That last cutscene is so badass.
After playing through the entirety of Gears 5 with my brother, I genuinely felt pretty good about the future of the franchise. I’ve always been a pretty big Gears fan and have always enjoyed the campaign. Even Gears 4, which a lot of people didn’t think was different enough, I enjoyed. I think a lot of it comes from playing the franchise with my brother, but it’s also just a hectic and fun time.
After we beat the Gears 5 campaign, we told each other that sure, we can play multiplayer some time, try that new Hivebusters mode, but we both knew that we were probably never coming back to it. The multiplayer can be fun, but I was never good at it, so it was just never a thought for me. And what I heard about the Escape mode wasn’t great, so after a few months, the game got deleted off the hard drive to make room for something new.
Surprise! Over a year later and the Coalition decides to drop some story DLC based on the characters from the Escape multiplayer mode and dubbed it Hivebusters. Honestly, great name.
So back into Gears 5 my brother and I went, and we patiently waited to be able to have a day to sit down together and play through the entire campaign in one sitting. When that day finally came, it felt great being back inside that world.
Hivebusters lets you pick between three different characters: Lahni, Keegan, and Mac. Each of these three characters has different special abilities, like a shield, an electrical knife, and ammo resupply. All of these are pretty important to the gameplay and can help in tight pinches. They didn’t feel worthless in any firefight we went into. It was also nice to be able to use the AI’s shield ability at any point since there were only 2 of us. Playing with 3 people would be preferable next time, but it was a great time going through it with the two of us again.
The story centers around Lahni, Keegan, and Mac and their specific reasons for joining the secret Hivebuster Program. The story is pretty quick, clocking in around 3 hours to complete it. After learning the motivations of the characters, and learning more about this unsanctioned program, I ended up liking these characters a lot, and genuinely would love to see them more fleshed out in perhaps Gears 6?
Each character has their own backstory and their own reasons to join this secret program, but they do have one thing in common though: they all hate the Locusts. Swarm? Lambent? I honestly forget who the bad guys are anymore. I think they’re all essentially the same though. Bad robots too, the ones introduced in Gears 4. Which for DLC, this is forgiven. I can’t imagine expecting a ton of new monsters in a short DLC campaign like this. I did like to see the specific character abilities showing up though. Gave it a nice twist on combat.
All in all, if you’re a Gears fan, especially the new trilogy they’re doing, then Hivebusters is a story beat that you won’t want to miss. It gives more lore to the world and expands out story stuff, and where some key missing characters may have gone. I enjoyed this story and new character improvements enough that I want to see it get expanded upon in Gears 6, or whatever they end up calling it. Gears Infinite anybody?