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Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Gears Tactics a solid adaptation of a beloved franchise

Some longtime readers already know that the Gears Of War video game franchise is near and dear to my heart.  One of my prized geeky possessions is a copy of the Gears of War 3 soundtrack signed by composer Steve Jablonsky   Maybe it's something to do with how the first game came out on that Election Day in 2006: when my name appeared on the ballot for board of education.  I didn't get to play Gears of War until a year later when I finally scored an Xbox 360 but as soon as that disc stopped loading I was totally sucked into the world of Sera, and the fight against the Locust.

Unfortunately I haven't come into possession of an Xbox One so I'm way behind on the main series, but that doesn't mean a fan has to be completely out of the loop.  Last week Microsoft released Gears Tactics.  It's a turn-based tactical game set in the Gearsiverse.  Specifically, fourteen years before Dom breaking Marcus out of that prison.  It's the countdown to the Hammer of Dawn offensive, and you play a poor shlub who gets tapped by Chairman Prescott (as posturing an a$$hole as ever) to swipe some documents before the surface of Sera gets burned.

I'm a few missions into it and so far have been enjoying every moment.  Gears Tactics truly brings the spirit of the franchise to the desktop, with astounding design choices and situational dynamics.  If you want a Gears Of War game, it's here: the Gears and their signature armor, emergence holes, parkouring over obstacles, charging toward the bad guys... and of course the iconic execution with the chainsaw bayonet.  Movement and targeting are simple, and absent any "hex-based" spacing that the genre is often known for.  In short: it's a solid translation of the typical Gears Of War game into a more casual "thinking person's" exercise.

Gears Tactics is $59 bucks on Steam.