This is not the first time Microsoft has successfully tested its flagship franchise. So, more than 10 years ago, a great halo of real-time strategy: After the Halo series, which was followed in 2017, the publisher turned to Gears of War and released a turn-based game of the Gears series, the story of the entire series, which is directly related to the plot of fourth and fifth gear.
Introduction to the game
Tactics are still in effect on the distant planet, sir. The events of the game begin a year after the day of the release, when the Cricket Horde began its offensive against humanity, and twelve years before the events of the first part of Gears of War.
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The plot revolves around Gabe Diaz, the father of Kate Diaz, the protagonist of Gears 5. By order of coalition president Richard Prescott, Gabe must assemble the devices and then hunt down and destroy one of the locust leaders, the brutal Ukkon, who is responsible for creating the beastly horde.
The plot of Gears Tactics is simple and conveys the essence of the local conflict, which in reality amounts to finding and destroying banal. Yet the plot itself has enough twists and turns, even though they are predictable, yet interesting enough to see what’s happening on the screen.
In addition, the local script periodically refers to the numbered sets in the series, adding extra context. As such, Gears Tactics not only serves as a nominal prelude to certain new events, but also greatly expands the world of Gears.
The story itself is divided into three acts, each subdivided into chapters. This chapter contains articles and additions. In this case they are mandatory, which strongly influences the perception of the game.
While Gears Tactics are pleasantly surprised at first with each new task, the fillers begin to get tired at the end of the second act, to be honest. First, there are not many: either to free hostages or to gather resources and then to protect the supplies.
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And even if the task changes all the time (for example, you can’t use grenades, or you have to add a specific Hero to the task) and new enemies appear, it has no effect on what happens, because the pattern of these tasks is pretty much the same.
And after about 12 hours you fill them almost automatically. Secondly, all this has an important effect on the rhythm of the story, which is twisted in the third act when there is indeed enough time for the final battle to carry out monotonous tasks, as if preparing for battle and agriculture.
Halfway through, you have the feeling that you are playing boring slot machines and not Bgaoc.
As a progressive tactic, Gears Tactics most closely resembles XCOM’s modern diology. A division of several fighters (from 1 to 4) is sent to the tasks. Each fighter has his own class with unique skills – the game has five classes: Reconnaissance, vanguard, heavy infantry, sniper and support.
The number of actions per turn is limited, almost all skills are recharged and the chance of defeating the enemy always depends on several factors: for example, the availability of cover or the distance to the target. But then the differences that benefit from the creations of Firaxis begin.
In Gears Tactics fighters move freely because the fighters are not divided into cells. Each hero has three action points per turn, which can be spent at will or not at all: For example, at the beginning of a soldier’s turn you can activate the surveillance mode, and during an enemy turn he will fire three shots into his field of vision.
In return, mechanical surveillance now not only encourages the heroes to follow each movement, but also allows them to choose which direction to protect the shooter.
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Even the recording itself is more fun than with the XCOM: It’s almost impossible to miss if you’re standing next to a target, and with a chance of hitting 90% or more, and even with a 60-70% chance, shots hit the target more often than they miss.
At first glance, it may seem that all these changes make the game much easier, but that’s not the case. Gears Tactics focuses on speed of action, as fast as possible in turn-based games. The battles in the game are very dynamic.
The waves of the enemy are constantly coming in. And some opponents are no less than the Gears team: They also hide behind the hide-and-seek, actively use the surveillance mode, try to limit the heroes’ actions and punish the slightest error. That’s why Gears Tactics is the rapid destruction of enemies.
Because if you hesitate, you risk being surrounded by many enemies who can destroy your troop at once. This is especially evident in battles with local bosses – there are three in the game, and it becomes a real challenge to meet each of them.
Alignment and adaptation of characters
But apart from the brackets, the action part of the game has become a little simpler and clearer: The promoters gave up the management of the base and the entire economic component in order to focus on recruiting and upgrading military personnel and configuring the equipment. So every soldier in the troop has a level.
For each new level he earns skill points, which are divided into two types: passive (e.g. increasing critical damage by 100% by hitting an enemy at full force) and active (e.g. restoring 100 health points for the whole team).
In turn, the equipment of the game consists of armor, which affects the parameters of your troops, and modules that change the combat characteristics of the weapon and sometimes give additional effects (such as the ability to strike the enemy if he is hit).
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New material can be obtained for missions and from containers provided for extra mission conditions – no micro-transactions! The containers are divided into classes (from ordinary to legendary). Each box contains a device of the correct class.
The decision is, frankly, extremely strange, but does not spoil the overall impression of the game. First of all, there is no shortage of equipment. Then this element of chance ensures that you observe all fighters equally, paying attention to each class and constantly experimenting with the tactics and skills of each hero and troop to complete the mission, making the gameplay more varied.
Gears Tactics skilfully adapts the classic Gears of War formula to a new genre and transforms a third-person speed shooter into an equally dynamic, turn-based tactic with an emphasis on linear narration and fast, brutal action.
The overall impression is only obscured by the mandatory monotonous use of fillers and the resulting somewhat lengthy smear campaign.