Few videogame trailers have stuck with me over the years like that of the first Gears of War. I make it a point of order to go back and watch Marcus Fenix’s silent saunter through the streets of Sera, backed to perfection by Gary Jules’s iconic cover of Tears For Fears’ ‘Mad World,’ at least once a year. It’s quite possibly the best game trailer ever made, and now the rumors of a Gears of War Collection on Xbox have made me want to grab a Lancer and tango with a Corpser once more.
Originally released back in 2006, Gears of War quickly established itself as a mainstay in my early adolescent rotation of shooters. While Halo will forever remain the benchmark for narratives within the genre, for me, Gears is my Roman Empire – I’ll never stop thinking about Marcus and Delta Squad, as well as the comedic offing of everyone unfortunate to stem from the Carmine family tree. However, shortly after Gears 3 launched in 2011 I moved to the blue side, swapping out my Xbox 360 for a PS3. After that, I never took much of an interest in the current era of Gears, despite them now sitting among the best Xbox Game Pass games I could simply pick up and play with a sub.
But while I thought my years of getting dogged on in GameBattles lobbies and Supermanning kids for cellphone montages were behind me, the recent report that Gears would be getting the Halo Master Chief Collection treatment awoke something within me that had long laid dormant. The urge to put the Boomer in the hands of, well, this boomer, has once again arisen.
Although it’s been over four years since Gears 5 dropped – an unprecedented amount of time between installments within the series – the franchise has an exciting future ahead of it. In November we got an update that the Gears movie is still very much in the works, courtesy of Collider. Meanwhile, this month it was reported that The Coalition Studio had taken on several new hires who are believed to be working on Gears 6.
As such, the timing for a 2024 Gears of War Collection launch couldn’t be better to stoke the flames of nostalgia, while offering up a neat, bow-tied package for new players to hop into. Presumably, everything up to Judgment – the final Epic-led release before Coalition took the reigns – will be included. I can also imagine 2016’s Gears 4 will get the nod, though it’s currently unclear what the cutoff criteria are. 343’s Halo 4 was included in the Bungie-filled MCC, so we’ll have to wait and see what Xbox Games Studios has ordained.
Should we be in for a more expansive collection, then I can very much see myself wanting to get up to date with the Gears story for the first time in over a decade. As I reveled in playing the MCC front to back, I know for a fact that as soon as I see the Crimson Omen flash up on my screen again I won’t resurface until the binge is complete.
This desire is only bolstered by the prospect that the Gears Collection will get the Unreal Engine 5 treatment – a major technical undertaking that indicates that it’ll be a labor of love, rather than a quick cash grab. Coalition’s Ultimate Edition remaster of the original Gears back in 2015 did an excellent job of showcasing the best of UE3 visually, but to see it rebuilt in the latest version has me salivating.
Though there’s a litany of exquisite-looking new Xbox games for me to jump into this year, a revitalized Gears is the thing that’s gotten my COGs turning. The original Gears trilogy constitutes some of the best games ever made, and I’d love nothing more than to see a new generation of Gears players take up the Torque Bow and experience all the joy and despair I did growing up. We recently predicted five potential curveball announcements for the upcoming Xbox Developer Direct, but for me, a surprise announcement of this Gears of War Collection would trump them all.