If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Learn more.

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

Who let the locust out?

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.

About the Author

Alice Bell avatar

Alice Bell

Deputy Editor

RPS's dep ed. Small person powered by tea and enthusiasm for video game romances. Send me interesting etymological facts and cool horror games.

Join the Rock Paper Shotgun supporter program

Sign up today and get access to more articles like these, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and help us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


We love having a friendly, positive and constructive community - you lot are great - and we want to keep it like that. Our main commenting rule is "be excellent to each other". Please see our code of conduct, where you can find out what "be excellent" means. TL;DR? Respect others, think before you post, and be prepared for puns.

More Videos

Latest Articles

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch