What’s Up – August 28th 2019

Gears 5 Standard Edition Xbox One box cover

We’re releasing What’s Up a day early this week because we’ve got a WHOLE BUNCH of exciting news to share coming out today. Here’s What’s Up in Gears of War this week:

  • Gears 5 Pre-Download has begun!
  • Gears 5 Early Access now begins September 5th at 9pm in your regional local time
  • Launch Maps and Hives Revealed
  • Watch Gears 5 played LIVE today
  • Characters Explained
  • Ranked Weapon Skin Rewards revealed

Get Ready For Launch

In just over a week, you can start playing Gears 5 through Early Access. We still can’t believe it’s happening!!

To get you ready for launch, we’re happy to announce that Gears 5 can now be pre-downloaded on all platforms. Get those downloads rolling so you can play the moment Early Access begins.

Speaking of when it begins, that might be a little earlier than you expected. Across both digital and participating retailers, Gears 5 Early Access will begin at 9pm on September 5th in your local time zone!

For regions that contain multiple time zones, the earliest time zone will dictate your release time. For example, North American Early Access will begin at simultaneously at 9pm ET, 8pm CT and 6pm PT.

Launch Maps and Hives

We are excited to reveal our full lineup of Launch Maps and Escape Hives for Gears 5! Get a first look in the trailer above.

In Gears 5, we’ve set out to build the most varied lineup of arena-style maps for Versus and Horde to date, with an increased focus on dynamic map elements that spice up the battlefield and break-the-mold maps like our two-lane map Exhibit.

For Escape, 4 Hives are available at launch, with new Hives dropping practically EVERY WEEK with new rewards to claim from their depths. At launch, there will be 11 maps (7 arena-style, 4 Hive-style) available with 50+ Tiles available from day one to use in Map Builder.

It doesn’t end on launch day though. Alongside free new Multiplayer Maps and Tiles released in every Operation post-launch (more on those soon), we’ll be updating Map Builder to support Versus and Horde so YOU can make your own maps.

Combined, we can’t wait to see a future where our marquee brand new map releases are married with the creative passion of the Gears community! If you’d like to know more about our Launch Map lineup, check out our in-depth blog here.

Watch Gears 5 Gameplay This Week

As you’re reading this, content creators and TCA Partners from all over the world have gathered at The Coalition to get hands on with Gears 5.

As part of their time here at the studio, we’ve invited all of our guests to stream brand-new Versus, Horde and Escape gameplay on Gears 5 so that you can see even more of the game you are so eagerly waiting to play!

Tune in for your first look at gameplay on our new Multiplayer maps, our Launch Escape Hives and a whole lot more. Here are the TCA Partners streaming this week on Wednesday afternoon (PT) and Thursday:

Over the past two days, Press from around the world have also had the opportunity to go hands on with Gears 5. Look out for preview coverage this Friday.

Characters Explained

A squad of COG soliders face off against a squad of Swarm enemies

In Gears 5, we’re taking your favorite characters to the next level with unique playstyles across a variety of modes that make them more than just a cosmetic choice.

As we get ready for launch, we’ve put together all you need to know about Characters in Gears 5 (including details on them being forever-earnable and more!). Read it here.

Division Rewards

We know many of you are eagerly anticipating what Rewards you can chase in Divisions.

During a Ranked Season, you’ll be rewarded with a variety of rewards every week for your Division Placement, including opportunities to add some killer-looking weapon skins to showcase your skills.

Masters Division

An animation is shown of flames at the end of a Longshot, with the Master Emblem seared into the metal

The most elite in the world in each playlist get the opportunity to take home the ultimate bragging rights – our animated flaming Masters Skin. Emblazoned with the Masters Emblem, this skin is going to be one of the most exclusive and elite in the game. Can you earn it?

Bronze to Diamond

Placing in any Tier is an achievement in and of itself, so in Gears 5, we wanted to take the quality of our placement weapon skin rewards up a notch from Bronze to Diamond – from the purple sheen of our Onyx skins to the oxidized green of the Bronze skins.

A worn bronze Dropshot
A gilded Silver boomshot
A Longshot covered in ornate gold
A Markza with the purpley black of Onyx
A Torque Bow shimmering with it's refractive Diamond skin

We’ll go into more detail on Divisions and how Rewards work soon.

Bonus Content

We’ve had a lot of requests to get a better look at the content that comes with the various editions of Gears 5 and the incredible merchandise / hardware releasing this September. Look no further!

Halo: Reach Character Pack – Gears 5: Ultimate Edition

Halo: Reach characters Kat and Emile stand together
Jack floats with the Noble Team skin, covering him in all blue with animations
The Noble Team Lancer
Emile's helmet as a Bloodspray
A mark with Noble Team's symbol
A Banner with Noble Team's symbol

The Halo: Reach Character Pack, including the Noble Team customization items, are included with the Gears 5: Ultimate Edition and the only way to access this content at launch.

This set is planned to be purchasable in the Gears 5 Store at a later date.

Ice Kait and Jack Character Skins

Kait stands in frosted armor with snow goggles and an iced over omen at the center of her armor. Jack floats next to her with a similar skin.

The Ice Kait character is a permanent exclusive for Gears 5 Xbox One X owners or Kait Winter Armor Xbox Controller owners.

The Ice Jack character is a permanent exclusive for Gears 5 Xbox One X owners only.

Ice Loadout Weapon Skins – Seagate Hard Drive Bonus

A frosted Lancer with an iced over omen at it's center

The Ice Weapon Skin loadout set is available at launch through purchases of the 5TB Seagate Game Drive Gears 5 Special Edition, with the Ice Lancer also available in the 2TB version.

This set is planned to be purchasable in the Gears 5 Store at a later date.

Carbon Fiber Jack Character Skin – Gears 5 Collector’s Edition (US Only)

A card featuring Jack, with gilded gold elements and a carbon fiber body

Carbon Fiber Jack is a permanent exclusive for Gears 5 Collector’s Edition owners.

The Future of Gears 4

With the dawning of new game comes the twilight of the one before it.

This moment is bitter-sweet for us at the studio. Gears 4 was our first true entry into the Gears saga and a huge learning experience for all of us. We’re incredibly proud of what Gears 4 achieved, and how our time together with the community over the past three years has shaped what Gears 5 has become. Thank you truly, deeply, for all your support since October 2016. It’s meant the world to us.

In terms of the future of Gears 4, here’s what to expect:

Ranked Play

The current Ranked Season will continue through to January 2020. In January 2020, with the vast majority of the game’s population moving to Gears 5, we will be removing all aspects of Ranked play from Gears 4.

In its place will be a new series of playlists across Core and Competitive. These playlists will have relaxed latency and skill rating rules for matchmaking to make finding matches easier in a significantly reduced population. With Ranking removed, all quit penalties will be disabled.

Events

Events will no longer occur in Gears of War 4, as our focus  is  on Gears 5 to our maximum capabilities.

Midnight Omen / Flaming Weapon Skins

In order to ensure the ‘Better Than Bacon’ and ‘I Like Em Crispy’ achievements remain unlockable without event support, the Midnight Omen and Flaming Weapon Skins will become craftable with our Playlist Update in January 2020.

XP Boost

As with past sunsetted Gears of War titles, we will be exploring the possibility of introducing a permanent XP boost across the game. At this point we are unable to promise this change, but it’s on our radar.

That’s all from us! When we’re back in our regularly scheduled Thursday What’s Up next week, Early Access will be starting to roll out around the world. SO CLOSE.

See you next week – in What’s Up and in Gears 5. GEARS 5!

TC