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Letters from the Front

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This past weekend, I got a chance to play Gears 5 multiplayer in a technical test that was available if you pre-ordered the Ultimate Edition or was subscribed to Xbox Game Pass or Game Pass on PC. It came with Arcade and regular Gears multiplayer, King of the Hill and Escalation, two classic Gears mode that encompasses Gears multiplayer as a whole, here is my first impressions of the Multiplayer.

Traditionally, Gears multiplayer has always been different from other multiplayer shooters and military-style games. It is one of the reasons why I play it and I enjoy it, it relies on close quarters combat and it’s incredibly fast paced so when my first match was in Arcade, I was surprised that it wasn’t at all like the ranked modes that Gears multiplayer is so known for.

Arcade is a combination between a CS:GO style weapon buying system and a more traditional hero shooter like Overwatch. Before the match begins in Arcade, you get to select a variety of different characters from the COG and the Swarm respectively. Each one comes with their respective weapons, their own passive abilities and a weapon tree.

Each character has an associated bounty, which provides a bonus for playing. Whenever you get a kill or a bounty, you will recieve a skull which can be cashed in to advance the character’s weapon tree. Skulls carry over when you die, and upgrades can brought at any time during the course of the match.

Arcade mode is not for everybody, especially for people like me who are Gears veterans who have come to know Gears multiplayer through the ranked mode playlists like King of the Hill and Escalation but I applaud Coalition for doing something new and bringing something new to the Gears universe.

The Technical Test came with the standard Gears multiplayer modes, Escalation and King of the Hill. Escalation is the competitive version of Domination that appeared in Gears: Judgement and King of the Hill is the mode that most Gears veteran usually play, it was originally exclusive to the PC version of the original Gears of War until it made its way into Gears of War 2 in 2008.

The Tech Test had some issues at first. Matchmaking was a bit sluggish and I couldn’t get into a game for a few hours but once I was able to get into ranked mode and start playing King of the Hill, I immediately noticed a few things that were new. Movement felt quick and more responsive as opposed to Gears 4, gunplay was redefined and I really like the bonuses you get if you achieve an active reload and the. I was never a big fan of Gears multiplayer but from what I played during the Tech Test, I might want to actually sit down with Gears 5 multiplayer at launch and play a good portion of it. The Tech Test convinced me to become a fan of Gears multiplayer, I generally had a good and fun time playing.

The Gears 5 Tech Test 2 will run again this weekend and the game itself will release on September 10th. Stay tuned for my first impressions of the game coming in September.

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