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Gears 5 Creates The Largest Gears Map To Date

Gears 5 appears to be a big departure for (what's still called) the Gears of War series. The game features a non-Fenix female lead in Kait Diaz. The shooting mechanics are getting an overhaul. And there are more open areas in Gears 5, including spaces that reportedly dwarf those found in other Gears titles.

"What players will see in Act 2 and Act 3 of the campaign is that you'll be able to use the Skiff to traverse the largest levels we've ever built," said Rod Fergusson, studio head at The Coalition during PAX West. "You know, in some cases, the levels are 50 times bigger than any previous Gears level."

Thinking back, there were a few fairly sizable areas in some past Gears games, but most locations were sectioned-off blocks, hollowed-out buildings, or tunnels; places that lent themselves well to cover shooting. Of course, what Fergusson appears to be talking about here are the open world sections where players will use the Skiff to travel from one point to another. So to get a sense of how Gears 5's Skiff-friendly areas size up, you might want to compare them to the levels with driving sequences in some of the older Gears entries... and then imagine them being 50 times larger. That's pretty huge.

Fortunately — for those who enjoy exploration, anyway — the Skiff won't function like one of those temporary Gears vehicles that eventually gets destroyed. It acts as a home base, of sorts, giving you a place to access side missions, change your loadout, and more. And that's in addition to serving as a vehicle you can use to explore. Past Gears of War experiences have been largely linear, so it's definitely nice to see The Coalition take things in a different direction. It'll be interesting to see how Gears die-hards react to these very big changes.

Gears 5 hits PC and Xbox One on Sept. 10, 2019.