annihilate everyone who comes before us to earn points.
The grace of Escape is that it has a map editor that will also offer the possibility of sharing them with the rest of the community. We'll see how it evolves once everyone can play it and people start generating their own crazy maps.
Gears 5 still not the best game in the saga, but without a doubt is above Judgment and Gears of War 4. The introduction of the open world has been successful, although the third act leaves a little to be desired with respect to the second, and the linear levels, especially the last one, function as a shot. A pity that all the spectacular that we expect in a Gears is too concentrated in the final act, making the first one, also starring JD instead of Kait, does not have so much strength.
It is a game, otherwise, very robust. On an Xbox One X, which is where we played it, it looks great at 4K and 60fps. Castilian dubbing is excellent, the soundtrack lives up to the circumstances and at the playable level it still has that truly exceptional coverage and shooting system that all deliveries show.
For those who are looking for a Gears of War to use: watch out for open-world acts, they offer a very different experience from the usual and may not please more than one, especially those who are looking for a pasillero level after another full of spectacular and wild moments.
For the rest, an interesting proposal and with that point of risk and novelty that offers a good handful of hours of action and fun in your campaign and a practically infinite multiplayer.
|Xbox One, PC|
|Xbox Game Studios|
|September 10, 2019|
- The shootings are still as good as ever
- The introduction of open world gives a fresh touch to the saga
- The multiplayer is very complete and has ways to bore you
- Missing more spectacular moments throughout history
- Act III is bland and is below Act II being both open world