With Gears 5, the development team is looking to take more risks.
Speaking to Kotaku at E3 2019, studio head Rod Fergusson talked about the process behind the fourth game. “We really went out going, ‘Okay, we’re going to stay true to what Gears is, and [not] mess with it too much.’ We really didn’t want people going, ‘Well they don’t know what they’re doing.’ And what we got instead was like, ‘There’s not enough innovation here.’ We sort of took that feedback about, ‘We trust you, please go push it.’ And so we really brought that to Gears 5.”
That means a number of changes, from the seemingly minor – chainsaw bayonet kills are now activated by holding down the Right Bumper instead of B for better camera manipulation – to the major, like health bars on enemies. The latter is important because Fergusson believes it will help players decide when to risk taking down weaker enemies. They can be disabled though.
Another interesting change is the focus on headshots and weak points, to the point where the reticle will change colours accordingly (white for body shots, red for headshots and gold after a perfect reload). The names of difficulty settings for the series have also been changed – instead of Casual/Normal/Hardcore/Insane, they’re now Beginner/Intermediate/Experienced/Insane. At the lowest difficulty, players will be able to lock on to enemies, a first for the series.
I will be turning off those life bars on enemies. Part of what makes a Gears experience is not knowing exactly how many shots you need to do to down or kill enemies. Watching them being blown apart or get downed as confirmation adds to the rush you get during the firefights.
Gears 5: Your Questions Answered by the Developers – IGN First
Our month of exclusive editorial coverage on Gears 5
is over, but to close out the month, we gave you the opportunity to ask the developers of Gears 5, an Xbox One game and PC game, anything about their upcoming third-person action sequel. The studio's answers are below.And if you missed any of our exclusive month-long coverage, catch up on all of our IGN First Gears 5 coverage so far, and don't miss our informative interview/conversation with studio head Rod Fergusson on our Xbox show, Podcast Unlocked.Quellyford asks: What kind of variety will there be in terms of environment for Escape tiles? Will the general feel be that of the trailers we've seen, or are there some more unique ideas for tiles that have yet to be shown?
The Coalition: At launch there are two major visual themes for tiles; Mining and Ventilation. The Escape Trailer and Hive we showed at E3 has examples of tiles from both themes, but the majority of unique content has yet to be experienced.majorminor10 asks: What Gears gameplay mechanic was something your team wanted to modify/update and why? What Gears gameplay mechanic is considered
The Coalition: With Gears of War 4, The Coalition wanted to earn our fans trust by showing that we could make a true Gears of War game. With “Gears 5,” we want to challenge player expectations, and that applies to gameplay mechanics as well. There are many core mechanics that we’ve improved upon in “Gears 5.” As an example, we’ve changed the accuracy model for shooting. In past games, the reticle bloom would determine how accurate your shots were, while in “Gears 5” we’ve moved to a recoil based system, where each weapon has a predictable recoil pattern that players can learn and master. Also, with the addition of the Warden’s Breaker mace and each character getting a combat knife, we’ve greatly improved upon the game’s melee system. I don’t know if any gameplay mechanic is considered untouchable, but certainly one of the most iconic is the Lancer Chainsaw – which is a great segue to our next question!Ares_EMS asks: Have they made any updates or changes to the chainsaw mechanics? TBH, I only used it in Gears 4 to get past certain areas that required it, but never felt the need to use it in close-combat.
The Coalition: The Chainsaw is just as brutal and useful as ever! However, we have modified the controls, as we’ve moved all weapons’ secondary attacks to hold on the right bumper on default control schemes. This allows players to access all of their weapon’s attack options without having to let go of the thumb sticks, allowing for greater control of both movement and attacks.Yellowplastik asks: Is it fair to assume crossplay returns between PC/Xbox?
The Coalition: Gears 5 will have cross play between both Xbox and PC so players can play how they want and where they want.Madengineer25 asks: How many maps will be available at the launch and will future content be free?
The Coalition: With Map Builder, the possibilities are endless as the community can build and share their Hives to play through the Custom Lobby Browser. There will be 4 Escape Hives available at launch, with new Hives releasing ~weekly after launch – all for free in both matchmaking and private matches. In Gears 5, our goal is to create a player-first experience when it comes to in-game content, and it starts with this:
• No Season Pass
• No Gear Packs
• DLC Maps are free for matchmaking and Private Play
• Exclusive earnable content in the all-new Tour of Duty system
• All store purchases are direct, no RNG so you always know what you will getsephiroth1888 asks: With multiplayer about to be shown off in the coming weeks I was wondering if/how you intended to ease new players into it. One of the biggest things with gears is that it has a very steep learning curve, which at the highest levels is great as it is fast and frantic, but the newbies end up bearing the brunt of that and just get washed out. I know a few people who enjoyed the campaign, but ended up leaving the multiplayer as they couldn’t compete.
The Coalition: Listening to community feedback, we’ve implemented certain accessibility features to ease in players to “Gears 5.” Features such as target lock toggle and screen shake toggle on the beginner difficulty can get players comfortable with the title’s fast and frantic gameplay. As well, new to “Gears 5” is Boot Camp, which will be a practice ground to improve your skills. With our recently announced Escape mode, players can start with a lower difficulty and work their way up. Once they get good, they can get fast and try for the leader boards!CarlosRiqRam asks: I noticed most old weapons, if not all, have new aiming reticles in Gears 5. Why did you decide to change the aiming reticles and will the players have the option to use the old reticles from previous games?
The Coalition: The changes to our aiming reticles are meant to improve the player experience We have consulted some top Gears Esports players and community members to ensure these gunplay enhancements are the best they can be, we will always look to build and listen to our community. We do not have the option to change reticles from their current settings.BetterAudienceQuestions asks: How does the Terminator crossover work, narratively speaking?
The Coalition: Multiplayer mode has always given the team an opportunity to step outside of the canon, giving fans fun content, and through our partnership with “Terminator Dark Fate,” we’re able to do just that (note the collaboration is focused on multiplayer and there is no Campaign crossover). Both Kait and Sarah Connor were both outsiders of wars they did not start, but were forced to become major parts of. Sarah’s story is Kait’s story and we’re so excited to bring fans of both franchises together.HeyItsRyan asks: What's the funniest outtake you've ever heard from John DiMaggio while he's recording Marcus Fenix dialogue?
The Coalition: Our favorite outtakes from John DiMaggio are the most outrageous ones…and those can’t see the light of day! But our top pick is the outtake we released as an Easter Egg in “Gears of War 4.” In the story, Marcus had been living by himself on the Stroud Estate, estranged from JD and the world, when the DeeBees attacked and destroyed everything. John adlibbed a rant where Marcus has had enough. “You know how long I’ve worked on this <bleeping> house alone? You know what it’s like being a <bleeping> hermit, fixing a house -- there’s no Home Depot out here you <bleeping> a******s!” He also laments the destruction of Dom’s tomato plants and how he’s never going to have a good sauce again. The rant gave a hilarious take on Marcus’ mental state, as only John DiMaggio could deliver.
The Gears of War Tech Test is fast approaching on July 19, 2019, and we’ve got all the details on when, where and how you can get involved!
What is the Gears 5 Tech Test?
The Technical Test is a small in-development slice of our Versus offering in Gears 5 that will run across two focused test periods this July.
What can I expect in the Gears 5 Tech Test?
For Gears 5’s Technical Test, we’re bringing three distinct modes across two brand new multiplayer maps to play throughout both test periods:
Arcade: A new approachable, frenetic Versus experience.
Escalation: The pinnacle objective mode of Gears is back and better than ever.
King of the Hill: Capture the hill, enjoy the carnage.
In addition, you’ll also get to try out two new features of Gears 5:
Bootcamp: Practice your skills and learn new mechanics in our new training mode.
Tour Of Duty: Experience a mini Tour of Duty, where you’ll complete Medals to unlock exclusive Tester Weapon Skins to take into Gears 5. Complete all 3 Medals to unlock the exclusive Tester Banner to showcase in Gears 5.
We’ll reveal more about Gears 5 Versus next week followed by a weekend of electric Gears 5 Escalation action and more from the ELEAGUE Invitational tournament (July 13th – 14th).
When will the Gears 5 Tech Test be available?
Beginning July 17th at 10am PDT, the Tech Test will be available to pre-download for eligible players. The Tech Test will be approximately 15GB.
The first Technical Test period will run from July 19th at 10am PDT until July 22nd at 10am PDT.
The second Technical Test period will run from July 26th at 10am PDT until July 29th at 10am PDT.
During Test periods, our goal is to test our servers handling an influx of players ahead of launch day. Gears 5 has an access queue system in place to protect server stability as much as possible – please be aware you may encounter some queueing as you start to play.
Between test periods, the Tech Test will remain available for download but servers will be offline.
How can I participate in the Gears 5 Tech Test? Xbox One
For Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Xbox Game Pass subscribers, access is included in your membership.
Beginning on July 17th at 10am PDT, you will be able to pre-download the Tech Test from the Game Pass Library as you would with any other game on Game Pass.
You can also access the Technical Test by pre-ordering digitally via the Xbox Store, or by redeeming a code provided when pre-ordering a physical copy at participating retailers. See below for a list of participating retailers.
As the Technical Test is online multiplayer, an Xbox Live Gold or Xbox Game Pass Ultimate membership will be required to play.
Windows 10 PC
For Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Xbox Game Pass for PC subscribers, access is included in your membership.
You can also access the Technical Test by pre-ordering digitally via the Windows Store. Starting July 17th at 10am PDT, you can search for ‘Gears 5’ in the Windows Store to download the Tech Test ready for the weekend.
For players on Windows 10 PC, check out the chart below for minimum and recommended Gears 5 Tech Test specs:
Why a Technical Test?
This Technical Test allows us to stress test our servers over two focused Test Periods to ensure the best possible experience when large volumes of players rush in at launch.
For our PC fans, it gives us a critical opportunity to get the game onto PCs with unique combinations of hardware and software at scale. If any unforeseen issues arise, it gives us the opportunity ahead of launch to identify and address any issues ahead of release.
And of course, getting the Tech Test into your hands means we can gather your valuable feedback on each of the three modes to inform our development as we march towards launch day and beyond.
Thank you for your support and excitement for the Gears 5 Tech Test. We can’t wait to join you out there to play some Gears 5 Versus!
Additional Information Physical Pre-Order Tech Test Access
These are the participating retailers who will supply 5×5 codes to access the Technical Test. Please contact your local retailer for further support on acquiring your code. If your retailer of choice is currently not listed, please enquire directly with them for more information.