Gears of War 4 was conservative, but Gears 5 will step it up.
Rod Fergusson, the studio manager of The Coalition, had a detailed interview, where talked about how Gears 5 will be innovative: „Gears 5 is about bringing The Coalition’s personality to the game. You’re going to see a bunch of innovations, a bunch of changes, a bunch of things that are exciting and different but still feel like Gears of War. We focus on contrast, ‘dramatic contrast’ is the wording we use. We wanted to have part of Gears 5 as dramatic contrast, like going from tiny, cramped spaces to vast open spaces or like going from the desert to tundra. We wanted to have, through the experience, constant contrast and dramatic change. For the first time in Gears 5, we’re doing performance capture. All the previous games had a separate voice from motion capture with different actors doing it.”
The changes will begin with a new protagonist, Kait, who played a significant role in Gears of War 4, too: „It was a natural decision. When we went back, and we looked at what the story of Gears of War 4 was, like with Mad Max Fury Road, that movie is really about Furiosa’s story and Mad Max is helping her complete her story and Gears of War 4’s story is really Kait trying to save her mom and JD Fenix is helping her. When we looked at the story for Gears 5, we were delving into Kait’s past and her history, her family ties to the locusts, we felt like that’s a better story to not just witness but told from her perspective. Organically we realised Gears 5 is Kait’s story again, so let’s play it from her perspective,” Fergusson said.
He also mentioned Gears Pop: „We’re getting ready for soft launch. In the mobile world, you release the game slowly over time, because you have to sort of test it in the wild and make sure it’s working. You don’t just globally make the game globally available. We’re getting ready, we’re not there yet, but very soon we’re going to put it in one place and test it sneakily, then we’ll grow it until it’s everywhere. Gears Pop is the first of the three games that’s going to launch. We’re excited, our relationship with Funko and the idea of taking that Pop art style, it feels like it belongs. This feels authentic; it doesn’t feel like a cheap knock-off, it feels like this is Marcus Fenix. It’s a great partnership with Mediatonic and Funko and ourselves. We have a great mobile experience that I think fans are going to love.”
Last but not least, he mentioned Gears Tactics as well: „We’re right in the heart of the development for Gears Tactics. One of the things we’re focusing right now is ‘PC first’, we’re trying to make sure it’s true to what a PC experience has to be. What’s funny is that when you take the gameplay and make it turn-based strategy, the dependency on your squad and cover feels like it’s Gears of War at its essence of that brotherhood and tactics, that’s what it’s really about.”
None of the three games has a release date, but Gears 5 might be available from next autumn, three years after the launch of GoW4, on Xbox One, and Windows 10. However, that release window is just a guess…