Gears 5 will bring back Horde mode, the wave-based cooperative survival mode that’s been a hallmark of the third-person shooter series since Gears of War 2. This time, developer The Coalition is mixing things up with new gameplay features like Ultimate abilities and per-game player progression.
Ultimates will give each playable-character their own special powers, and include abilities like the option to call in an airstrike, to see through walls, or to cloak yourself to hide from Locust enemies. Players will also have the option of playing as Jack, the Jack-of-All-Trades Robot that can hover around the map, heal allies, and repair. A new gameplay trailer for Gears 5’s Horde mode, above, shows off those Ultimate abilities and more.
The Coalition studio head Rod Fergusson said that Ultimates will change how people play Horde mode. Over time, the developer plans to add new playable characters, each with their own Ultimate abilities, that will change the metagame.
Other changes coming in Gears 5’s Horde mode include “taps,” described as energy geysers that will appear around the map on every 10th wave. Players will need to capture those taps, which will force teams to spread out and play much more aggressively than they have in the past.
Players will also be able to upgrade the card-based perks and abilities of each character over the course of each game of Horde, which The Coalition believes will lead to character-specific builds and fresh gameplay experiences game-to-game.
And this time, power, the currency of Gears of War’s Horde mode, will be equally distributed among players when they pick it up during games. Bosses and minibosses will also display health bars, which will change how players approach certain fights.
Gears 5 is coming to Windows PC and Xbox One on Sept. 10.