I had a lot of hope for Gears of War 5. I was excited as time drew closer to finally get to play the newest entry of an amazing franchise, especially after coming off one of the best hordes they had in the previous installment. The thing is, this game did a lot of things right. Campaign was great, versus is great (though I never play that), and Escape is a fine addition I’d say; However, horde (as being the only thing I play after I finish the campaign) is just terrible and, I’m just baffled how TC made a 180 on this. The very first comment I even had on some of the horde teasers that appeared on my community feed before the game released, had expressed how the game seemingly looked like they took a Judgement approach for horde. I won’t lie, I had a bad gut feeling and I was very skeptical, but somewhere within me I felt that I was selling it short – it hadn’t even released yet after all. So I put all my chips in in hopes that I was wrong about how I felt from the trailers. In retrospect, I really wish I hadn’t dropped 80$ on this game and that I had gotten it from the game pass.
I apologize in advance as I will be reiterating some of the problems people had voiced in these other replies, but I do have see there’s some things people haven’t touched on yet in here.
Firstly, I thought the idea of how TC made it to where classes were bound to characters was a BIG mistake. You can no longer have the freedom to be who you want with whatever class you choose and this hits me sort of hard because I love having those choices, and the fact it was an established mechanic from the previous entry so it feels even worse that its like a ‘downgrade’.
Now, I would complain about the duplicate characters restriction, but based off of how they changed up horde to be like Overwatch, I completely understand that decision. Speaking of duplicates, one of the most irritating things they changed in Gears 5 is now is the fact that you can no longer get scrap by dismantling cards, that in of itself isn’t even a feature now. You literally have to get a duplicate of something you had already earned (that you can’t get rid of in the first place) in order to get scrap – this is just the case for weapons skins, marks, blood sprays, ect. When it comes to character skill cards, I believe you never get scrap until you get a duplicate of an individual skill on a character is finally maxed out. They also doubled the price of scrap it takes, clearly, because gold rarity items are 4800 instead of Gears 4’s 2400 to out right make from scrap and you earn a reduced rate of scrap from the total rarity of said card that is a duplicate anyways. On the topic of cards and pre-order characters, I think they are cool and all, but I was VERY disappointed that TC had the AUDACITY to have Kat on the game, as an engineer (which happens to be the class I love the most), have virtually no true value as they made Del, the only other current engineer, have all of the best cards – like to a point where I get mad if I see a Kat in my game due to how inefficient of an engineer she is. I love the character and played her first, but imagine my anger after I take a look at Del and see he has way better abilities and even ultimate for what it’s worth after leveling her for a bit. I now pretty much main Del or Jack, which Jack is a great addition and idea by the way for horde. Kait as a scout doesn’t even make nearly as much power as the general scout in Gears 4 can make, not by a long shot and even the way her passive is set up to only give the power (a marginal 25%, whoopy, whoopy) bonus if the enemies are NEAR you and are killed. It’s just unrealistic because for starters, you don’t want enemies up near your base really and the particular choice of map and spot for the fabricator matters too because Kait can’t be everywhere at once for that passive to really mean something. Early game? Fine, depending on difficulty, but late game is just too much for that sort of passive. I will say though, that the fact all points are shared between people is great because technically in a full lobby that’s 5x the points you collect so there’s that, but now that other players can just invest in themselves instead of base development is just such a waste in my opinion. We’ve played however many entrees of this franchise, we’ve seen we can beat horde without buffs, so why would you add something like that? I would say without fortifications which is true but people will use boom shields in Gears 2 to set a parameter anyways so I seen the innovation coming. Just as a quick way to entertain the idea though, why is it that the engineers can’t buy buffs? Not even a repair buff? But you give it to other characters where the bonus doesn’t matter because no one wants to spend 10,000 energy on a repair tool (which you doubled the cost of from Gears 4) anyways, and the buffs themselves get too darn expensive especially in higher levels where 5,000 energy or whatever will only get you an extra 1-2%. I mean, other characters that aren’t engineers can’t even build much of anything because they restricted what non-engineer classes can build (yet another downgrade from Gears 4). I will admit that, as much as I love Gears 4 it had a similar issue in which if you ever wanted to play horde solo, you wouldn’t have much of a base no matter what because engineer and scout classes were the most important to have a proper base to defend yourself. So if you’re alone, or no one wants any part of those classes, you had no true base. I completely see the criticism in that and I do wish they made adjustments to fix that. At the end of the day, I feel as though the idea of attaching cards to characters and giving them specific roles will really only shine for characters that are related to anything but the scout and particularly the engineer classes because there’s only so many different cards/abilities/passives you can give new characters before it begins to feel even more out of touch than it already is with their franchise. I mean, I have yet to see what they’ll do with Kat as she has literally like 8 cards vs Del’s 15-16 (which damn near all her cards are the same as Del).
I seen that someone praised the AI on here, which is stupid.
From Gears 3 to Gears 4, there was a significant AI difference I had to adjust to, but from 4 to 5 the AI swarm in horde/campaign are really the same, the difference is in the new additions to the swarm roster. If anything, they made the campaign and soldier AI in horde the dumbest I have EVER seen them. EVER. In the campaign, scavengers and the like saved me more and sooner than the fellow cog hero AI ever did and I promise you I am not exaggerating that claim… I love the idea of AI filling the lobby for horde, but I swear to you that even earlier Gears games had better friendly AI, it is absolutely ridiculous how dumb they are. I’m not saying that they need to be super AI pros or anything but at least let me give them orders so that they don’t run out of my base just to die and leave me by myself to hold down the fort.
I think the idea of the way they did the difficulty settings was a good idea, and rather creative so it isn’t just the run of the mill more damage and more health each step of difficulty you move up.
I know it probably wasn’t too popular with many fans, but I would truly prefer buying the boxes for new characters and stuff than going through tour. Nevermind the fact most of the matches currently running are going to crash, they are making you jump through hoops on launch to get skins of characters you have already seen in-game during the campaign – SKINS, something you get that doesn’t bring new abilities or anything, and they’re acting like it’s the greatest thing ever when it’s more like a slap to the face. People shouldn’t have to play every dang mode in the game to get through tour, in fact, I think that if TC knows each mode has an audience of it’s own, they should’ve made it to where you can just specify what mode you play the most, if not all the time or something so you can get consistent objectives and progress through the ranks all while still doing something you love/prefer.
I hope people that read this understand I am not here to bash the game, I really love the franchise, but this game really disappointed me in a multitude of ways, but the biggest of all being the way horde has been tarnished.