presentation at Microsoft’s Inside Xbox Gamescom showcase revealed a selection of new features, including the return of Horde mode and a Halo: Reach character pack.Horde mode returns in a familiar guise with a few modern additions. Once again players will team up in squads to fend off waves of increasingly stronger enemies and bosses, but this time each player takes on the role of a unique character with Ultimate abilities. For example. JD can call in an airstrike, and Kait can use a cloak.
Together, the team can build defenses, collect power, and level up skills to become a more effective force. Alongside classic hero characters, players can also play as Jack in Horde mode. The squad’s robot pal doesn’t require cover and can buff nearby allies or hack enemies. More characters will be added over time.
In addition, a new feature called Power Taps encourages players to relocate their bases to other areas of the map in order to harvest power and rewards.
It’s not just Gears characters that you’ll be able to play as in Gears 5; the Halo: Reach character pack allows players to take on the role of Spartan soldiers Emile-A239 and Kat-B320 in both Horde and Versus modes. The pack also contains a variety of Noble Team-themed cosmetics including a Jack Skin, a Team Banner, and a weapon set. The pack is included in both the Ultimate Edition of Gears 5 and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
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Gears 5 is also coming to Steam on PC, not just the Windows Store. What’s more, the Steam version supports cross-platform multiplayer, so you won’t be stuck playing with just other Steam users. You can pre-order the Steam version right now.
Finally, a clothing collaboration with AAPE by A Bathing Ape was announced, and purchases of Gears 5 clothing will also unlock some in-game cosmetics, including a Black Camo Lancer weapon skin. The clothing line will launch August 30.
If you’ve not yet picked up and Xbox, this Gears 5 Limited Edition Xbox One X might be the console for you. You can get an in-depth look at the Gears 5 Escape mode, but don’t expect it to contain any cigarette smoke; all smoking has been removed after the developers spoke with an anti-tobacco group.
Matt Purslow is IGN’s UK News and Entertainment Writer. You can follow him on Twitter.