It’s been over three years since Gears 5 released for Xbox and PC, and we’re now on the verge of the biggest gap between Gears of War titles since the series was revived for a new trilogy by The Coalition in 2016.
The future of the series is unlikely to be in jeopardy, as Gears and Halo have always been two of Microsoft’s biggest cash cows and exclusive franchises to draw players over to Xbox. That being said, a sixth title in the franchise hasn’t even been confirmed yet, which certainly is enough to raise some eyebrows.
Gears did get some lovin’ in 2020 with Gears Tactics, a strategy title which I feel like was criminally slept-on. The gameplay may have been different, but the action, cutscenes, and tone of the game was classic Gears goodness… Just with 100% less wall bouncing. Oh wait, and then there was Gears Pop! whose announcement felt like an odd joke at the time. In case you also convinced yourself that it’s existence was nothing but a fever dream, that gem was a Clash Royale mobile clone that lasted for about two years before being quietly shut down.
So what’s with all this secrecy and silence? Where’s our mainline Gears title? As best as I can tell, Gears 4 and 5 did well – and were well received. I personally loved both games, even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the colossal retcons that they brought to the Locust Horde’s backstory. Kait Diaz, JD Fenix, Del, and the rest of the crew were honestly some really interesting characters – and I truly felt as though very few – if any – major franchises have nailed the passing of the “main hero” like The Coalition has. Add in two back-to-back stellar, gripping scores from Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones, Iron Man, Westworld, etc.) as well as a too-old-for-this-shit Marcus Fenix still putting boot-to-Locust-ass for the good of humanity? Somebody’s gotta explain to me where things went wrong.
It’s no secret that Microsoft is in a horrendously long drought when it comes to first-party exclusive titles, even though they own like 300 major AAA studios and have partnered with everyone else and their mothers to bring third-party titles to Game Pass and PC. Halo Infinite seems to be finally trending in the right direction, and Starfield and Redfall are coming out this year, but a lack of chainsaw rifle-toting badasses on the 2023 slate just doesn’t sit right with me.
Hopefully this year at E3 or Summer Game Fest, we’ll finally get a taste (I’ll even settle for confirmation) regarding the future of Gears of War. Until that time comes, I will continue to complain online. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go redownload Gears 5 and Gears Tactics.
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