Gears Tactics, the X-COM-inspired turn-based-strategy prequel to Microsoft’s long-running and highly-acclaimed Gears of War franchise has just recently gone Gold, which means that the final, physical game disc has been sent to manufacturing. Originally released on Windows PC and Steam in late April, the title is slated to launch on November 10th alongside the release of the Xbox Series X and S consoles, and will be playable on Xbox One consoles as well. This launch appears to be indicative of how Microsoft intends to approach Xbox platform-exclusive releases within the framework of its increasingly hardware-agnostic ecosystem, which may not always result in a newly-developed game releasing on Xbox Consoles and PC at the same time.
Much like Microsoft Flight Simulator (which has yet to see release on Xbox), Gears Tactics was first built from the ground up for PC, as developers Splash Damage and mainline Gears studio The Coalition were focused on creating a “premium PC experience first and foremost”, according to the game’s Design Director Tyler Bielman in a March 2020 IGN interview. Its natural to surmise that future Xbox exclusives may see occasional but similar staggered releases between PC and Xbox depending on where they might be best received, what hardware their gameplay innately lends itself to and what is in the best interest of those projects overall.
Nevertheless, fans who have been waiting for Gears Tactics to arrive on Xbox are being rewarded for their patience. Players who pre-order the game on Xbox or play it via Game Pass before December 4th will receive a bonus “Thrashball Cole Character Pack” which includes legendary Gears character Augustus Cole as an optional recruit for your squad as well as a “Thrashball Armor Set” with rare abilities. 11 new Achivements are being added, brining the total Gamerscore up from 1000 to 1400, as well as new enemies, equipment and “enhanced” Xbox controls. The Gears franchise’s signature robot companion, Jack, will also now be in the game as part of your squad as well.
Xbox owners who are itching to hit the ground running with Gears Tactics right away on November 10th can pre-download the game now. The PC version of the game currently enjoys a Metacritc score of 80 and we at CGMag tend to agree, giving it an identical score.