*DISCLAIMER: I haven’t played Gears 5 since Nov 2019, I was disappointed with the game at launch and I have never had a reason to comeback since. I still love Gears as a series though, and only want it to succeed.
There is no doubt in my mind that Gears 5’s store, tours of duties, and operations was Microsoft’s guinea pig for the current state of micro-transactions in modern gaming. Yes, Halo 5 and Gears 4 had micro-transactions all those years ago, but they were limited compared to what the current installment of each game have now.
Halo Infinite multiplayer is free to play. While it is a good business decision, many were nervous as to what extent the game would be monetized and what would mean for customization.
343 claimed “that they are not sitting around thinking of ways to take things away from players” and that they have Halo: Reach levels of customization so they can focus on “building systems that can allow for better player expression”,
While the game play itself has great bones, they straight up lied about Infinite’s customization and the battle pass is a complete sh*t show. It is a slow, tedious, and sometimes frustrating slog that feels like a job despite them saying they want it otherwise.
I don’t want to reiterate all the BP and customization issues of another game here, but for an idea of how bad it is here: a post that outlines the store.
For a quick example: You know that big security shoulder pad with the kukri that Emile from Reach wears? You can unlock Emile’s kit through the battle pass but you can only wear that shoulder pad when you have his kit (i.e his whole armor look) equipped . Yeah, you do not get that shoulder piece to equip separately, you get the small one he has, but not the one everyone wants. That security shoulder pad set is an extra $10 only available in the store. Even then it’s locked to the MKV armor core.
What worries me the most is that Microsoft for sure had a large part to play with how Infinite’s monetization came to be. If they were willing to do that to their most popular franchise, who’s to say what they’ll do to a franchise that has faded significantly over the past few years?
I sincerely hope TC has the courage to point their finger at the current state of Infinite, flak and criticism included, and convince Microsoft to not have anything as bad as Gears 6, I hope it could at least make whatever micro-transactions that will be in more Gears 6 bearable than what’s in Infinite.