Just above mediocrity

User Rating: 6 | Gears Tactics PC

When I began Gears Tactics, I felt this sense of exhilaration to be revisiting the world of Gears of War but to be able to see it through a different lens. Unfortunately, that particular emotion begins to fade throughout the playthrough, as you find yourself coming up against the repetition and monotony of a small cycle of level types, a lackluster story, and an exuberant amount of filler.

Let's start with the good, because it's Gears, and I love it no matter what. Gears Tactics literally feels good to play. I played on my computer and, with the exception of the relatively few times I needed to rotate the camera, I was able to play almost the whole game with just my mouse. Weirdly ergonomic, but certainly a nice level of comfort. The gameplay was smooth and the team introduced some mechanics that play into the fast-paced Gears gameplay style we know and love, even though it's a strategy game; The settings and character design are very Gears; You get access to a lot of recruits and loot throughout the game, which is great for customizing; The boss fights were very fun.

Now let's tackle the bad. After the first Act, which was my favorite part of the game, you enter a phase of the game that feels intentionally drawn out. In reality, Gears Tactics should have been an 8-10 hour experience. They fluff it to around 20-25 with side missions that you must get through in order to reach the next story mission. This can be anywhere from 2-3 side missions you have to complete. I have no issue with side quests, but the variety of mission types was so small that I found myself feeling extremely bored and, just kind of tired of it all. Oh and remember how I said the boss fights were really fun? They account for 3 missions of the overall game and cap off each of the three acts. I basically enjoyed 7 different types of levels through the entire game. Yeesh. And even though the seemingly endless amount of recruits and loot you can get was a positive, it played out as a double edged sword, adding extra people without ever providing any sort of backstory that draws you to them or makes you feel bonded with them. The core story, whenever you actually get to it, is not very interesting and feels very uninspired. For the world of Gears, I guess I just hoped for more.

Gears Tactics does offer a lot and brings some freshness to the table, but the lack of variety in mission type, the lackluster story, the inability to make the player care about the recruits and the forced filler certainly left a sour taste. If you're a die-hard gears fan and are willing to look past the glaring issues, give it a shot. I just don't think I'll be recommending this to many other types of people.