Gears Tactics Developer Blog - Customization
We’re closing in on the final few days before the launch of Gears Tactics! To help tide you over, let’s dive into our fifth Developer Blog where we going deep on how you can craft the playstyle – and look – of your squad on the battlefield.
5 Classes, 150+ Skills
At the core of your units in Gears Tactics is their Class. Each Class is focused around a different role on the battlefield loaded with unique Skills, weaponry and core abilities.
Each Class has over 30 skills to unlock in a simple but customizable Skill Tree, where 1 action point (earned by levelling up a Character) equals 1 ability unlock on the tree. Split across two sides, any skill can be purchased from either side of the tree at any time, as long as the skill is adjacent to an already purchased skill.
This flexibility allows you to create units with diverse skillsets. Will you go deep on a specific skill branch to give your Character powerful abilities or will you spread out the Skill purchases to create a more personalize hybrid style? It’s all down to you.
Support Classes are the backbone of any squad. With a specialization on healing, buffing teammates and providing critical extra actions to teammates, this class is critical to keep your units alive and kicking ■■■ on the battlefield.
The Support Class skill tree is a mix of classic support play and combat potency. There’s plenty of options for leaning into buffing and healing, including providing team mates with extra actions to escape sticky situations, or more towards combat, including healing team mates every time you rack up a chainsaw kill. Nice!
Equipped with a Lancer, they have a decent damage output with a decent hitrate – don’t forget to about the instant kill Chainsaw bayonet which is a critical piece of your tactical puzzle.
Vanguards are the ultimate disruptor of your enemy’s front line, focused on creating firing opportunities for the rest of the squad while also packing a punch themselves.
The Vanguard Class skill tree has a variety of tricks up it’s sleeve - from making your Vanguard tankier, to adding debuff attacks or even a psuedo-healer role with a few damage-based healing abilities. Skills like Intimidate flushed enemies near the Vanguard out of cover and opens them up to taking more damage for a turn. The powerful Leech skill causes allies nearby to gain a percentage of damage dealt back as health.
Equipped with a Retro Lancer, they have a consistently high damage output with a good hitrate at short to medium ranges. Use the bayonet on the end of the Retro Lancer to charge across the battlefield at any enemy (provided they have a direct unbroken path) and skewer them for an instant kill at the cost of just one action.
Scouts are adept at outmaneuvering opponents and delivering maximum damage at close range.
Equipped with the Gnasher shotgun, when these units get up close, they hit like a truck. Their defining Cloak ability allows them to maximum flexibility on the battlefield – use it to conduct hit and run attacks, escape the watchful gaze of an overwatch or outflank enemies.
If you’re all about that Cloak life, there’s plenty of ways to lean into it with extra damage when shooting from cloak and dealing additional damage to wounded targets. Use Sprint to cover vast distances across the battlefield – even when cloaked.
If you like explosions, the Scout can also specialize in Commando abilities, providing guerilla tactics like mines and a heavy supply of Frags that they will not see coming.
Bring the big guns with the Heavy who use their Mulcher chaingun to hold the hell out of any position you take.
Skills like Ultra Shot let the Heavy rain fire on the battlefield, firing until the target is dead or their clip empties – whichever comes first – or by using Suppressive Fire to interrupt and pin units on the battlefield. Adopt a more defensive strategy and their abilities can be specialized heavily into Overwatch, making them hit more and harder when defending an area.
The Mulcher is a unique weapon in the world of Tactics. Once you take cover, every turn you remain in position nets you additional accuracy and damage – and, thanks to its huge clip, reloading is a rarity. This take and hold gameplay style also makes the Heavy’s overwatch particularly deadly.
No surprises on this one. Snipers are the long-range critical hit dealers of your lineup, popping heads all day long.
As you would expect, the Sniper Skill tree offers plenty of opportunity to up the chance of critical hits, but also offers risk/reward abilities like Ultimate Shot – where killing or downing a target gets all of your actions back. Yes, all of them!
The abilities in the Stalker side of the skill tree, add knockdowns and debuffs into the Sniper’s Skillsets, making them effective at disrupting enemies and reducing their accuracy through pure terror.
Using their Longshot Sniper Rifle, Snipers specialize in hitting critical hits often over extended ranges. They are perfect for their ability to potentially one-hit kill enemies like the Drone and Kantus, but also for burning down tough targets like Zealots and Boomers before they are in the effective range of the rest of your squad.
Style With Substance
On top of Customization through Skills, Equipment plays a major role in the potency of your squad in Gears Tactics. When you find some new Equipment in Tactics, like some badass looking armor, it also add valuable gameplay traits to up your game.
Continuing the theme of freedom of choice in Tactics, all armor you find can be used on any Character. Armor with Critical Hit Chance bonuses are a great choice for a Sniper for example, but it could also make your Scout become an even deadlier close-range wrecking ball.
Similarly, you might think an extra stock of explosive Grenades from armor is a great choice, but add it to your Support class and now you have two healing grenades, without waiting for the cooldown. With three different armor slots – Helmet, Torso and Legs – there are an incredible number of ways to mix, match and synergize with your unit’s skills.
Each Class’ unique weapon can also be modified via four different slots. These modifications tend to lean more into the overall style of the Class they apply to with corresponding tradeoffs. A huge clip might save you a reload, but also at the cost of some damage. Conversely, you might want to trade off a potential damage boosting Stock for one that adds additional movement distance range.
Equipment can either be found on the battlefield – though it costs an action to pickup, so pick your moment – or as rewards from side missions throughout the Campaign. If you want a fully decked out Legendary squad though, you’ll need to jump into the end-game Veteran Missions – and we’ll tell you all about those in our final blog next week!
Of course, on top of upping your in-game potency, each item can be customized with a variety of colors, fabric and metallic effects to make your squad reflect your personal style.
As you play through the game, you’ll recruit new Gears. Once you’ve recruited them, you can customize their look even more than the hero characters of our story adding everything from tattoos to headgear. If you want to name your squad members, you can do that too. And for those of you who demand to see your Character’s face at all times, we let you toggle helmets off. We feel you.
So here we are…the final Saturday before launch. We cannot wait to get Gears Tactics in your hands next week.
If you want to see the game in action, we’ll be streaming this Monday with Creative Director Tyler Bielman from 10am PT over on live.gearsofwar.com. See you then.