Gears of War: E-Day revealed in Xbox Showcase at Summer Game Fest

Gears of War: E-Day revealed in Xbox Showcase at Summer Game Fest

It’s been five years since Gears 5, the most recent mainline Gears of War game, and a lot of fans had been straight-up wondering if there was ever even going to be another Gears of War game. The Coalition, the Xbox Game Studios developer that makes Gears of War games, finally revealed a new game in the series called Gears of War: E-Day.

The moody cinematic trailer, which even includes a brief clip of Gary Jules’ “Mad World” cover that appeared in an old, iconic trailer for the first Gears of War, depicts two Gears soldiers fighting Locust enemies. It looks like this game’s story will be a prequel to the first Gears of War game, as one of the two Gears is wearing Marcus Fenix’s headwrap and looks like he’s a young version of the famous character who starred in the original trilogy of Gears of War games (and still appears as an older advisory character in the latter-day Gears games). The other Gears soldier appears to be a young version of Dom, Marcus’ BFF from the original games. The game’s “E-Day” title, which refers to the original day that the Locust showed up, further cements the prequel idea and tells us exactly when this game is happening.

The first three Gears of War games, all made by Epic Games, were an exclusive staple of the Xbox lineup in the late 2000s and 2010s. The games popularized the cover shooter genre as well as “horde mode,” a survival mode in which players face endless waves of enemies and try to stay alive as long as they can. Gears games weren’t the first to do either of these types of gameplay, but they are still perhaps the most popular examples of both. After the release of the initial trilogy, though, a few things changed. The games’ lead designer Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games in 2012, and in 2014, the Gears of War license was acquired by Xbox Game Studios.

Most fans (including this author) agree that the very first Gears game post-acquisition, Gears of War 4, was a rocky transition and didn’t “feel” quite like a Gears game, tone-wise. Gears 5 managed to recapture a lot of the magic of the originals while also introducing some new stuff (like open world sections, which are weird for a Gears game but not un-fun). It’s very interesting to see the Coalition returning to E-Day and clearly trying to evoke the feel and the look of the original Gears of War trilogy.

As for how the Coalition has spent its time since developing Gears 5, it definitely wasn’t just an immediate dive into Gears of War: E-Day. Instead, the studio made Gears Tactics (2020), a turn-based strategy game set in the Gears universe; and The Coalition was also tapped to help in the development of Halo Infinite. If there were ever going to be an announcement of a Gears of War game in 2024, fans would have expected it to be Gears 6, a straight-up sequel to Gears 5, so this announcement comes as a surprise all around.