[test] Gears 5: the Old Man’s War


A muscular guardian of the rare Microsoft exclusions, the Gears of War series had an almost prescriptive role at one time before falling into a certain laziness that was both thematic and playful. Rebuilt by a Gears of War 4 that was trying to bring a new youth to its gameplay, the license is now coming to its fifth installment. Finally, there is the question of change, of course, but also the question of questioning.


Gear 5 at the best price


Holiday meals prove it, family relationships can be complex. This is all the more the case in a world on the verge of extinction where the “human” species has almost disappeared. This creates tension and small annoyances that lead to arguments. This is the case between JD and the big gruff Marcus Fenix or between the young Kait and her mother whose destiny is, let’s just say it, special. Unless she’s a Lovecraft fan. In this world of uncertain destiny, the player follows the sons and daughters of, in an adventure centred on the search for his roots, haunted by the mistakes of past generations. This clever context gives Gears of War 5 all its brilliance.

All the work carried out on the obvious traces of failures and dissensions that have led the land that has been trodden to become almost uninhabitable marks a new stage in the saga’s mastery of the subject. This is even though the current development team – The Coalition – now has only a few members from Epic Games The change does not therefore bury the original vision of Gears, whose universe has always been traversed by a deaf melancholy, testimony to an artistic and cultural greatness that has now vanished: as if the Renaissance had been sacrificed for the sake of an atomic war. The world portrayed here screams the horror of this waste, saving its breath for a future whose contours also smell of sulphur. Every decision bodes defeat for the future. Not against the locusts, their queen or all the dripping beasts that accompany them, but against the whole planet. In the slightest document, during the slightest conversation, the seeds of an impossible agreement or a future war develop. This is what gives the game its unique evocative force, an important soul supplement supported by a once again beautiful and sensitive artistic direction. Unlike the characters

Kait annexe

The quartet starring in Gears of War 5, made up of strong personalities, seems to have the greatest difficulty not to recycle clichés of character construction worn down to the string. The nice and tender sidekick, the badass and tortured heroine, the sarcastic warrior, and the annoying guy with the old cracks. Nothing wrong with that, it’s sometimes important to work with archetypes to keep the player in a comfort zone, so as to make better use of this base and then develop a more ambitious goal. It’s this second part that’s not at the party here, with a rather conventional script whose strings are as thin as a locust’s arm and above all dialogues already heard thousands of times.

Same observation for the situations in which the characters get bogged down, best-of moments present beforehand in the other episodes of the series and in most of the shooters of the last few years. And this without ever reaching at a single moment the excessiveness and madness of the first trilogy. The game proves to be effective, but in phases, with a sawtooth mission design quality: the fault lies in a lack of concentration. Gears of War 5 wants to do a lot of things, too. Lorgnant on the side of Uncharted on the one hand with a large part given to exploration, the title of The Coalition also follows with great attention the steps of the last God of War If they have war in common, they also share an attraction for the semi-open world with hubs from which it is possible to travel in the vicinity in search of various missions.

The difference is that where the Kratos epic develops even in the slightest side quest the Gears 5 epic becomes diluted. Most of the activities on the fringe of the main quest simply allow you to retrieve loot, even though some of the lore may reveal a little bit during some of them. All the more so as each occurrence of these more exploration-based moments is identical: a large area with several points of interest at the wheel of his skiff, a sort of sand yacht. No specific gameplay according to the environment, no dangers on the road, in short a simple formality that brings nothing but the illusion of a larger world. Novelty for novelty’s sake, without any added value, is rarely a good idea, especially in the case of a game that proves its worth in its tighter moments.

Flank Jack

Always a great representative of the shooting behind an obstacle, Gears 5 takes up the evolution operated by the previous episode, in which this systematic side had been more or less damaged. Finally more aggressive, the waves of enemies did not hesitate to cavalry towards the player in order to dislodge him from his hideout, forcing frequent changes of position. An element of gameplay balanced by the ability to also dislodge an enemy with ease, either by dragging him out of his cover or by a nice boot print in the face when crossing a low wall. Two movements retained in Gears 5 – generating an exciting intensity in the shootings – now supported by the presence of Jack, a kind of Zelda fairy less talkative and more practical.

Customizable as skill modules are discovered, the little robot is a loyal ally that acts as a living menu of offensive and defensive capabilities. It is up to the player to choose an invisible mode for all allies, a shield, electric traps, freezing fire, etc. depending on the situation. This reserve of solutions makes it possible to diversify confrontations and above all to adapt to battlefields that are now highly mobile. Trench warfare is well and truly gone, and the majority of enemies have effective ways to take the player out of his comfort zone. Everything is therefore based on rapid decision making, knowing that the skills are all subject to cooldown, in intense weapons passes.

Nothing that revolutionizes the genre, but a job well done that’s enough to get caught up in the game. This is not the case in quiet moments, where progress is made in stages, facing doors and switches to be reached within a level-design without much inventiveness. The “fervour drop” ploy, a sea of oil before the storm, works well, but these phases of research are too similar to provide any additional interest. This at least allows us to pay attention to the very successful soundtrack composed by Ramin Djawadi (Game of Thrones Westworld) and to enjoy – without restraint – this immersive atmosphere, largely resulting from the work of the talented artistic director Jamie Mcnulty, already at work on Bioshock or Bioshock Infinite.

Gear 5 at the best price

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