Last night, I was nearly finished with the game after a mostly smooth and bug free playthrough. I was just finished with the first Swarm encounter on the second chapter of the fourth act. I was on the way to go assist Marcus when my game froze. So I closed the game and restarted. I load back up and I’m getting HUGE frame dips, but this time no crashes (at least not initially), so I push onwards. I get to Marcus, and my framerate seems to return to normal. However, a stray frag grenade blew me up right after. I reload from the checkpoint, only to find out that I was blown up at the exact instant the checkpoint saved, so that checkpoint is f*****. Alright, so I reload from the checkpoint before… aaaand it drops me back at the start of the chapter, and the framerate dipping returns with a vengeance. A few seconds later, the game freezes entirely, and this time it’s so bad I can’t tab out to use task manager. So I’ve gotta hard restart my machine. After that, I sign back in, load the game back up aaaaaand same thing, gotta hard restart. Rinse and repeat several times until eventually, I decide I’m just gonna restart the chapter on a different save file (note that I did test the system benchmark and starting a new game on a different save file and both appeared to work fine). One big problem though: this time I sign back into Windows and my Gears 5 desktop icon is missing. So I try launching the game from the Xbox beta app, but for some reason that just pulls up the Microsoft Store page for the gaming services app. I try creating a new desktop icon for the game, but the icon is blank and it still only pulls up that same Microsoft Store page. So I fiddle around for about a half hour to no avail before getting fed up and deciding to uninstall and reinstall the game. I appear to successfully uninstall the game, so I go to reinstall, and I notice that no space has cleared up on my drive from uninstalling the game. Regardless, I go ahead and attempt to proceed with the reinstall, only for it to throw out an error, with an error code that the Microsoft support website doesn’t even recognize.
After some time, over an hour of which was spent on live chat with Microsoft support, I’m still stuck in the same place, with the same error and invalid error code. Eventually I format the drive the game had been installed on, hoping that will clear something and fix my issue, but alas, it does nothing. And now here we are. At this point I’m getting ready to reinstall Windows, but the fact that I even have to consider doing that is quite frankly just ridiculously unacceptable, I’d really appreciate if this game I paid a bunch of my hard-earned money on would work again; if I wasn’t such a huge fan of the series, I’d have asked for a refund after the hour or so of time wasted with MS support. But goddamnit TC, your games need to f****** work properly.
UPDATE - Reinstalling Windows did the trick, but again, it’s ridiculous I had to go that far; having to mess around with your OS install isn’t fun at all.