The Gears 5 multiplayer tech test was comprised of a few modes and I thought I’d highlight the primary one at play. That is of course, Escalation. This mode is special in that it acts as the Gears of War eSports game type for competitive play. I played this primarily when working through Gears of War 4’s multiplayer on the way to wings. With that, I have a deep understand of the mode and its mechanics.
It’s great to see it return, but there are a number of changes to highlight. The first is immediately present, there are limited respawns per round. This keeps deaths limited, and the action more tense to a degree. I’m not sure I’m crazy about this addition, but it definitely keeps the play more strategic. The ring based system of gaining points is about the same, as is the ability to quick win by getting them all at once.
The rings now feature more intense countdown timers so you know how much time is left, that’s certainly a pressure. Another different element of play is that the placement of weapons is different. Both teams place weapons each turn, and those weapons can be adjusted further. You can alter their respawn time, or how much ammo they have.
They also don’t reset at a certain point like they did before, it’s a long rolling system with round based timers. This makes it somewhat hard to have a fresh start once the tides have turned however. Ring changes do still take place, this is definitely necessary to switch it up. It also seems like execution type rules aren’t in play, which changes how perspectives are challenged. I’ll also note that you actually do need to hold to respawn in this, which was something I would occasionally not notice while observing what others were doing.
Overall it does feel largely the same, that being said these tweaks do make quite a splash as they alter the flow of the matches. Match this with the more intense options for judging damage, and the grittier play for a more aggressive take on the competitive mode. It plays well, I’m not sure I’m all for the changes.
I do however appreciate their small tweaks to improve this mode further, I’ll be watching it to see what else changes towards launch and how the maps react to this mode. I’m hoping more of them support it this time around, as the limited options in the fourth game for Escalation at this point are tiring. You can read our preview of the Escape mode from E3 below, or check out the franchise hub for additional coverage on the series.
Read our Gears 5 Escape Preview
View our Gears of War Hub