Gears 5 has some levels that are more open than the usually linear setup for past Gears of War games. Those levels allow for more exploration than just checking the ground for resources and being funneled through a level, and when designing those moments, Gears 5's developers took some cues from Sony's God of War. The Coalition said the PlayStation 4 exclusive was "such a fun game to play" and provided some cues for how they should craft these open levels in Gears 5.
Speaking to The Telegraph about the decision to open up some of Gears 5's playgrounds, The Coalition's art director Aryan Hanbeck cited God of War as one of the big inspirations for the designs. Hanbeck acknowledged that the two types of levels aren't exactly the "same scenario" but pointed out what the God of War levels did well and how those strengths were adapted to Gears of War.
"For me, God of War was a big one," Hanbeck said when asked what inspired these more open levels. "They're not exactly the same scenario we have, but they do such a good job of pointing you to specific places, giving you visual cues that are consistent throughout the whole game. And it was such a fun game to play that we really took a lot of a lot of little cues from that, but tweaked to make sure it fits our experience."
One of the more open spaces Gears 5 players will encounter is a level that's been showcased in promos for the game, one that looks starkly different than the normal Gears of War settings. It's a big red desert where players navigate the surroundings with a vehicle that serves as a means for exploration. A similar system exists in a frozen environment. Past Gears of War games have offered limited decisions to be made, so even though it's not a full-blown open world like other games have, it's a noticeable change.
It's also one that's not too different from 2018's God of War that completely changed the formula for the iconic PlayStation series. Kratos and his son, Atreus, were able to roam through different areas and revisit them later as powers were unlocked to better explore them. It's an example of a pivoted series you'd hardly fault others for wanting to imitate in at least some way.
Gears 5 is already available in some regions for those who have the Ultimate Edition and will complete its early access rollout on September 6th. The standard edition of the game will be released on September 10th.