Gears 5 Gameplay Video Shows Off Updated Escalation Mode

Gears of War’s Escalation game mode is making a return in Gears 5, though it’s got some new features and system changes for returning Gears players to consider. It’s still a domination mode at its core, so you’ll still be capturing command points while fending off the enemy forces, but you’ll have to be more careful about how you play now that there are limited respawns. A new video from The Coalition that features just over four minutes of Escalation gameplay with commentary walks would-be Gears 5 players through the changes.

The most noticeable change to take note of in the video after you get the basics down is the one mentioned above: Limited respawns. While respawn timers would change previously in Escalation as the game went on, players are now limited by their own skill when it comes to how many times they can choose to respawn in the mode. Each player starts with five respawns to their name and must use one whenever they want to return during the same round. Players will get another respawn at the start of every round with the entire stock being refreshed at halftime, though you’ll still have to manage your respawns carefully.

Because there are now limited respawns, it also means there’s another win condition for each round. Capturing all three command points will still award a victory for that round, but so will wiping the enemy team. It’s easy to see how this could become a vicious cycle for players if one particularly bloody game wipes most of both teams’ respawns which would lead to each round afterward being decided by who can wipe the other team first.

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Weapon placements are back in Gears 5’s Escalation mode with each team able to impact the weapons that appear on the battlefield. Each team gets a number of weapon picks that can be used to place a weapon somewhere on the map, upgrade an existing weapon into better, more powerful tools, or block an enemy’s weapon placement. The way players spawn into each round has also been changed so that only two players have utility grenades at the start, so spending picks to give those options to the rest of the team or just to give them more powerful weapons are all factors players have to consider.

There are two opportunities for players to try out Escalation and other game modes in Gears 5 when the technical tests take place this month, so keep this walkthrough handy for when those dates come around so that you know what’s going on in the updated Escalation mode.