In my previous three posts about Gears 5 I would recap each of the acts and gave my opinions on it. This post will be different. I’m still going to be spoiling the ending to Gears 5, but there is one specific thing I want to talk about. The choice.
DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU HAVE
NOT BEATEN GEARS 5 YET
Gears of War has never been a choose your own adventure game. There is a canonical story going on. It has always been a fixed story. So when they decide to let you choose the fate of two of the members of Delta Squad, I was upset.
At the closing of Chapter 1 in Act 4, Kait’s mom Ryena appears. She is all Swarmed out, looking like an octopus lady. She grabs Kait, JD, and Del in her slimy tentacles and threatens to kill everyone if you do not join her. Kait cuts off the tentacle holding her up, and in a split decision the game tells you to choose who to save: JD or Del.
I know other games do this. The problem is Gears of War has never done this before, and we know there more than likely is a canon choice when it comes down to who lives and who dies. I absolutely hate games that do this. I want the real story. I don’t want to pick something, then find out in Gears 6 that I picked wrong, and even worse have Gears 6 ask me who I did save and make a completely alternate storyline from other people.
I understand people enjoy having their own stories when playing games, but I am always bothered by this. When first given the choice on who to choose to save, I picked no one. I let myself die, then realized that couldn’t be the correct choice.
Afterwards, the game got paused and my brother and I started googling. I wanted to know what the right choice was, because there absolutely is a correct choice in who to save, right? So this huge dramatic moment was ruined because I had to know what I was suppose to do in this instance. I know that’s on me for being crazy about this, but Gears has never done this before and it is so beyond jarring to me. I hate it.
Without knowing what the true choice is suppose to be, I ended up saving Del. He has been with me the entire game and it just made sense. Besides, I’m sure Kait thought she could save both of them in that moment.
Seeing JD’s neck snap and his lifeless body thrown to the ground made me tear up. It was brutal. And late on giving Marcus the news that his son was dead broke my heart. I hated the choice I made. I instantly regretted it. I hated Del in that moment. I hated myself. It sucked. I would have never expected to feel so strongly about a characters death since Gears 3, and the incredibly rough scene in Gears 2. I guess I just have a pretty strong connection with this franchise. Never would have expected to be an annoying fanboy of Gears of War, but here we are.
The rest of the game was still enjoyable. Fighting enemies, seeing old friends like Cole in a giant mech suit from Gears 4 was fun. The ending boss fight was fine. The giant sand octopus from Act 3 makes a reappearance, burned to hell from the Hammer of Dawn rockets. Jack the robot sacrificed himself by diving into the monsters mouth so he could be the focal point for the Hammer of Dawn. His sacrifice just felt like nothing after the death at the beginning of the act though.
Ultimately, I loved Gears 5. Playing it coop with my brother added to the enjoyment immensely. The story really takes a lot of cues from Gears 2, which I loved. It was hardcore, tense, and sometimes scary. All of the new age characters got some much needed screen time. Marcus and his gang took a backseat and the game really shined bright because of it.
Here’s hoping Gears 6 does not having multiple endings, character choices like this, and does not move into more RPG space. I know I will still love the franchise, but it’s not the genre I want it to go into. Unless they make a side game lean heavy into it with zero consequences. Just don’t call it Gears 6.
What did everyone else think of Gears 5? Did that choice bit ruin it for you at all? Am I just over reacting to it? Let me know below in the comments!