Parents' Guide to

Gears Tactics

By Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Turn-based action game is bloody, gory, relentlessly brutal.

Game Windows , Xbox One 2020
Gears Tactics Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 18+

Based on 1 parent review

age 18+

Screw up video game; too much gore and violence

M: strong violence/blood, language, and brutal deaths. I was not a big fan of this video game; it had too much violence for even my 17+ year old boy. He had some nightmare for a moth. There is also a lot of gun-violence and blood with plenty of language. I am positively sure that whoever made this... is well a d***k.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (1 ):

Clearly owing a debt of inspiration to XCOM, another popular turn-based franchise, this game's done such a fine job of improving what it's borrowed that it's earned its own place within the genre. Gears Tactics' formula will be familiar to many: move units into defensive positions, set them to overwatch in case any enemies come into view, and use flanking and teamwork tactics to pick off enemies while taking minimal damage. If a soldier dies, they're gone forever, so caution's key. Half the fun is forming an attachment to your recruits as you customize them, unlock new skills and better weapon modifications, and watch them grow into fearsome fighting machines. Losing them can be painful. But Gears Tactics isn't quite as brutal and unforgiving as you might expect, or at least not on lower difficulty settings. Incapacitated recruits can be revived more easily mid-mission than in other games (they can even revive themselves the first time), and they don't need time to recover from their wounds between missions.

And while Gears Tactics is much slower paced than other Gears games, it plays faster than many other turn-based strategy games. Enemies' turns typically take just a few seconds to complete, which keeps players engaged. The tactics at your disposal are impressive, too. For example, the series' signature executions have been turned into opportunities to give other squad members additional action points. Risking an execution when things seem dire can turn around a losing battle by bringing the rest of the squad back into the fight to each do one more thing. Gears' set piece boss battles, meanwhile, are appropriately desperate, with enemies like the towering Brumak and Corpser keeping allies on the brink of defeat over multiple turns as they run from cover to cover, avoiding smaller minions while trying to keep damaging the hulking beasts. A minor complaint might be lodged at the between-mission interface, which is a bit clunky and can make managing recruits wearisome, but the effort usually feels worth it the next time you take your newly upgraded squad into battle. Gears Tactics is an exemplary addition to the turn-based strategy genre, and a refreshing change for a series the primary entries of which haven't evolved all that much over the years.

Game Details

  • Platforms: Windows , Xbox One
  • Pricing structure: Paid
  • Available online?: Available online
  • Publisher: Microsoft Studios
  • Release date: April 28, 2020
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Topics: Adventures
  • ESRB rating: M for Blood and Gore, Strong Language, Intense Violence
  • Last updated: April 24, 2020

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