Fans have been waiting patiently for crumbs of news about Gears 6 following the cliffhanger at the end of the last game four years ago. Though developers at The Coalition have been fairly tight-lipped about plans for the series, information about the next entry in the beloved franchise has begun to leak, at least according to Nick Baker in a recent episode of the XboxEra podcast.
According to Baker, Gears 6 is set to take the series even further in the direction Gears 5 went. For those unfamiliar, Gears 5 shirked the traditionally hyper-linear nature of the series in favor of a more open-ended format that saw players visit several different areas over the course of the game, each one with its own set of missions and activities.
“I had heard A.that it is a little bit further along than some might think. That’s not a big deal is it?… I also heard there’s a strong possibility that it may be full, like a full open-world, almost open-world game, Gears 6”
With such a major alteration to the format, a lot may change about the franchise after Gears 6, and there are still many unanswered questions following Gears 5‘s massive shake-ups, as well as many dangling story threads to try to tie off in the wake of its story.
Gears 6 May Change Everything for the Franchise
Gears 6 going in this direction should not be too surprising. After all, Gears 5 was already in the process of changing the rules for the series. For starters, it dropped the “of War” from the end of the title in favor of a simplified name more in line with what fans had often called the games for years anyhow. Furthermore, it already took the series into a more open format, though it was never fully open. Should this rumor turn out to be true, it will be a major break from what the series has been up to this point.
Spoilers below for the end of Gears 5
Not only did Gears 5 change the name and open up the world a bit, but it also shifted the starring role once more. After Gears of War 4 was spent almost entirely in the shoes of Marcus Fenix’s son, JD Fenix, Gears 5 injured the character after a few missions and shifted focus over to Kait Diaz, a character with a complicated history with the enemy creatures. Gears of War 4 planted the seeds for this transition and then Gears 5 dove into the deep end.
Near the end of the story, players are forced to make a decision about whether or not to save the lives of two allies, one of which being JD, who only reappears to assist Kait near the end to make up for being unsupportive earlier, and the other being Del, another ally who spends the bulk of both Gears of War 4 and Gears 5 accompanying the player. Prior to this, the franchise had never dealt with major story branches, nor did the game until that point.
As a result, fans are curious how Gears 6 will address this choice. Will the surviving character be killed regardless? Will it ask players who they saved at the beginning and change the story accordingly? Will The Coalition simply make a firm decision on which choice is canon, thus invalidating the choice entirely? It is hard to know for sure, but should the game indeed turn out to be entirely open-world, perhaps the surviving character will simply be relegated to a supporting NPC role.
Personally, I am curious how this may affect co-op. For many, Gears of War has long been a co-op experience for its campaigns, with every title in the franchise supporting both local and online co-op. Should Gears 6 make the shift over to a fully open-world format, one may wonder if it will support multiplayer at all, or if it will be more limited as a result.
What do you think of the possibility of an open-world Gears 6? Did you enjoy the openness of Gears 5, or do you think it was too limited? Would you rather the sequel go more linear or less? Let us know in the comments and on our social media feeds!