Last Friday, we streamed some of the Gears 5 campaign and unlocked a few quick Gears 5 Achievements in the process, and for me, the game felt a little lacklustre. Here are my first impressions of the latest instalment into the Gears of War series.
Having played the and completed the first Gears of War and some of Gears of War 2, I can safely say that I am not a Gears expert. But getting hands-on with Gears 5 has made me want to pick up where I left off and continue the fight against the Locust Horde. However, while the game is visually impressive, the gunplay and sound design is lacking.
As I was writing this, a YouTuber by the name of Crowbcat has highlighted what minor details are missing from Gears 5 compared to Gears of War 2:
The whole combat experience felt disappointing too. While Gears 5 does get frantic in places and is generally enjoyable, JD and his enemies soak up enemy bullets without any visible issue — until they're suddenly dead. Melee combat is probably the most disappointing aspect of combat, though. Using the Lancer's chainsaw is fine, but it's all over so quickly. In the first Gears, the roar of the chainsaw would rev up and slowly rip a Locust in half. You could feel the impact of the chainsaw and blood would be splattered everywhere, including the majority of the screen. This happens a little in Gears 5, but it's much less visceral. This happens in Gears 5, but is far less impressive and there is less blood. That might seem like sadism, but if anything I'm more appropriately shocked and stressed by the first Gears' bloody encounters; Gears 5 feels sanitised, and therefore desensitised, to its own carnage.
Overall my brief time with Gears 5 has been fun and highly enjoyable, and I'm looking to playing through the rest of the campaign and multiplayer. The game looks polished and is visually stunning, but for me, a born-again Gears of War player, the gameplay feels off and is lacking in a few key areas that could make the game great.