Doesn't improve upon Gears 4 but doesn't chip away either

User Rating: 7 | Gears 5 XONE

Gears 4 opened the door for the second Gears trilogy and there was a lot of good going for it. JD was shaping up to be a quality lead character. The Swarm was an interesting, new enemy. And when all was said and done, It was a good game. Gears 5, however, is the kind of game where developers played it safe by giving us what we are familiar with but it isn't a real game-changer.

The campaign contains the biggest of the game. There are only 4 acts but 2 of those acts happen within a semi-open world where there are a handful of side missions, which provide you collectables and ultimate upgrades for Jack. It was an interesting choice but I felt it was one that was poorly executed. If you are gonna try to do an open-world setting, which would fit well with Gears, there has to be some kind of substance behind it. These weak side missions are simply: Go here, kill the enemies and leave. There's gotta be some kind of story, some kind of journey to make it worthwhile and there simply isn't any here. And with no NPC interactions either aside from the mandatory dialogue between main characters, That also tends to dampen things as well. Again, It's not a change that I hate but I think it's something that really needs to be fleshed out next time around.

I was also very disappointed with the story of this game too. Ditching JD for Kait as the main character was a huge mistake. JD was the driving force of the first game and his relationship with Kait reminded me of Marcus and Dom. There should have been a continuation of that rather than dropped JD off the face of the earth for most of the game and playing as Kait for the majority of it. Also, Kind of disappointed that Del was designated as the comedic relief and going through no real character growth despite playing a decent portion of the game with just him at your side. That was a big disappointment too as the original trilogy had a ton of character depth.

Another change to this game is the inclusion of Jack during combat. Jack has various special abilities, which you can level up, that can help in battle but for the most part, It's kind of a worthless thing to do. He really isn't much of a game-changer in fights but he can be somewhat useful at times. Other than that, The gameplay is very much the same and I have no objection. It's still just as fun as it always was.

Speaking of stuff also being the same. Horde mode and other various versus modes are very much the same as well. There are a bit more characters to play as online, which is a plus, but what irks me is that there can not be duplicate characters on a team. I've been stuck playing as Del or some other character I don't like because someone like Marcus or JD isn't available. I hope that they change that and allow us to play whatever character we want.

There is also one new game mode called Escape. You allow yourself to get captured in order to get into a swarm base. You plant a bomb and have to escape before the gas or enemies kill you. It's not a bad mode but it's also not one that I am really interested in playing. It just doesn't really appeal to me but I do appreciate them trying to offer something different.

Overall: 7/10
Gears 5 plays it safe and rightfully so. There is no need to really break away from what has worked for the last 5 games in the series. However, That doesn't really bode well for things either. Trying to make a semi-open world without really fleshing it out felt like a missed opportunity. And the disappointing plot/lack of character development really irked me too. It left a lot to be desired as a long time fan of the series and its characters.