What would you get if XCom and Gears Of War had a baby? Well, if you guessed Gears Tactics, you would be right. The Gears of War franchise has always been a fast paced type of game that has always raised pulses and taken names. Gears Tactics is no exception, but it has been taken away from its usual third-person shooter perspective, and moved in a different direction.
This time, Gears Tactics plays as a turned-based, tactical strategy game. With the beautifully polished cut-scenes and completely new story, Gears Tactics is a prequel set 12 years before the first Gears of War game.
You play as Gabe Diaz, set with the task to recruit, build and train up a squad of Gears to take on the relentless Locust, led by a new and powerful Commander named Ukkon. Players will face many familiar enemies, such as the Locust drones or the huge Corpser, all coming together to create a powerfully rich new campaign.
You must recruit a variety of gears, all with individually unique classes that you can upgrade and outfit with customizable gear and weapons mods, such as your classic heavy, assault, support, sniper and scout. Players will also find a new skill tree for each class that can be chosen and upgraded as you level up your gears.
The RPG element to upgrading troops is great, but you can lose a soldier just as easily as recruiting a new one, so be careful with every decision you make, as this could end in the soldier’s demise. Giving your troops better gear is a must, as every edge in the battlefield is needed against the locust.
Although a lot of those elements are somewhat familiar to many players of turned-based tactical games, the thing that makes Gears Tactics stand apart is how the upgrading and modding of soldiers are simple to implement when obtained. Unlike other games that will have you research and manufacture just to get a single piece of armour, Gears Tactics likes to focus on the keyword: Tactics. There is no micromanagement outside of the battlefield. No manufacturing individual armour pieces and weapons.
When you want to get straight into the action and strategy it’s right there, and I don’t think anyone could have implemented the fast paced and straight forward gaming mechanics except for the developers of the Gears franchise. Unlike other tactical strategy games, the battlefield isn’t broken up into grids, and because of this, movement seems more fluid. Even the takedowns with the Lancer Assault Rifle and its famous chainsaw seem to flow all the better, making it a viable option for use in battle, not limited by the usual standoff-ish feel that some games have.
From simple ranged combat, to the brutal takedowns, Gears style resonates all throughout the game, while the graphics hold up impressively. While my current system runs a GeForce GTX 1070 8gb GPU, an Intel i9-9900K CPU and 32 GB RAM, the minimum requirements for the game to run are still going to give you an impressive looking game.
My biggest gripe is the current lack of multiplayer, a huge part of what makes the Gears universe such an enjoyable experience. I desperately hope this is something they bring in later down the track, as this system would be a perfect way to change people’s opinions on this style of turn based strategy games.
Overall Gears Tactics, with its skill trees, weapons and armour modifications, may be a Strategy, turned-based tactical game, but a lot of the elements from the Gears of War franchise has been nicely implemented into Gear Tactics.
Developers Splash Damage and The Coalition have done an amazing job with Gears Tactics, creating a well crafted narrative on top of a very beloved franchise, bringing forth a fresh new way to not just enjoy the Gears franchise, but also building a game that holds true to the very essence of a series that has such a massive following. Gears Tactics may play like other familiar Strategy, turned-based tactical games, but it looks and feels all Gears of War to me!
- Graphicly superb
- Perfect for fans of the Gears franchise
- Perfect for fans of Strategy, turned-based tactical games
- Smooth gameplay mechanics
- No need to grind gears (research to get better gear)
- No multiplayer