Gears of War follows the exploits of Marcus Fenix as he tries to save mankind from the Locust Horde. Marcus was once a decorated war hero, but after leaving his guard post during emergence day to warn his father, he was imprisoned for treason. Gears 2 follows the squad as they continue to push the fight to the Locust. Gears of War 3 wraps up the story arc.
- Player health is represented by a symbol called the "Crimson Omen" which emanates from the center of the screen.
- The Gears of War franchise has been expanded into novels, graphic novels, and plans for a feature film have been circulating for years.
After abandoning his post to save his father (and failing to do so), Marcus was sent to prison for life. However, after Emergence Day his good friend Dominic Santiago busted him out of jail to rejoin the war.
Dom is a good friend of Marcus and "bails" him out of jail at the beginning of the first game. Dom is unique in that he has a personal goal for fighting the war: locating his lost wife, Maria.
"The Coal Train" is a former thrashball player who joins the war to kick some Locust ass. He often thinks of the war as a game but is certainly capable of expressing fear when he feels it.
Baird is without a doubt the smartest member of Delta Squad (the squad that Marcus Fenix leads). He is capable of fixing vehicles and building a giant bomb. However, Baird was very upset when Fenix was promoted to squad leader and he wasn't.
Delta Squad would not have gotten very far without Anya. She provides vital intel to the squad and updates as their mission progresses. In Gears of War 3, Anya joins the fight with Marcus and the others and she is also a playable character in multiplayer.
The son of Marcus Fenix, JD went AWOL from the COG with his friend Del Walker and joined up with a group of Outsiders, citizens who live outside of COG rule.
One of JD's best friends and an Outsider, Kait is heavily devoted to her family. She was trained to fight by her uncle, Oscar Diaz, who was an ex-Gear.
Del met JD when the two were living within one of the COG's walled-in cities. He was inspired to run away from the COG with JD.
The only person above Hoffman is the Chairman. Hoffman is capable of fighting on the front lines if things turn from bad to worse. He gives orders to Marcus' squad throughout both games.
Jack is a flying robot capable of turning itself invisible so it doesn't get shot during fights. Whenever Delta Squad needs to open a door that they can't kick open, they call on Jack for assistance. In Gears 2, Jack was outfitted with a small screen that Anya could use to talk to Delta.
Release Date: November 7, 2006
The first game in the series helped to popularize third person cover-based gameplay. The story begins just 14 days after Emergence Day, in which the Locust horde began pouring onto the surface from underground. Marcus Fenix, along with Delta Squad, must deploy a Lightmass bomb underground in an attempt to destroy the Locust forces.
The game also had a host-based online competitive multiplayer component.
Gears of War was remastered by The Coalition as the Gears of War: Ultimate Edition and released on Xbox One in August 2015 and PC in March 2016.
Release Date: November 7, 2008
The second game in the series continues to emphasis cover-based shooting. After the Lightmass bomb in the first game failed to complete destroy the Locust, one of the last remaining safe havens for humanity, Jacinto, is under threat by the Locust who have begun sinking cities one by one. Marcus, the squad, and the entire COG army go on a massive counter-offensive to stop the horde from destroying Jacinto.
Gears of War 2 retains the online multiplayer from the first game and also introduces a new cooperative game mode called in Horde. In Horde, a team of five players battle waves of Locust on any of the game's multiplayer maps. The waves get harder and harder, and the health, accuracy, and damage done by the Locust increases every 10 waves.
Release Date: September 20, 2011
The third game in the series is the last in the trilogy and decides humanity's fate, as the dissolved Coalition of Ordered Governments struggle to survive against not only the Locust but also the spreading Lambent threat. The story is about Marcus' attempt to find his father, who reveals himself to be a alive in a recorded message. His father, Adam Fenix, claims to have developed a weapon that will completely eradicate the Lambent threat and possibly save the dying planet. The campaign can be played cooperatively and an Arcade mode has been added that allows players to play through the entire campaign with scoring.
Gears of War 3 greatly expanded the series' multiplayer component. The competitive multiplayer remains and has some new features, including the ability to select different starting weapons before a match and after a death as well as the ability to put custom skins on weapons. Horde mode returns and has a significant tower defense feel to it. Players now earn money from assists and kills which they can spend on fortifications like barriers, decoys, turrets, and more. All of the fortifications can be upgraded by spending money on them. The upgrades either reduce the cost of repairs or allow the player to construct better versions of the fortification. For example, the level 1 barrier is a set of caltrops but can be upgraded into razor wire or lasers.
A new addition is Beast mode, which is essentially Horde in reverse. Players take control of a variety of Locust forces, including Boomers, mini Corpsers, and Tickers, and must defeat increasingly large groups of Stranded and COG forces who have barricaded themselves behind fortifications. There are 12 waves and players unlock additional tiers of Locust as they progress through the match, eventually getting the ability to play as a Berserker (although it costs over $5000 to do so).
Release Date: October 11, 2016
Gears of War 4 is the first mainline game in the series to be developed by The Coalition and the first mainline entry for the Xbox One. The game is set two decades after the end of the Locust War in Gears of War 3 and features a new cast of characters. The protagonist is Marcus Fenix's son, JD Fenix. Together with his friends, he faces the emergence of a new enemy called the Swarm while also dealing with the authoritarian rule of the COG. The game's story takes place over the course of a single night as the team searches for the mother of Kait Diaz, one of the new characters.
Gears of War 4 features new enemies, weapons, and abilities, like pulling enemies over cover and executing them. Horde mode returns with the addition of the Fabricator, a box from which fortifications are purchased. The box can be carried by two players to anywhere on the map should the team decide to relocate.
Release Date: September 10, 2019
Gears 5 focuses on the story of Kait Diaz as she uncovers the origins of the Locust and of her own family. The game introduces a new mode called Escape, which has players fighting through groups of enemies to make it to safe rooms, similar to the Left 4 Dead series. Escape features an in-game map builder for players to create their own levels.
On March 20, 2007, New Line Cinema announced that they purchased rights to a Gears of War film. New Line Cinema announced that Stuart Beattie, Marty Bowen, and Wyck Godfrey would be writing the film, while Godfrey will also be producing the film. The film was also announced for a 2009 release, though it was soon delayed to 2010 with the filming beginning in 2009. Gears of War creator Cliff Bleszinski announced he would be serving as the executive producer for the film. A few months later, Live Free or Die Hard director Len Wiseman, known for "Live Free or Die Hard and "Underworld," was announced as the director of the film. The film was rumored to be a prequel to the first game.
On Dec. 17, 2010, Mike Capps revealed that Len Wiseman was no longer attached to the project but the movie was still in preproduction.
The purported Gears of War movie was again confirmed to be in development at Universal in October 2016. In June 2019, Rod Fergusson, studio head for The Coalition, told IGN that the movie would be set in an alternate reality, explaining that, "In order for the movie to be successful, it has to be a great movie first and a Gears movie second."
There have been two published novels and three more scheduled in the Gears of War universe. All are written by Karen Traviss, the New York Times best-selling writer of the Star Wars: Republic Commando novel series. The first three books were published by Del Rey Books. Coalition's End and the 5th untitled book are to be published by Simon & Schuster. Karen Traviss has since also gone on to become the lead writer for Gears of War 3.
- Aspho Fields: Published October 28, 2008. The book details the war altering battle at Aspho Fields during the Pendulum War, 17 years ago, and the events immediately following the end of Gears of War. When former COG Sgt. Bernadette Mataki arrives in Jacinto, old wounds are reopened for Dom and Marcus. What really happened 17 years ago on Aspho Fields that cost Dom's brother, Carlos, his life?
- Jacinto's Remnant : Published July 29, 2009. Taking place immediately after the events of Gears of War 2, the book follows the Coalition of Ordered Government and the remaining Jacinto survivors, begin their search for a safe haven while fending off the remainder of the Locust Horde. Like the previous book, Jacinto's Remnant also follows two storylines, the first being the current events of Gears of War and the second being a flashback to 13 years ago, or, 13 months post-Emergence Day.
- Anvil Gate: Published August 31, 2010. What's left of the COG army faces off against the Stranded Insurgency, before the two decide to unite against the Lambent Invasion. Following the trend the last two books in the series set, the secondary storyline found in Anvil Gate focuses on a major battle during the Pendulum Wars, the Siege of Anvil Gate; where a then Lieutenant Victor Hoffman led a group of Pesang troops and Gears in an all-out siege on the facility "Anvil Gate".
- Coalition's End: Published August 2, 2011.
Sold to Microsoft
On January 27th, 2014 Microsoft announced that it had bought the Gears of War property from Epic Games. At the same time, it was announced that future installments of the game would be handled by The Coalition, formerly known as Black Tusk Studios.