Just about everyone here at The Versed was really excited by the launch of Gears 5. It was a strange one, in so much as very few people have actually paid for it. Instead, taking advantage of Microsoft’s excellent games library to effectively get the game for free. Here’s the issue. I paid 2 pounds and I feel ripped off.
All the gear no idea
Up until this point I have completed every Gears game. I even trudged through Gears Judgement which is a testimony to my loyalty to the franchise! However, two weeks in and I haven’t completed so much as an act of the new campaign. That in itself isn’t entirely damning. It is fair to say that since Gears 2 Horde mode has been my favourite- actually I really liked beast mode too, that needs to make a comeback! But my point is that Horde was always going to be the first thing I checked out.
Well this is awkward
It was with a great deal of excitement I fired up my first game of Horde. I was slightly jarred by the fact it appeared to pick my character for me, but I tried to pay it no heed. Perhaps this was by design. The game loaded an unfamiliar, but attractive map. It was atypically Gears-esque but I sorta longed for my favourites from the past such as Nowhere or the classic Gridlock. But in fairness most Gears maps are growers. There aren’t many that grab your interest from the off.
So controlling the iconic Marcus Fenix I waited several minutes for the guys I was with to place the fabricator so the game could begin. Then the initial wave which joyfully I find finished top in. It was cool that after a lengthy hiatus from the title I still had “it”. And then before the next round could begin I was dumped out of the game. I got my XP and stuff (many get much further and don’t) but it was incredibly frustrating.
I should probably mention that this game was being played at about 1 am so I decided not to persevere and instead opted to hit the hay. The next day I chalked it up to a one-off and tried again. Another game, another boot out. At least I got to wave 3 this time. Disheartened I once again opted to do something else. Surely Gears hasn’t lost its lustre? I thought. Surely the rusty chainsaw just needs a bit of oil? The next day I adopted a new tack and tried the campaign.
Campaign in the ass
The very first time I loaded up the campaign it crashed on me just after the game intro had finished. I was not a happy camper. But I reloaded and tried again. The results were mixed. Firstly I need to say the scenery in the opening portion of the game is stunning. Gears is traditionally a game with dark levels and when it steps into the light it does help emphasise just how pretty the graphics are. Unfortunately, the sound was extremely glitchy. It stuttered and slurred as if on a scratched CD. Of course it wasn’t, so I could only blame, I dunno, server issues? But it was bad enough to undermine the usually strong voice acting associated with the franchise.
Obviously, at some point, I will play the campaign. I’ve been told it actually has some pretty epic moments. I’m hoping that the game receives a patch because for me it is unplayable at the moment and that is a strong statement aimed at a triple-A title that also happens to be one of Microsoft’s flagship exclusive titles.