The Gears of War franchise's latest iteration, Gears 5, is quickly approaching its September release date. With launch so near, developer The Coalition is ready to share some more specific details about the third-person shooter's finer details that dedicated Gears of War fans will find interesting. For example, Gears 5 will not have any sort of Season Pass for DLC and will instead offer free maps and microtransactions that can be earned through gameplay. But even more exciting are The Coalition's plans for Gears 5's multiplayer.
The Coalition has now confirmed that Gears 5's multiplayer servers will feature a 60hz tick rate, the rate that servers update the player's game state per second. Gears 5 was previously confirmed to run at 60 fps on Xbox One, meaning that multiplayer servers and frame rate can attain parity. Additionally, The Coalition confirmed "Universal Weapon Tuning," which means that both competitive and casual multiplayer modes will have the same weapon balance. This is a change from Gears of War 4, which balanced weapons differently between the two.
Regarding Gears 5's monetization plans, The Coalition offered some more specific information just for clarity's sake. The key point remains that Gears 5 won't have a Season Pass and that multiplayer maps will be free in both matchmaking and private matches. Gears 5 will have microtransactions, but they will be available only through direct purchase. There will be no loot boxes or Gear Packs. There's no randomness involved with real money transactions.
Note that The Coalition has previously stated that there will be randomness involved with regards to earning cosmetics for free. Studio head Rod Fergusson compares them to Forza Horizon's "wheel spin," though a comparison to Overwatch also seems appropriate. Players will earn randomized Supply Drops through playing, but can also earn a currency called Scrap that will allow players to purchase specific cosmetics.
It's clear that The Coalition is heavily investing in both the single-player and multiplayer halves of Gears 5. The story campaign may be what Gears 5 is judged on at launch, but it'll be the multiplayer half that defines the game's longevity. That's especially true with the game being made available at launch through Xbox Game Pass. Gears 5 will be earning its value through microtransactions in multiplayer. As such, The Coalition is putting together a very straightforward and high-quality system that gets players invested quickly.
Gears of War fans won't have long to wait before they can find out if Gears 5 is what they want. Expect more information on the game in the weeks to come.
Gears 5 releases September 10 on PC and Xbox One.