Here’s a complete look at everything we know about Gears 5, from its new game modes to the depths of its storyline.

When will Gears 5 release?

Game Pass

As announced at the Microsoft E3 Press Conference, Gears 5 will release for Xbox One and Windows 10 on September 10th, 2019. It will also be available as an Xbox Game Pass title. If you purchase the Ultimate Edition or subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you’ll be able to access Gears 5 four days early on September 6th, 2019. You’ll also get an Ultimate Edition Character Pack and 30 days of Boost, though The Coalition hasn’t detailed what exactly Boost does yet. Presumably, it helps you unlock items faster.

What is the setting of Gears 5?

Kait Diaz

 

While Gears 4 featured Kait Diaz, a former Outsider turned Gear, she was a companion for the game’s main protagonist, JD. This time around, Gears 5 elevates her to the role of the lead protagonist. By the end of Gears 4, Kait was given a family heirloom in the form of a medallion by her mother before she passed. The underside of this medallion is revealed to take the shape of the Locust horde icon, implying that Kait has unexpected familial ties to COG’s sworn enemy through her grandmother, the original owner of the medallion.

Now wearing the medallion, Kait begins having visions of the Locust Swarm and its now-dead queen, Myrrah. She also begins to have personality changes and shows signs of unwarranted aggression.

Gears 5 is expected to take a deep dive into these implications, and The Coalition teased her inner turmoil with a brand new Kait-centric trailer at E3 2019.

A new screenshot for the game also confirms that Damon Baird will be making an appearance, though he traded in his COG armor for a lab coat.

In the Gears 5 cinematic trailer shown last year, Kait ends up informing JD and Marcus about her visions and shows them the flipside of the medallion with the Locust insignia. Alarmed, Marcus suggests that they travel to the New Hope Research Facility to find out more about the medallion. It was where he’d originally confirmed that the location of both the main Locust hive (called the Nexus) and its queen, Myrrah, was at Mount Kadar and so it makes sense that it’d also be the best bet for discovering Kait’s familial connection with the Locust horde.

With the key art for the game also featuring Mount Kadar, it’s looking like the secrets of the medallion will be found at the New Hope Research facility, and that gamers may just make the trek into Mount Kadar itself.

Rod Fergusson and the rest of The Coalition have refrained from sharing more specific storyline details beyond the fact that Del, Marcus and Kait will seek out answers relating to Kait’s lineage. The game will also feature another Gear named Fahz Chutani, though he stays with JD’s unit. It’s not certain to what extent they’ll feature after the trio goes their separate ways on a quest for answers.

Fergusson calls the Gears 5 campaign the studio’s “biggest ever”.

A new screenshot for the game also confirms that Damon Baird will be making an appearance, though he traded in his COG armor for a lab coat. Granted, his appearance came in the form of a promotional image for the game’s new map designer, so it’s not known if he’ll feature in the campaign.

Fergusson calls the Gears 5 campaign the studio’s “biggest ever”. The footage from 2018 appears to show some large open-world environments that are traversable via skiff, while simultaneously showing plenty of close combat scenarios—and scenes revealing that Kait and Del will run into some trust issues along the way. The campaign also features a massive, scary-looking scion called “The Warden”.

What enemies are in Gears 5?

Swarm Flock

Gears 5 enemies

 

The Locust make an emphatic return, with the usual suspects all making appearances: drones, hunters, imago, juvies, elites, pouncers, snatchers and scions will all feature. Though it hasn’t been confirmed, it’s not really Gears if a brumak doesn’t make an appearance, too.One of the most horrifying new additions is The Swarm Flock, which are flying schools of Swarm Leaches. They’ll twirl around the map with great speed, and they’re directly inspired by the Kryll from the original trilogy. That’s bad news for you if you like to, you know, live.

Many of the robotic enemies from the first game have been consumed by the Locust hive, turning into horrific semi-organic hybrids called “rejects” and “stumps”. They’re typically dormant, but awaken when players make noise.

The trailer for the Escape game mode (more on that below) also briefly showed Sires, the horrific result of the Lambent human studies from the New Hope Research Facility. With Marcus leading Kait back there in a quest for answers, it only makes sense that the fan-favourite enemies would make a return—and not just in the game’s campaign.

Gears 5 has new weapons

Cryo Cannon

Gears 5 weapons

 

Gears 5 will introduce a weapon called the Cryo Cannon and, as the name implies, it appears to freeze enemies in place to make them vulnerable to melee attacks for a time. To that end, there’s also a brand-new locust mace that was originally shown in the game’s E3 2018 trailer. It’s capable of quick mash attacks, despite its large size.The Locust Horde also has a new rifle, and it’s capable of standing up to the lancer’s chainsaw when enemies rush in for a one-on-one battle. The Talon Autopistol will also be introduced after first appearing in the Gears of War: Hivebusters comic series this year.

Other confirmed returning weapons include the Gnasher, Overkill, Boomshot, Hammerburst, Longshot, Markza MK1, Tri-Shot, Snub and the EMBAR. The iconic Lancer returns as well, with a new mysterious variant. Frag, shock and flashbang grenades have also made it to Gears 5.

Before you ask, there’s no confirmation of a retro lancer… yet.

There’s a new multiplayer mode called Escape

Escape

Gears 5 escape mode

 

E3 2019 also introduced a brand new multiplayer mode called Escape, where you will team up in groups of three for a co-op experience. The game mode doesn’t support AI companions. It’ll have tiered difficulty levels.In Escape, you and your squad are tasked with being hivebusters: purposefully taken by a snatcher, you allow yourself to be taken to the middle of a locust hive. You then plant a venom bomb and must make a hasty escape as the fatal gas spreads, destroying any living thing in its wake. This forces your squad to stay on the move in a mad dash to reach the exit amidst the chaos of combat.

There’ll be safe rooms between sections of each map, which allow you and your squad to have a small breather before the hectic run-and-gun action begins again. You’ll be expected to scavenge weapons on the go since ammunition will be scarce more often than not.

Escape will feature three characters to start with, Lahni, Mac and Keegan. They’re all hivebusters from Gears comic lore, and they each have their own special ability with cooldown times between uses. Lahni has an electrical knife with a Tesla-like area of effect, Mac has an invulnerable energy shield, and Keegan can give his teammates ammunition if they’re close enough. All three characters will also have unlockable skills to equip, like increased ammo or larger sliding distance when entering cover.

More characters will be added post-launch.

More about Escape mode

User content

 

The first gameplay videos from Escape revealed numerical damage indicators that showed the damage output you’re dishing out. Rod Fergusson confirmed these can be toggled and were put in place to make it easier for you to see the impact of your abilities and skill cards.Fergusson also revealed that Escape mode will run at 60 FPS, though this will drop to 30 FPS if you’re playing split-screen. It’s unclear if the campaign will be a 60 FPS experience, too, but it seems likely.

The Escape game mode will feature a map building mode, allowing you to design new experiences for others to complete. It’s the first time the Gears of War franchise has had a feature that allows players to make their own content.

Horde mode is back

Beta test

Rod Fergusson confirmed that Horde mode was once again making a return, with the wave-based combat mode hosting new character abilities in Gears 5. Fergusson wouldn’t reveal anything else about Horde mode, though he did announce that a beta test for it will arrive in August 2019.

Gears 5 has emotes

My tomatoes!

If you’re a thumbs-up kind of person, you’ll be happy to hear that Gears 5 will feature emotes, though The Coalition prefers to call them expressions. It’s not known how many will be in the game, but one of the current gilded character challenges in Gears 4 will unlock a Gears 5 expression that is simply titled “Marcus Fenix”. I can only hope it lets you yell out “My tomatoes!” over and over.

I’m not kidding. I love that line.

I can only help that it lets you yell out “My tomatoes!” over and over.

A technical test is coming

July 17

If you’re eager to take a look into the world of Sera before Gears 5 releases in September, I’ve got good news for you: The Coalition is running a multiplayer technical test that will start on July 17th. More information regarding the test is expected to release when July hits.

There are more multiplayer modes

Escalation 2.0

While it’s already known that Versus, Escape and Horde will be awaiting in Gears 5, The Coalition has also announced an e-sports focused mode called Escalation 2.0. Beyond that, there’s an all-new competitive game type called Arcade, which is described as a “frenetic experience built for jump-in, over-the-top fun”.

Prior to August’s look at horde mode, you’ll get a good look at Versus multiplayer when the first-ever Gears 5 tournament takes place in early July. It’s called ELEAGUE, and it should give you a great look at how multiplayer in Gears 5 will feel.

There’s a Terminator DLC Pack

New skins

 

In one of the most out-of-left-field collaborations I’ve ever seen, Rod Fergusson announced at E3 2019 that Gears 5 will get a Terminator: Dark Fate DLC pack on November 1st, 2019. If you pre-order Gears 5 or happen to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, you’ll get access to two character skins: Sarah Connor, and the Terminator T-800 Exoskeleton.

The collaboration with Paramount Pictures and Skydance Media began when both intellectual properties were in their early stages, and I have to admit that I’d love to see The Terminator rip someone in half with a lancer. I just never expected it to actually happen.

There’s much more to come

More details

With so many significant parts of the game still kept as a mystery for now, there’s still plenty more for The Coalition to show off before Gears 5 launches on September 10th, 2019. So, there’s still much more to come, like news on if there will be a season pass this time around, more campaign details and information regarding microtransactions.

John's Take

Author

Gears 5 has a lot of things cooking at once: The Coalition is proclaiming that it has the studio’s biggest-ever story, there’s a huge new multiplayer mode, and all of our fan-favourite modes are coming back, too (wait, where’s Wingman? I want Wingman). I had hoped we’d see more of the game’s campaign so close to release, though so far, the gameplay looks solid. At this point, though, I want to know more about the campaign. Still, I’m very excited to delve into it this September and find out for myself. Maybe that’s the point.