The Coalition has tossed out season passes and Gear Packs for Gears 5, the developer has announced. It says it's making a "player-first experience", which means there will be more ways to unlock and play with with new items and maps.
Speaking of maps, all DLC maps will be free in both matchmaking and private play, so you'll always be able to play with your mates. Gears of War 4 also unlocked DLC maps in multiplayer, but to get access to them in private matches you had to buy the season pass.
While Gear Packs, Gears' version of loot boxes, won't be reappearing and the cosmetic cash shop contains no RNG, you can still get random rewards through supply drops. Every minute played contributes towards a random item drop. There's no way to buy supply drops, however, and duplicates turn into scrap that can be used to craft more supply items.
Gears 5 also introduces the Tour of Duty system. It's essentially a free battle pass. Expect daily challenges and seasonal medals that you can rank up to unlock cosmetic rewards, but unlike your typical battle pass, there isn't a premium track. Leaderboard placements in Escape and Versus modes will also let you earn Tour of Duty rewards.
XP and supply drop boosts will be for sale, and exclusive cosmetics will be available in a cash shop. Iron, Gears 5's premium currency, will also be doled out in a limited amount through each Tour of Duty, so you should still be able to make the occasional purchase without spending real cash.
No loot boxes and maps for everyone should keep prospective players happy, and a free battle pass is a very nice surprise. I've never bought a battle pass in my life, so this is going to be a novelty.
Gears 5 is due out on September 10.
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Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.
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