Gears 5 just released a little over a month ago, but The Coalition is already looking ahead to the next entry in the long-running franchise. Gears 6 has yet to be officially announced, but since the Gears of War franchise is one of Microsoft's flagship series, its release is just a matter of "when." Substantial news on Gears 6 is likely years away, but we may already know one of its inspirations, and it comes from an unexpected place.
Gears 5 art director Aryan Hanbeck recently appeared on the Wassup Conversations podcast, hosted by video game composer Hamidreza Nikoofar. On the podcast, Hanbeck revealed that The Coalition artists are being asked to watch the Hulu TV series The Handmaid's Tale. "The composition, the color, and just the cinematography and symbolism is just off the charts. So, I watched that and I'm like, 'Wow, we gotta find a way to get more of this stuff in Gears 6.'"
From a gameplay and story perspective, Gears 6 should be firmly rooted in what the franchise has established so far. However, it sounds like the game's visuals will be taking more than a few cues from The Handmaid's Tale. Needless to say, it will be exciting to see what the final product looks like.
As for what Gears 6 will entail, that remains to be seen. One has to imagine that it will retain the basic gameplay formula that the Gears of War series has found so much success with in the past, and it will continue the story where Gears 5 left off. However, the alternate endings in Gears 5 may make the Gears 6 story a bit trickier than usual for The Coalition, and it will be interesting to see how it handles the choices players had to make at the end of the last game.
When Gears 6 is finally announced, it will likely be announced as a Project Scarlett game. After all, Microsoft's Project Scarlett console is expected to launch in the holiday season of 2020, and Gears 6 will probably won't be announced for another year or two after that. So it may be a couple of E3s before we get to see how The Handmaid's Tale has influenced Gears 6's art style.
Gears 6 is not officially announced.