Gears 5 has been out for over a year, and to be honest, the post-launch support has been a little underwhelming. Since last September, we’ve had multiple operations to deliver content, but in that time we’ve only seen three genuinely new 5v5 maps and a handful of remakes. With Gears 5 Operation Hollow Storm, developer The Coalition is delivering almost as much in one swoop.
Gears 5‘s fifth operation brings five maps, seven characters, and some changes to the way classes work in PvE modes. There’s two new maps, Nexus and Regency, alongside three returning maps. The much-requested River from Gears of War 2 finally makes its return, alongside the Gears 4 versions of Gridlock and Clocktower. Again, there’s a lot of returning content in here, but previous operations have only delivered two or three maps total, so we’re satisfied with five.
The new character list is another mix of old and new. Dizzy, Tai and the Locust Skorge all return from Gears of War 2. Anya’s Gears of War 3 model will also be added, alongside a selection of Lambent Locust. To coincide with the Operation Hollow Storm launch, Gabe Diaz from Gears Tactics will also be added. To acquire Gabe in Gears 5, you’ll have to play through the Gears Tactics tutorial.
The final major pillar of Operation 5 is the separation of class and character. Since launch, class types for modes like Horde and Escape have been tied to a specific character model. This means that to play a certain role, you were forced to pick the character tied to said role. This might sound fairly standard, but Gears games have always allowed players to pick whatever character they want, for each mode. From Hollow Storm onwards, players will be able select a class, and then the character they want to pair with it.
Gears 5 is going through a bit of a relaunch at present. The Coalition delivered updated versions for Microsoft’s new consoles, and a story DLC was announced last month. Gears 5 Operation Hollow Storm launches today, November 17, and the patch notes are available online.