Gears 5: Hivebusters - Review
Gears 5 was released a year ago, but is still the flagship exclusive of Microsoft platforms. The game is constantly supported by new content for network modes, and its technical component for a long time secured for it the status of a sample of how to work with Unreal Engine 4.
This fall, Microsoft and The Coalition decided to give fans another gift and released a full-fledged story addition called Hivebusters.
The storyline of the addon is built around the adventures of the Scorpion squad, whose fighters we have already seen before-these are the same three heroes for whom we had to play in the "Escape" mode, where, taking the role of Keegan, Mac or Doe, you had to blow up a chemical bomb in the heart of the hive,and then quickly get out of there. Well, since Hivebusters is a kind of prequel to this online fun, during the four-hour campaign we will show the events that led to the decision to send a squad on such a task. And here we can immediately say that the addition copes with the task with a bang. The campaign turned out to be of average duration – only 4-5 hours at the average level of difficulty – but it is not exchanged for filler episodes. Events quickly follow each other: here we are exploring an incredibly beautiful tropical island, here we go down to an abandoned production complex, and in half an hour we are already shooting enemies, while drifting on a huge hermodveri in a lava flow. In general, in addition, there is a noticeable shift in focus from trying to go into a serious drama to presenting the plot in lighter tones, which can be traced in the dialogues, editing cutscenes, and even the soundtrack has changed the mood – now the music in the game is more driving, which undoubtedly benefits. Let's hope that the developers will keep a similar attitude in Gears 6.
As for the squad itself, the feelings from a more detailed acquaintance with the heroes are ambivalent. On the one hand, for a four-hour adventure, their characters are sufficiently fully presented. In a nutshell, they will tell us about their background and let everyone show themselves on the screen. On the other hand, the limited time frame has caused the characters relationships to develop too rapidly. Only a couple of hours pass from dismissive jokes to a declaration of brotherly love in an embrace. Such a sharp change in the relationship is striking and does not look natural.
The gameplay of the add-on remains true to the series and will be familiar to anyone who has ever run a game of the Gears of War series. At the same time, developers develop the ideas of the original on the use of active skills. But if in Gears 5, the robot Jack was entirely responsible for the skills, which applied active effects to only one of the characters at a time, then in Hivebusters, each of the characters has its own skill that can be used independently of teammates (this is true for a cooperative game, in single player you are limited in the choice of skills only to your wards). At the same time, the characters ' abilities are aimed at team use. Keegan is able to replenish the supply of ammunition to all members of the squad who are in a small radius, Mac creates an energy barrier in front of him and his comrades behind him, except that the ability of the Doe is designed purely for individual use and gives it additional damage in close combat.
I want to scold the addition except for the lack of new types of opponents – we have already met each of them in the Gears 5 campaign. The newcomer here is only the final boss. By the way, the latter looks very cool and is a hybrid of a bird and a lizard that can burrow under the ground.
Graphically, the addition is not far removed from the Gears 5, but given the high quality of the technical performance of the original, Hivebusters even today does not look like a guest from the last generation. I would especially like to mention the work of artists. The events unfold against the backdrop of luxurious backdrops, and the locations are diverse and filled with details: dense jungle, as if migrated here from Uncharted 4, underground bunkers, where technical lighting in all its glory shows the charms of the interaction of light and shadow, the village abandoned by local residents-the game never ceases to delight with its views.
Gears 5: Hivebusters is a great addition to the original game. The developers not only gave fans another story in the Gears universe, but also skillfully created the plot ground for one of the network modes, thanks to which Gears 5 has now become much more holistic in terms of the interaction of content content with the game universe. It can definitely be recommended for purchase to every fan of Gears 5 and the Gears of War series as a whole.