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Review

Gears Tactics starts its story before the first Gears of War title. The protagonist Gabe Diaz goes on a secret mission with the COR soldier Sid Redburn to hunt down the Locust leader Ukkon. One year after Emergence Day - the arrival of the Locust - humanity, under Chairman Richard Prescott, launches a desperate attempt to win the war. Using the Ham...

Gears Tactics

  • Greg Burn
  • Jun 19, 2021

Gears Tactics starts its story before the first Gears of War title. The protagonist Gabe Diaz goes on a secret mission with the COR soldier Sid Redburn to hunt down the Locust leader Ukkon. One year after Emergence Day - the arrival of the Locust - humanity, under Chairman Richard Prescott, launches a desperate attempt to win the war. Using the Hammer of Dawn, the world of Sera is reduced to ashes - unsuccessfully.

The surviving humans continue a fierce war against the overpowering Locust. In this turmoil of war, Gabriel Diaz, Kate's father, hunts the merciless Locust Ukkon. Gears Tactics uses cinematic cutscenes, as we know them from the Gears universe, and is in no way inferior to the AAA shooters. The majority of the story is told through a series of story missions that lead you on your hunt through the destroyed world. The narrative is strictly linear.

During your journey, you'll meet new faces that will not only tell you a few new details about the Gears universe but also connect you to the shooter series. Although the quality of the narrative is good, there could have been more stories. This is not least because there are side missions in between the main missions, which stretch the content noticeably - although not excessively - especially towards the end. On the other hand, the boss fights are the icing on the cake. Here you fight with your team against overpowered opponents, such as a Brumark, which demand a special tactical approach and a long breath.

The game's focus is clearly on the gameplay, which stands up for its name from the first moment. Gears of War has always had a tactical element, thanks to its cover-based gameplay. Gears Tactics transfers this principle to turn-based combat and gives it excellent depth. The player has three actions available per turn and character. These can be the use of abilities, simple shooting, covering fire, or even movements. So that you don't get bored with three actions, the Locust always outnumber you noticeably.

On a high difficulty level, the choice of classes and specialization is especially important. To ensure that you always have enough specialized gear to choose from, you'll unlock new slots in your barracks as the story progresses. If the game becomes too easy or too hard for you, you can always adjust the difficulty level in the menu between missions. If in doubt, a generous checkpoint system allows you to restart mission sections without getting frustrated. If you have nerves of steel, you can activate the Ironman mode in addition to the four difficulty levels Beginner, Intermediate, Expert and Insane. Here, restarting missions is impossible and every dead Gear stays dead - have fun. If you shoot through your gears until you reach the credits, you can enjoy the veteran mode afterward. Generated missions allow you to improve your team and try higher difficulty levels in the equipment hunt. Gears Tactics does not have a multiplayer.

Although the map design is repetitive in some places and seems to come from a modular system, this very factor allows you to incorporate familiar elements into the tactical approach. By the way, where enemies appear is not set in stone and depends on how you move across the map. The game tends to traverse your strategy in this way. The environments themselves could have been a bit more varied, but the title never becomes monotonous thanks to high-quality visuals and tactical variety.

Conclusion
Gears Tactics combines the brute Gears of War action with a well-functioning turn-based strategy. The package is rounded off by an interesting, if somewhat shallow, the story around Gabe Diaz. In return, the Gears universe is expanded by a story arc and becomes a bit more lively again. What the story lacks in depth is made up for by the well-thought-out gameplay, which relies on a value-based system and skill-based turn-based strategy. Technically, the game is not inferior to the franchise standard in any way. The title conveys the unmistakable Gears of War feeling from the first moment, including over-the-top action, brutal fights, and cinematic sequences. The visual quality is provided by Unreal Engine 4, which not only delivers good performance but also graphics with state-of-the-art effects. This effect strength is also found in the acoustics, be it in the weapon sounds or the orchestral soundtrack, which comes to the fore exactly when it is needed.

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