Gears 5 turns Horde mode into a hero shooter

Wave goodbye to traditional horde

Horde mode is going to have a different feel when Gears 5 launches in early September. Character selection is no longer a cosmetic preference; it’s a strategy.

During today’s Inside Xbox at gamescom, developer The Coalition debuted Gears 5‘s Horde mode. The biggest evolution is that it functions akin to a hero shooter. Each character has their own Ultimate ability. For instance, Kait has a cloaking maneuver, and JD can call in air strikes.

In a fun twist, players can also select Jack as their playable character in Horde. Jack is the robot “Jack of All Trades” sidekick that has accompanied COG soldiers ever since the first Gears of War game. The Coalition says “Jack doesn’t need cover,” and mentions that it can hack enemies and buff nearby players. It’ll be interesting to see if Jack can be just as useful as a standard character.

This format is a significant departure from the way Gears 4‘s Horde 3.0 worked. That was set up so that each person played a class, but any character could represent any class. There was also a card system for earning new skills and perks as the match progressed; a similar card system is in place for Gears 5‘s Horde but with some tweaks. But, now you have to select your character wisely. Your team composition might be the key to your survival.

Brett Makedonski
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