Horde is one of the staple modes within the Gears of War franchise, and it continues to evolve within this fifth main entry. In Gears 5 Horde mode is bigger than ever at 4k 60fps on Xbox One X, with many small tweaks to the overall formula. If you’re coming from the last title it should feel familiar, but with minor alterations. This is a game of survival as you cooperatively work together to battle waves of enemies.
I was able to spend some time chatting with developers about this mode to get information, and I was able to get some rounds in by myself as well to give it a good whirl. Here are the details that I found to be important, or well the answers to the many questions I had. To start, the traditional classes are now gone. Instead, you have character based leveling.
The characters are unique, and they offer their own set of bonus power cards (fourteen each), ultimate abilities and perks. These are considered “hero” type characters, and some elements here are shared with Escape. The ultimate abilities are interesting, Emilie from Halo Reach has a bubble shield for example.
The cards can be combined with duplicates to improve them. There are engineers present, was told two at launch. These types of characters can be make any fortification, other characters can only make some of them. That aside, any character can buy the repair torch to fix things or move the fortifications around. The perks are a new thing you can buy between rounds, such as extra health or minor other benefits to make you be able to handle tougher waves of enemies. Speaking of difficulty, the old difficulty options are gone.
You now start at beginner, and select modifiers to change how hardcore it is prior to starting a match. I was told that Master is the top and that it should be tougher than Insane from Gears of War 4. Boss waves are similar to before, you’ll face one every ten waves. If you kill the boss fast another one will appear with fewer enemies around. If you take awhile to kill the boss, you’ll have more smaller enemies to face off against. With the gap of ten waves, you’ll also see a resource tap. This is a special ring based capture item that grants points to the shared pool. These are a neat change-up to the formula. I should also mention that if you’re not familiar with Horde, the reset after a boss wave increases how tough your enemies are.
If you all do manage to die, the tags of your fallen comrades can be brought back to the fabricator and then a respawn timer begins. If you’re wondering about the new pal Jack, this takes a player slot. You would have four regular players and a Jack as opposed to five players. Jack can also die in this one, and it’s more of a support character. Another great addition is the fact that an AI teammate will enter the match when a player leaves, super helpful.
That’s a feature I’ve always been wanting in Horde. If you don’t have friends, and you don’t want to just randomly matchmake, the game now has a browser system for finding a match to play with various settings. All of the multiplayer maps for versus support this mode, and you can find ammo by looking around the map. The Tour of Duty challenges factor into this, and this mode will send out points towards your overall level.
Moving onto fortifications, there are new ones and tweaked options. Level four is the max level option available for any trap or decoy of sorts. The weapons locker is awesome, with four slots to place weapons. The weapons will gain ammo over time. If you want to destroy extra weapons, the forge can burn them and spit out credits for you to use on purchases just like when you eliminate an enemy.
If you use the tac-com you can see where turrets or the areas that fortifications are covering. There’s a neat shock turret, it blasts enemies and really does slow them down which is neat. It does less damage than a turret, but is quite helpful. I hope you found this information helpful in your survival within Gears 5’s Horde mode. You can check out our article on Escape below, or view the general franchise hub for additional coverage on this title.
Read our Gears 5 Escape Preview
View our Gears of War Hub