The Gears of War franchise is undoubtedly one of the most important in Microsoft's library, but it has never truly stepped out of its third-person cover shooter wheelhouse. That, however, is about to change, with a pair of drastically different games announced in the Gears of War franchise as part of the Xbox E3 2018 press conference.
Perhaps the main takeaway for Gears of War fans was the full reveal of Gears of War 5, a game that certainly looks close to the exciting gameplay that the franchise is known for. Along with the reveal of Halo Infinite, it was Microsoft showcasing perhaps its two most well-regarded action franchises in one place. That said, the Gears of War announcements didn't end just there.
Instead, two further games in the Gears of War property were confirmed. The first is a mobile title that has a somewhat bizarre crossover - the Gears of War franchise and the cutesy Funko POP! figurines. The two are coming together to create a mobile title called Gears POP!, which is due to release in 2019 for iOS and Android devices. The trailer to the game can be seen above.
The other game revealed as part of the Xbox press conference was Gears Tactics, which again takes the series in a different direction. Gears Tactics looks set to be a XCOM-esque tactical game set in the Gears universe, complete with customizable squads and turn-based strategy mechanics. It's worth noting that this is the first Gears of War game that has been designed specifically for PC players, too.
At the moment, few details are known about either game, although it's fair to say that Gears POP! is much more up in the air in terms of confirmed details. However, it's interesting to note that a pre-E3 rumor about three Gears of War games being announced has proved true - albeit a rumor that did suggest one of the games would be a Battle Royale title.
It's still early days on both of these projects, at least in terms of public consciousness, and over time it will be interesting to see how both titles develop. Although many long-term fans of the series may not be as concerned about the mobile title, Gears Tactics could be a very interesting project indeed, and the squad-based focus of the main line of Gears games could transfer well into the strategy market. After all, if Halo can find success with Halo Wars, why couldn't Gears of War follow suit?