Gears Tactics is a turn-based tactics game from Splash Damage that combines the Gears of War universe with X-COM strategy game mechanics. Set just a year after Emergence Day, Gabriel Diaz is forced out of self-imposed exile and back to the front lines in order to kill Ukkon, the Locust responsible for creating the bigger, more terrifying creatures the Gears universe is known for.
Lacking personnel and equipment, Gabe recruits soldiers and civilians into his ranks to steal supplies and gain intel on how to reach his target. High-quality cinematics convey most of the plot, with character voice-over during gameplay providing additional context. In keeping with the other Gears titles, the cast of gritty, muscle-bound soldiers remain likeable due to good voice acting and quippy writing. The story doesn’t break any new ground but fits neatly in the lore and matches the franchise tone perfectly.
Gears Tactics is one of the best translations of one genre to another I’ve ever played. The benefit of having many other games to use as inspiration and the backing of first-party production value give it a degree of polish you don’t see often in a turn-based tactics game. It’s a lengthy adventure containing 22 chapters spread out over 3 Acts. And while it doesn’t innovate or push the gameplay forward, it does take this new surrounding and make it feel like home.
Gears Tactics is out now on PC for $59.99 and included in Xbox Game Pass for PC.
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Review copy provided by the publisher. Reviewed on PC.