The new Gears 5 DLC arrived quietly and without too much advertising. This is a short narrative expansion that wants to tell a story that’s parallel to that of Kait. Gears 5: Hivebusters released on Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. However, I can’t help to think about one thing. The Microsoft subscription has made games in the past very successful that otherwise would never have seen the light of day. Perhaps even the latest content developed by The Coalition would not have seen the light without Game Pass. Here is my Gears 5: Hivebusters review on Xbox One.
The new adventure in the world of Sera consists of a single act and is divided into six chapters. This makes for a total of about three hours of gameplay. The price tag found on the digital store is $20 USD. This price might be high for some, although the fun is not lacking. Gears 5: Hivebusters, as you will see later in the review, is perhaps not the masterpiece of the generation, but it shows us a newer and better side of the series.
A GEARS FAIRY TALE
Let me be clear, Microsoft seems to feel particularly comfortable with tropical settings. Sea of Thieves was an enormous success and even Call of the Sea doesn’t skimp on colorful feathered birds. Well, even the Galangi archipelago where Mac, Lahni, and Keegan’s adventure is set is full of tropical islands, lush forests, and colorful parrots – some not too friendly, I have to say.
The three protagonists will make up the Scorpio team by order of Commander Hoffman, an old acquaintance for fans of the series. Their task will be to discover the origin of a Swarm nest located in the depths of the territory and kill it with a poisonous bomb. This is a very common plot for the saga. So much so that it reminds me of the very first chapter.
This time, the writers have opted for a lighter and more positive cut than the usual dark and hopeless tones we are used to. The Galangi archipelago is inhabited by a population that preserves traditions and rituals far from the modernity of the COG. It is a perfect place to develop one of the key themes of the series: The theme of environmental pollution and the relationship of the human being with nature.
When technology is not enough to face the incessant hordes of the Swarm, the only answer will be found in the inhabitants of the forest. However, I will stop here so as not to spoil the surprise. Not to mention, some sequences are simply delightful for how they are developed.
Although Mac, Lahni, and Keegan do not have adequate space to be developed properly, their characterization and that of the supporting actors are quite successful. In fact, The Coalition’s Gears 5: Hivebusters is almost a fairy tale. A fairy tale in Gears sauce, of course. With lots of blood, bad words, and bullets, but still a fairy tale.
LIGHT BUT ADEQUATE
Where this DLC does not try to surprise in any way is in the gameplay. You will return to the good ol’ shootings of the past. In other words, linear, but very interactive environments. The title, if played in single-player, will put you in the shoes of Keegan. However, you can also be accompanied by two other players even in split-screen. The absence of Jack is compensated by the special power of each of the protagonists, which can be enhanced by finding permanent power-ups.
These power-ups will guarantee a very light strategic approach, but adequate for the duration of the adventure. The positives that made the series famous are back. All the enemies already encountered in the main campaign also return. The Coalition’s Gears 5: Hivebusters summarizes the entire “Gears experience” of the last fifteen years in about three hours, offering a fairly varied level of design and situations that are always different, although never totally new.
You move from sections to waves in which you will have to resist for some time before help arrives; to the daring pursuit of a Snatcher; to more linear sections in which you can sometimes also use a stealth approach. The only exception to this excellent proposal is the beautiful final boss fight that is really fascinating both from an aesthetic point of view and the playful aspect.
In general, you get the feeling that Gears 5: Hivebusters does what the developers do best, but with some flicker of genius that makes everything nice and at times galvanizing. A certain attention to detail, with destructible environments and interactive elements, do the rest and fully satisfies the player.
Gears 5 was a title with a mammoth technical component. Unfortunately, it paid the price of its open-world with a texture detail not always at the top. Gears 5: Hivebusters goes back to basics and offers you an absolute granite title in performance. I played it on Xbox One and didn’t encounter the slightest uncertainty. Everything runs at thirty frames per second with no slowdown.
This is surprising because, despite the limited size of the maps, the aesthetic quality is really off the charts. I am not just talking about defined textures and detailed polygonal patterns, but also about a certain kind of environmental interaction that the main campaign sacrificed in the name of the open world.
If you shoot an object in the game, you will most likely see it blow up following the physics engine rules. The water will gush, the vines will react to your passage, and even the smallest of plants will move under your mighty Gear’s feet. The Galangi archipelago is as alive as never before. This feeling of palpable physicality is also because of the splendid artwork of the developers.
The settings offer varied types of environments. It goes from underground laboratories to ancient abandoned ruins, up to green forests and sandy and arid beaches. The backgrounds, frequently hand-drawn, sometimes rival the quality of some things we’ve seen in Bungie’s works, and the play of light is warm and pleasant.
Do you want to try The Coalition’s Gears 5: Hivebusters? What do you think of my Gears 5: Hivebusters review on Xbox One? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below. Are you interested in more games? Check out our reviews for Immortals Fenyx Rising, Godfall, Fallout 76 Steel Dawn, Empire of Sin, Football Manager 2021, NBA 2K21 PS5.
Gears 5: Hivebusters
The last year, for Gears of War, has been very positive. An excellent fifth chapter, a strategic spinoff with great potential, many free updates for multiplayer, and now also a great DLC that is capable of warming hearts. The Coalition series is one of the healthiest brands in the Xbox stable.
- Good narrative sector
- Beautiful settings
- Some moments are very successful
- The usual fun gameplay
- The price is not adequate
- Relationship between members of the Scorpio team is sometimes too hasty