The Internet loves itself some lazy “top n” articles, so I want you to list the multiplayer (Versus, Horde, Beast, Overrun) maps from any Gears iteration that are the top five of any arbitrary category of your choosing. E.g., the 5 most snipable maps, the 5 most fun PvP maps, the 5 most ugly variants of remade maps, the 5 most difficult Escape hives, the 5 most visually appealing maps, the 5 most personally despised maps, etc.
The only requirement is that you can’t just do a dull name list; you have to put at least a sentence or screenshot justifying why it’s there so others have something to be convinced/debate.
My arbitrary kickoff example for you to critique is a hot take on “the 5 most iconic maps”:
Fuel Depot - Looking back at the first Gears multiplayer map I played, it fit so well as an introduction and representation of Gears gameplay/characters/setting/mood in all of its new and quirky form (and I meant those words specifically, but if you chose to read that as “dark and gritty”, so be it).
Raven Down - This epitomizes Gears gnasher PvP to me, and not in a good way since it’s doubly symmetrical/bland and beloved by sweats that made it abundantly clear to me that that important part of the series is not my thing.
River - Maybe not everyone’s all-time favorite, but I haven’t encountered really any people who think it’s a bad map, which actually says a lot in the face of diverse player tastes. More importantly to me, this map introduced me to hours of Horde, and Boomshields in the doorways are why I’m here today so it nostalgiacally represents that gameplay to me.
Blood Drive - Love it or hate it (I’m ambivalent at best), it’s been in every release since 2, so it’s hard for me to think of Gears without considering this well-worn map.
Gridlock - This map has been in every version, with many different looks, but always plays “like Gears” in any of its modes. It also has to be #1 for me because of the “Mad World” music Easter Egg callback to that iconic advertisement.
I could see an argument for Checkout instead of River as iconic, but aside from the Cole Train running on whole grains in the Hanover market, it loses out on nostalgia for me personally.
For some reason I initially read “Cove” as “Sandbar”, so first thought “now that will definitely need an explanation for why it would be good for Blademaster”.
Security wouldn’t strike me as high on my own list unless you explicitly were interested in being the only CQC out while everyone else stayed behind the lasers. I also don’t know if you were envisioning taps in this Security revisit; but I feel like it would probably get poor, tile-map-equivalent levels of limited locations, which would diminish my own interest and Blademaster value on that map.
Good suggestions here. Some of these were just barely edged off my “most iconic” list (Mansion).
Only Koty proposing another kind of list? Well, here was my take at “the 5 most visually appealing maps”:
#5. Village - I’m not sure why there’s a crashed Raven, but otherwise it captures (without directly repeating) Hivebusters DLC locations well, which itself seems like it drew grown-up inspiration from an Ewok tree settlement (in a good way).
#4. Highway - Of the 4 Locust location maps (with Ruins, Way Station, and Nexus) IIRC, I think it edges out Nexus because it was on previous hardware, and periodically has the nifty Brumak being led by on the highway in the background.
#1. Depths - Perhaps some feel the map is too big gameplay-wise, and maybe you didn’t enjoy me constantly playing the piano on it, but how can you not enjoy every visual aspect of this posh aquarium? Exhibit has poor echoes of this incredible-looking map.
Courtyard - To the extent that I remember it, a forgettable giant white bowl of stair soup.
Stasis - Felt like endlessly repeating squares. OK, and maybe a semi-usable catwalk for PvP? I dunno. Did Gnasher people like it?
The Slab - It’s a mostly flat concrete prison. What should I expect?
Gold Rush - Two halls and two big stairs of non-descript machinery seemingly hanging in space. I don’t know if that overlook over the power weapon was meaningful for PvP, but this map is irrelevant for Horde.
Overload - It’s a tile map. It only uses 3 tiles. It’s a square. Ugh. Wake me when it’s over.
Someone should take a stab at the 5 most fun large maps (Drydock fans here?).
Jacinto, Gow2. There’s never been a more diverse, more well balanced execution map — and there never will be. Probably the only Gow2 map to play well with it’s default weapon swaps, it should be the template by which all other maps are designed and the yard stick by which they’re measured.
Hotel, Gow3. The most iconic gb map. Incredibly diverse, incredibly fast-paced map. Any execution map where three lanes are regularly utilized by 4 players is almost always going to be good, but Hotel had the unique advantage of having good fighting spots in each lane, something completely alien to basically every other map.
Clocktower, Gow1 & Gow3. The 3v3 fight up-top on Clocktower in Gow1 is Gears of War in it’s purest form. Three players on each team fighting for lancer positioning, team firing, using cover, trying to get a down. This is probably what the original developers had in mind when designing the multiplayer — it’s nearly an idealistic interpretation of a tactical cover-based shooter. In Gow3, this fight was modernized, but it never lost it’s classic feel.
War Machine, Gow1. Hotel before Hotel. Three lanes being utilized by 4 players. Great fighting areas in multiple spots. Angles to work, 1v1s to push, power weapons in death-trap areas — one of the best spots in all of GoW history (Window).
Avalanche, Gow2. In my opinion, a better War Machine. Three lanes used by 4 players, the best 1v1 area ever, power weapons in death trap locations — the only drawback is a narrow-scope of what you could actually do.
Honorable mentions: Gow3, Old Town, Thrashball, Mercy. Gow2, Pavilion, Blood Drive. GowJ, Haven, Rig, Gow4, Lift and Harbor. Gow1, Rooftops.