Edit: I have to stress - please make bootcamp skippable in the retail version - it’s painful to go through !
So I’m someone who has been playing Gears since the original launched and I’ve stuck with the good, bad and the ugly.
I’ve been through every update but what made me stick with Gears above all else is the unique feel.
Primarily, this is the movement and Gnasher play.
These two things are the Gears of War signature mechanics that no other game has replicated successfully or done successfully.
I’ve been gaming a lot longer before that though. Since the SNES days I’ve owned every console and handheld ever released and play every major game and a hell of a lot of non major games.
In Gears 4 alone I’ve sunk around $4-$5,000 in eSports packs and content.
I was extremely excited for Gears 5.
The biggest negatives from Gears 4 were:
-Maps; These were poor on the whole and not a lot of variety. Some of the remakes were bad choices (Slab, Drydock, Rustlung).
-Region Locks: this really made matchmaking difficult.
-Strict Matchmaking: same as above, killed matchmaking for high ranks.
But - what was solid was the gameplay and feel. Following on from UE, Gears 4 still felt like a proper Gears game. Fast and fluid!
I was so excited for Gears 5 - however, after playing it, it sadly just doesn’t feel like a true Gears game.
It’s more of a Gears of Fortnite. Or a Gears of Duty game.
Game feels very “Arcade” like.
The movement, the rifle play and so on.
It’s just so casual I feel like I just would drop in for a game or two and then just drop out.
It just feels very “flat” - lacking atmosphere, urgency, that special position feel of knowing where you are and holding down sections of the map. Not always rushing in.
Movement now feels “rubbery” and very strange and off. Just not solid and fluid. Definitely not like Gears of Old.
Too much rolling and running/bumping into walls.
Characters feel “blocky”. Everyone seems like they are stepping over you and just bundled together.
It gets repetitive and boring quick - unlike Gears 4 which was just…more interesting.
Even small things like Smokes having the noise/sounds of regular Grenades.
Flashbang should be a pickup. It’s highly annoying and loud when there 5 of them coming your way after the team respawns.
The lancer itself is like a laser - bloom was needed to help balance over distance. Now, especially good M&K players, can easily lancer / laser you down from any part of the map! Imagine 2-3 lancers on you at all time and all you got is a small amount of recoil that M&K have been used to for years.
But still, I appreciate the attempt to vary play by “Rifle Meta” but Rifles in Gears should be secondary. It’s the Gnasher and power weapons that make it fun. Not being pinned down, unable to move or play by a team that refuses to move but only rifle. Might be good for eSports Views but how many watch or care compared to playing? I saw 50K watch the e league at its height. Core audience like myself rather have an enjoyable game to PLAY and not much more care for watching.
The characters feels too stiff, blocky and somehow - slow.
Gears 4 feels a lot more solid, sure footed and predictable to control.
Gnasher is ok on the whole but there have been some iffy moments.
Ofc, the Omen is a big negative.
Health needs to regen when moving and not taking damage.
AFK timers are way too long. Should be about 2 mins as I’ve had people AKF into the next round!
Shotgun with 6 bullets just isn’t enough for me. Perhaps look at 7. I see what you did with the 6 but honestly, half my 1v2 or more ends up in a reload content
Also, the Gnasher itself feels more like shooting soft foam bullets then a nice solid shotgun blast.
It’s also no where near consistent enough.
Several times, at normal gib range, I’m hitting pellets and it’s not registering or it’s too often giving 90-99%.
Like at the same distance and same time, I could get chunked.
With it being base Competitive Tuning and then adjusted - the same problem is there. The damage drop off is really steep. So steep that a tiny bit of distance takes the gib away you. Also could be the lag too. It’s not a good experience.
Also, sometimes where you shoot - it’s hard to explain but the shot doesn’t land where you think it will. This didn’t exist in 4. It kind of wraps past where you shot or just at a odd angle.
Finally It doesn’t feel as rewarding because it’s less movement and more bot walking. Bouncing to a wall is slow and clunky and will always get you gibbed.
Reaction Shots are very OP - they can warp even more around corners than 4. You should have to be looking where you’re shooting.
All in all, this feels more like Judgement 2.0 and I was kinda hoping it would have resembled 4 a lot more because at the very least, 4 had nailed movement and feel.
To conclude my thoughts:
I know TC have their vision of what it should be like and I’m sure eSports is heavily influencing them. They want / need it to be a game that’s fun to watch. Unfortunately it’s not CoD or Arcade like with Fortnite. It’s unique in its movement and play which is what gave it a loyal following because you can’t really get that experience elsewhere. It’s now being diluted a little to fit in a more cartoon like appearance and also try and be open to more casuals who drop in and drop out. At the very least - I would hope it feels like a fast, fluid Gears game - just like 4 or even a solid base like UE. Not getting that vibe or feel from 5, sadly. I wanted to love the game and recognise it as Gears. I sadly can’t ATM.
That’s why MP has put me off massively from staying with this game. The only other Gears game I can say was the same is Judgement.
I’m someone who’s quite lucky and will spend thousands and thousands of pounds if it’s fun to play.
But at the moment - without tweaks and improvements, I’ll play campaign and retire from 5 and just hope for the best in 6.
Which is a shame because I’ve not felt this way since Judgement.
It’s a real shame indeed to have to say that Gears 5 has been a huge disappointment to myself, my friends and a lot of others.
Not because it’s trying something different or introducing different ways to play.
Just because at its core - it doesn’t feel like Gears game anymore.