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Gears Tactics: Everything we know so far, release date, trailers, news, and more

A boss battle in Gears Tactics
A boss battle in Gears Tactics (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

At the Game Awards 2019, Xbox showed off more of Gears Tactics, an upcoming turn-based tactical squad game that was first announced briefly back at E3 2018. Set long before the events of the first game, Gears Tactics tasks players with outfitting a squad and leading them into victory against a deadly, cunning Locust leader.

What is Gears Tactics?

Gears Tactics New March (Image credit: Microsoft)

Gears Tactics New March (Image credit: Microsoft)

Source: Microsoft

Gears Tactics is a turn-based game set in the Gears of War universe. You can think of it as Gears of War meets XCOM. It's being developed primarily by Splash Damage, with support from The Coalition. Splash Damage has been a support studio on the Gears franchise for years, working with The Coalition on Gears of War 4 and Gears 5.

Gears Tactics story

Gabe Diaz in Gears Tactics (Image credit: Microsoft)

Mikayla in Gears Tactics (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Sid in Gears Tactics (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Ukkon in Gears Tactics (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Source: Xbox Game Studios

Gears Tactics is set 12 years before the events of the first game, Gears of War. The story follows a squad led by Gabe Diaz. If that name sounds familiar, it should: he's the father of Kait Diaz, star of Gears 5. Gabe's squad is tasked with hunting down and killing Ukkon, a Locust breeding horrific monsters. Ukkon is responsible for creating many of the iconic Locust creatures, which are walking war machines. You can take a look at the Game Awards 2019 trailer below.

Gears Tactics gameplay and features

Gears Tactics gameplay (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Gears Tactics customization (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Gears Tactics New March (Image credit: Microsoft)

Source: Xbox Game Studios and Microsoft

Gears Tactics is a turn-based squad game, extremely similar to titles like the XCOM series. Here's everything we know about the gameplay so far.

  • Gears Tactics was primarily developed by Splash Damage, with support from The Coalition.
  • You can customize your squad's armor and weapons.
  • Your soldiers are divided into hero characters and random troops.
  • You can have a base called The Convoy, which is where you recruit new troops and customize their gear.
  • There are five classes we know of right now.
  • There are no microtransactions of any kind.
  • Boss battles will provide extra layers of challenge.
  • Like in XCOM, there is an Ironman mode which means all choices, wins and losses are permanent.
  • The campaign is advertised as being around 40 hours long.
  • There's plenty of graphics, UI and accessibility options.
  • The official art book is up for preorder.
  • Gears of War: Bloodlines (opens in new tab), an upcoming Gears book, will tie into the stories of Gears Tactics and Gears 5.

Our Senior Xbox Editor, Jez Corden, got a chance to preview the game recently. You can check out his thoughts here. Alternatively, you can watch the video preview below.

Is Gears Tactics a multiplayer game?

Gears Tactics New March (Image credit: Microsoft)

Gears Tactics New March (Image credit: Microsoft)

Source: Microsoft

No, Gears Tactics is a singeplayer story. At this time, there is no multiplayer of any kind planned, though we wouldn't be surprised to see some sort of head-to-head multiplayer mode come post-launch.

Is Gears Tactics coming to Xbox?

Gears Tactics (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Gears Tactics (Image credit: Microsoft)

Source: Microsoft

Yes. While the Xbox version won't be arriving at the same time as the PC version, Rod Fergusson, the former Head of The Coalition, has confirmed that an Xbox version is in development and will arrive at a later date.

Microsoft has confirmed that Gears Tactics will launch on November 10 for consoles, after a successful run on PC.

When is Gears Tactics release date and preorders live?

Gears Tactics is set to release on Xbox Game Pass for PC and Steam on April 28, 2020. You can preorder right now on both platforms. As with all Xbox Game Studios titles, it's included in Xbox Game Pass for PC. Anyone who preorders the game or plays it through Xbox Game Pass for PC by May 4, 2020, will receive a Thrashball Cole character pack for free.

Related: Read our Gears Tactics full review!

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Samuel Tolbert
Samuel Tolbert

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.