Gears 5: Review, Release Date, Pre-Load, Unlock Times, Launch Maps, And More

The next Gears of War game is almost here.

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Now Playing: Gears 5 Campaign Stage Presentation | Gamescom 2019

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The new Gears of War game, officially dubbed Gears 5, is now available--sort of. We're still a day away from its official launch, though it's already in the hands of many. Developer The Coalition has shared a lot of important details pertaining to the release around pre-loading, server start times, launch maps, and more. Below you'll find a rundown on everything you need to know about the game's launch.

Gears 5 Review

Our full review is still to come, but in the meantime you can check out our Gears 5 review-in-progress for thoughts on campaign, Horde, and multiplayer. In it, Phil Hornshaw writes, "Gears 5 is very much a return of those best elements of Gears of War, but with a focus on making the game feel somewhat more adaptive to your particular ways of playing. Whether you want campaign or co-op, Competitive or Quickplay, there's an option for you in Gears 5, and plenty of stuff to reward you for time spent and skill gained."

Gears 5 Pre-Load

Pre-loading for Gears 5 is available right now on Xbox One and PC. Those who pre-ordered a digital copy of the shooter can pre-load the game now so they can start playing exactly when the servers go live.

Gears 5 Release Date

Gears 5's release date is officially set for Tuesday, September 10. However, many players already have access to the game, as certain editions and pre-orders became available this past Friday (or even Thursday night for those on the west coast in the US).

Gears 5 Unlock Times

Gears 5's servers went live at 9 PM on September 5 in whatever time zone you live in. If you live in a region with multiple time zones, the game unlocked at the earliest one, so those on the west coast in the US got it at 6 PM PT on September 5.

This applies to both digital copies and physical copies bought at retail. However, this is only the "Early Access" period for Gears 5, so you need to buy the Ultimate edition ($80 USD) to start playing early. Alternatively, Gears 5 unlocks on September 5 for Xbox Game Pass subscribers because the Ultimate edition is included with Game Pass.

Launch Maps

Gears 5 is launching with 7 multiplayer maps for the standard Arena mode and four of the "Hive-style" maps for the Escape mode. The 11 maps at launch include:

Arena:

  • Asylum
  • Bunker
  • District
  • Exhibit
  • Icebound
  • Training Grounds
  • Vasgar

Escape:

  • The Hive
  • The Descent
  • The Mines
  • The Gauntlet

Extra Maps For Private Play Only

There will be five additional maps from Gears of War 4 brought forward to Gears 5--however, they are limited to "Private Play." The maps will not show up in any public matchmaking playlists. The maps feature the same art as in Gears 4.

  • Dam
  • Forge Blitz (now just known as Forge)
  • Foundation
  • Harbor
  • Reclaimed

Post-Launch Maps And More

The Coalition is promising that Gears 5 will have the "biggest and most extensive" post-release support ever for Gears franchise. Over time, the studio plans to deliver more arena-style maps, in addition to new features like Map Builder support for Versus and Horde modes. As announced previously, all of Gears 5's post-release maps will be free; the game has no Season Pass.

For more on Gears 5, check out GameSpot's Gears 5 pre-order guide.

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