The latest entry in the Gears of War saga launches in just a couple of weeks on April 28th and today, a wealth of new information has been shared.
Gears Tactics takes the franchise in an entirely new direction but for fans, it will also present new stories from established canon. First and foremost, you take the role of Gabe Diaz who is indeed the father of Kait. However, The Coalition didn’t want to present players with events occurring in parallel timelines. So instead, Gears Tactics takes place 12 years prior to the original Gears of War.
So why did The Coalition decide on setting the game prior to the saga? Gears Tactics’ Design Director Tyler Bielman told IGN:
“We could have done this with Kait and her timeline, but we didn’t feel like that was right, given there was so much to tell of her story in Gears 5. ” Bielman said. “We could have set it with Marcus and the Delta team, but we felt like we wanted our [Gears Tactics] hero to be unique and have a different take on the world. And while the Delta squad are an amazing set of characters, there wasn’t one that we thought fit the bill for what we were trying to do.”
As with any story containing a notable protagonist, it needs a strong antagonist. Enter Ukkon. Ukkon has been referenced in Gears stories previously, but never in the core video games. From Bielman:
“Ukkon is a really interesting character to add to the canon, Bielman said. “It was really fun that we were able to introduce him in the comic books before anyone knew that he had anything to do with Gears Tactics… The [comics] elaborate a lot on RAAM’s ruthlessness and intelligence and scourge, but it was the idea of a genius-level scientist in the Locust Army was something that was really exciting. The idea of being able to talk about where some of the technology and the beasts – how they come together, who did that work, who put the rocket launcher on a dinosaur to make a Brumak – That was really interesting to us”
If you missed our previous story on the complexity of the boss battles that you will face in Tactics, such as Brumaks, you can find it here.
And of course, preparing for launch wouldn’t be the same if there wasn’t a launch trailer to get you even more excited.
Lastly, it’s always fun to think about where an established franchise like Gears of War goes next. With a large, dedicated studio and the backing of the new Xbox Game Studios family, The Coalition certainly has the opportunity to tell more stories in unique ways.
Gears Franchise Narrative Director Bonnie Jean Mah had the following to say on what’s next:
“I’m just really excited about all the different avenues of stories that we can tell,” Mah said, referencing not only the different eras that the team wants to explore, but the new mediums – and now, with Tactics, genres – they have to do it. “We’re figuring that out next, but Tactics is a great opportunity to tell a brand new story that’s going to fulfill that Gears of War itch, while we figure out and plan what’s going to happen next in the main series. So I just feel like we have so many opportunities for our fans and our players to still get engaged in our universe. And we’re not going to stop.”
Gears of War is one of my favorite franchises and over the course of its near 15 year history, it has meant an awful lot to me as it has millions of others. I’m very excited by what Gears Tactics represents; not only in it telling a new story in the universe, but in doing so through a new genre. I hope this is not only a new direction for The Coalition and Gears of War, but I would love to see something similar for other established franchises such as Halo. Let’s hope this is only the beginning.