IntroductionGears 5 is the sixth installment in the Gears of War franchise from Microsoft Xbox Game Studios. Originally, the series was an Xbox-exclusive, but with Microsoft's push for interoperability between its Xbox and Windows PC platforms, and the introduction of Xbox Game Pass for PC, the company reconsidered. The PC release is not only available on Microsoft Store (which a lot of gamers hate), but also on Steam, which will definitely help reach a wider audience. Both platforms feature an optional high-resolution texture pack that makes the game come alive at higher resolutions, such as 4K.
A third-person shooter with certain FPS elements, Gears 5 follows the events of Gears of War 4 with Kait Diaz taking the lead as the protagonist Gears soldier. This mysterious outsider is connected to the Locust and must uncover dark secrets about the faction and her own origins. The main Gears characters JD, Walker, and Marcus, make a return as playable characters or NPCs in parts of the campaign that are cooperative.
Besides the main campaign, Gears 5 introduces the "Escape" gameplay mode in which three cooperative characters, dubbed Hivebusters, are dropped into a Locust hive to destroy all Locust presence in the location and then EXFIL. The "Horde" and "Versus" modes also make a return.
Based on the cross-platform Unreal Engine 4, Gears 5 takes advantage of DirectX 12 and rewards fast PC hardware with plenty of eye candy in vast post-apocalyptic landscapes. The game also runs on Windows 7 thanks to a DirectX-12-translation layer. Game developers "The Coalition" have made excellent use of the Unreal Engine feature-set. Gears 5 uses Asynchronous Compute, multi-threaded Command Buffers, and will be updated with support for AMD FidelityFX in the near future. The game is included in Microsoft's Game Pass Bundle, which means AMD gamers who get a free three-month game pass coupon can play it now.
In this review, we put Gears 5 through our selection of 23 graphics cards across the 1080p, 1440p, and 4K Ultra HD resolutions to show you what it takes to pull the most out of Xbox Studios' crown jewel.