If you like your dudes (or ladies) beefy, guns improbably en-chainsawed and your Ps versus other Ps, there's a Gears 5-flavoured slab of it landing this weekend, starting July 19th, 6pm BST. If you've got around ten gigabytes of bandwidth and an Xbox Game Pass subscription (or trial), then you can squirt it onto your PC right now in preparation for this weekend's multiplayer tech test. It's running until 6pm BST on July 22nd, and repeating on July 26th. It'll include Escalation, Arcade and King Of The Kill modes, as well as the tutorial Boot Camp. See the test trailer below.
The new standard PvP mode for Gears 5, which will be seeing its first outing in this tech test, is Arcade. There's hero powers, and kills upgrade your equipment. Perhaps a little dash of Overwatch flavour added to that rich, meaty Gears stew? Looks like there's some fun environmental hazards in the maps we'll be able to play on, if the trailer below is any indication. Thankfully newcomers shouldn't be totally out of their depth, as they're including the Boot Camp mode, which should walk players through all the basics of Gears multiplayer. A good choice to bring in fresh blood.
I may play a bit of this and the next test weekend, but while I've some friends who swear by Gears PvP, I've always seen the series as more of a solo or co-op experience. That's part of why I'm especially looking forward to Gears 5 proper. On top of the usual campaign and horde modes, it'll come with a level editor reminiscent of the Snapmap system for Doom (2016, but sadly missing from the upcoming Eternal) that'll let you make and share solo and co-op levels. I'm always eager to see what dedicated players can do with a new set of tools, even if it's not 'proper' mapping.
You can see full details on the event and system requirements for the game on the Gears 5 info-page here. The test is Windows 10 only, and requires a recent system update. To download the Gears 5 tech test, search for "Gears 5" in the Xbox app, though you'll need at least a trial month (£1/$1) of Xbox Game Pass for PC subscription. The full game launches on September 10th.
If you're still hungry for more, see Dave's big Wot We Know roundup on Gears 5 factoids here.