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Default Gears Tactics Initial Impressions

May 23rd, 2020, 00:58
Hello Everyone!

I just started playing the recently released Gears Tactics, my first foray into the Gears of War franchise So I want to share my first impressions and, when possible, to make a comparison with Firaxis' vanilla XCOM2.
  • Gears Tactics has 5 classes (Heavy, Scout, Snioper, Support and Vanguard) and each one has, for lack of a better term, 4 "skill paths". E.g. the protagonist Gabe Diaz (seen below) is a Support character and you can choose to develop him towards either Combat Medic, Paragon, Strategist or Surgeon, and yes, you can buy skills from any of these paths, given you have the pre-requisite(s) and the required number of skill points to do so.



  • Instead of the traditional "Auto Detect Graphics" button, the game has a benchmark tool you can launch in order to see how your PC will perform (you can see below my results screen). If you're into this kind of thing, the whole "video settings" menu is quite extensive. As an added nice touch, the game sports its own built-in FPS counter.



  • The Act 1 Chapter 1 works as game tutorial and it is lengthier and more freeform than the XCOM2's on-rails one.

  • You can find cases (like the one below) which will reward you with items that will improve your equipment.



  • The first big change you'll notice when compared to XCOM2 is that Gears Tactics uses a 3 Action Points system which you can split between Move, Shoot and/or Skill using, in any order you want (XCOM2 has only 2 APs). Also, in Gears Tactics shooting or thowing a grenade usually doesn't end your Soldier's turn. If one of our soldiers performs a finisher move called Execution on a downed enemy all of our other teammates (i.e. everyone else except for the soldier who performed the Execution) are granted +1 bonus AP for that turn only, which is very nice because our soldiers' number of AP may end up increasing by a few points in a given round.

  • Your soldiers have an unlimited number of resources (e.g. frag grenades) and skill uses (e.g. healing a partner) but be warned: the game has a lenghty cooldown between uses. So, use them with caution

  • Overwatch is another big change between Gears Tactics and XCOM2. Here, overwatch is a cone-shaped area (see below) and the enemy has to step into this cone or perform an action within it for overwatch to trigger, and it will trigger once per remaining number of APs that the soldier has left when entered overwatch state. So always pay attention to the number of shots left in the overwatching soldier's magazine as well as the Action Points he/she still has left.



  • Be aware that overwatch is also used a lot by Locust enemies. Just by simply damaging an enemy doesn't automatically interrupt its overwatching state. There are specific shots aimed to take an enemy out of her overwatch state and some classes have specific skills that doesn't trigger it (e.g. Scout's Cloak ability).

  • A pity Gears Tactics doesn't have the slow-mo cam when overwatch is triggered like XCOM2 does. I never got tired to see my XCOM2 soldiers shooting in overwatch mode while the whole scene goes slow-motion.

  • Unfortunately (for me, at least) Gears Tactics lacks any base management. Yes, you read it correctly: no base building, no researchs etc. But in return, I found its combat much more tactical than XCOM2's.

  • For you lovers of timed objectives, Act 1 Chapter 3 brings the first one (which is perfectly doable, I still had 3 turns left - I'm playing the game in Experienced difficulty level).

All in all, I liked the major improvements that Gears Tactics brought over XCOM2. No, don't get me wrong, I'm still a huge fan of XCOM2 but there's no denying that the 3 Action Points system (where just by simply shooting won't end your soldier's turn) and the cone-shaped overwatch (no more firings all across the entire map with near-zero chances to hit an enemy) are a welcome breath of fresh air in the tactical aspect of combat.

So, if you're a fan of this kind of game I can't help but recommend it. Yeah, I know its price is too steep and I wouldn't buy it if not for a huge discount, but if you're subscribed to Xbox PC Game Pass (as I am) make your subscription worth your money and go play it right now.

Best served hearing Rolling Stones' Paint It Black

[Edit: included bullet point about timed mission]
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Last edited by henriquejr; May 24th, 2020 at 17:55.
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May 23rd, 2020, 11:06
Thank you for your first impressions, henriquejr!
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May 23rd, 2020, 16:22
Well, some of that is in XCOM. Snipers can overwatch in a cone, skirmishers can shoot-then-move, and so on. You can get some cross training, too. I get what you mean, though.

XCOM could definitely use some overwatch help, though. I was having some fun last night dropping Lost lures on Advent but my soldiers kept picking Lost off of them!

Originally Posted by henriquejr View Post
I never got tired to see my XCOM2 soldiers shooting in overwatch mode while the whole scene goes slow-motion.
I hear that!
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May 23rd, 2020, 17:36
Originally Posted by Zloth View Post
Well, some of that is in XCOM. Snipers can overwatch in a cone, skirmishers can shoot-then-move, and so on. You can get some cross training, too. I get what you mean, though.
Zloth, I purposefully wanted to compare Gears Tactics to vanilla XCOM2 because I have yet to play XCOM2 with War of the Chosen enabled. I don't know XCOM2 WotC new classes, new classes skills etc, I have this expansion in my library but I haven't touched it (and yeah, I know I should )

What I wrote in the OP was like: in Gears Tactics every class by defaut does cone-shaped overwatch and can shoot-run-shoot or shoot-shoot-shoot etc, whereas in vanilla XCOM2 (again, in vanilla XCOM2), a soldier must meet a pre-req if he/she wants to do so (e.g. Ranger's Run and Gun ability).

Specifically speaking of Action Points, I never understood why XCOM2 took this "if you soldier shoots then her turn is over" road. After all, if I have 2 APs why can't I normally shoot + run, or shoot + shoot? At first, I was kinda confused by this design but then I got used to it and I came to enjoy the IMHO great game XCOM2 is. But I do acknowledge that Gears Tactics' 3 AP system, the way it is implemented, it's an evolution over XCOM2.
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Last edited by henriquejr; May 23rd, 2020 at 19:05.
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May 23rd, 2020, 18:52
<shrug> Why can a bishop only move diagonally in chess and a rook only move along the grain? Because that choice limitation makes you have to think about what piece you should be putting where and it makes it possible to think about what your opponent will do, too. Imagine if you played a game of chess where each side had one king and 15 queens!

And yes, of course you need to play War of the Chosen! It adds a bunch to the game. (Even if the chosen do prattle on way too much.)
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May 24th, 2020, 13:17
Remains to be seen the appreciation of boss battles.
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May 24th, 2020, 15:56
Originally Posted by ChienAboyeur View Post
Remains to be seen the appreciation of boss battles.
I'm in the beginning of Act 1 Chapter 4 and I didn't battle any boss yet. Should I fight the first one, I can post my impressions here.
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May 24th, 2020, 16:12
[Edited the OP to include another bullet point ]
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Last edited by henriquejr; May 24th, 2020 at 16:29.
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