Gears of War is finally crossing over with Halo through new DLC. Emphasis on FINALLY.

Gamescom 2019 has officially kicked off, and a number of major gaming announcements are out in the wild. One developer that showed up to Gamescom in a big way this year was Microsoft, which hosted a brand-new episode of Inside Xbox. It was during this show that the studio head at The Coalition, Rod Ferguson, confirmed Gears 5 will feature Halo: Reach content. This marks the first-ever crossover between Xbox’s flagship franchises, Halo and Gears of War.

Through the aptly titled Halo: Reach Character Pack, players will score a menagerie of items, with the most prominent being Halo: Reach’s Emile-A239 and Kat-B320 as multiplayer characters. The pack also includes a Noble Team Jack skin (the robot companion is playable for the first time in Gears 5), a Noble Team banner, a Noble Team Blood Spray and a Noble Team Mark.

Additionally, both Kat and Emile will have unique Ultimate Abilities in Horde mode based on their appearances in Reach. Kat is able to send out a hologram to distract the vile Swarm, while Emile has a drop shield that will allow him to charge head-first into battle. As an extra bit of fan service/attention to detail, Microsoft has also brought back the voice actors for each character to record new dialogue for Gears 5.

Before getting too excited about this news, it’s important to note the Halo: Reach Character Pack is only included in Gears 5: Ultimate Edition or with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.

Why did it take so long for a Gears of War and Halo crossover?

Xbox Crossover

As two of the biggest franchises in Microsoft’s arsenal, it’s odd that Gears of War and Halo have never crossed paths before. There are a few factors to consider when asking about why this has been the case. Gears is a notoriously more gruesome franchise after all, so it’s probably not beneficial to have the face of Xbox, Master Chief, blown to bits.

Despite how amusing seeing John-117 teaming up with Marcus Fenix would be, Microsoft does take steps to ensure that its biggest players in Halo are protected. However, we’ve seen Microsoft throw an Arbiter into Killer Instinct and even had Spartan-458 for Dead or Alive 4. It seems recently, too, that Microsoft has opened up even more with crossover ship cosmetics in Sea of Thieves, Banjo-Kazooie joining Smash Bros. Ultimate and now Halo: Reach characters in Gears 5.

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Riley's Take

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As a fan, it’s surreal to see Halo and Gears of War finally in a game together. Two multiplayer skins is such a great way to appeal to Halo fans. Including Halo: Reach’s Kat and Emile over Master Chief and Cortana may have a few people scratching their heads, but it’s a logical decision. After all, Halo: Reach is being added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection in the near future.

It seems Gears 5 is all about the crossovers—this pack marks the second crossover DLC, joining the previously announced Terminator: Dark Fate character pack. Showing off these crossovers ahead of the game’s launch would indicate to me that The Coalition plans on doing more throughout Gears 5’s lifespan. Only time will tell what awaits us, but I’m “gearing” up for a return to planet Sera.