Gears of War is coming back with Marcus and Dom in an Emergence Day prequel: 'It’s going to feel like a new Gears game, because that’s what it is'

Today's Xbox Games Showcase wrapped up with a bang: A new Gears of War is on the way—and it's a prequel.

"Experience the brutal horror of Emergence Day through the eyes of Marcus Fenix in the origin story of one of gaming's most acclaimed sagas," Microsoft said. 

"Fourteen years before Gears of War, war heroes Marcus Fenix and Dom Santiago return home to face a new nightmare: the Locust Horde. These subterranean monsters, grotesque and relentless, erupt from below, laying siege on humanity itself."

And as the trailer wraps up and the slow piano kicks in, it reminds us that this new game really is a return to the beginning: It's a mad, mad world, alright.

"It’s going to feel like a new Gears game, because that’s what it is," creative director Matt Searcy said. "It’s us revisiting the tone and the feeling of what makes Gears great, but we’re tapping into new techniques, new processes, and new technology that’s going to make the gameplay feel better than ever. It’s going to be awesome, a game that feels both truly new, and authentically Gears."

But Gears of War: E-Day also promises to deliver a very different perspective on the series: "We’re telling the origin story of Marcus and Dom and their bond… this is the bond that defines the franchise," Searcy said. "They’re not the characters we know from Gears 1 to 3. They don’t have 10 years of fighting the Locust between them. When the game opens, there’s supposed to be peace on Sera, and they’re trying to figure out life without this person they both loved. People are going to see the formation of this brotherhood that is so iconic to Gears."

"They are a lot more vulnerable, and I think that’s a really modern take on those two characters," brand director Nicole Fawcette added. "There’s a weight they carry between them, and that creates a really interesting tension as they navigate their own relationship."

That newness will also carry over to The Locust: Locust Drones like the one Marcus fights in the trailer had basically become "cannon fodder" over the course of the Gears games, but for E-Day it's been transformed into something "fearsome, physically intimidating, and utterly brutal," reflecting the fact that Coalition forces are encountering them for the first time.

Original Gears of War lead designer Cliff Bleszinksi likes what he saw, saying on Twitter that the new trailer gave him "chills."

(Image credit: Cliff Bleszinski (Twitter))

He also predicted "a heart wrenching scene where we see Dom rushing to save Maria before she gets taken," reminding us all of this absolute (and sadly-deleted) blast from the past:

(Image credit: Cliff Bleszinski (Twitter))

There's no release target yet—the website hasn't even been updated to acknowledge the existence of the new game at this point—but we'll keep our eyes open and let you know when we know.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.