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Gears Tactics - What We Know So Far

When it comes to iconic third-person shooters, the Gears of War franchise immediately leaps to mind. Gears 5 was well received upon release thanks to its stellar campaign and breathtaking graphical fidelity. The Gears franchise as a whole has nailed the high-octane adrenaline of running from cover to cover, flanking, shooting, and sometimes chainsawing your enemies.


What better way to evolve the series than to veer its gameplay into turn-based tactics territory? That's where the franchise is headed, thanks to spin-off title Gears Tactics. Sure, Gears Tactics might not be what you'd expect as a longtime Gears of War fan. Nonetheless, it's shaping up to be an engaging take on the genre. Based on the trailer, it looks like the adrenaline rush of fighting through a battlefield will still be there. 

Not quite sold and want more information before committing to Gears Tactics? From the release date and pre-order bonuses to the story and new cast of characters, here's what you need to know about the next Gears installment.

What is the release date for Gears Tactics?

The Coalition did not share the release date for Gears Tactics until the The Game Awards 2019, which aired in mid-December of that year. A trailer offered a good look at what you can expect from the game, culminating with the information you've all been waiting for: Gears Tactics launches on April 28, 2020.


The game will come out at a pretty busy time, considering the other big releases surrounding it. Resident Evil 3 Remake and Final Fantasy 7 Remake both arrive in early April, offering fans of both franchises a fresh dose of nostalgia. The Trials of Mana remake comes out four days before Gears Tactics, as well, and more than a handful of games are aiming for a spring 2020 release date, including Minecraft: Dungeons, the controversial Breath of the Wild clone Genshin Impact, Wasteland 3, and the highly-anticipated The Last of Us Part 2.

Gears Tactics is sure to have an audience in this space. Tactical, turn-based games are few and far between.

Is there a trailer for Gears Tactics?

Microsoft had a big night during The Game Awards in 2019. Aside from revealing what its next-gen console will look like, the Gears Tactics trailer shed some much needed light on this upcoming game. In it, you learn the title takes place before Marcus Fenix's time. The war with the Locusts is in its prime, and you follow a squad of Gears as they aim to stop a new villain named Ukkon. Ukkon has previously appeared in the Gears of War comics, but this is his first appearance in a video game.


You'll see familiar enemies, like the hulking Brumak or the terrifying Corpser; both of whom seem to play boss roles in the campaign. Overall, you can expect dozens of hours of story in Gears Tactics, if the trailer is to be believed. Furthermore, you can customize the characters on your squad, tweaking their weapons and armor with a variety of options.

If you're familiar with turn-based tactics games like Fire Emblem or XCOMGears Tactics looks like it will provide a similar experience.

Which platforms will Gears Tactics be on?

Gears Tactics comes to you from two developers: The Coalition, which took over the Gears franchise in 2015, and Splash Damage, which worked on games like Gears 5Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and Brink. Considering the genre, it makes sense for Gears Tactics to launch on Windows


Of course, Gears Tactics will also release on Xbox Game Pass for PC. If you already have a subscription, you should be able to jump into the action on day one. If you would rather not subscribe, you can still purchase it normally from either the Microsoft Store or from Steam.

Former The Coalition head Rod Fergusson promised the Xbox version will be "coming later", though he neglected to provide a date. With the Xbox Series X slated for a Holiday 2020 launch, it's possible Gears Tactics will release on both Xbox One and the new console. Even if The Coalition declines to release a Series X version, you will still be able to play Gears Tactics thanks to the system's backwards compatibility feature.


How much will Gears Tactics cost?

Gears Tactics is already available for pre-order on the Steam Store and the Microsoft Store. At launch, Gears Tactics will retail for $59.99, which is comparable to similar titles released recently. Chances are, the Xbox version of the game will sport the same price tag as soon as its release date is announced. You can rest easy knowing you won't have to break the bank to own this new turn-based strategy version of Gears.


If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck, joining the Xbox Game Pass for PC (Beta) offers the highest payoff. You can join the beta by paying $1 plus taxes for your first month, with the price increasing to $4.99 plus taxes every month after that. In addition to Gears Tactics, you'll gain access to other popular titles like Gears 5, The Outer Worlds, Sea of Thieves: Anniversary Edition, and Metro Exodus, making this a particularly attractive option for gamers with a budget.

Does Gears Tactics have any pre-order bonuses?

Gamers who want access to the Thrashball Cole Character Pack have two different ways to get the in-game perk. Anyone who pre-orders Gears Tactics before April 28, 2020 is automatically eligible to receive the character pack. Likewise, anyone who downloads and plays the Gears Tactics beta with an active Xbox Game Pass for PC before May 4, 2020 will also receive the character pack.


Because the new Gears Tactics doesn't have a special edition available, this pre-order bonus is the only way to receive special in-game items that no one else will have. According to Twinfinite, this character pack includes Augustus Cole as a recruit character as well as a Thrashball Armor Set that possesses rare abilities. 

Besides the fact it looks cool, the reference to "rare abilities" hints that the Thrashball Armor will give you a tactical advantage over your enemies. In a game like Gears Tactics, any advantage is worth having.

What is the gameplay like in Gears Tactics?

As you might guess from the title of the game, Gears Tactics takes a more tactical approach to the Gears of War formula. Rather than frantically sprinting around a battlefield and shooting from behind cover, you'll have time to think through all your actions. As the trailer says, "In this war, every move matters."


You'll control a squad of units and move them around the arena. More often than not, this will probably mean moving them between points of cover. The enemies move in a similar fashion, so it's up to you to come up with tactics that give you the advantage.

For example, you could use one soldier as bait while the rest of your squad sneaks around cover to flank your opponent. Alternatively, you could use an arsenal of skills or gear to flush enemies out of their positions. Still, don't expect to lose that bloody action Gears is known for. You can still make your soldiers rush at the Locusts, revved-up Lancer at the ready.

Gears Tactics will focus on strategy over fire-power

Gears Tactics will test your ability to strategize rather than your accuracy with a weapon. This isn't the type of game where the spray-and-pray technique will get you very far. While The Coalition has promised Gears Tactics will still contain the staple boss fights and hardcore action of any Gears game, the majority of your gameplay will focus on cultivating your tactical abilities. Your firepower will definitely make a difference in your chances of victory over the enemy, but it won't be the ultimate deciding factor.


Gears Tactics will allow you to move a unit around an arena as you assess and approach your target. How you decide to defeat the enemy is up to you, though an all-out brawl likely won't give you the outcome you desire. Instead, smartly sizing up the opponent and acting accordingly with stealth, distractions, and utilization of your environment will win you the victory over the Locust horde. It's all about how you play it.

Are there microtransactions in Gears Tactics?

To the celebration of many, Rod Fergusson confirmed some welcome news on TwitterGears Tactics will not have microtransactions. This extends to cosmetics as well, meaning you won't have to worry about buying character or weapon skins via an in-game marketplace. Instead, all the cosmetic customization options shown off in the trailer can be earned within Gears Tactics. It's unclear exactly how you'll earn them, but, at the very least, you can rule out spending real-world money. 


Microtransactions continue to plague many modern games, making this approach a welcome breath of fresh air. With countries like The Netherlands and Belgium ruling that some loot boxes violate their gambling laws, you will likely see an increasing number of developers moving towards this model, or at least reexamining their approach to the inclusion of microtransactions. It seems The Coalition has opted to forgo the headache and leave them out of Gears Tactics altogether.

Will Gears Tactics have multiplayer?

Fans of the Gears of War (now simply known as Gears) franchise have grown accustomed to their multiplayer third-person shooter games. Co-op play has long been a staple of the series, a trend that will change, along with many other norms, with Gears Tactics.


Rod Fergusson confirmed that, in addition to having no microtransactions, Gears Tactics will lack a multiplayer mode. Fergusson, who recently left The Coalition to join the Blizzard Entertainment team, made this announcement back in December 2019

For a franchise like Gears, which normally relies on its competitive multiplayer modes, creating a solely single player, turn-based strategy game is a big leap. It's still unclear if the gamble will pay off, or if the solid Gears fan-base will simply forego playing Gears Tactics in favor of waiting for Gears 6 to launch.

What is the story of Gears Tactics?

Gears Tactics will take place 12 years before the events of the first Gears of War game. Players will control Gabe Diaz, a soldier leading a squad against the impending threat of the rising Locust Horde. All across the planet Sera, the Locust Horde is awakening and making their way to the surface to wreak havoc on the unsuspecting civilians. Your squad's goal is to hunt down and eliminate not only the Locust Horde, but Ukkon, an evil genius who is responsible for making the monsters.


The Coalition has promised players an "immersive and character-driven story." Though the gameplay will be fast-paced and turn-based, the story will still flesh out the world of Gears along with the backstories of the characters in your squad. The Locust Horde will be your main enemy throughout the tale, but along the way, large-scale boss fights will break up the smaller battles, culminating in your fight against Ukkon.

What characters are in Gears Tactics?

Gears Tactics will feature a large number of new faces never before seen in the Gears games. The main character you will control in Gears Tactics is Gabe Diaz, a defiant soldier trying to lead his team to success and the father of Gears 5's Kait Diaz. Diaz's squad will consist of Mikayla Dorn, Sid Redburn, Anderson Sigel, Evelyn Strickland, and Marcella "Specter" Trinh, all making their Gears debuts in this game.


Mikayla Dorn and Marcella "Specter" Trinh are something of a mystery where backstory is concerned. Based on trailers and marketing, they appear to be pivotal characters in the game, but very little is known of their origins. 

Sid Redburn is the Gears Tactics character with the most background provided. He is a Gear in the Coalition of Ordered Governments Army. Early in his career, numerous children of Imulsion-miners became sick with Rustlung where he was stationed. When the government ordered him to experiment on and torture the children, he refused and became a whistleblower on the whole operation. He later served during the Pendulum Wars.

Anderson Sigel and Evelyn Strickland are also Gears in the Coalition of Ordered Governments Army. Besides this very limited information, not much is known about Sigel and Strickland yet, but more details will likely be revealed a bit at a time during your gameplay.


A large smattering of enemies will make up the Locust Horde and players will encounter several bosses. The main bad guy of the game, however, is Ukkon. Ukkon is described as an "evil mastermind who makes monsters." It is unclear whether you will encounter Ukkon several times throughout your journey or will simply meet him at the end of the game as a final boss fight, but he will definitely be busy making your life miserable with the monsters he's cooked up to fight against you and your squad.

How long does it take to beat Gears Tactics?

When The Coalition announced the new Gears game would not feature a competitive multiplayer mode, many wondered how much gameplay they'd get out of Gears Tactics. Luckily for those worried the game won't merit the expense, the developers have promised a 40+ hour campaign. While offering a purely solo experience does take away from the replay factor, the idea of a story-rich Gears experience holds its own appeal.


The Coalition likely realizes that its normal fanbase will find a turn-based strategy game a bit of an adjustment. With this in mind, the company has created a single player campaign that promises to not only offer more backstory on the entire Gears franchise, but flesh out information for the newest Gears games as well. 

This plot-centered narrative and some well-placed planning will take up the bulk of your 40 hours of gameplay. So, while you may not have the option to engage in endless multiplayer battles, you will spend your time learning more about the world in which Gears takes place.

What is Gears Tactics rated?

The Gears of War games have been consistently rated M for their strong use of violence, language, and graphic images, but with Gears Tactics being a turn-based strategy game, this rating wasn't a given. After all, the very nature of a turn-based game puts some distance between the player and the action occurring. However, even though Gears Tactics will be a turn-based strategy game, developers were adamant that fans still be given the expected Gears experience.


Gears Tactics will be rated M for "blood and gore, intense violence, and strong language." Don't let the genre fool you, this game won't be like many turn-based games you've encountered. Even the distance offered by the game's genre didn't stop the developers from giving fans their normal amount of graphic violence and strong language inherent in a Gears game. This won't be like Final Fantasy with more guns. It'll be much more like a normal Gears titles with a different camera perspective.

A new Gears Tactics figurine debuted at the New York Toy Fair

The 2020 New York Toy Fair saw the debut of many new toys collector's can't wait to get their hands on. Among these new toys were two new Gears action figures. One figurine, called The Warden, is based on a character seen in Gears 5 and will retail for $100 once it becomes available in September.


The Coalition also revealed a Locust Disciple action figure based on an enemy you'll encounter often while playing Gears Tactics. This intimidating foe is more powerful than the normal Locust Drones because of Imulsion that is injected into its body through a harness. The action figure will include a Boomshot grenade launcher, a Longshot sniper rifle, a Boltok pistol, goggles, and three different pairs of hands. The Locust Disciple will retail for $65 once it becomes available for purchase in July.