There will be no cigar-chomping or vaping in Gears 5

I wondered if the swoopy sleds arose from frustration with the bulky men trotting style.

Sorry to hear you guys didn’t enjoy it. Personally, I think it might be the best campaign in the entire series, though the multiplayer has been a bit of a hot mess since launch.

I’m with Paul, it’s a 6/10 game. Graphically impressive, like the performance, although the art style makes me subtract points in that category. The story goes nowhere, ending with a big nameless critter fight and a ‘it will continue…’. The combat, I praise them for including more weapons and enemies types, but the system itself makes combat a bore. The controls are still prone to error because they refuse to use more keys.

I think the single player is as good as any other but not because of the story. I play them for the game play/combat. All the stories of the Gears games and for that matter most shooters are bland and ultimately forgettable IMO. I couldn’t tell you what plot point happens in Gears 2 or 3 or 4 for the most part. Its about buff bros and and now a chick fighting monsters.

Reloading’s fun!

I just uninstalled this. I’m not exactly sure how far along I was, but I think it was around act 2 mission 4. I have less than zero tolerance now days for games that fall apart and shit the bed when presenting certain encounters designed with co-op in mind and you’re stuck playing them solo with the stupidest AI in gaming.

I hope Katie and Del live happily ever after winning Darwin Award after Darwin Award for their complete and utter uselessness.

Encounters designed with co-op in mind?

Yea. Encounters designed with co-op in mind.

I can’t think of any that come to mind, though obviously the highest “Insane” difficulty is easier with a partner.

I think the only encounter that tripped me up for more than one or two tries playing by myself, was in Act 4, right before the end.

Yeah, me too, but once you figure that fight out it isn’t really more difficult on the highest difficulties compared to the others, since it’s a bit cheesy.

I know the spot in Act 2, mission 4 that @kerzain is talking about - the ice lake while the door is opening. That was definitely a tough spot solo, while I suspect it’d be pretty easy with 2 players - the environmental stuff is cool in that mission, but the checkpoint is so long that it’s easy to survive for 7 minutes of fighting and then die vs the shielded guys and explosive grunts at the end. I probably was stuck there for a couple of hours on Experienced difficulty.

I’m trudging through the campaign on Experienced and enjoying it. In some ways this series peaked in Gears 2/3 in terms of terrain being affected by weapons, and just the right amount of weapons/enemies to allow you to get skilled with all the weapons and know their utility (although there were dumb weapons and the game was too Lancer-dependent/sufficient).

In Gears 4 and especially 5, Coalition has done a really good job of adding new weapons (and now skills for Jack) that seem to fit and offer interesting new possibilities. The Jack skills are very important and powerful, and it’s a bit annoying when they’re less useful (such as in the Beserker fight).

Gears 5 has a couple of more open acts, but I’m not sure that actually worked out well - there is literally nothing to do in those large areas, and you are never attacked/never encounter weather or other threats - there are just a few additional sidequest areas that are literally “flagged” so you know they’re there if you haven’t otherwise been tipped about them. Those side missions seem essential on harder difficulties, since you need to get components and the “ultimate” upgrades for Jack’s abilities, so there’s just a lot of busy work traveling to them. I liked the sidequest areas and more open outdoor areas in general.

The game is definitely unforgiving at times, however, and while I largely breezed through Gears 3 and 4 on Hardcore difficulty (except for the terrible Gears 3 final boss), there are some significantly higher scaled difficulty spikes in Gears 5.

Also, as much as this game has gotten some lauding for its “more serious” storyline – the writing isn’t better than in Gears 4, and Coalition’s writing is only marginally better than Epic’s in 1-3. These games have inane stories - don’t expect anything close to Naughty Dog quality in a shooter. But I enjoy the core gameplay.

Still would love to play some coop campaign on xbox.

Ah yeah, I know which part you’re talking about now - when Jack is hacking the door to the mine where the Outsiders lived. That part is indeed a bit of a difficulty spike and took me several tries, though it can be made a lot easier if you just shoot the ice under the bigger shielded guys - I usually tried to do it as soon as they set foot on the lake.

Having Jack lay some shock traps as insurance is also helpful.

Finished my hardcore/experienced run and am going to take a run at insane solo, at least until I get tired of it. Am at the end of Act 1 and it’s going well so far - all the fights are so intense, and I really love having to get to know a game so well that you use all of your tools, such as ensuring you consider best uses of Jack’s abilities in situations; remain open minded to different aggressive or defensive tactics; your AI teammates are given heavy weapons for fights; finding/retaining the good relic weapons when you can, etc. Already learning things, such as the utility of Pulse for the 20% damage bonus (which will really help speed some boss/heavy fights since often nothing else in that chain of abilities has utility), especially before you get invisibility, but even then at times.

I thought I searched for collectibles pretty thoroughly in my first playthrough and yet I only got 87%, which is annoying, so I’ll try to find the remaining ones, although the ones in the wilderness of Act 2/3 will be tough. And it’s probably a terrible plan to do during an Insane difficulty run, since I’ll have to engage in some optional fights.

I’m actually thinking that the optional fights in Act 2/3 will be what makes an Insane run arduous, and yet the upgrades to Jack’s abilities will be extremely useful, so I’m at least going to try them. In my first playthrough I had enough components to max out all but a couple of Jack’s abilities, but it’s annoying that I didn’t have enough - think I missed too many in Act 2, I guess in the wilderness, but I think I missed about 30 in that Act which seems impossible.

I’m still playing quite a bit of Horde, mostly as either Jack or Del

Playing as Del is funny, because while you’re mostly useless offensively early on, by about wave 25 your sentries just start dominating the team’s damage numbers, and by wave 40 you’re easily doubling or tripling everyone else on the team.

There’s still nothing more satisfying than finally getting the perfect “base” built, with weapon lockers full of tri-barrels, and just bunkering down. I’ve actually finished about 65% of the Tour of Duty, just from playing Horde matches.

Well, I managed to complete my solo run of Insane, and it wasn’t too bad, likely because I was still so familiar with the game from Hardcore/Experienced solo, so I was both prepared for the tougher fights and brought heavy weapons or planted shock traps/grenades, etc. So if anyone ever has campaign strategy questions, I can probably make any situation easier with advice.

A few annoyances:

  • some achievements are buggy – I couldn’t get all the components for Jack because in Act 3 the components were missing in many spots - it’s like the game was confused from the prior campaign, so they didn’t respawn (treating them essentially like other collectables).

  • the Insane achievement didn’t pop. Apparently not uncommon, but really annoying, since while it wasn’t my sole motivation (I’ll never do all the multiplayer achievements), it was something I was looking forward to receiving.

  • a couple of other achievements I expected to get, I didn’t, but I don’t think they’re bugs (at least that’s my current thinking). I somehow got stuck at 94% on getting a kill with each of the Relic weapons (many of which are extremely useful in an Insane run, FWIW) but think that’s because of the Relic Dropshot, which just freezes instead of explodes enemies, and I got it just before losing your weapons for story reasons at the end of Act 2). I also never got the Barrier-reflection or the Hijack achievement, but think I can still get those in Act 4, chapter 1, as I’m not sure that the hijacked Warden/Pouncer ever killed anyone - one of them didn’t, I think.

I might play through the campaign with a friend of @Brooski but after 2 successive runs I’m content with what I got out of the game, and it was fun to play something relatively close to release, for a change, instead of years later.

That’s pretty impressive, I’ve never managed to get through a Gears game on Insanity. You don’t find the enemies to be too bullet-spongey?

They’re always bullet-spongey though, so that’s not much different on Insanity - the bigger difference is your frailty - you just can’t be in the open for more than a second or two, and that includes popping out of cover to shoot. The Gears games give new players the opposite impression, but they’re really games that require significant player movement, at least in the larger arenas.

Jack’s abilities are a really welcome game-changer in this installment, and they make doing an Insane run much more fun, since there are always interesting tactical options – the weapons in the series have always had a decent selection, but in prior games the Lancer was too dominant, and others were too weak. If anything, the Lancer is now too weak and has been completely supplanted.

Other changes that add tactical variation:

  • you can generally use environmental hazards to damage or kill enemies in many fights;
  • the relic weapons can significantly change the nature of certain fights;
  • the optional side missions and (somewhat laughable) exploration in Act 2 and 3 give you the opportunity to change your weapon load outs (and to utilize heavy weapons in situations where you woudn’t have access to them by default), which can make some fights much easier with preparation. When combined with consideration of the most effective Jack abilities, a run on Insane was much more tactically interesting and enjoyable than in prior games of the series.

I did the first Gears on Insane solo, and dabbled a bit with the others, but this the first Gears campaign I found to actually be more interesting on Insane difficulty (with the benefit of prior knowledge of capabilities/situations and the opportunity to tactically plan). I played through the Halo games on Legendary, and the Uncharted games on their hardest difficulties, and they were both generally more manageable and interesting on the higher difficulty levels compared to Gears. With Gears 5, this series is more comparable. As good as Uncharted 4 was, it was probably the most annoying Uncharted game on the highest difficulty levels.

I don’t know why I persist and enjoy these challenges - I guess it’s because the campaigns are relatively short and I am just starting to really understand the systems when they end, so I want to play more, but find multiplayer largely insufferable (other than some Gears and Mass Effect horde-type modes). I loved Last of Us, but the idea of playing that again on the hardest level isn’t appealing because you are so often in a position of weakness (if not complete vulnerability if unhidden) which I just find stressful, while Gears firefights are fun and I don’t mind replaying them when necessary to figure out more effective strategies.

Finished the first Tour of Duty last night - entirely playing Horde, haha. I like the “Team Metal” skin set, but the “Team Rock” ones you get for hitting general are a little “meh” to me.

Apparently they are going to reveal what is coming in “Operation 2” this week, as Tour of Duty 2 starts December 11th. They’ve already confirmed Free-For-All mode coming to PvP, and Lizzie Carmine & Baird being added to the game (I assume Baird will be engineer class for Horde).

Impressive stuff. Maybe I’ll try some Horde too - haven’t really played it since Gears 2. I’m still playing a lot of Gears - going through Gears of War: Judgment, which seems pretty rudimentary and small at this point, but I actually enjoy the story bits (and how it ties into Gears 5), as well as helping someone with a Coop Gears of War 4 campaign.

Oh, and my Insane achievement belatedly popped, along with about 4 others - I guess I wasn’t properly connected to servers or something.

This was me as well, I hadn’t tried Horde mode since Gears 2, and it was pretty overwhelming at first. Not only can you build stuff, each class can build different things, and you can also repair the things that have been built using the currency you get from kills.

I’m not sure if I liked it as much as Gears 2’s horde mode, but it was certainly more complicated.

Operation 2 is live as of an hour ago - new Tour of Duty, new cosmetic stuff, new maps, new characters, etc.