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Feature Article

E3 2019: Gears 5 -- Everything We Know So Far And What We Want At E3

Return of the COG.

Next to Halo and Forza, one of Xbox's biggest exclusives is Gears of War, which it purchased from Fortnite developer Epic Games. Developed by The Coalition (formerly Black Tusk Studios) Gears 5 aims to up the scale of the franchise, while also shedding light on returning Gears of War 4 character Kait Diaz, who is now the protagonist for the next game. Though the series has always adhered closely to its cover-to-cover shooting mechanics, Gears 5 looks to be the most significant departure we've seen yet, placing more emphasis on melee combat and exploration of the planet Sera following the events of Gears of War 4.

We haven't heard too many details about the game following its reveal last year, but that hasn't stopped us from coming up with ideas about what we want to see from the game at E3 2019. So here's a quick rundown of everything we know about Gears 5 so far, and what Microsoft should reveal during its E3 press conference.

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What We Know So Far

Gears 5 was officially revealed at E3 2018, and it will release simultaneously on Xbox One and PC. Along with that, two spin-off games were also revealed, the strategy-focused Gears Tactics and Gears Pop!--a Funko Pop tie-in game. With Gears 5 being a direct sequel to Gears of War 4--this time dropping the 'of War' from its title--it shifts the focus to returning character Kait Diaz, who is trying to learn more about her connection to the Locust. Though the once fearsome hive from the original trilogy was long thought to have been destroyed, GOW4 revealed that they evolved into a new foe called The Swarm--the primary antagonist in the new trilogy. The last game was very much a fresh start for the series, bringing several storylines to a close in favor of introducing some new characters--including the son of Marcus Fenix, JD. Alongside JD was Kait, who played a rather significant role in the story.

Much like the previous games, Gears 5 will feature a story campaign that is playable solo and in co-op with another player. From the debut trailer, we got to see some of the locales you'll come to visit, including a jungle and frozen lake. The latter section even allowed Kait and her companion to use a snow-skiff to travel across the ice, which seems to suggest that there will be some sizeable levels to explore. Gears 5 will also feature an expanded competitive multiplayer mode, but those details haven't been revealed just yet. Recently, Xbox head of business Phil Spencer stated that he's seen Gears 5 in action and that it's "looking great."

What's Confirmed For E3?

So far, Microsoft has been keeping most details about the game close to the vest. One thing we do know that is Microsoft will be revealing new competitive gameplay on June 14, the Friday of E3 week. This ties into the debut of its new esports series Eleague, which will show off some new footage of Gears 5's multiplayer. Given that this will debut shortly after E3 2019, it's fair to say that we'll be seeing more of Gears 5 at the show. However, what we'll see from the game exactly is still a mystery.

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What We Want

Gears of War 4 was something of a fresh-start for the series, focusing primarily on the next generation of COG soldiers on the planet Sera. During the campaign, we saw several new monsters, weapons, and even a new faction that teased what was to come for the future of the series. It would be great to see Gears 5 further expand on the story. One thing that would be fantastic to show off is the increased scale of the campaign. In the trailer, we saw Kait piloting a skiff and exploring some jungles; during E3 2019, we'd love to see more of the moment-to-moment action, and how it'll weave in the familiar cover-based shooting.

With the announcement of the Eleague, it seems like Gears 5 will lean heavily into competitive multiplayer. Gears of War 4 featured some substantial multiplayer offerings, which carried over several game-types and objectives from previous games. So it would be fantastic to see Gears 5 continuing on the tradition of brutal combat and team-oriented tactics. Along with traditional team deathmatch and CTF, we'd love to see some gameplay of the Horde mode, which has become a staple since GOW2. Also, we definitely need to see footage of someone get killed with a chainsaw-rifle.

Lastly, the thing we want to see most from E3 2019 is for Microsoft to reveal the release date for Gears 5. There have been some teases about it arriving later in 2019, and with a mostly light Fall 2019 schedule at this time--and likely the newest Xbox console coming next year--now seems like the perfect time for the next entry in Microsoft's shooter series to see its next installment.

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