An XCOM-style squad tactics game spun off from Gears Of War isn't a game I'd expect to be particularly good, but Gears Tactics launched today and what I hear is: it is particularly good. Now it's out and we can all see for ourselves.
Our Nate was dead impressed, declaring in his Gears Tactics review that "it's good to the extent where, as risky as it is to say such a thing, I'd argue it sets the new gold standard for turn-based tactics." Huh!
Made by Splash Damage and The Coalition, Gears Tactics turns the third-person cover shooter into a top-down tactical squad game. The end result is enough like XCOM that I can skip a lot of explanation that it's a lot like XCOM but with the chainsaws, cusses, and spectacle of Gears Of War (or just "Gears", as it's officially named these days?).
Matthew had plenty of praise in his video review too:
I'm still slightly surprised but evidence is mounting that the game's good.
"Perhaps the fact that nobody had any expectations for Gears Tactics has worked in its favour," Nate said. "Its designers were free to pick and choose from the classic squad tactics toolkit, as they had no community to alienate, and no features to include out of a sense of duty to tradition."
Gears Tactics is out now on Steam and the Microsoft Store for £50/$60/€70. Some real exchange rate horror there. Alternatively, Gears Tactics is available through Xbox Game Pass For PC, Microsoft's £4/month subscription service. It sure does seem like Microsoft want people to subscribe to Game Pass rather than ever buy their games at launch.
Disclosure: I have a pal at Splash Damage. No idea if he's worked on this so, well, that's how good of a pal I am. But who talks about work?