Gears 5's Escalation is the series' 'most intense competitive mode to date'

If you've ever thought that Gears of War's multiplayer is too simplistic, The Coalition is trying to change your mind with Gears 5. A recent blog post and video from the developer breaks down how its marquee competitive mode, Escalation, is changing for Gears 5.

Escalation is a round-based game of elimination with limited respawns. Players fight for control over three objectives while carefully using their pool of respawns. If all points are captured or all members of a team are dead at once, the round ends. Every round, the respawn timer lowers and teams hand pick where new power weapons are placed on the map.

"Escalation in Gears 5 is the most intense competitive mode to date," said multiplayer design director Ryan Cleven.

Power weapons are super important in the Gears meta, so it makes sense that half of Escalation's depth comes from their strategic placement. Teams can use a one-time ban to disable a weapon spawn for three rounds, and you can also choose to upgrade existing weapons on the map. And unlike Gears of War 4, weapons don't reset at halftime: "The more rounds of Escalation that play out, the more lethal the battlefield becomes."

Even from the outside, Escalation looks fascinating. It's got some of the tactical meta of Counter-Strike, but seems styled toward the classic Gears multiplayer setup. Fans can try out Escalation and more in Gears 5's upcoming multiplayer tech test starting July 19.

Morgan Park
Staff Writer

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.