During last weekends second Gears 5 Tech Test, I, a complete novice to the Gears of War franchise, decided to invest some time in the multiplayer server stress test. I’ve always been curious about Gears and possess an undying affection of multiplayer shooters, so I thought this would be a fantastic opportunity to get a feel for the game. If you are a more experienced player looking for an experienced players take, check out Ben Kerry’s thoughts on weekend one of the tech test.
Lesson #1) Do not simply ‘get through’ the tutorial
As someone who has been playing shooters for the better part of 20 years, I typically rush through the tutorial treating it as an informative inconvenience. When it comes to the Gears 5 Tech Test, however, do not ignore the tutorial. In fact, play the tutorial multiple times. Master each move combination, especially if you are a complete N00B. Some of the more intricate moves such as mastering the Vault-Kick will give you a major edge in one-on-one combat situations.
When vaulting over an obstacle and or a piece of cover with an enemy immediately opposing you, using the “kick” command will break the enemies defense. In doing so, this allows you to perform an execution or at a minimum an attack before they can recover. However, in perfecting this move, you can also master the counter-attack. By spamming the “B“ button players can counter the kick, giving them the aforementioned momentary advantage.
Lesson #2) You can’t ‘go it alone‘
One thing that was made perfectly clear to me in my time with the game: You cannot be a maverick. If you plan on running into the fight solo, you are going to die. Worse, you are not going to assist your team. This game is multiplayer for a reason. You are meant to coordinate, strategize, and attack as a cohesive unit aka squad tactics. Now if you possess mad skills, you may be able to hold your own for a bit, but eventually, you will fall.
Lesson #3) Sniping doesn’t really work
As tempting as it is in shooters to find a hiding place and pick people off, this not really an option in the Gear 5 Tech test. In the Gears 5 multiplayer demo, true sniping weapons are only available after a certain number of kills or regenerations after death. Once you‘ve unlocked enough “points” you can spend them on a more powerful weapon. However, these weapons have limited ammunition and are useable for a single life cycle. Once you are killed, the weapon drops and you restart the unlock cycle.
By reducing the ammunition and making weapons difficult and time-consuming to unlock it encourages players to take a more active approach to each round. Sure, you may be able to unlock a sniper rifle, but after you expend your limited ammunition you are forced to get back into the mix.
Lesson #5) The Gnasher is your friend
Perhaps the most important factoid I uncovered during my time with the Gears 5 Tech Test is the Gnasher, aka the sawed-off shotgun, is your friend. Despite its supreme lack of range, when you are blasting your way into a room full of enemy combatants, there is no better weapon than the Gnasher. Ensure you take time to master the hip-fire aiming as most times as you enter a room you will not have the opportunity to engage the iron sights. At least in its current state, the Gnasher is definitely the go-to weapon for the ol’ breach & clear.
I can say that after my experience with the tech test I am definitely curious about picking up the Gears of War franchise. For a system stress-test, the game performed incredibly well leaving me curious and with the gnawing desire to keep reaching for it when I had a spare few minutes. I don’t know if I‘ve caused anyone else to change their mind but I definitely am going to put this on my purchase list.
Did you encounter any fun lessons as a first-time player that I didn’t cover? Are you an experienced Gears of War fan who has thoughts on the direction of Gears 5? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!