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Gears 5 is finally out. Well, if you have Game Pass Ultimate it’s been out for a few days. Everyone else has to wait till the 10th to get to jump into this game. This brings into questions why digital is definitely starting to take over the gaming space, but I think that topic is for a completely different post. For now, lets talk about Act 1 for Gears 5, spoilers and all.
Gears 5 starts off with a little recap of Gears 4. It was nice since I actually have not played the game since it first launched. It’s incredibly short and does not give a whole lot of important information. To be honest though, Gears 4 really did not have a whole lot going on in the first place. The story was not great and the ending was bad. The characters are what really stood out to me, though, and I think they’re important to remember.
All of Act 1 you play as JD Fenix. This is Marcus Fenix’s son. Starting out you make your way back to the island of Azura with returning characters Del, Kait, and Marcus of course. Azura is the ending place to the original trilogy where you supposedly stop the Locust horde. You need to find a new satellite on the island to get the powerful Hammer of Dawn back online. Baird is back leading the charge over coms. He is now known as Control, which he’s not a huge fan of apparently.
Side note: I use to not be able to stand Baird in the original trilogy. He was a sarcasm ass hole, but man has he grown. He’s still sarcastic as all hell, but he’s so much better to listen to now. I think if I went back and replayed the trilogy, I would love his character. Maybe I just grew up to understand his character better?
Azura is falling apart and of course it’s an old burial ground for Locusts and Lambent. This is where the Swarm come in. They create a nest off these burial sites and essentially bring back the Locusts. I guess? I’m kind of confused on it myself. They snatch up humans as well and transform them too. So thats crazy.
You finally find the silos for launching the satellite, but the doors to the sky won’t open up. Baird tells you to retreat, but JD being a loose cannon decides to manually open the doors. A lot of shit happens, putting Marcus, Kait, Del, and himself all at risk, but JD pulls it off. Hooray right? Naw, Marcus is pissed, and so is the leader of the CoG.
Side note: Kait has a weird connection with the Locusts or the Swarm, whatever we are wanting to call them at this point. It’s all the same. She is constantly having headaches and nightmares. Very out of it. I think this is where our story will get the most focus on it.
This is where you get introduced to a lot of new mechanics Gears has to offer. Jack, the robot that has been in every game up to this point, has upgrade abilities now. It’s kind if weird, but considering the CoG are already jacked up super soldiers, Jack is the only thing that can really get better. You can give him new abilities like more armor for a few seconds, he can zap enemies, and even pick up precious ammo for you in the middle of a fire fight when your hunkered down and can’t move. He is actually very versatile and I think it really works for the game.
Side note: I don’t know if Jack was in Judgement. I didn’t play through it. It was bad.
So this also introduces upgrade points you find within levels. I’m all for collectibles and these fort if upgrade things, but it always feels weird when no one acknowledges the random pamphlet you just picked up, or a dead mans CoG tags. I go out of my way to find these collectibles all the time, and I am always very aware when I’m doing it. I just wish it felt more natural I guess.
After having a heated discussion with the First Minister or whatever her title is, the president essentially, Delta crew is sent out to a survivor colony because they are getting attacked by the Swarm. Giant trolls with machine gun arms make an appearance and shoot down the helicopter our crew is riding in. This is standard Gears stuff.
You also get stuck with a new character. His name is Fhaz. Fhaz is a douche canoe.
You make your way through the city, getting bits of a story that happened a while back. Protesters who were shot and killed when Del, JD, and Fahz was around. After multiple fire fights, meeting new characters like Lizzie Carmine who is a bad ass convoy driver, and also the niece to the equally bad ass Clayton Carmine from Gears 3 who also makes a return, you find out that JD actually gave the orders to shoot at the protesters. Granted they had molotovs and were throwing them at the CoG, it’s still a really fucked up situation Del and Kait find out about.
Side note: The Carmine family was a running joke in Gears 1 and 2. There were 3 brothers and the first two died in the first two games. Clayton Carmine was the third brother and there was a poll that went out asking if players wanted to see him meet the same fate as his brothers, or to ultimately survive. He turned out to be a huge, buff dude and totally survived. He’s great.
Gears 5 really gets back to his hardcore roots here though. In comes in a new enemy. Flying leeches. They remind me of the swarm of bats from the first Gears game. Man that whole section with the lights and the turrets was hard as hell. These flying leeches are wiping out all humans, but also taking control of all the DeeBees, the robots introduced in Gears 4.
Making your way through a hotel with these swarm-infused DeeBees is terrifying actually. They’re difficult to kill and they are absolutely relentless. This whole section was the best part of this Act in my opinion. It really tested my abilities and I had to use weapons I wouldn’t normally use to get rid of the robots.
There’s a bad ass scene with Cole Train, a motorcycle with grenades attached to it, and a giant Troll monster that I won’t spoil here but seriously. It’s rad as hell.
Side note: I’ve had bad experiences with beloved characters in the franchise doing what looks to be a suicide run. I’m really glad Cole was not a character to follow that trend.
Here we are at the end of the Act. The crew is getting bombarded with enemies. Three Giant Troll machine gunners. Tons of Grubs every where. You’re pinned down, and so is the convoy with Lizzie Carmine and a bunch of the survivors from the city. JD makes a ballsy call. He tells Baird to hone in on his location and to use the Hammer of Dawn. Baird is reluctant, since the President lady said no to the whole thing, but JD runs at the enemy and has Baird to it anyways.
The Hammer comes online and wipes out all the enemies, but Baird loses the signal to the satellite and it goes off on its own. Every takes cover, but Lizzie trapped within the truck. JD desperately tries to get the door open, but the Hammer of Dawn annihilates the truck. The last thing you hear is Lizzie screaming “Fenix!”
I started to tear up. You barely know Lizzie Carmine. You know she’s a bad ass, and she has a great little reunion scene with her Uncle Carmine, but seeing the fear in JD’s eyes as he tried opening that door, and her screaming out to him. Man. It gives me chills.
The voice acting is great. The visuals are amazing. I still love shooting in this game. Everything about Gears 5 Act 1 has me wanting to play more. I am enthralled to see what happens next.
I haven’t encountered any bugs that other people have been so far. Thankfully. Hopefully I stay lucky. I will write more when I finish Act 2!
How is everyone enjoying Gears 5? Anything you dislike? Let me know!