After a good fourth installment in the series, The Coalition is back on the videogame wave with Gears 5, which takes on the burden of continuing the new narrative path started almost three years ago.
The announcement of the title took place in 2016 during the Microsoft E3 conference, confirming that this new story will consist of three chapters, thus becoming in effect a new trilogy in the series.
As you may have noticed, the title has transformed from Gears of War in Gears, this is because the developers have noticed that the title is usually called only with the first part of the title, therefore the "public" title from now on will be Gears, although the series will keep its full name.
With Lancer in hand, we threw ourselves back into the fray, trying to find out what this revolutionary new title has to offer. The Coalition.
The torment of the past
This time the story will not be focused on JD Fenix, but it will all revolve around Kait diaz, who will find herself having to put the friendship aside to find out what connection binds her to the swarm and why she is completely overrun by catastrophic nightmares.
Before starting the story, the game will allow us to witness a summary of what happened in Gears of War 4, up to the famous twist so much discussed at the time.
The narrative comes divided into four main chapters, where we will learn more about the past of the Locusts and everything that revolves around the historical enemies of the series.
The initial phase is very fast and dynamic, the game never stops unnecessarily, moreover it takes the right time to narrate everything without leaving plot holes.
The story is much more mature, the tones are always dark and macabre, but it gives the player a sense of belonging, especially for those who have played the previous chapters.
In the second and third act we will have the opportunity to explore the open lands, where we can use it Skiff, a sailing vehicle that will allow us to move freely to explore the surrounding area.
The maps will be much larger this time around and the level design will not be linear, but there are multiple paths that will allow us to find better equipment or documents that will help us to better understand the game world.
The final part of the story of Gears 5 is spectacular, the drama and the twists are the masters, leaving a sense of "completeness" within the main trend, despite a sixth chapter of Gears of War is planned.
A renewed gear
At the heart of the technical innovations there is Jack, a flying robot that will allow us to advance in the game maps and will help us in the most desperate paths. The little droid has its own skill tree, which can be expanded using gods Upgrade Kit that will be present in the game map.
In this chapter the clashes are much more brutal and difficult; We do not deny that we had a lot of problems in the hectic phases, despite being playing the title on normal difficulty and in online co-op mode.
The covers have been studied a little better than in the past, a minimum crack can open a passage for the enemy to be able to attack us, thus defining a physics that is almost perfect within the firefights.
Jack's special abilities play an important role, especially for clashes in large areas. In addition to the offensive power, the droid allows us to use techniques for a more stealth approach, such as timed invisibility, which will allow us to use brutal surprise moves towards enemies.
Earlier we told you aboutexploration with the Skiff: in this regard, do not expect a variety of missions or optional tasks, because the title is mainly limited to offering us "secondary" places and side tasks that play a small role in increasing the longevity of the main story.
Despite the banality of the contents, it is still something new and never seen within the brand. In addition, the physics of the Skiff is well structured, perhaps among the best created with the Unreal Engine for vehicles.
Breaking a lance in favor of the settings, the story will allow us to explore dark, frozen wastes and finally also an immense desert, giving us an immense visual variety. The level design is also very accurate and the elements on the screen are really many, most of which are interactable.
The variety of weapons in Gears of War has always been one of the most beautiful elements of the series, and even the fifth chapter is no exception. On a technical level, the shooting phases are pleasant and very dynamic.
We played the title on the PC version taking advantage of the Xbox Game Pass, setting the game to Ultra details, obtaining a Full HD dynamic resolution with a stable frame rate at 60 fps, which makes the combat phases even more adrenaline than normal.
THEgraphic appearance is one of the main advantages of Gears 5, and the team of The Coalition has managed to exploit the graphics engine of the Unreal Engine as no one has done so far. The PC version manages to show spectacular polygonal "muscles", unleashing a visual power unimaginable until now.
We enjoyed it very much the Italian dubbing, but the audio sector gives its best with the soundtrack, even more melancholy and dark than in the past.
Competitiveness not exactly fair
This week we have tried our hand at the mode PvP, flagship sector of The Coalition stock. The first mode that immediately catches the eye is that ofArcade Deathmatch, where we will have to face together with our group, five other members of another team to reach the goal of fifty team kills and thus bring home victory.
While the competitive mode of Gears 5, we did not like the possibility of being "kicked out" by rival members in the "All against All". Often we have ended up out of a session just because we were first in the standings, thus losing every result obtained during that online session, making our efforts null and void.
Another not insignificant problem is the servers, rather unstable and full of disconnections. In the Cooperative mode, we have often found ourselves suddenly alone, because the title suddenly lost the connection with the central server of The Coalition.
This forced us to return to the main menu and restart with our faithful companion from the last checkpoint.
Returning to the modalities, we liked "Escape“, A mode that throws us into some labyrinthine maps and where we will have to collaborate with our companions to find the extraction point, trying not to die.
In some ways it can be said that it is a variant with an ending of Horde mode, also in this chapter present in all its glory.
Despite everything, we believe that Gears 5's multiplayer mode still needs some time before it can express all its "potential". First of all, all the connection problems should be undermined and better balance the management of online sessions competitive.
In conclusion, we really enjoyed this new chapter of Gears of War di The Coalition, and we are happy with the work done by the development team. The narrative manages to perfectly trace the heyday of the series, creating an atmosphere dark and never banal, concluding everything with an unexpected epilogue.
Unfortunately we cannot say the same about Online, still too much unripe and that it needs time to mature.
We feel compelled to recommend the title primarily to fans of the series, or for those looking for a TPS that they can play in the company of a friend.