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Gears Tactics will appeal to XCOM fans and classic Gears Of War fans alike

Who let the locust out?

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Show me someone who says I’m not a fan of our excellent VidBud team, and I’ll show you a liar. Recently, VidBud Matthew got an in-depth demo of Gears Tactics, a turn-based tactical entry into the Gears Of War series, and my admiration only grew.

Set 10 years before the events of the very first Gears Of War game, you’d be forgiven for thinking this’d have more in common with the alien-sniping fun of XCOM than the big, boot-stompin’ FPS action of the Gears games. But in his excellent video, Matthew explains why Tactics will win hearts among both long term XCOM fans and die-hard Fenix stans alike.

Much like a regular Gears Of War game, this one involves a lot of crouching behind waist-high cover, shooting at nefarious subterranean monsters. There are some cool new details to note, though, which make small but significant changes to the traditional, XCOM-style turn-based formula. You get to set the range and direction of your overwatch ability, for example, with the accuracy of reaction shots changing depending on the angles and distances involved. Matthew notes that the business of setting up ambushes and avoiding enemy ones is akin to a puzzle. He also says that the battlefield is “really easy to read” – a promising sign, in a genre where making the right call requires having as much information as possible on your tactical environment.

At the same time as these more thinky elements, however, he emphasises how Gears Tactics captures the aggression of its FPS predecessors. You get bonuses for flanking, can perform execution moves that would make even the most 90s of 90s magazines sit back on their heels and go “alright, yeah, we say it a lot but that really is visceral“, and keep up your momentum by pushing forward quickly.

Really, if you had any questions about Tactics – its character classes, movement rules, aiming, or anything else – then this video has you covered. I mean, I don’t like to brag, but Giuseppe Navarria called it “the best and most detailed video on Gears Tactics so far”. And he’s the principal gameplay programmer on Tactics, so he’d know.

Gears Tactics is out on April the 28th, and when it’s released you’ll be able to get it on Steam, or with Xbox Game Pass For PC.

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Alice Bell

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