Gears 5 is out today, but it's technically been available to all owners of the Ultimate Edition and Xbox Live Game Pass Ultimate users since September 5. Unfortunately, the early launch was marred with issues, like players not being able to find multiplayer matches or not being able to connect to the servers.
Over the last five days, The Coalition has been making fixes and posting regular Twitter updates, and it looks like the team has managed to resolve a lot of them before the official launch, but not all of them. It's still looking into missing collectibles and chapter progression, and players are still reporting other issues.
To make up for the problems, the developer announced on Twitter that players will get five days of Boost and 600 scrap, which should appear in the next couple of days.
As a token of our appreciation for your patience and support during this weekend’s Early Access, we’re awarding 5 days of Boost (Faster progression) and 600 scrap (Craft Skills or Supply cards). Look out for it in the next 48 hours.Thank you so much playing Gears 5!September 10, 2019
This is far from the first game with a complicated release schedule and soft launch that went wrong, and it once again raises questions about what these early access launches are for. These aren't like Steam Early Access launches, where the game could be months or years away from release. In the case of Anthem, Gears and others, they were merely days away, so there's an expectation that everything is largely ready. But ultimately players still end up being testers and bug hunters, troubleshooting instead of playing.
Despite the problems, however, Phil Iwaniuk still found plenty to like about the shooter in his Gears 5 review.
"Across its generous swathe of Campaign, Versus, Escape and Horde modes, it's still deeply gratifying to let the aforementioned chainsaw bayonet loose on a gibbering Juvie or outmanoeuvre a throng of Swarm and rip into their turned backs with a car-sized Mulcher. The Metal Slug-style active reload, which gives your weapon a boost when you time your reload perfectly, still excites on a primal level, adding an extra wrinkle and a chance to feel adept where most games are happy to have you sit passively and do the reloading for you. Familiar, yes, but fun."